AN: Hello friends, and welcome all to the next chapter of Byakugan Exposed. Where we last left off our heroes were fighting a tremendous dragon!
Wait, that's wrong. *looks at his notes* Oh, my apologies, that was meant for an completely unrelated fic that has yet to be created. In other words, RANDOM MATERIAL!
But being a bit more serious, after making the fic "My Wizard Hat & Robe", I finally got my drive to making chapters again. It was definitely the boost I needed, especially since I have so many fics that are just on hold... I must complete them! Yes indeedy I must!
Also, I'm going to try something new, which deals with Neji's female gender in this fic. When I say 'she', I am referring to Neji him/herself. My mind tends to get mixed up with using he most of the time, since Neji is originally male in the canon, and that can throw people off. So! I will be referring to him/her as 'she' from now on. Still confused? You'll catch on as you read the fic.
And last, this might be a weak chapter to everyone, but that will soon change. You'll know why soon. :D
So without further ado, let's get on with the next chapter. Let's put on our wizard caps and our wizard robes, while we streak around town with nothing but those two items on!
Yeah I'm shutting up now.
Chapter 7: Is this a Mission, or a Date?
When you get up in the morning, what does a person normally say?
No, they wouldn't sit up from their bed and shout out immediately to the heavens. But in Neji's case, that would be the first time 'she' had done so. Neji woke up in a cold sweat as 'she' sat up in her futon, fully alert, and scared to death. 'She' held his forehead with 'her' right index finger, wondering what had just transpired as 'she' slept. From what 'she' could recall, 'she' could imagine a long flower field, full of flowers, everything was beautiful... until 'she' woke up screaming when 'she' had hot boy on girl sex within a terrible nightmare. 'Her' eyes widened as 'she' recalled such a nightmare, and immediately shook 'her' head to snap out of it, focusing 'her' thoughts.
'...Even in my nightmares I am tormented. But why such a nightmare?' 'She' pondered. This wasn't the first time Neji had such disturbing thoughts. Even during the time when 'she' had Naruto sit down for tea, 'she' couldn't help but think about him; his blond hair, his good looks, even his personality. Neji puts out a good front externally, but internally, 'she' was at conflicting thoughts. And now with the nightmare apparent in 'her' mind, it only made 'her' thoughts even worse. 'She' groaned as 'she' shook her head once more and slapped her cheeks lightly.
'No, I must remained focused. It was only a nightmare. Nightmares are not real...' 'She' thought to 'herself'. Getting up from 'her' futon, Neji managed to get dressed in 'her' usual attire, while making sure the bandages around 'her' chest were wrapped tight. 'She' didn't want any accidents, nor did 'she' want 'her' identity revealed. 'She' growled as 'she' tightened the bandages.
"Why was I born with such a body..." 'She' said to 'herself'.
Naruto sat on the rooftop of his apartment, staring out at the morning sun. He was still half-asleep, and he thought sitting out on the rooftop to see the sun rise would do him some good... Except for one problem. Naruto rubbed his eyes, and as soon as he blinked, there appeared to be two ninja in front of him. He flinched as he was taken aback from the sudden appearance. They appeared to be wearing animal masks, and the two had katanas on their back. In other words, they were ANBU ninja. Naruto sat himself up straight as he looked at them.
"Er, can I help you two?" Naruto asked. The ANBU nodded.
"Naruto, Tsunade-sama requests your presence. Please head to the Hokage Tower as soon as possible." The ANBU on the left said. Naruto cocked his head, confused.
"We do not know, but it is urgent, so please." Naruto nodded at his request. And the ANBU nodded in return. One of the ANBU disappeared in a matter of milliseconds. However, one of them stayed behind. He turned his back as he said "Be sure to dress up accordingly, Tsunade-sama would find it severely inappropriate if you went in your undergarments." With a sigh, he disappeared in thin air.
Naruto sat up in a panic. He looked down at his attire, and indeed, the ANBU was right. He had no shirt on, no shoes, nothing at all, except for his boxers. He slapped his hand in front of his face, wondering why he even bothered getting up this morning.
With Naruto fully dressed, he heads toward the Hokage Tower. As he entered it, he immediately rushed to Tsunade's office. As he stood in front of the double doors, he knocked on them hard. He immediately heard a shout from them.
Naruto opened the double doors, only to find Tsunade behind her desk, sorting out paperwork. However... Looking around the room, he could see that several papers and documents were torn up, chewed on, stomped on, or is burning in a little corner. Naruto sweatdropped at the mess this room was in, and Tsunade leaned her elbows on the desk, while covering her face. She was obviously not in a good mood, and Naruto cautiously stepped forward towards her.
