Chapter 1

The place of fairytales.

That was what Jordan Woods thought when she first entered the village known as Konohagakure. It was so beautiful! Everything was verdant, and she could smell ramen cooking down the street, and everybody looked so friendly. She was so happy she could sing. In fact...

"One short day

In the Emerald City!

One short day

Full of so much to do!

"Ev'ry way

That you look in this city

There's something exquisite

You'll want to visit

"Before the day's through!"

All of a sudden another voice joined her, a male one. "There are buildings tall as quoxwood trees!"

Jordan looked over and smiled. It was a boy about her age, with long black hair and light lavender eyes. She sang with him. "Dress salons!"

"Libraries!"

"Palaces!"

"Museums!"

They sang together. "A hundred strong!"

He sang. "There are wonders like I've never seen!"

Her turn. "It's all grand!"

"And it's all green!"

Again their voices merged. "I think we've found the place

Where we belong!

I wanna be in

This hoipalloi!"

His turn. "So I'll be back for good someday!"

She took over. "To make my life and make my way!"

Again together. "But for today we'll wander and enjoy!

"One short day

In the Emerald City!

One short day

To have a lifetime of fun!

"One short day!

And we're warning the city

Now that we're in here

You'll know we've been here

"Before we are done!"

Jordan laughed. "Weird! I didn't know anyone else liked that musical! Nobody back home does. Whenever I say Wicked they think I'm saying something's cool."

The guy grinned. "Nice to meet you, too."

"Oh! Yeah, sorry." She giggled, then blushed because she'd just realized how handsome he was. "I'm Jordan Woods. And you are?"

"Hizashi Hyuga."

"Okay, let me see if I've got the language right-- am I supposed to say 'hajimemashite'?"

Hizashi smiled. "Hai."

"And that means 'yes', right?"

"Yeah. But we can speak English, if it makes you more comfortable. Most people in Konoha can."

"Cool. I'm from America."

"That's interesting. Where are you from?"

"A little place called Topeka, Kansas. It's extremely boring. That's why I had to get away. I thought what better place for adventure than a ninja village?" She adjusted her shoulder bag. "Think I'll have a shot at becoming a ninja?"

"How old are you?"

"Almost seventeen."

He stifled a laugh.

"What's so funny?"

"Most people are Chunin by now, or at least Genin. You'll have to start at Academy Student. Got any chakra?"

"Everyone has chakra. There's the crown chakra, the third eye chakra, the throat chakra, the heart chakra, the stomach chakra--"

"No, no, Jordan." Hizashi shook his head. "Chakra as in the power you use to perform jutsu."

"Jutsu? What's a jutsu?"

Hizashi sighed. "We've got a lot of work to do, Jordan-chan."

She grinned. "Story of my life!"

They began to walk. Jordan exhaled sharply. "You know, what a relief. I hoped people spoke English. Kind of silly not to think there was anyone who spoke English, right, Hizashi-kun?"

"It's understandable. I don't think you're silly."

"Thanks. Would you mind... showing me around? I need a tour, some lunch, and a hotel."

Hizashi's bright smile reversed into a frown. "Really? A hotel?"

"Yeah."

"You know... you could stay at the Hyuga complex, if you want. We have plenty of room."

"Oh, no..." Jordan shook her head. "I wouldn't want to impose on your family, Hizashi-kun..."

"No, no! It's alright, Jordan-chan. Honestly, we're one of the largest clans in the village. Our compound is huge. There are at least ten rooms-- I don't even get what they're for!"

Jordan bit her lip. "Well... I dunno, Hizashi-kun..."

"Please, Jordan. I really, really don't like the thought of you staying all by yourself in a city you don't know. Please forgive me, but... I simply want you to be safe."

Jordan smiled. "Well, okay, Hizashi-kun. That's really sweet of you. I hope everyone in town is like you."

Hizashi held out his hand. "I shall lead you through the city, end the tour with a lovely lunch at Ichiraku's, and whisk you away to your personal paradise for your stay in Konohagakure, Miss Woods."

