Hey everyone! Shang here! First off I wanna thank you for giving this piece a shot. As some of you may have realized, this side-story is based on my other work, "Naruto: Next Generation". Now, while knowledge of NNG is not mandatory to understand this piece, those of you who haven't read it might get confused with the characters etc. as they're all OCs from it. If you have read NNG (to the point it's done thus far), then I don't think there's any trouble (though if you haven't gotten through the eliminations to the final exam, some facts may prove to be a tiny spoiler).
Normally I was planning to put several one shots involving my NNG characters in a short series about Christmas, but that sorta backfired (mostly because I didn't manage to finish them by the time Xmas came), so the idea was dropped. However, literally yesterday, an idea for this 'story' bloomed in my head and I figured I'll start with a Valentine's Day script. And thus I sat down to it and wrote this chapter in a matter of few hours.
Please note that if the idea will prove to be popular, I'll be considering turning this into a collection of one shots, concerning my NNG-verse. The stories put here would circle around different characters and situations. It would be an extra way to know the characters from the main story a bit better.
As for types of the stories, well, they could basically be anything: romance, humor, horror, action, drama… anything that'll come to my head and I'd figure is worth writing. Initially there is a series of one shots planned involving Christmas theme and even short arcs that'd present some of the more interesting missions of the young gennin, which they took before entering the Chuunin Exams. So, if I got you interested and you like the idea, please let me know in a review. If the popularity of this piece will proven to be high enough, I'll turn it into a series in its own right.
And now, without further to do, here's an NNG Valentine's Day special chapter:
Hurray, it's Valentine's Day!
Genre: romance/humor/drama (if this will be turned into a 'series', this is where you'll learn what genre the specific one shot has)
Mikka slowly got up and stretched. She gazed at the calendar hung on the wall right next to her bed and crossed out another date. She quickly got dressed in her usual attire and sped down the stairs into the kitchen. She needed to make breakfast and hurry. While her team did not have any training or mission, today was going to be a very busy day. It was 13th of February and, as probably most girls her age thought, the day after might prove crucial for the future.
Picking out money from her boar bank she left her household to make haste to the market. First order of business will be to get ingredients. Getting chocolate proven to be relatively easy… that is if one was willing to pay five times its typical price (A/N: ah, the 'pleasures' of last-minute shopping). Mikka sadly did not belong to that group. Ironically, for a job where you risk losing your life, gennin payment is really low. As she searched through her pocket money, she recalled Iruka once joking around that he was surprised the youngster in Konoha haven't thought of strike yet.
She let out a sigh and wondered what she should do now. It was exactly at this point that a hand suddenly landed on her shoulder, causing her to scream terrified, yet a familiar voice made her calm down a bit and as she covered her chest in the place her heart was, she turned around, to notice her old classmate: "Hey, Mikka! Shopping for tomorrow?" asked a blonde kunoichi with a wide smile, winking to the shy girl, making her look away.
"Umm… yes" she replied, still feeling her heart beating faster. "You shouldn't surprise people like that, Kogane-san… for a moment there I was positive I'm gonna have to reanimate myself… and if you're not familiar with medicine, I can tell you it's hard to do…"
"You're a shinobi, it's you who should be prepared for a surprised attack" the young alchemist responded, slightly offended and then her sight traveled to her friend's palm and the small among of money she carried: "This won't be enough. At this time of year there's no way you'll buy chocolate without selling your kidney… and, while as a medic, you should be able to cut it out, I still think the idea sucks…"
"But I…" Mikka began shyly with a sad expression crossing her face. This proven to be enough to bring even the cheerful blonde down and with a face twisted in thought, she grabbed the other girl's hand, making her look into her eyes: "Chocolate is the smallest of your worries. At my house there's plenty, I could borrow you some. But, if you really want to get a guy, you need to be creative! How you wanna give your chocolates too?"
"Well… ummm…" she began, turning away and replied so quietly, that saying she whispered would be an understatement: "Kai-kun". At hearing that, Kogane's eyebrow went up, but she only shook her head to snap out of it, and went on: "Well, then you're in trouble, coz I don't think there's a way to make ramen-taste chocolates… but I believe I could help you out! You know what you need?"