"Er... You called for me, Tsunade-baachan?"
Tsunade's head immediately shot up, and marched right toward Naruto and held him by the collar. He looked right in his eyes as she yelled.
"WHAT THE HELL DOES IT LOOK LIKE, BRAT!"
Naruto tensed up. What the hell did he do to get her furious with him? He didn't know. All he knew is he tried to get out of Tsunade's grip as he wiggled, trying to get free.
"H-Hey! Put me down!"
Tsunade growled as she gritted her teeth. But after a few seconds, she relaxed her posture, and her face eased up. She only sighed as she released her grip from Naruto. He landed flat on his butt as he straightened out his collar. He immediately sat up and got irritated. "What the hell was that for!" Naruto asked in irritation. Tsunade only shook her head as she went to sit back down at her desk.
"I'm sorry Naruto. This work load is just driving me insane, and what you just said to me was sort of a trigger." She said in frustration, massaging the base of her nose. "You may not understand it now, but once you're Hokage, you'll know what I mean." Naruto only shrugged. Indeed, he would understand why once he was ready to be Hokage, but that was years from now. Naruto merely crossed his arms. He was about to say something, but then the realized the small fire in the corner started to get bigger. Naruto reacted accordingly as he rushed off towards the corner, stomping his foot on the small flame, extinguishing it. Tsunade just slumped her shoulders even further as she laid back in her seat. Afer that was done, Naruto looked back at her.
"So what did you want to see me for, besides me extinguishing a flame?" Naruto asked. Tsunade sat forward and looked at him with a grin.
"There's a Carnival currently being set up for tonight. And by my personal request, too." She began. Her hands were together as her fingers intertwined. "Konoha hasn't had any fun as of late, so I thought it would be fitting for everyone to relax and have fun while the festivities were in the area. A little bit of R&R for everyone, to put it simply." Naruto cocked his head in a confused manner.
"So why are you telling me this?" Tsuande smiled at his question.
"Along with Neji, I want you to be peacekeepers inside the Carnival area; making sure no fights break out, no one's stealing anything- making sure no trouble is caused. It will be considered a C-Rank mission. You will be allowed to partake in any of the festivities if there is no trouble brewing around you. Do you accept?" She said.
First off, Naruto didn't know what to think from such a mission given to him. The fact that he was on a peacekeeping mission inside the Carnival, or if it involved working with Neji. He was unsure on how to take this. He looked up at Tsunade.
"Why me and Neji?" He asked. Tsunade stared at him for a moment before answering him with a sigh.
"Well, I was going to assign this to Kakashi, but I couldn't find that lazy bum anywhere." She said as she leaned her head on one arm. "So it was rather last minute, and only you and Neji are available for any missions at the moment. Besides..." She gave a small smirk. "You'll get to have some fun while working, right? Especially with Neji." Naruto felt himself fall to the floor as he heard those last words. He immediately got up and yelled at her with a slight blush on his face.
"W-What's that suppose to mean!" But Tsunade just waved it off.
"Oh nothing... Nothing at all... But it is the truth; Kakashi's nowhere to be found, and I don't have much of a choice." She looks at him with a serious glare. "Are you going to let that Carnival go, unguarded?"
Naruto just shook his head, and Tsunade smiled in glee. She reached into her desk drawer, and took out a mission scroll. After grabbing it, he threw it at Naruto. He caught it with just one hand as he took a small glimpse at the scroll in his hand, and then back at her.
"Remember, 7 PM sharp; the manager will be expecting you at the front entrance."
"What about Neji?"
"Neji will meet you at the entrance of the Carnival. Neji's already aware of all the details, so you should meet there when the time arises. Are we clear?" Naruto nodded, and then she pointed towards the door. "Good, now get out. I've got paperwork to do."
Meanwhile, at 6:55 PM...
As the Moon started to rise from the horizon, and the sun went down, Naruto waited patiently at the gate, with the two tickets in his hand. He had already met the manager before hand to be further briefed on his mission. The guy was an upbeat old guy with a mustache, and as long as Naruto and Neji kept the peace around the carnival, they were allowed to get in free. So it was a nice benefit that came along with the mission. As Naruto waited patiently at the gate, he looked up into the sky, diving into his own personal thoughts. Something didn't feel right with the way Tsunade gave him the mission just like that, especially when he was paired up with Neji. But then again, it could be him thinking too much. As long as he treated this like any other mission, everything should be fine, he thought.
Naruto shook his head.
'No, I should take this as an opportunity.'
