AN: I apologize for taking so long to get this out. I have been trying, and trying to get Dreams III done. Unfortunately every time I get about half way through I realize it sucks. As such, I am stopping on it for a bit. In the meantime, here is a fun one to start off the New Year. On a side note, I know that it has been awhile, but as I mentioned my focus is primarily on ROD right now, as it is flowing easier. Also recent chapters of Naruto have me slightly annoyed. It is hard to come up with fun conversations with all the constant twist and turns. Please be patient in between each posting, I am not dropping this or forgetting it, but it might be large chunks of time between each post.

On the other hand, if anyone has some ideas while I am banging my head on Dreams III, please feel free to send them to me as a PM or in a review. I could use some inspiration for a 'conversation.'

As for this, it is actually dedicated to 'nobody102' they did not suggest this but the idea came to me after reading their story 'Scorpion's Disciple' which happens to be a really good story if you ever read it. Also to 'Deritine' for 'Fuzzy Logic' which I also got part of the idea from. At the bottom after reading you will see an AN on what parts came from each....

Conversations: CH20: Art of Pranking…

Naruto leaned against a wall and closed his eyes. He listened carefully to his surrounding and tried to feel if any of jiji's ANBU was about. Sensing nobody nearby him, Naruto put his hands together.

"Henge," he whispered.

A fourteen year old boy now stood in his place. He had light brown hair, lightly tanned skin, and grey eyes. He wore civilian clothes that contained paint spatters and beaten up sandals. Moving away from the wall, the boy started to head out into the crowded street. After a few blocks he arrived at a hardware store. He smiled softly and opened the door, hearing the chime announcing his presence.

"Aiko," A voice called from the counter. "I wasn't expecting you today."

Aiko smiled and waved at the young man behind the counter.

"Hey Yuuta." He moved closer to the counter. "Neither was I but it turns out business has been good lately. My uncle sent me in to pick up some more supplies that we were running low on. Also, my Mom asked me to pick up some paint. She wants to re-paint the nursery."


"Yeah, she decided to turn it into a playroom for all the little brats. So she wants some nice bright colors for the room." Aiko leaned against the counter. "So how is business?"

"Not bad, its summer time so a lot of home repairs going on. Seen a lot of genin team coming in for shopping since the economy is so good. A lot of D-ranks being issued, I hope that isn't hurting your family?"

Aiko laughed, "Nah, genin are good for some people, but if you want quality work going to professional workers is better than some kids. Those ninja are trained to fight not paint and repair. Hey," Aiko leaned closer. "My uncle didn't know my Mom wanted me to pick up paint also so I forget to bring a trolley, think I can borrow one from you. Promise I'll have it back before you close?"

"Of course, you are one of my better clients." Yuuta came out from behind the counter. "You start pulling what you need and bring it to the front. I'll go get a trolley from the back."

"Sweet, you're the best." Aiko turned to go look through the shop.

First he went and collected some hardware supplies, rope, hammers, loose boards, plaster and chemical cleaners were grabbed and brought to the front. He grabbed some work gloves and a few other items of interest. When he made his third trip to the front he saw that Yuuta was already logging the items and packaging them onto a large trolley.

Smiling he took a look and realized all that was left was the paint. He headed to the side room and started looking through the shelves.

"Hey Yuuta, some colors are not in stock, do you mind if I batch them myself?" he called out.

"Nah go ahead, I trust you to use the machine correctly, just make sure you put a spot on the top so you know what color you have."

"Thanks." Aiko smiled and started grabbing some plain white and headed to the machine on the side.

He started pulling the lids up and pulled out a color tray. He started dropping mixes into the gallons, placed the lids on and set them on the mixer stand. Making sure they were locked in he set the timer and turned on the mixer. Once done, he started moving through the pre made shelves and grabbed a few colors of interest and dragged them to the front. Hearing the machine ping he went over and checked the colors, smirking he closed the lid and touched a paint dipped finger to the lid.

After about an hour he had everything up front and loaded.