"Well, I prepared a special recipe…" she replied quietly, making an evil grin appear on Kogane's face, before she yelled: "Great, then lets get what you need!" and with that she dragged her into the crowd. The chance meeting proven to be a blessing for Mikka as with blonde's skill to lower prizes (A/N: and making a traveling merchant lower his to an extend he'd cry is a trait to be respected), she got everything she needed. Carrying bags filled with the ingredients and a cheerful smile on her face, the two kunoichi headed to the Rikoteki estate. It was only then that the young medic realized something:
"Umm, Kogane-san" she began quizzically, making the blonde turn her face towards her. "I didn't thought of asking, but how come there's enough chocolate at your house for both of us to use?" but the other girl only smiled evilly again as she replied: "We're alchemists, remember? Making chocolate is as easy as preparing a sandwich (A/N: this is not actually all that appropriate, for if she knew Kai once cut his finger while putting butter onto the bread, Kogane may have used a different analogy). What you should concentrate on is putting that recipe of yours into good use. While Kai may not be so hard to impress like my Takaru-kun, it's best you don't screw up" and as they reached their target, the two quickly entered the kitchen to finish their preparations.
In no time the chocolate was melting and after burning it only twice, the two had the brown liquid ready. Mikka peacefully placed her mould in the shape of heart on the table and gave a smile to her friend, only to see the blonde packing tens of stuff into a huge mould. Sweat dropping, she spoke up, interrupting Kogane's ritual: "Umm… Kogane-san, what are you putting into your chocolate?"
"Oh, you know, the usual:" began the blonde, extending her hand and bending fingers as she went over the ingredients: "sugar, strawberry mass, caramel, several walnuts, pepper for better taste, reduced cheese, some eggs, ketchup, again for taste, orange mass, banana pieces, carrots, pineapple rings… I think we're out of ham, so I'll need to find a replacement for that… a little cherry mass, toffee, mayonnaise…"
"Poor Takaru-kun is gonna die" the young medic thought terrified. "Or in best case scenario get stomach disorder and diarrhea (A/N: at this point I'd like to point out that in actuality one can't get any of the mentioned from eating chocolate… or at least I haven't heard of such a case)… and to think she was worried about my cooking" but she decided to keep quiet and returned to preparing her piece.
She gently prepared chocolates with different stuffing, decorating each with a small piece of a fruit. Once her work was done, she went to preparing the box for it. The container, also shaped into a heart, quickly got wrapped in red, decorating paper and a golden ribbon finished the picture. She smiled to herself warmly as hope bloomed in her eyes. Her happiness did not last long however as Kogane's voice, coming from the kitchen, echoed in the house: "Ah, I spilled glue on the chocolate!"
With a sigh, the young medic got up from her chair and headed in the direction suspicious noises came from. Yet her smile did not disappear, be it from her own satisfaction of succeeding in her task or what met her eyes once her friend came within sight.
---The next day, February 14th---
"What a lame day" whined Kai as he and Kusari walked through the streets of Konoha, the blonde gennin having his hands behind his back. "This is why I hate Valentine's Day! I never get any chocolates and that Takaru-teme, got loads! It sucks! But, at the very least, I'm not alone in my suffering. It's good to have a girlless guy like you for a friend" he announced, sending the chain master a wide smile.
"Actually…" began Kusari, reaching into his pocket and picking out a small package, wrapped in red and white paper, tied with a crimson ribbon. This made his companion jump back in shock, while pointing an accusing finger at his friend: "Traitor! How could a pervert like you get a chocolate? Dammit, what sane-minded girl would went through such trouble for you?"
"Dunno" the chain master replied, shrugging. "The note said from your, secret admirer" Kai only sweat dropped, while his eye twitched: "At least the idiot is smart enough to not tell him who she is…" but his trail of thoughts was quickly interrupted by a sudden yell: "You asshole, those chocolates were for me!"
As the two turned towards the direction it came from, they saw Hanamaru running down the street. Waving them for 'hello', he zoomed next to them with Kitsune following close behind, still screaming: "You got a box yourself, dammit! Why the hell you took mine too?" and that statement made Kai's face sadden even more. While it was good people he called friends got admirers, it hurt so much more to be the only one to not get his sweets.
Kusari managed to notice that and also felt awkward, yet couldn't think of anything to say. They continued walking, passing by Galu, who apparently didn't realize his chocolate awaited him in his sandal and now the taijutsu master could be easily nicknamed 'brown foot'. They even noticed Senkou sitting up in a tree, enjoying his own box. Upon sensing that Kai did not get any sweets, the son of Kakashi wanted to tease him a bit and stuck out his tongue and play on his nose. This however proven to be a bad idea as his speed turned against him and as his smashed his finger against his nose too quickly, he lost balance and crushed hard against the ground.