Now that he thought about it, to him, Neji always seemed unhappy most of the time; he never really saw her smile all that much, norhad he seen her laugh- not even once. So while he was here with Neji, he might as well had some fun with her. Maybe get to know her more, and her true self. He wasn't the only one thinking on these lines of thoughts, however...
Neji, who happened to be a few minutes away from the Carnival, started to think similar thoughts about Naruto. She didn't know why she accepted this mission to begin with, but one peculiar thought sprung into her head:
'Perhaps if I just get this mission over and done with, I can put these thoughts and feelings of mine aside. When you have an urge, you need to release it somehow, perhaps?' With these kinds of thoughts ready in her mind, he prepared for what would await her. As she got closer towards the Carnival in the distance, she spotted Naruto next to the gate, looking up into the sky. Neji raised a brow at this as he looked up into the sky. A beautiful full moon. he looked back towards Naruto and shrugged. Now wasn't the time to be moon-starring, he had a mission to do, consequences or not. As he walked up to Naruto, Naruto stopped looking into the sky and saw Neji. He smiled and waved for him.
"Oyyyyy! Nejiiiii!" Naruto shouted. Neji only sighed as she heard her name in such a cheerful way; from Naruto of all people. This was going to be tough for her. She only nodded in Naruto's response.
"Have you been waiting long, Naruto?" Naruto only shook his head at his response.
"Nope, I got here early, so I was just waiting, and admiring the moon. It's really big, isn't it?" Neji looked at the moon once more. It was indeed big, she thought. But she thinks that enough starring at the moon was enough. He looked back at Naruto.
"Indeed, but let us be off on our mission, Naruto. We have a mission as peacekeepers, correct?" Neji said as he started to walk through the gates, leaving Naruto behind. "Oy! Wait for me Neji!" Naruto shouted as he tried to catch up.
The Carnival was in full boom. Lights were all around, concession stands, game stands, and even several small mini-restaurants filled the area. The crowd was bustling, and all sorts of people were around; businessmen, ninja, civilians, women in their kimonos, travelers, hell, even cats and dogs littered the street, trying to find scraps of food that anyone had littered. Was it mentioned there's kimono women too? Overall, the carnival was crowded. Neji and Naruto looked around the festivities in the area, wondering around if any lawbreakers were loose, or if anything seemed amiss. As they did, they made sure to look at the festivities as well. As Naruto walked on, he saw a little mini-game being played in one of the stands. Neji just walked on though. Naruto grabbed the hem of her sleeve to stop her to get her attention. What the mini-game was, is catching fish with a thin paper net. The rules were simple; you use a thin papernet to scoop the fish up. And if you can catch the fish without the net breaking, you get a free fish, is how the game plays. Naruto pointed at it.
"Hey Neji! Wanna give it a try?" Naruto asked happily. But Neji stared at him like Naruto forgot his duties.
"Naruto, did you forget that we are on a mission?" Naruto tilted his head in confusions.
"Did you forget that we're allowed to participate in the festivities?"
"I was never told such a thing." She said bluntly. A question mark popped over Naruto's head. But he just patted Neji on the back.
"Ahhh it doesn't matter, you probably weren't listening to everything Tsunade-baachan said." He said with a smile. With a little shove, Neji was pushed from behind slightly from Naruto. He gave a glare at him, but soon rest his expression and gave a sigh.
"If it's just one game, then fine..." She stepped up to the game stand, looking at the thin papernets. He picked one up and looked at it. He looked at the man behind the game stand and gave him the necessary ryo to try. Neji was given three tries to try to catch a fish. With the papernet in his hand, he squinted at the fish that were in the small tub. Focusing on one of the particular fish, he dipped his papernet in, waiting for one of them to flop onto it. As one did, he immediately brought it up. But being too fast has its consequences. The bottom of the paper broke as the fish went back into its watery home. Neji closed his eyes and sighed.
"I'm done with this..." Neji tried to walk away, but his sleeve was once more, grabbed by Naruto. He gave a smile to him.
"Aw c'mon Neji, first try is always going to be unlucky. Give it another try!"
With Naruto encouraging him to go on, he sighed even more as he went back towards the game stand. He takes the papernet in his hand, and uses the same method as before. This time, making sure he wasn't as quick on the catch. As a fish flopped up onto his net, he slowly, but carefully lifted it up. But the same result happened. With a rip, the fish escapes through the bottom of the net, and is happy in its own sea of safety once more. Neji gritted his teeth as he slammed the table with his fist. This made Naruto flinch slightly, especially the guy behind the counter. Naruto grabbed one of the papernets and gave him a worried smile.
"Hey now, it's just a game Neji... Here, let me show you how it's done!" Naruto took Neji's last turn and placed the papernet into the tank, waiting for one of the fishies to come. As one did, he lifted the net delicately, but was quick about it too. However...