"Hey Yuuta, what is the balance, Uncle said I should catch the account up to date. Put today's in as well." Aiko pulled out an envelope of money.

"Wow, really must have been a good couple of months?" Yuuta grabbed a ledger from under the desk and opened it up.

"Well, I have your current total, give me a few minutes and I can add in today's numbers. You paying cash right?" At Aiko's nod he continued. "I also have to see what your discount rate might be. It should only take about fifteen minutes or so."

"Oh, I'll be back in a few then. I want to grab some dango, want any?"

"Sure. Here, grab me an order." Yuuta held out some coins.

When Aiko returned he handed a bag of dango to Yuuta.

"So, what's the damage?"

Yuuta handed over a tally sheet, quickly checking the math, he whistled loudly before opening the envelope and pulling out the cash.

"Okay, here you go, I'll grab the receipt when I bring the trolley back, that good with you?"

"Sure, see you later."

* * *

Aiko stopped the trolley and looked around. Not seeing or sensing anyone, he held his hands up, "Kai."

Naruto glanced down and giggled. Moving quickly he unlocked the shack and started bringing the supplies inside. The inside of the shack had walls of supplies for trap building, painting and other miss-matched items used for his pranks. On the far wall were maps, pictures and detailed plans for completed and/or planned pranks.

Taking a few more trips he emptied the trolley and went over to a side wall. He grabbed a clipboard and started crossing items off the list.

"Heh, not much more and I'll have everything I need. This will be my best prank ever..." he put the clipboard away and went outside. He locked up the shack and turned to the trolley. Giggling once again he placed the henge back on.

* * *

"Hey Yuuta, I'm back."

"Wow that was pretty fast, are you going back to work?"

"Nah, going home to help my mom, what about you, how many more hours you got left?"

"Not much, but got a hot date tonight."

Yuuta and Aiko started chatting for a bit, after a while they waved goodbye. Aiko left the store and started walking down the streets whistling a soft tune.

After a few blocks he ducked quickly into an alley, and a few moments later Uzumaki Naruto came out of the alley and started running to the academy.

* * *

"Where have you been?" Unimo Iruka looked down at Naruto.

"Just goofing, your lessons on history can be so boring sensei." Naruto smiled up at his teacher.

"Naruto, graduation is in three months, you need to be prepared or otherwise you might fail again." He shook his head. "You know this will be your third time, right?"

"Ah, don't worry sensei, I got it covered, this is the year I am gonna become a genin and take the first step to becoming Hokage, believe it!" Naruto grinned and laughed at his teacher.

* * *

That night as Naruto prepared to sleep he heard a knock on his window. Looking up he saw an ANBU at the window. Seeing the mask he smiled and ran to open it.

"Hey Inu, what are you doing here?"

"Depends Naruto, what have you been planning?" The Inu masked ANBU moved to lean against the table.

"What do you mean?"

"Well I watched today as 'Aiko' bought a lot of supplies. What are you planning?"

"Nothing right now." Naruto gave a sly grin.

"Oh, is this part of your 'big' one you have been working on for years?"


"You know Hokage-sama told you that you can't go through with that prank right?"

"No, he said I couldn't write those things. I just changed the plan, he has no problem with graffiti, and he just thought that the original plan was too much." Naruto opened the fridge and grabbed the milk. "So I won't be putting up those quotes, just doing some drawing."

"So I can tell Hokage-sama you are not going to put any 'sayings' up?" He put his hand on Naruto's head so he could make him look into his eyes. "Swear?"

"Yeah, don't worry Inu, I just plan to paint some pretty pictures." Naruto stared at Inu trying to get his sincerity through.

"Alright." Inu moved off the table to head to the window. "You know if you put half the effort you do into your pranks into your academy work you would be rookie of the year."

"Ah, but who cares about that?" Naruto called out. "Everyone knows that if you're the rookie of the year everyone expects you to be dangerous. If I am the dead last, well… they will never see me coming." Naruto smiled softly. "After all didn't you use to tell me a 'shinobi is deceptive'?"