As they came closer to Kai's apartment, Kusari suddenly froze and stared into the bushes near the road. The blonde gave his companion a confused glance and then followed his sight, spotting a mysterious figure hiding in the shadows of a tree. Upon further inspection, the two realized it was their teammate: "Ibuki, what are you doing here?" Kai asked cheerfully, making the young assassin turn her annoyed face towards them.
"Stupid question" Kusari responded with a wide smile. "She came to give me chocolates!" he threw his fists to the sky, only to hit the dirt a second later as a kunai flew right above his head. A sudden sound of opening door made the kunoichi forget the two completely and returned to her observation. Curious, Kai followed her example and spotted Horohoro picking up a small box of chocolates. The blue-haired boy rising his eyebrow in confusion and then smiled at realization, before walking back into the house.
"Say a word and your death" Ibuki warned her teammates with the most despicable voice the two boys heard thus far, making them swallow their saliva loudly before energetically nodding their heads. The young assassin send them the last, death glare and then disappeared between from the view.
"Well, that's surprising" Kusari spoke up few moments later, being the first to get out of shock. "Who would have thought Ibuki-chan liked Horohoro?". He glanced at Kai, who was still frozen still. Finally the blonde also regained his posture, managing a reply: "Who would have thought she knew how to make chocolate?"
"Anyway I'm going this way" the chain master announced, saluting his friend goodbye: "See ya tomorrow. And don't let it get to you; chocolates are bad for your teeth anyway" and with that he was gone, leaving Kai to walk the last, few meters on his own. The blonde managed a nod of agreement before his teammate disappeared from view, yet quickly dropped his smile as he was left alone.
For while Valentines are supposed to be a happy holiday, when you don't have anyone, it easily becomes the most depressing day of the year. The blonde let out a loud sigh as he headed back to his house. He reached to his pocket and picked out his keys, pushing them into the hole as just as he was about to turn them over, his eyes widen at the sight of his doormat. While the doormat itself was nothing interesting (A/N: believe me, I know), what really caught his eye was a small, heart-shaped box, wrapped in red paper and decorated with a golden ribbon.
Hesitantly he picked it up and stared at it confused for a moment. Then he quickly looked around, yet spotting no-one his attention reverted back to the gift and a moment later a wide smile appeared on his face as he pushed the door open and disappeared in his apartment.
Naturally, if Kai wasn't so bad at shinobi business, the moment he looked around he would notice a figure hidden in the top of a nearby tree, carefully observing the whole scene. The kunoichi's face turned completely red as her body shook. Her heart pounded like it wanted to escape her chest. And yet she couldn't help but smile as she saw the blonde entering his home with a smile just as wide as hers.
"Hey, Mikka, what are you doing here?" a sudden voice made her squeak again only to turn around to notice Kokoro glancing at her curiously. As the blush became even deeper, she looked away making the boy realize what was going on… well, with his skills he would've figured it out anyway. He gave his teammate a smile and wrapping his arm around her, he spoke up, winking to the young kunoichi: "Congratulations! I'm proud of you! So, how did it go?" he asked, making the girl shudder slightly. The blonde nodded and quickly continued: "I see… well, no biggie. Valentines come once a year, there's plenty of time. Meanwhile me, Tsume, Senkou and Galu were thinking of going to the forest for a team picnic, since we don't have duties today. Wanna come?"
Mikka only managed a weak nod, her face still redder then a beetroot. She thought of it for a while and came to a conclusion her friend was right: there will be other occasions. He accepted her chocolates and they made him happy. This was all she needed. At least for now…
Okay, so this concludes this chapter. Hope you enjoyed reading it at least as much as I enjoyed writing it. Now, before you go, I have just one favor to ask you: PLEASE let me know what you think of this and if you'd like to read more one shots concerning NNG cast. If you like an idea of independent series placed in NNG-verse, do let me know and there's a high chance this'll turn into something bigger then a single one shot.
Also, should this idea become popular, I'll also be taking your requests as to what sort of stories you'd like to read about (for example: if your favorite character is Takai and you like comedy, I'll try to think of a story that'd put him in a humorous situation). Though it's best I'll write this now: I'll not be putting stories that are planned to appear in the actual NNG itself (thus Takaru's Gaiden will not have its place here nor a piece as to how Sasuke got his Mangekyo Sharingan, coz these are the things that will be explained in the main story… in the right time of course).
I believe that covers it all. Thanks for reading and again, please leave a review. It'd mean a lot. Take care and hope your Valentine's Day will/was a good one!