The net, yet again, gave way and out with the fishie. Naruto just stood there with a dumb smile on his face, not knowing how to react to this. To how much he boasted that he could catch a fish, it only backfired on him. Naruto then slammed his fist on the table in anger.
"WHAT KIND OF CHEAP GAME IS THIS! ARE THESE NETS MADE OUT OF AIR OR SOMETHING! THEY'RE TOO DAMN DELICATE!" As Naruto raged at how cheap the game was, Neji dragged Naruto away from the stand, keeping him out of any further trouble. As she dragged him far away from the stand, Naruto got out of her grip and only stomped his foot in frustration.
"Dammit... I know that guy was cheap, I know it! He ruined my chance to show off!" But Neji only smirked at Naruto's attitude.
"Did you not say yourself that it was just a game?" She chuckled. Naruto turned around and pointed at her with an angry face.
"That's not the point! It's about pride dammit! ...Huh?" He relaxed his expression as he saw Neji start to chuckle more and more from his reactions. Naruto simply scratched his head from his sudden change in attitude. "Well you're pretty cheery..."
Neji quickly realized this, but it was too late. He stopped chuckling and drifted his eyes away from Naruto, with a small blush on her face. It was actually kind of... cute.
'W...Why did I just laugh at that just now?' She thought. 'No... I musn't think about it, I have to keep these thoughts in the back of my mind.' Neji shook her head, trying to rid herself of such thoughts. She goes back to her usual neutral expression as she walks off.
"A-anyway, we must continue our patrol. Come Naruto." Naruto just stood there, not knowing what to make of what just happened as Neji walked off. Naruto soon followed after.
They continued their patrol around the Carnival. There were a couple of times to where they had to break up a fight, or to tell some drunknen idiot to leave a concession stand when they were getting too flirty with the women, but nonetheless, they were having a bit of fun as they went along. However, Neji started to grow a bit restless as the patrol went on. Her thoughts started to become more apparent everytime they stopped at a concession or game stand. There would be times where Naruto would drag her to one of them, try to win a prize, but don't. She didn't know why he was doing this, or why he should. Wasn't this just a mission, or something a little more clever? Several scenarios ran in her mind, but she couldn't choose any of them that could be the logical reason. Finally, there was another stand that Naruto dragged her off to. A game stand that involved 10 stacked bottles on a table, and 3 balls on the stand's table. Neji was beginning to grow weary from all of these little games Naruto drags her off to.
"C'moonnnnn Neji! I wanna see if there's any wild strength in those arms!"
"N-Naruto, I do not really see the point in this...?"
"Oh come on now Neji... See for yourself!" Naruto pointed towards the back of the stand. Little fluffy creatures hung in the back, and quite a variety- teddie bears, bunny rabbits, foxes- any child or girl would squeal at such cute things like this.
"If you can knock down those bottles, you can get a giant teddy bear, or any of those other fluffy toys!" Neji only sighed at Naruto's begging. She pushed a few hairs from her face so she could get a good look at the bottles. It only seemed to be a mere 10 bottles to knock down. With a carefully aimed hit, she could knock them all down. She IS a ninja after all. She nodded.
"Fine, but this is the last game. And after that, we're sticking to the patrol, understand?" Naruto was a bit saddened by her response; he was expecting her to have a bit of fun at the carnival, but it seems that was too much to hope for. Naruto nodded.
"Okay, Neji..." Naruto said sadly. After Neji reached into her pocket for the necessary ryo to play the game, the guy behind the gamestand handed her 3 hard-looking balls. Neji grabbed one. They felt to be hard as a rock as she gripped it. With Neji focusing on her target, she mustered all her strength into her arm, and threw it at the bottles. The ball was flying with tons of strength backed by it, and was aimed for the middle of the pyramid of bottles. Neji had done it; she aimed it perfectly! However...
A small thud could be heard as the ball bounced off the bottles. The bottles remained standing and the ball just bounced on the floor. It was like hitting a wall- the bottles weren't knocked down, not by an inch. As Neji stood there dumbfounded, she wondered what could have gone wrong.
"Ri-Ridiculous! I hit the bottles right on the spot!" As she stood there, Naruto stood behind her, patting her on the back.
"There's a trick to these bottles Neji; they're made of a special material that makes them harder to knock down. You would need more than proper aiming to knock 'em down. Here, let me show ya."
Naruto grabbed one of her balls on the stand, gripping it tight. As he aimed towards the bottles, he threw it, and hard as all his strength left him for that one simple throw. However, the same result occurred as the ball just bounced off the bottles as if it were nothing. Naruto glared at the bottles as he was about to slam his fist into the table. However, he stopped midway, getting an idea from his brilliant, but mischievious mind. He withdrew his fist as he looked at Neji.
