Uzumaki Naruto was extremely tired.
The whole ordeal of finding out about the chunin exams and running into the sand trio was an exhausting experience and that included the mission they had been on earlier that day. That morning he had thought the day was going to be a wonderful one that consisted showing up Sasuke and completing the mission that they had been assigned. And once again, despite the trouble they had, Naruto craved for something more that could test his strength and skills. And staring up at the darkening blue sky, Naruto thought about the day's events as he gave a deep sigh.
'The chunnin exams, huh? Sounds exciting, maybe I can finally show off how much I've gotten stronger since our mission to Wave... But I wonder why Kakashi-Sensei didn't tell us about it?'
Coming to a stop he watched as a flock of birds flew across the sky, the clouds molding together and darkening from a pristine white to a deep gray that warned of rain. Looking around to see if anyone was around, Naruto grinned as he watched the last person in the area disappear around a corner.
'Finaly!' he thought before bringing his hand up and extending two fingers, each hand before bringing them together to make a T shape; the release of a henge that she had been using since she first learned hand seals from the Sandaime himself.
With a puff of smoke the eleven year old boy dissolved into an eleven year old girl. Uzumaki Naruto was born a girl, having a male name or not, and she always hated pretending to be some one she was not. This was a secret only a few were in on, guarding the knowledge of her true identity and gender. It was in that very moment she made the choice to stop hiding, to stop pretending. No longer would she ever wear that henge again. It was time to face the word as her true self.
Not to mention it was awkward for her to pretend to have a crush on another girl, especially her own teammate. Naruto shuddered before continuing her walk home.
The only one's who knew about her henge to her knowledge were a few trusted people and shinobi. There was the Hokage, Iruka-Sensei, and Hinata. It was why the girl was always so weird around her, she had accidentally found out when they were young, just when they were starting the Academy and Naruto had protected Hinata from some bullies. When Naruto had been knocked out, her henge disappeared shortly after, and only Hinata and the other member of her clan that was supposed to be watching her had seen her that way. The older Hyuga had quickly tried to replace the henge over her so others wouldn't find out before dragging a confused Hinata away.
Naturally Naruto had short and messy golden blonde hair not much different from her hair when she was under the henge, except that it was slightly more tamed and slightly longer. She had messy bangs that framed her baby face quite nicely and usually used a clip so her hair didn't fall in her face during training and stuff when she was alone. She was still short.
Besides, keeping the henge up used a lot of her chakra-not that you could tell with her stamina-and only held her back. When she wasn't wearing the henge she was faster since she was lighter in weight, petite for her age. Not to mention she had one hell of a right hook, at least from what she had been told training one day with Iruka for fun and 'Educational purposes'.
Naruto was oblivious to it, but she was very cute when she let it show that she was girl. In fact Iruka worried that if she took off her henge permanently he would have to start beating boys off her with a stick.
The Sandaime had once said that she was just like her mother, with the same fiery spirit and beauty along with the determination she put in to whatever it was that she did. He never talked about her parents very much. But the Sandaime did say that she looked like her father to the point that sometimes it was as if he was looking at him when he was her age. Beyond that he said no more about them and wouldn't even tell her their names or what had happened to them, only what they were like and that they loved her very much.
Despite not being a tactical genius, Naruto really wasn't that dumb either, maybe a little naive at times and was still pretty dense, she wasn't entirely stupid. She may not be book smart like Sakura, but she was street smart, and that had kept her alive growing up when it counted. She had the skill to improvise when in a tight corner and her instincts carried her pretty far.
Bone tired, Naruto barely noticed it had started to rain until it was pouring down on her head and she was entirely soaked to the bone and freezing in her now very heavy jumpsuit. This was the last thing she needed at the moment and she cursed and screamed in frustration as she stomped her foot into a puddle.
"Damn it!" she cursed unzipping her jacket to take it off and hold it over her head to shield her form the sudden shower. Running as fast as she could, Naruto ran through the crowded market without her henge. Getting to her apartment building she shook off the rain from her body much like a dog would when wet, once she was inside she fished for her house keys in her pants pocket until she found them.
Getting up to her floor and to the door of her apartment she grimaced at the harsh words painted on the front before sliding the key into the lock and opened the door to go inside. Pulling her key back out she let it dangle from her finger like a ring as she kicked off her shoes inside at the door, not bothering to put them in the shoe box at the entrance. Throwing her keys on the counter and throwing her wet jacket over a chair she looked around her tiny apartment and was surprised to see that the whole place seemed to have had been cleaned.
