DISCLAIMER: I do not own Naruto or any cannon characters or storylines. I do own any introduced (aka: new) characters and storylines. I also own my own lazy state-of-affairs and unusual sense of humor. I also do not own your personality. You are to enjoy or not enjoy this at your leisure. I also reserve the right not to care that this story contains spoilers. In other words, you shouldn't read this if you don't know as much of the cannon story as I do.
Taste of Rock
Shoka Yuri was a middle-aged, retired shinobi from Iwa of Earth. The Shoka clan was renowned for their powerful Katon techniques, and most were well versed in at least one weapon. In fact, a great deal of their techniques revolved around combining, specifically, swordplay with Katon. Though, they were quite proficient in utilizing any weapon, not just swords.
He was a retired shinobi looking at his newly christened Fuzei no Iwa. It was a fine restaurant, and he felt the citizens of the fair city he lived in would adore it. Why did he feel that way? Fuzei no Iwa specialized in dishes found only in Earth. He sighed and shook his head as he looked at the signpost on the window display. It read, "Welcoming all in Konoha to the delicacies of Earth!" The next line read, "Grand Opening: Tomorrow!"
He smirked. "I can't believe they don't have any decent beef or pork dishes here! Oh sure there are barbeque pits, but these are real delicacies!" He was engrossed in his dreams. If he was still a shinobi, he might worry about being so consumed, so preoccupied. If he was still on the run for his life from wartime enemies, he might be concerned about strong presences of chakra approaching.
He wasn't worried in the least, and he even welcomed the friendly pat on his shoulder as the most feared blond man in Earth, maybe even the entire shinobi world, leaned his smiling face over his shoulder. "Shoka-san, how's it going?" His flowing, white robes gracefully fell behind him, and his eyes were closed from his huge grin.
Yuri laughed. "No need to be so formal, Hokage-sama." He looked over his shoulder and avoided bumping heads with the friendly blond who loved tarnishing his fearsome reputation. "Ah, it's good to see you too, Uzumaki-sama." He smiled brightly at the very pregnant red-head waddling up to the two men.
She huffed as she hooked her arm around the cheerful blonde's elbow. In response, he backed off from Yuri and grasped her hand with his free one. She tried to keep the slightest bit of anger in her expression, but she failed miserably at his big, goofy grin. "Minato-kun, why can't you behave more like a Kage? Besides, you shouldn't be disturbing Shoka-san."
Yuri was all smiles as he watched the scene between lovers. He shook his head. "Oh, to be young again…" He wasn't old, but he knew he was no spring chicken either. His chestnut brown hair was dulling, and flecks of gray created highlights. He also had bags under his eyes. Unlike his shinobi days, he dressed more like a Konoha civilian. He preferred earthen colors, so he matched the autumn season.
Minato ruffled the red-head's hair. "Why can't you be a proper head of the Uzumaki clan, Kushina-chan?" He chuckled at her sour look. "What can I say, dear? I just love this village too much to leave it alone." He paused for a moment processing something he thought he heard. "You say something, Shoka-san?"
Kushina opened her mouth to say something, but her love's question drew her attention, and blinking eyes, to Yuri. He waved his arms defensively and shook the question off. "Nah, I didn't say anything important, Hokage-sama." He did sigh and give Minato a serious look. "Didn't I say to drop the formalities? Just call me Yuri or something."
"That would be improper of Hokage-sama." The three turned their heads to watch as three Hyuuga, one pregnant female not quite as far along as Kushina and identical twin males, approached. The Hyuuga in the lead, without a forehead band on, was the one who spoke. His expression was stoic, and he walked with all the formality of nobility.
Minato's face immediately creased into a mischievous grin. "Oh come now, Hizashi-kun…" His resisted the urge to smirk as both males' faces barely noticeably twitched. The female giggled. "…it's my job to love and protect the entire village. Perhaps that's all this poor man starting his own business here in fine Konoha is trying to say."
The Hyuuga in the lead managed to hide his discontent at being called by his younger brother's name. He crossed his arms to look very serious and stern as he closed his eyes and turned his nose up. It was probably a little dramatic, but he had to remember who he was talking to. "Please Hokage-sama; you know full well I am Hiashi. Hizashi is kindly escorting Tsuchiko-chan." He had a slight endearing inflection mentioning his wife.
Tsuchiko, standing next to Hizashi and behind her husband, giggled when she saw the glint in Minato's eyes. He cupped his hand over his eyes as if to get a better view before squinting and moving the same hand to scratch his chin. "You sure? I could have sworn I had it right…" He shrugged. "How's anybody supposed to tell you apart, anyway?"
Hizashi shrugged. "If that's the case, maybe I should attend one of your important meetings with Hokage-sama or the elders." A stunned Hiashi turned to face his younger brother. Even Minato and Kushina heard the teasing inflection his voice took. "It would give you more time to spend with Tsuchiko-sama and my soon-to-be-born mei or oi."
As Hiashi's mouth all but hung open, Minato, Kushina, Tsuchiko, and Yuri broke out into raucous laughter. They could hardly believe Hizashi had just participated in Minato's practical joke, around a former foreign shinobi no less. The Hyuuga twins shared barely noticeable blushes that those who knew them best took to mean pretty much the same thing as a full round of laughter.
Hiashi cleared his throat to attempt to calm the small crowd. Fortunately for him, it worked. Attention was riveted to him as he spoke. "As fun as I'm sure all this has been for you, didn't we come here today for a special occasion?" He turned his attention to Yuri, and everybody's gazes also fell on the former rock nin.
