Disclaimer: Naruto is © to Kishimoto, a Japanese mangaka

Edited by Fatelesskitten (A big thank you for you!)

Chapter 1: The Normal, The Abnormal and The Odd.

Meet Uzumaki Naruto, an average (or not so average, depends on your point of view) 16 years-old boy studying in a certain public high school in Konoha area. There was no particular reason why he chose to study there, only that the school was nearest to his house. He didn't really like to take public transport to commute, so when he found out that he could go to this school by cycling he chose to go there.

While other people chose school based on their ranking, Naruto didn't really have much concern about that. He was more concerned about how he didn't have to take public transport to school than anything else. This might be an abnormal reason for a normal person to base on in choosing school but not to Naruto.

Because, you see, Naruto had a little bit of paranormal ability. It is funny when I put it that way but really he did have some talent (I'm not sure you can call it talent). Naruto was born with a hyper sense which made him enable to 'see' spirits. (Ahh…please don't get confuse between spirits and ghosts.) Taking public transport meant he would meet more spirits so he avoided public places as best as possible.

Now, Naruto's ability was not very powerful – he couldn't talk or touch or do anything to those spirits that he sensed; nothing fancy really. He could simply see them and that was that; some kind of black cloud-like material around a person or an object. Sometimes the cloud could be big and sometimes it was just a trace of black smoke. However on odd days (like full moon or something like that) he was able to make out a trace of human form from the cloud-like shape and to an extent, he could see their eyes.

Ahhh…you must be wondering, didn't that scares poor Naruto-kun? Well, the answer is no. You see, he had this ability since he was a kid so it was just normal everyday-life stuff to him. When he was small, he even thought everybody could see the spirits just like he did – so he casually pointed out to people when he saw them. Due to this, people avoided him. They were afraid of what he could see. Until this day, he didn't have friends because of that.

So, he ended up friendless. A loner, really. He tried his very best to be friendly but society was not ready for an odd boy like him – difference was intolerable. For all of his 15 years of life he had never had a single friend.

Only when he was in high school did he meet this boy named Shikamaru. If you asked Naruto, he was not really sure whether this Shika-boy was his friend or not. They didn't talk to each other, just exchanged nods (when they met) as acknowledgement of each other. Or sometime a simple 'hi' or a 'good morning' when Shikamaru was feeling less lazy.

This Shikamaru guy was widely known by his lazy habit and his genius IQ. Even though he was the same age as Naruto, he was in a higher year-level than Naruto; he was in one of those advanced classes that let you skip a year. In other words, he was Naruto's sempai (1).

It was also widely known that Shikamaru's favourite past-time was to stare at the clouds. During recess, he could be found sleeping or looking at the sky while lying on the grass under a tree. And the start of their friendship started from that tree. Because you see, that tree was Naruto's favourite place too cause it was big and it protected him from the blazing sun.

The first time he noticed Shika-sempai sleeping there, Naruto got a little nervous because people usually didn't want him to be around them. Yet, Shika-sempai didn't seem to mind so Naruto stayed. It was the same on the next day. And the next. And the next. And so on. After a month of sharing the same tree, Shikamaru said something unexpected.

"Troublesome."

And he introduced his name and motioned for Naruto to do the same.

"Oh!! My name is Naruto. Nice to meet ya, Shika-sempai!"

Shikamaru nodded at Naruto's enthusiastic greeting and went back to sleep but that was enough to make Naruto happy. For the first time in his life, someone wanted to know his name. His name!! How cool was that?

So that was how a not-so-much-like-a-friendship friendship between Shikamaru and Naruto began.

Oh I forgot to mention. There was one more person that Naruto could consider as his almost-friend friend. His name was Gaara. He had red hair and a tattoo. For most of them time, Garaa looked like a serial-killer that was about to go on a killing rampage; nobody dared to be near him. Naturally, he was a loner too.

As unsociable a being like Naruto, he didn't even know that a person named Gaara attended this high school. But as fate wanted it to be, both of them took the same Drawing course and their drawing table were situated side by side. Let me tell you all here, even though Naruto was not the brightest person that you could ever meet, he was brilliant at drawing. And so was Gaara. Both of them had a tremendous talent when it came to drawing.

