Warning: This has not been betaed.
Eight-year-old Uzumaki Naruto stood in the middle of the street, not knowing what to say to the woman who had just made such an outrageous statement. "Anything?" he finally asked.
"Yes," the mysterious woman replied, her violet eyes shining with mirth. "Any wish you desire. All you have to do is to ask and I will ensure that it comes true. You deserve that much, at least."
"Even if I wanted... a friend?"
"Friends?" she inquired. "That is simple enough. For you, who have known naught but lonliness, it is only natural to desire companionship. Very well. Should you ask that of me, I shall help you to find stalwart companions, loyal friends who shall never abandon you."
"That sounds... good," he whispered.
"That is what you desire?"
"Very well, then," the woman finished as she faded into nothingness. "It will be so."
"Wait!" Naruto shouted. "Who are you?"
"Taka-mi-musu-bi-no-kami," a faint whisper carried to his ears.
A Naruto Fanfiction,
Prologue: Of Gods, Devils, and Mysterious Encounters
Disclaimer: I own neither Naruto nor Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha. I do wish that I did, however.
A few things became readily apparent to Naruto. None of the people on the street had seemed to notice what had happened... and they had responded with a mix of confusion and disgust when he asked.
Well, those that had actually responded had done so. Most had just ignored him and walked on.
As the day progressed Naruto became increasingly confused about what had happened and eventually convinced himself that it had just been a pleasant daydream. He'd nearly forgotten about it by the time he fell asleep that night.
Almost as soon as he fell asleep, however, Naruto awoke with a start as his bed disappeared from underneath him. Quickly opening his eyes and looking around, he found himself flailing his arms about as he fell towards an unfamiliar street.
Then he saw a brown-haired girl walking right towards where he was about to land. "Watch out!" he yelled, startling the girl who reflexively stopped walking as her gaze snapped to follow the falling boy.
With that he landed, barely missing the wide-eyed brunette as he crashed into the ground.
"Are you okay?" she frantically asked, approaching him.
"Of course," Naruto exclaimed, shaking somewhat as he stood up. "It'll take more than that to take out the future Hokage!"
"Hokage?" the girl asked, her twin ponytails cutely framing her blue eyes. "What's that?"
"Only the strongest, coolest ninja in all of Fire Country!"
"Are you sure you didn't hit your head?"
"Ah!" she suddenly shouted before bowing. "I'm Takamachi Nanoha. Pleased to meet you."
"Umm," Naruto replied, somewhat confused. "I'm Uzumaki Naruto. Please to..."
Naruto's introduction was cut off by a backpack falling out of the sky and hitting him on the head.
"Ow," Naruto muttered, dazed as he lay on the sidewalk, "that hurt."
"Don't worry," Nanoha frantically reassured him as she waved her hands and ran in a circle, "I'll get you to a clinic right away... just don't die!"
Had Naruto been in any condition to do so, he would have sweatdropped at the sight.
The next few minutes were a blur to Naruto as Nanoha practically dragged him to a nearby clinic and begged the resident doctor to take a look at him. While the ultimate conclusion -- that Naruto was fine, if a bit dazed -- was a given to him, the concern that the doctor showed him was a new thing, something that he didn't really know what to make of.
"Naruto-kun," the doctor stated, "you should take it easy for a few days. I'll ask Nanoha-chan to take you home, but you really need to be more careful in the future, okay?"
Naruto blinked, not having recognised anything he'd seen since his arrival.
"But sensei," Nanoha protested, "I don't know where he lives!"
"That's okay," the doctor reassured her. "I have his address."
Naruto blinked again. "How do you know..."
"Ah," Nanoha apologized. "I'm sorry, but we weren't sure about your bag so we looked inside. Sensei found your ID card..."
"ID card?" Naruto parroted.
"Yes," the doctor agreed. "Anyway," she stated, writing an address on a piece of paper and handing it to Nanoha, "do you think that you can find that address? I'll write a note for your school..."
At that point Nanoha got a good look at the paper the doctor had handed her. "Aaaah," she shouted. "That's my house!"
Naruto and the doctor could only blink at that.
A quick phone-call to Nanoha's home later, the doctor had discovered that there wasn't a mistake... but that Naruto had just moved in with them on short notice and Nanoha's family had intended to introduce the two of them later. Naruto, of course, was totally clueless about the matter -- especially since he didn't understand what a phone was -- but decided that going to her house was the best course of action.