Her scrolls were organized, her bed made, the dishes washed and put away, her table cleaned off, her floor was spotless, her big window above her bed sparkling, her dirty cloths in the hamper and even the trash was taken out. She could only imagine what her training room looked like.
Naruto's training room was a window less room that was designed for total concentration with scrolls and books everywhere with. The wall were covered with motivational posters that Iruka helped make along with a target board to help practice her aim with kunai and shuriken, and an exhausted Kakashi doll that she made in replica of her sensei she used to practice attacks on. There were at least three posters that said Training & Discipline. She had a training menu taped up with another poster next to it reminding to do her everyday exercises. Her favorite was a really big one that she made her self that said 'Kick Sasuke's Butt!' With a badly drawn, X'd out, picture of the last remaining Uchiha on it.
Naruto could only assume that Iruka-Sensei had stopped by again and had one of his cleaning sprees that he tended to get every time he stepped foot into her messy apartment. It was the only rational explanation that Naruto could come up with for why her apartment was so spotless. She wondered briefly if he had also cleaned her bathroom.
Brushing it off with a shrug, Naruto kicked the door shut behind her. Honestly Iruka was such a mother hen at times. But she had to admit that she loved the attention he gave her. Turning back around from locking the door behind her, Naruto nearly had a heart attack when four guys suddenly popped out of her training room yelling "Surprise!"
"Who the hell are you guys, and what the hell are you doing in my house?!" she yelled at them from her place on the floor where she had fallen down in shock.
Maybe she was dreaming because she was just that exhausted and cold. Speaking of cold she was still soaking wet from the rain, and the last thing she needed was to catch a cold, though she doubted she would since she has never once been sick in her entire life. But still she was freezing.
Two of the boys were twins and had matching red hair gelled up in faux hawks. The both had violet-blue eyes. One twin wore a yellow sleeveless shirt that had the same red swirl Naruto had on all her cloths on the front, with blue cargo pants and shoes. The other twin wore a blue shirt with the red Uzumaki swirl on the back, with yellow gloves and blue cargo shorts and shinobi sandals. Both had forehead protectors with a swirl carved into it that were tied around their necks on red clothe. They looked to be around 14 years old.
"You don't-" started the one with the tank top.
"-Like us?" finished the other one as they both started to pout and get teary eyed as they fell to there knees in front of the girl pretending to sob.
"I don't know you!" Naruto yelled at them as she began to consider taking out a kunai just in case, then one of them stepped forward. This one had blond, golden hair the same shade as her own that was parted to the side and neatly brushed and had the same violet-blue eyes as the twins. He wore a long sleeved, pale yellow shirt that was loose around the collar of the neck and had the swirl on the shoulder of the sleeve and brown brown shinobi pants and the standard shinobi sandals. He used his forehead protector as a belt buckle, and was around was around six feet, so he was probably around fifteen or sixteen years old.
The guy next to him was really tall, even taller than Kakashi, so probably 6'4 or even 6'6 in height, she wasn't really sure from her place on the floor. He kept a stoic expression on his face so it was hard to tell what he was thinking. He had really short cropped spiky red hair and had the same eye color as the other three, with the skin the same peach tone as hers. He wore a white shirt with a with a worn out Konoha chunnin flak jacket except that it was pissing it's collar. His forehead protector was tied around his right bicep.
Naruto thought that despite his height and intimidating features he seemed strong but also kind and reminded the girl of a Siberian husky. She had the pleasure of walking one on a D-rank mission once.
"That's easy, we're your brothers, silly." the older blond said happily, and Naruto was taken back. Last time she checked she didn't have brothers.
"Speaking as a prankster, this is a really cruel joke. I dont know who put you up to this, but I'm an orphan, I don't have siblings!" her voice was shaking as she tried to contain the pain that this prank was causing her.
"I'm going to take a shower now and when I come back out you better be out of my house of I wont hesitate to attack you." Naruto said, her head down and eyes shadowed, before standing, going to her dresser, pulling out some dry cloths and then turning to go into her bathroom.
Once inside the bathroom she made sure to lock the door behind her before stepping out of her wet clothes and slinging them to the side of the room. Wrapping a towel around her she turned on the faucet to the shower and adjusted it until the temperature of the water was just warm enough for her. Slipping off her towel and putting it in arms reach for her for when she was done she stepped under the warm running water. Naruto shivered at the sudden change of temperature before relaxing and allowing herself to enjoy the sensation of her body temperature to rising again after being out in the cold rain.