Different from Shikamaru, Naruto's friendship with Gaara started sketchy. Well, they were rivals initially. The Art Teacher always compared their artworks to each other's and this subconsciously made them want to outdo each other. This silly rivalry went for a couple of months until one day, the class was ordered to draw something with 'friendship' as a theme in conjunction with Friendship Day because the school wanted to put up 'friendship' poster on the walls.

For Gaara and Naruto who had never had any friends, their drawings were blank. When they realized that the both of them couldn't produce anything from friendship theme, an understanding dawned between those two; there were both loners. They quickly understood: loners like them should stick together. From there, they began to communicate, mostly about drawing or they would greet each other when they met at the corridors.

Sooo, that was how Naruto came to have a total of two friends in high school.

It was kinda pathetic really to brand that kind of relationship as friendship but it was as close as a friendship that Naruto could get.

.

However, that is not the point here. This story is not about how Naruto makes friends. It's about something else. Something more intriguing.

Because you see, apart from his ability to see spirits he had another ability that nobody knew about (except his grandparents but that's beside the point). He could see the red thread of life that connects lovers to each other. Hehe..isn't that not interesting? Who doesn't want ability like that? The world would be a better place if everybody had that kind of ability.

Still, for Naruto that ability didn't mean much to him. He could have happily told everyone who their soulmate was if only they had asked him. Since nobody asked, he just kept quite about it and preferred to observe only. If he had wanted to, he could have revealed all the secrets and became popular through it. However, Naruto was a good boy. He wouldn't do something underhanded like that.

What was more important to him was for him to find his own destined partner.

He had always hoped that his destined partner would be a cute girl like Sakura-chan: a very beautiful girl in his class. He had a crush on Sakura for like forever but he didn't put any hope in it because he knew she was not destined for him. Sakura's red-thread was connected to a senior named Rock Lee. The funny thing was, Sakura hated Lee with the passion of a thousand suns. Sometime Naruto wondered what Sakura reaction would be if she were to be told that her soulmate was the bushy-eyebrow -it would be funny to watch.

While Naruto had a crush on Sakura, he also kinda noticed that a shy girl in his class had a crush on him. Her name was Hinata. He might have asked her out if her red thread had not already connected to someone else. It would be quite a scandal if people were to know whom Hinata's thread was connected to; it was connected to the school's President Council – Hyuuga Neji: Hyugaa Hinata's first cousin. At school, Neji seemed to hate Hinata's presence so Naruto didn't really sure how they could be soulmates.

Well, that was their problem. It was none of Naruto business how they would make their relationship work. What Naruto knew was that the red thread was real. It really shows one's soulmate. He had proof. Jiraiya-jiji and Tsunade-baba were the real example. They were connected and they were still together even now.

His deceased parents had also been connected with a red thread until they died.

So there was no reason to doubt the red threat even if the couple looked doubtful; it was just a matter of time until they got together, forever. The red thread was a real thing.

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Okay, now we know Naruto's other ability but the story is nowhere near started yet. You see, this story started when a long-absent student came back to school. And his name was Uchiha Sasuke.

Like Shikamaru, Uchiha Sasuke was a genius prodigy. He was in the same class as Shikamaru but because he was absent for so long from school – due to family matters – he was downgraded to a lower-level class. After 5 months absent from school, Sasuke finally made an appearance. That explained why Naruto had never met him before.

Naruto remembered the day Sasuke made an appearance in his class as clear as a sunny day. It was during Iruka-sensei's history class. At first, Naruto didn't really pay attention; he was busy drawing something in his sketch pad. He vaguely heard Iruka-sensei explaining about Sasuke's condition to the class over the loud squealing of the girls in his class. Apparently, the new boy must be so handsome that it would cause all the girls to squeal like that.

Naruto lifted his face from the sketch pad to have a look but just imagine his shock at what he found. His—his red thread and—and the new boy's red thread. They were connected!

Naruto loud 'No way!!' could be heard throughout the school before he fell out of his chair and fainted.

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Arghh…what am I doing? I'm supposed to work on another story, instead this story came out.

Ohh..but I want to write this. This is gonna be all fluffy, lovey-dovey, romance story. Wahahhaha…

It will be just a short piece with an elemet of fantasy in it.

Jaa,

TUMe Trouble Upon Me

(1) sempai means senior student/colleague