Jordan giggled, putting her hand in his. She blushed as she stepped closer to him. "That sounds wonderful, Lord Hyuga."

"Aw, don't call me that." He nudged her with his shoulder. "We're friends now. Formal titles are completely out of the question unless we're joking around."

"I was joking around, Hizashi-kun."

"..." Hizashi pulled her down the street. "Well, now, c'mon! Mustn't stay here and chat! We're burning daylight, Jordan-chan!"

They traveled through the mystical city of Konohagakure. Everywhere he took her, he would lead her by the hand, and there was one time they'd run into a puddle they couldn't avoid. Hizashi picked her up and carried her over it. She told him not to, but he did it anyway, and put her down afterwards.

They arrived at a place called Ichiraku's Ramen Shop. "Here we go," Hizashi announced, gesturing her toward the bar. "The most prestigious eatery in town, Lady Jordan." He gently tugged her towards two free stools. "My treat."

"Aw, Hizashi-kun," she said, sitting down beside him. "I can't let you pay for everything. I have money with me."

A light blush formed across the bridge of Hizashi's nose. "Er, well... okay, then."

An elderly man behind the bar came over to them. "Afternoon, Hizashi."

"Afternoon, Ichiraku-san. How are you?"

"Me and the missus are doing pretty good. Daughter's off at Jonin college now. And yourself?"

"Oh, I'm doing well, Ichiraku-san, thank you. I'd like you to meet Jordan Woods, who arrived here today from America."

Ichiraku nodded. "Nice to meet you, little lady."

Jordan smiled. "Hajimemashite, Ichiraku-san."

"So, what'll you guys have?"

"Actually," Hizashi said, "can we just have a menu for now? I don't think Jordan-chan is used to this kind of food."

"Good call, Hizashi-kun," Jordan told him. "I've never had this kind of stuff."

"Here you go." Ichiraku handed her a menu. "I'll be back in a few minutes."

Jordan looked at the menu in fascination. Some of it was in Japanese. "Hey, Hizashi-kun? What's 'tako'?"

"Ohhhh." Gently he took the menu. "You do not want to order that, Jordan-chan."

"How come?"

"It's octopus."

"Ew!"

"You're telling me." Hizashi shuddered. "First time I had it, I didn't know what it was. Hiashi-nii-san didn't bother to tell me." He stuck his tongue out, shaking his head. "Tasted disgusting."

"Ech." Jordan glanced back at the menu. "Think I'd be safe in ordering 'ebi ramen'?"

"If you're not allergic to seafood. Ebi is shrimp."

"Eeeeee!" Jordan clapped happily. "I love shrimp!"

"Me, too. Why don't we share one? That way, we can each pay half and we won't have to pay as much."

"Good idea." She smiled. "Can I see the drink menu?"

Hizashi smiled back. "All they've got is water, milk, coffee, tea, and cola."

"Oh. Do they have iced tea?"

"Yes."

"Ooooh, I'll have that."

At this point, Ichiraku came back. "Have you guys decided on what to order?"

"Yeah," Hizashi answered. "We'll have one ebi ramen. Jordan-chan wants an iced tea and I want coffee, please."

"Great. You want milk in it?"

"Yes, please."

"Sugar?"

"No, thank you."

"Okay. Your drinks will be out in a minute, and the ramen should be ready in about five minutes. Have fun with conversation, you crazy kids."

For a while they were silent. When Ichiraku came back with their drinks, Jordan jabbed a pink straw in hers and started slurping. After a long draught, she finally let go of the straw and stirred the ice around. She looked over at Hizashi, who was slowly sipping his coffee. "So..." She looked down at her reflection in her glass. "Got any pets, Hizashi-kun?"

"All of the Hyuga members have birds. Mine's name is Jiyuu."

"No dogs or cats or anything?"

"Father doesn't like dogs, and Hiashi-nii-san and I are allergic to cats."

"Oh. I used to have a fish. Her name was Crystal Light. My brother used to have a cat... but she got ran over."

