Disclaimer: I don't own NARUTO, nor am I making any money by writing this…so don't sue…please.
Notes: AU, modern-era, non-ninja, pre-Naruto, spoiler-lite. One-shot follow-up to Seasons—if you haven't read it yet, you should. It's a lot of fun, I promise.
…Anyways, on to the story!
There's Something Wrong With Him…
"I think he's on drugs."
It had seemed innocent at first. Namikaze Minato—track star and their mutual friend—had made himself scarce most of the winter. This wasn't too unusual; he disliked the season and was especially grouchy around the holidays. But then he'd blown off the New Year's party at the Uchiha's—which he'd never done before (except that one year he'd been sick, and he had an excuse so it didn't count).
Things did not improve when spring rolled around. While he kept up with the track team, he didn't do much else. He passed on invitations to most parties and friendly get-togethers. And when he did hang out with them, he seemed distracted.
Something was up with their friend, and Yamanaka Inoichi had gathered them all together at their favorite pizza joint to discuss it. Summer was less than a week away, and when school let out they would scatter for the season. They had to do something, so it was now or never (or next school year, but that was too far away!).
"I think he's on drugs," Inoichi repeated gravely, "and we need to stage an intervention."
"What makes you think he's on drugs?" Uchiha Fugaku scowled.
"It explains everything!" The Yamanaka boy leaned forward in his seat and stared at each of them in turn. "You remember back in elementary school when he used to be into all that arty stuff?"
They all nodded.
Around second or third grade Minato had really gotten into drawing. He'd signed up for a few art classes outside of school and soon ended up producing some really cool pictures in the basic art classes that everyone took in school. But that highlighted him to some bullies who took great pleasure in mocking him and calling him a pansy and such. His own friends hadn't been much help; they didn't understand this strange interest of his and so they teased him a bit about it too. Eventually, it led him to stop seriously pursuing art and he got into soccer and dabbled a bit in martial arts before getting into track when he entered high school. They knew he would still doodle when he got bored in class, but doodles weren't art.
"Well, he's started that up again," Inoichi informed them. "I've caught him in the library a few times during his study hall hiding in the back and drawing stuff." The Yamanaka sat back and nodded sagely. "And that's why I think he's on drugs."
There was a stretch of silence that went on for a good five minutes.
Hyuuga Hiashi squinted at the ponytailed blonde. "I don't follow…"
"Please explain," Hizashi—Hiashi's twin—frowned.
"Well, everyone knows that arty people tend to be into drugs, right?" Inoichi plowed on before anyone could agree or disagree. "And the stuff he was drawing—you should've seen it! It was all weird and detailed—animals wearing clothes and doing weird stuff and stuff. The only way he could come up with crap like that is if he's on shrooms or acid or pot or…or something!"
The Yamanaka boy slumped back in his seat and shook his head. "Guys, this totally explains everything. It's why he barely hangs out with us anymore. He's hiding out in his room smoking weed! It's why he's always spacey and off in lala-land when he is with us. He's high or tripping or stoned or whatever! If we don't do something now, come fall he's going to be smoking cigarettes at lunch with the stoner crowd!"
"…You've really thought this out, haven't you?" Shikaku muttered sarcastically.
"Hey, I can put clues together too, you lazy-ass genius!" Inoichi huffed.
"Really? I had no idea," Shikaku yawned.
Inoichi fumed. "Why you—"
"Cut it out before you get us kicked out," Chouza grumbled, before tearing into his sixth slice of pizza.
"Whatever," Inoichi muttered, and then refocused himself. "I say we call this Jiraiya guy that he lives with and set up an intervention ASAP."
"…All because you think that Namikaze is on drugs?" Fugaku crossed his arms over his chest. "Where's your proof?"
"I just told you the proof!" Inoichi whined. "Drugs explain everything!"
"Have you seen him actually doing drugs?" Hizashi asked. "Smoking marijuana, eating mushrooms, anything?"
"There's no way he's smoking anything," Inuzuka Isamu declared gruffly. "I would've smelled it on him. The nose of the Inuzuka clan is almost as good as a dog's!"
"He's just hiding it now!" Inoichi snapped. "People can hide stuff like this until the addiction get really bad!"
"His behavior has not altered enough to definitively indicate drug use," Aburame Shibi informed them. "If it is indicative of anything, it would be depression. Were any of the drawings that you observed violent or death-obsessed?"
"No," Inoichi scowled. "Nothing like that. It's drugs, I tell you! He's getting into drugs!"
"Who's getting into drugs?"
The cluster of high school boys turned and found the subject of their meeting staring at them in confusion. There was a girl wearing baggy jeans and a T-shirt of a local soccer team standing next to him with long red hair. None of the boys recognized her.
Maybe she was a very obvious and rude eavesdropper.
"H-hey, Minato! What's up?" Inoichi grinned nervously.
"I dunno, what's up?" the spiky-haired blonde frowned. "I got a text message telling me to come here for an emergency meeting. I'm sorry that I'm a bit late, but I forgot to turn my phone on after class." Minato frowned a bit. "So…who's getting into drugs?"
Inoichi squirmed a little. "Well…uh…"
"He thinks that you are," Fugaku snorted.
Minato stared at his Yamanaka friend. "You…think that I…?"
The red-haired girl disintegrated into a giggle fit. "They think you're on drugs!"
"Only Inoichi does," Hiashi clarified, eager to distance himself from that opinion.
"He caught you drawing and came up with this weird theory about why we never see you much anymore," Hizashi added.
The girl giggled harder and clung to Minato's shoulder to keep from collapsing. Minato didn't seem to mind some strange girl hanging on him. He appeared to be too busy being horrified by Inoichi's assumption.
"No…no…I am not on drugs!" he sputtered at last. Minato turned worriedly to the girl. "I don't do drugs."
"I know…" she wheezed, rubbing at her tearing eyes. "That's why it's so funny!"
Her mirth was interrupted by the ringing of her cell phone. She walked a ways off to regain her composure and answer it. When she opened her phone, Minato turned back to the table and raked a venomous glare over all of them.
"Inoichi…" he growled. "You're a freak."
"What?" the Yamanaka pouted. "It made sense to me… Anyway, you know that chick?"
"Yes," Minato answered stiffly. "She's Uzumaki Kushina; she goes to the private school."
"Uchiha Madara's Elite Academy?" Fugaku asked. "Or that other one way on the fringes of town?"
"The Elite Academy," the track star muttered.
"I've always wondered…how come you don't go to that school, Fugaku?" Hizashi inquired. "Isn't it named after one of your ancestors?"
"He was disowned on suspicion of killing his younger brother and for stirring up trouble with the Senju clan," the Uchiha scowled. "No relative I know of will ever go there."
Inoichi squinted curiously at the girl's back as she apparently tried to have a quiet argument with whoever had called her. "A private school chick, eh?"
"Quit staring," Minato glared. "You're still with that Ren girl, aren't you?"
Before Inoichi could defend himself, the Uzumaki girl returned with a disappointed look on her face. "I have to go home. I'll see you tomorrow?"
Minato was all smiles for her. "Yeah. Do you want me to walk with you?"
"No, I'll be fine. Enjoy your pizza." She leaned in and pecked him on the cheek before turning to leave. "Bye!"
"Bye!" he waved and watched her walk out of the restaurant with a stupid smile on his face.
Inoichi chuckled. "I was right, you are on drugs, Minato! And your drug of choice is Ku-shi-na!"
When they left the pizza shop and hour later, Inoichi borrowed Shibi's spare sunglasses to hide his new black eye.