She was stressed, so to calm herself down she began to sing a song that she seemed to remember from a distant memory. It always worked to help her
Deep in the meadow, under the willow
A bed of grass, a soft green pillow
Lay down your head, and close your eyes
And when they open, the sun will rise
Here it's safe, and here it's warm
Here the daisies guard you from every harm
Here your dreams are sweet––and tomorrow brings them true
Here is the place where I love you.
Deep in the meadow, hidden far away
A cloak of leaves, a moonbeam ray
Forget your woes and let your troubles lay
And when again it's morning, they'll wash away
Here it's safe, and here it's warm
Here the daisies guard you from every harm
Here your dreams are sweet–– and tomorrow brings them true
Here is the place where I love you.
Here is the place where I love you.
(Rue's lullaby from the Hunger Games)
Washing the grime and dirt off from earlier with a smile, she finished the song. Naruto then went to pay attention to her hair, making sure to shampoo and condition it before rinsing it out. The strands were silky between her fingers, gently scratching at her scalp to make sure to get the dirt that had collected at the roots.
Finishing, she turned off the water and stepped out of the shower. There was a small and tired smile on her face practically forgetting the guys who had just been in her house as she stepped into her warm and fuzzy pajamas with a towel wrapped around her still damp hair, sadly it was short lived as when she came out of the comfort of her bathroom to find the guys from before were still there, except now they were scattered around her room.
The twins were sitting on her bed and watching something on her small television that sat on top of her dresser. The tall one was leaning against her door, and the blond one was sitting at her table.
"Didn't I tell you to leave? I don't know you people, now get out!" Naruto said to them pointing at the door, getting extremely annoyed by now, especially as they seemed to ignore her demand to leave her home.
"That's not true because you do have a family we're your family. We're not lying, your our sister." he told her looking up from his hand to her, there were tears clearly swelling in his eyes that were quickly wiped away as he continued.
"Because of the chunin exam the Hokage was able to contact us with out suspicion and told us all about you and what you have been through. I'm Aki the twins are Miki and Nikki," he pointed to the one in the tank top when he said Nikki who raised his hand and the other when he said Miki who gave her a grin and winked at her.
"And this is Taka." He introduced the tallest of them last.
Naruto just stood their as she tried to figure things out in her head. She had a family? This didn't make any sense to her at all. She wanted to scream, yell, cry, stomp her feat in anger but all she could do was stand their dumbfounded.
"If you really are who you say you are, then why didn't you?" she asked looking up at the boy, her eyes showing every painful emotion she was feeling at the moment. If they truly were her real family she wanted answers, and a part of her wanted them to feel the loneliness she had felt, the rejection, hate and scorn.
"Well it seems that the Council of Konoha lied to us. They told us you died with our father after the Kyubi was sealed inside of you. We left the village afterward, having no reason to stay if you and father were dead" he gave her a minute to process what he had just explained to her as he watched her stagger towards the kitchen table to take a seat, Taka was immediately at her side with a hand holding her shoulder and another on her back helping to guide her. Taka nodded to Aki to continue.
"When we found out you were alive we came as fast as we could. Mother didn't want the risk of coming and discovering it was another lie, so we came in her-stead. Now that we know you really are alive, we'll send a message to her to come to Konoha" he finished, standing up from the table he dropped to one knee in front of his younger sister who's face looked blank, her bottom lip quivering. Gulping she looked Aki straight in the eye without really looking at him, they were beginning to think she was in shock.
"From now on who ever messes with our baby sister will have to deal with us." and to all of their surprised the girl started to laugh the tears in her eyes didn't stop though, she was letting eleven years of bottled up emotions out as she stood and wrapped her arms around Taka's and Aki's neck in a hug, clinging to him as if he was her lifeline as she continued to cry into his shoulder while he made soothing circles on her back.
Soon the other three joined in the hug to comfort their only sister, after a while they had noticed the girl had fallen asleep standing up. Picking her up as not to wake her Taka sat on the bed and placed Naruto comfortably in between his legs so he was sitting up against the head board before throwing the blankets over both of them and turning to look out the window in continued silence.
Having no other place to sleep the twins and Aki rested their heads on the side of the bed, Miki and Nikki cradling their sisters seemingly delicate hand in their larger ones, Aki already drifting to sleep as he listened to his sister gentle breathing.
After twelve years of being apart from each other the sibling were reunited, being together would take some getting used to and they would have to take the time to get to know each other. What mattered was that they were together, and nothing would ever part them again.
(Next chapter coming soon)