He leaned his head back and cupped his chin in thought. After a moment, he slammed a fist into an open palm while his face lit up with realization. "Ah, that's right! I was gonna give you guys a special preview visit of my Fuzei no Iwa!" He walked to the main entrance and removed the padlock.
Before opening the door, he turned to Minato and his entourage. "Hokage-sama, distinguished guests, and Hiashi…" The small crowd shared a giggle at the Hyuuga leader's expense. "…prepare to be amazed. I hope your taste buds are prepared." Opening the door, everybody filed in. Hiashi glared at Yuri the entire way in before also taking in the look of the nearly completely furnished Fuzei no Iwa.
As they were expecting of Shoka Yuri, the restaurant was like nothing in Konoha. The décor borrowed from the history of Earth. In a regular Konoha restaurant, patrons sat on cushioned seats, often chairs or stools made of wood. In Fuzei no Iwa, the cushions were on the floor, and patrons were expected to kneel at the table.
Fuzei no Iwa had a few unique features. In the center of the restaurant was large, square pit filled with sand of various colors. It was a form of entertainment where anybody who wanted to could 'draw' with the sand. There were no special rules or limitations. If one wanted to draw manually, it was fine. If one wanted to use chakra-based techniques, it was fine.
Fuzei no Iwa also had a large stage set up for various events. It could house karaoke for parties or special occasions. It could be set up for bands. It could even be used as a podium for speeches in front of dignitaries. The restaurant allowed itself to be changed from informal to formal with little to no effort on the part of the proprietor and staff. It truly showcased the varied tastes of rock.
Tsuchiko pulled her camera out from the ether space she must have kept it in. She wasn't going to miss a moment of such a precious experience. Just as she was about to take the first snapshot, Yuri inexplicably snatched it out of her hands. She pouted and was about to say something, but he interrupted to explain. "Go on and enjoy yourself. I'll handle the memoirs.
Yuri only had a small staff there for Minato's preview visit, and he made sure they were working to keep the patrons happy. He had his two most skilled chefs on hand, and three waiters worked in tandem to take orders, keep drinks full, and keep the number one rule of Fuzei no Iwa exactly that, service and presentation.
In the meantime, Yuri was photographing the event. To his amazement, dinner was civilian for the crowd. Kushina and Tsuchiko were inseparable, so their husbands tagged along. Neither Minato nor Hiashi minded as they were friends. Hizashi usually ended up following them, both to serve his purpose as Hiashi's sword and shield and watch over his beloved sister-in-law. With two pranksters in the group, it usually got quite rowdy.
It was the after dinner festivities that caused the group to break out of its well mannered shell, and Yuri wouldn't have it any other way. To the Hyuuga twins' disdain, the entertainment stage was set up for karaoke. Of course, they were also the first ones forced to sing by the adorable pleas and pout of none other than Tsuchiko, also known as the manipulator.
They were wary at first, but it only took a few lines for them to get into their song. They weren't very good, but they were cheered on nonetheless. Yuri smirked and shook his head as he watched, but he vigilantly continued snapping the ever important snapshots of life. Near the end of the song, he noticed something and turned the camera to face it.
A washbasin was held up by one of the support beams…and a rope. He snapped a picture, and the rope raced to release the washbasin. He snapped a picture, and the washbasin emptied its contents as the rope completely slacked. He snapped a picture, and Hiashi and Hazashi were soaked. He snapped a picture, and Minato was rolling on the floor in laughter with tears in his eyes. Kushina and Tsuchiko obviously wanted to do the same.
As killer intent filled the restaurant, Minato took off running with two nearly identical, very wet, and very angry Hyuuga behind him. He continued to laugh as he led them on a wild goose chase around the restaurant, and Yuri shook his head. He wanted to roll his forehead in his palm, but he had a job to take care of. He snapped a few more pictures just to be on the safe side.
Just about then, it was Minato's turn to be tricked. Kushina winked at Tsuchiko, and Yuri barely caught it. Suddenly, she let out a groan and fell to her knees. "Minato, it's time…" The most dreaded words in a woman's vocabulary made the men stop in their tracks. Well, Minato skidded to a stop, and the Hyuuga twins nearly ran him over as they were too stunned to register their brakes.
In a panic, Minato rushed to Kushina's side to inspect her and ask all the stupid questions guys tend to ask when it involves their first kid. Yuri rolled his eyes as he registered a rather common theme. Was she okay? Did it hurt? Did she want him to carry her to the hospital or call a doctor? He was, of course, still snapping pictures.
When it became unbearable to hold it in, Tsuchiko let out a cross between a grunt and a giggle. Minato, Hiashi, and Hizashi stared at her for all of eight seconds as it soaked in; Yuri counted. When the women practically broke into hysterics, the men let out collective sighs of relief.
Yuri had already created fond memories of Fuzei no Iwa. He had no idea that one week later he would die in the Kyuubi no Kitsune attack and the property would be destroyed.
First off, I would like to say that I have no earthly idea if I'll actually be updating this fan fiction. I intend it to be a series of one shots involving Minato and Kushina in some way. It may even lead to my own alternate universe Naruto fan fiction - no promises.
I hopefully won't be using too many terms as I don't intend to have many if any fight scenes. As such, I'll just explain any terms quickly. Fuzei no Iwa means Taste of Rock, the chapter title. Fuzei can actually be translated as taste or entertainment, so it fit very nicely. When Hizashi mentions mei or oi, I think it's easy to guess what he means. Mei means niece while oi means nephew. Of course, that means they don't know the gender of the unborn child Tsuchiko carries. I'll give my readers a hint; I like pairing Hizashi's 'mei or oi' with Uzumaki Naruto.
As always, comments and reviews are welcome, and flames outright ignored.