"What a way to go." Hizashi leaned on his elbow. "Even though I'm allergic, I like cats."

"The only thing I didn't like about my brother's cat was that every time someone other than my bro tried to pick her up she scratched them. I used to have scratches on my arms and legs, even one on my face."

Hizashi chuckled softly. He looked over at her. "Hey, that's a beautiful necklace, Jordan-chan."

Jordan's hand flew to her necklace. It was in the shape of a crescent moon with a star hanging from it. "Thank you, Hizashi-kun. My father gave it to my mother as a wedding gift."

Ichiraku came over and put down a hot bowl of ramen. "Here you go, love birds."

Both of them blushed. Jordan cleared her throat and picked up a pair of chopsticks. She broke them apart and scooped up a few noodles. She started to eat, and so did Hizashi.

All of a sudden, her lips touched something that felt like neither her chopsticks nor ramen noodles. She looked over, and saw Hizashi. Her face turned bright red as she realized that they were kissing. She pulled away. "S-Sorry, Hizashi-kun. I didn't..."

"Th-That's okay, Jordan-chan. I-It was my fault, too."

They both didn't eat any more of the actual ramen. They picked out a few shrimp from the soup, and Hizashi let Jordan drink the soup. "So," he said in a quiet voice, putting his chopsticks down, "do you want dessert?"

"Like what?"

"Well... why don't we take a pie home? That way Hiashi-nii-san and Father and Kanbi-san can have some, too."

"Okay. What kind you want?"

"What kind do you want?"

"Hmm... I like pumpkin."

"Eh... they don't have that, and Hiashi-nii-san's allergic to pumpkins, anyway."

"Oh. How about apple?"

"Sounds good."

Hizashi led her back to his house with her carrying a white plastic Ichiraku's bag with two apple pies in it.

They went inside, and soon they ran into a man who looked almost exactly like Hizashi. "Konichiwa," Jordan said cheerfully, holding up a hand. "Jordan Woods desu. Anata wa?"

The other man looked at Hizashi. "Hizashi, what is this scum?"

It took all that Hizashi had to hold her back. "What'd you call me, jerk?!"

"Be careful, cheeky brat," the other man warned. "If you don't watch your words I'll have Father punish Hizashi-otouto."

"This is your brother?!" Jordan cried.

"Jordan-chan, calm down!" Hizashi pulled her backward. "Please!"

"No! I don't care who he is, he can't talk to me that way!"

"I suggest you choose your words more carefully," the other man, Hiashi, said. "I'm going to be head of the clan someday."

"So?! I deserve respect! You've just met me!"

"Come on!" Hizashi lifted her up, legs kicking, and set her down behind him. "Jordan-chan, knock it off! Honestly, the only problem I can see with your being a ninja is that quick temper of yours!"

Jordan crossed her arms, but complied with her friend's wishes. "He's still

a spoiled brat."

"Alright, anyway. Hiashi-nii-san, this is Jordan Woods. She's going to be staying with us during her time in Konoha."

"Not anywhere near my room, she's not."

"Don't worry. I'll have her stay in the empty room next to mine."

"Whatever. I'm late for training." With that, he walked off.

Jordan stuck out her tongue at his retreating back. "Hajimemashite, gesu."

Hizashi sighed and took her shoulders. "Come on, let's go get you settled in your room."

"He can't talk to you like that, Hizashi-kun."

"Just forget about it, Jordan." He patted her back, and led her off. "Don't talk to him and he won't have a reason to insult you."

Notes:

Japanese Translations

hajimemashite = pleasure to meet you/nice to meet you

hai = yes

-chan = expression of affection, usually friendship, ordinarily used for girls, but for boys in special cases

-kun = same as chan, ordinarily for boys, but for girls under special circumstances

-san = Mr., Mrs., Ms., Miss, or just a general term of respect

tako = octopus (sushi-style)

ebi = shrimp

Jiyuu = freedom

nii-san = older brother

Konichiwa = hello/good day/good afternoon

_____ desu = I am _____

Anata wa? = and you?

otouto = younger brother

gesu = jerk