On the way to Nanoha's house her cell-phone rang, startling Naruto. After a brief conversation that left Nanoha quite wide-eyed and Naruto confused over what she was doing, Nanoha stopped walking and turned toward Naruto.
"About the woman who sent you here... what do you know about her?"
"Sent me here?" Naruto asked.
"Yes... she said that she'd talked to you yesterday morning, that you'd told her that you wanted friends..."
Naruto blinked, still somewhat shocked by the day's events. "That wasn't a dream?"
He paused for a moment before reciting what he could remember of the encounter... which wasn't much, periodically being interrupted by Nanoha's exclamations.
"Eh? And she didn't even introduce herself?" Nanoha asked as Naruto finished.
Naruto shook his head before pausing. "Wait... as she left, she called herself... what was it... ah. 'Taka-mi-something-no-kami.' But..."
Nanoha paled. "Kami?"
"Yeah, but there's no way she really was..."
"No," Nanoha disagreed. "She appeared to me, too. I don't really understand what she said, but... she sent you here to make friends, right?"
Naruto dumbly nodded.
"What about your friends where you came from? Won't you miss them?"
"Whaaaat?!" Nanoha yelled.
Naruto watched dumbly as his new acquaintance, in his opinion, overreacted to his statement. After a few moments, however, she forced herself to calm down.
"Well," she stated, "then I think it would be nice if we were to become friends."
Naruto stared at her with a hopeful look as he remembered the strange woman's earlier words.
"But... we don't know what's going on... how long you'll be staying for..."
"Yeah," Naruto agreed, his disappointment easily visable to his new friend.
"We'll just have to make the best of the time we have, then!"
Naruto looked up, his hope once again visible before a hesitant look crossed his face. "But... I don't know how to do that... how to become friends..."
"It's simple," Nanoha explained, smiling. "Becoming friends is really simple. You just have to say my name. That's all you need to do at the beginning. Just look into someone's eyes and say their name." She met Naruto's gaze and continued. "I'm Takamachi Nanoha. Just call me Nanoha."
"Nanoha?" Naruto hesitantly asked.
"Yes, like that."
"Yes," Nanoha stated, grabbing Naruto's hand.
"Thank you, Nanoha-chan...," Naruto said, tears welling up in his eyes as he smiled at his new friend.
"No, Naruto-kun," Nanoha reassured him. "I'm happy to be your friend."
After a few moments of standing there the moment passed and Naruto moved on to other topics as they resumed their walk.
"By the way, Nanoha-chan," he asked, "what was that thing you were talking into earlier?"
Nanoha blinked, pulling out her cell-phone. "You mean this? It's just my cell phone."
"What's a cell phone?"
Nanoha blinked again. "You've never seen a cell-phone before?" She dismissed the comment, knowing that cell phones weren't common in many places and started to explain. As she finished, Nanoha noted that Naruto still seemed confused about something.
"I see..." Naruto replied. "Just one question."
"What's a telephone?"
Nanoha just stood dumbly for a few moments as Naruto's question registered... before starting another explanation. "A different world indeed," Nanoha thought, remembering what the strange lady who claimed to be a kami had told her.
For the rest of the trip to Nanoha's home she and Naruto traded companionable banter... although it wasn't without surprises for both parties.
"Anyway," Nanoha explained as they approached her house, "Midoriya is our coffee shop at the marketplace in front of the train station. We sell various cakes, cream puffs, and different types of coffee. It's a really popular place for girls coming home from school and ladies around the neighborhood."
Naruto nodded in understanding, having had the concept of a "train station" explained to him earlier.
"So... what kind of cake do you like?"
Naruto paused for a moment. "I don't know," he admitted. "I've never had any."
"Don't tell me that you don't have cake where you're from!"
Naruto shook his head. "No, we have it," he explained. "I've just never had any."
Nanoha paused at her door. "Well, we'll just have to fix that, then!" And with that she opened her door and walked in. "Mother, Father, I'm home!"
It was a small wish. What Naruto wanted was to end his loneliness. What he was waited for was a true friend to regard as precious. He got his wish. With encounters, battles, and vast amounts of power... Konoha's fate was silently set in motion. Even within the storm, Naruto would continue to believe in the bonds that connected his heart to others'... and a tale of truly spectacular overkill would begin.