The ANBU stared at him and laughed. He started to move out the window and stopped, "Hey, when is the big prank?"

"Day before graduating test, why?"

"How long have you been planning this?"

"A while, but a good prank is like art, it takes time, effort and should leave a lasting impression on all who witness it." Naruto smiled.

* * *

Three Months Later…


Sarutobi Hiruzen turned and sighed after realizing his calligraphy had been destroyed. "What is it? Is Naruto causing trouble again?"

"Yes, he is vandalizing the Hokage Mountain again, and this time with paint!" the two chuunin shouted.

Sarutobi sighed and grabbed his Hokage hat. He moved to follow the chuunin only to find himself on the platform that faced the monument. Several ninja were staring up at the mountain and screaming at Naruto. The Hokage monument was covered in paint, and Naruto was still balanced on a rope walkway yelling back.

Fighting a grin at what he saw, "Geez, what has that idiot done?"

"Hokage-sama I apologize."

"Hmm?" he turned to see Iruka, Naruto's current sensei moving to the balcony. "Oh Iruka."


Iruka turned and nodded to the Hokage before taking off to capture Naruto. The rest of the ninja dispersed to help.

"Kakashi-sempai will be mad," an ANBU said as she appeared next to the Hokage.

"Yes, I know he was curious as to what Naruto had planned. Do me a favor and take pictures; this should go in his files. It's impressive that he got so much done before anyone noticed." Sarutobi said. He chuckled and moved to return to his office. "And have Iruka stop by to see me."

Not bad Naruto, not bad….

"I see he decided to go through with it after all," a dry voice spoke up from the side.

Sarutobi looked to his left to see Kakashi leaning against the tower.

"Kakashi, when did you get back?" The aged leader questioned.

"Well, Naruto had mentioned his 'big prank'," he air quoted, "would be today. I rushed through the assignment to get back in time." Kakashi looked at the monument again. "Honestly, I would have let him go through with his original idea; it would have been way funnier."

"I agree, but the council would have had fits, and the civilians would have demanded blood." Sarutobi said as he continued to walk inside, Kakashi following him.

"Why? What exactly did he really want to put up there? What freaked you out so much?" Kakashi asked as he followed the aged leader.

"Oh, just some play on words about the famous abilities of our past Hokage's..." Sarutobi muttered.

Kakashi simply followed his leader while staring at him inquisitively. As they reached the Hokage's office he sat in a chair while still looking at Sarutobi.

"Oh fine," the old man snapped. He grabbed and lit his pipe before continuing. "He wanted to do air bubbles like they do in the manga books. He wanted to have the Shodai saying something along the lines of 'Do you like my morning wood?' and Nidaime-sama saying, 'Have you seen my sword? It can stun you into silence?' and I think for Yondaime he wanted to put, 'I just flashed Iwa.'"

Kakashi appeared to be trying to contain his laughter, after a moment he spoke up. "What about you? I honestly can't see you not being included."

Dipping his hat to hide his face, Sarutobi took a huge hit off his pipe. "I believe for me he wanted to paint the Ichi Ichi Paradise over the bottom of my face and write some symbols to represent me giggling." He finally muttered.

It was too much for Kakashi as he broke into loud laughter, "You know his mother would have been so proud." he said after calming down and wiping some tears of laughter from his eyes.

Sarutobi looked out the window at the defaced monument. Smiling softly, "Are you kidding she would have helped him had she been alive."

Edited by Beta: on 1/2/2010

AN: So in case you never read the two stories I mentioned. In Scropion's Disciple Naruto was caught pranking by Sasori, who told him that it was just a minor crime or something, and Naruto proceeded to tell him it was art and explain why. Sasori realized it just might be art, at least from Naruto's POV. As for Fuzzy Logic, that was where the 'original' prank idea came from, Kyuubi trapped in human form wrote blurbs, not exactly like mine, but it is where the idea came from....