"Alright... This time for sure, no fooling around." He looked back at the bottles, not knowing Neji's confused reaction. He gripped the last ball on the stand. As he stared at the bottles for a good few seconds, he closed his eyes briefly, sending a thought to his brain.
'Hey, Kyuubi, I hope you can hear me, because I need all the power I can get with this next throw.' He thought to himself. Opening his eyes, a tinge of red covered his eyes for a brief moment. Feeling his throwing arm pumped up for action, Naruto roared as he made like a pitcher, and threw the fucking ball as hard as he could. The speed and power of the ball was of immense proportions, as it immediately made contact with the bottles. And instead of history repeating itself...
The bottles were knocked down! Or more in his case... Shattered. Glass sprawled around in separate directions, but within a very low radius around the table the bottles were once sitting on. With all the bottles gone, the gamestand vendor was shocked to see one of his stack of bottles to be destroyed. He grabbed a handbell and rung it over his stand, shouting how he has a winner. Naruto found it hard to believe that he managed to knock down the bottles, and he had the Kyuubi to thank for that. Neji was stunned.
As the vendor behind the gamestand grabbed a giant plushie of Naruto's choice, he chose a big teddy bear. As the gigantic plushie was in Naruto's arms, he showed it to Neji.
"Heh heh, told you I could do it!"
"Mm, you surprised me Naruto, your strength has grown, has it not?"
"You... could say that, heh..."
As Naruto boasted about how he had a giant teddy bear in his hands, he felt that he didn't really need it. Mainly because there wouldn't be enough room for his apartment to fit it anywhere, plus it would just collect dust. That's when he had an idea. He looked at Neji for a moment with a small blush on his face, and shoved the bear towards Neji. Neji couldn't help but put her hands on it out of reaction, not wanting to be crushed by the large thing.
"Here Neji, why don't you have it?" Neji just stood there, confused. But shook his head slightly as she pushed it back towards Naruto.
"No, it's yours, I don't want it."
"Huh? Don't be silly, Neji. I used up your turns with the balls, it's only fair I give you the prize..." As Naruto and Neji bickered on who would have the plushie, Neji's thoughts were starting to manifest itself once more. The things Naruto had done for her, and how he went out of his way to get Neji involved with all the festivities. Between her thoughts and the bear being shoved into her face, Neji was starting to conflict with herself on how to take these actions, and with her thoughts slowly starting to boggle her mind. For in her mind, in terms of Naruto, he was...
"Dammit Neji, I really don't see how carrying a big furball is going to complicate anything!"
...An annoying brat.
Neji stopped playing tuggle war with the bear, and instead, he decided to accept it. Naruto only sighed in relief as she finally accepted the bear. However...
Naruto went wide-eyed as he witnessed something he never thought Neji would do. She grabbed the bear's head, and twisted it clean off. Amounts of cotton and pieces of fur flew everywhere, as the crowd around them stopped moving and stared at the horrific sight of the stuffed animal. Neji dropped the bear's head and body, and dangerously glared at Naruto. He gritted his teeth as he saw the crowd that gathered.
"Ne...ji?" Naruto couldn't move, he couldn't believe what she did. Tearing off a stuffed animal's head was like tearing someone's generosity at the same time. With Neji not wanting to partake with the crowd and Naruto's reaction, she immediately jumped into the air like a ninja would, hopped on several of the roof top's concession/game stands, and went off into the night.
Naruto still stood there, wondering what the hell had just happen. And to add insult to injury, he felt a couple of drops of water from above. Naruto looked up with a blank look, and saw that storm clouds were taking place above him and the carnival. It was going to be a wet night, a very wet night. Naruto didn't even cover himself from the rain, he was still lost in his thoughts on why Neji did such a thing to the poor teddy bear. He wanted to know why. He really did. Thunder could be heard as the crowd dispersed and seeked refuge from the rain. But no, Naruto still stood there even with all the thunder. Out of pure impulse alone, Naruto gritted his teeth, and immediately took off into the night, to go look for Neji, for not only an explanation, but to also know why she would behead Naruto's gift.
AN: You know, it's strange. Here I am, sitting in my computer chair to type up a chapter, and I can't seem to get any shit done because I'm uncomfortable. But whenever I whip out my laptop and lay in my bed, I end up typing at the speed of light like I'm on a sugar rush.
Anyway, right, the announcement... The next chapter shall be... the official final chapter of this fic. That's right, Final chapter folks! Get those alerts up so you can get first dibs on the grand finale!