Disclaimer: If I really owned Naruto, would I waste my time writing a disclaimer?
Summary: One-shot celebrating Naruto's birthday, which takes place in the "Good 'ol School Days Universe."
AN: I borrowed a segment from Quill of Molliemo by her permission from her fic "Fire Shadow's Son" Thank you Quill!
Naruto was beyond excited because his 10th birthday was only a week away. He couldn't wait to turn ten. Then he would finally be out of the single digit numbers and practically be an adult! Maybe his father would start giving him more freedom from now on, instead of having Kakashi follow him everywhere. The blonde had big plans for his birthday too. He wanted a big party with all his friends there. He also wanted to invite Iruka, his academy teacher; Kakashi, since he was practically like family; and Jiraiya, since he was his godfather.
Naruto had already given his father a quite an extensive list of what he wanted for his birthday. Minato had taken one look at the length of it, and only said, "That's quite an impressive list, son." The younger blonde was hopeful that meant his father approved it.
So at breakfast that morning, the blonde decided he had better go over his birthday plans with his father, so the older blonde would know exactly what the younger wanted.
"Morning, Tou-san!" Naruto chirped happily to his father, who was sitting at the table, drinking his tea.
"Good morning, son. How you are you this morning?" Minato greeted him with a grin.
"Never better," the blonde answered, sitting down to eat. "Ne, Tou-san?"
"I wanted to talk to you about my birthday next week," Naruto began, as Minato looked slightly uncomfortable.
"Hm?" he answered, sipping his tea to hide his facial features.
"You know since I'm turning ten, it's a really big deal. I'll be almost an adult," the blonde boasted, sticking his chest out a little. Minato smiled at this, as Naruto went on. "Anyway, I really want a big party with all my friends there. And I want to invite Kakashi-san, Iruka-sensei, and Ero-sennin," Naruto finished, looking at his father expectantly.
"Well, that's sounds nice, son. I'll see what I can do," Minato answered. He hesitated before going on. "But there may be a slight problem."
"What?" Naruto asked, concerned.
"Well," the older blonde answered, rubbing the back of his head. "I have to go to a conference in Kusagakure. There's some negotiating that I have to be a part of," Minato explained with a feeling of foreboding.
Naruto stood up, knocking his chair over in the process, as he slammed his hand down on the table, rattling everything on it. "WHAT? You're going to be gone on my birthday?" the younger blonde shouted at his father.
Minato held his hands up in a defensive manner. "Hey, I didn't plan this. It came up suddenly. I was going to tell you about it today," he answered, looking at his son's angry face. "Look, I'm sorry. It's part of being the Hokage. I may still be able to make it back in time to celebrate."
The younger blonde huffed, folded his arms and turned away from Minato. "It's not fair," he mumbled, but his father heard him.
Minato came up behind Naruto and touched his shoulder, turning him around slowly to face him. "I know, and I am really sorry. I'll make it up to you by taking you out for ramen when I get back."
"It's not the same, Tou-san!" Naruto protested. "I won't turn ten ever again! I wanted this to be special!"
The older blonde rubbed the top of his son's hair. "I'll see what I can do, okay? But I can't make any promises."
"When do you leave?" Naruto asked, frown still in place.
"Tomorrow," came the answer.
With a sigh, Naruto left the room, leaving Minato to look after him in worry.
The next day, after Minato had left for the conference, and leaving Kakashi in charge, much to Naruto's displeasure, the blonde went over to Sasuke's house. Maybe the raven could cheer him up. He was in such a foul mood over his father not being there for his birthday. It just wasn't fair! Sometimes, having the Hokage for a father just plain sucked.
Arriving at Sasuke's house, the blonde knocked on the door, waiting for an answer. To Naruto's surprise, Fugaku, Sasuke's father answered the door. Naruto never talked much with Fugaku, due to the fact that he was very busy, and was so quiet and stoic.
"Hi, ah, i-is Sasuke home?" Naruto stuttered out.
"Yes. He's out back, training," he answered, as he let Naruto come in.
"Thank you," Naruto answered, glad to get away from the stern looking man.
He went out into the back yard of the Uchiha house, well, it was more like a mansion, but it was no where near as big as his own mansion that he lived in, but it was still very nice. The Uchiha's had a training area, similar to the one Minato had at their house. The blonde saw the younger Uchiha practicing with his shuriken.
"Hey, Sasuke!" the blonde called to the raven.
The said raven looked up at hearing the blonde's voice. He was bent over and breathing hard. "Hi, Naruto," he panted.
"Training hard, ne?" Naruto asked.
"Yeah, but I can take a break," he answered, standing up and going over to a nearby tree to get a drink. Sasuke had already turned ten a few month's back. The blonde was envious of that fact at times.
"I think I'll train with you," Naruto told his friend. "Maybe it will help my bad mood."
"What's wrong?" Sasuke asked, as he wiped some sweat off with a towel.
"I found out that Tou-san probably won't be around for my birthday," the blonde answered, clearly disgruntled.
"Why not?" the raven asked, surprised by this news.
"Some stupid conference he had to go to in Kusagakure," Naruto answered, bitterly. "It's so unfair! I don't turn ten every day. I really wanted it to be special!"
"That's too bad," Sasuke answered, understanding the blonde's anger. "Can't you celebrate when he gets back?"
"Yeah, I guess, but it won't be the same," the blonde told him.
"You're right, it won't," the Uchiha agreed. "I'm sorry."
"That's okay. Let's do some target practice. I want to vent my anger out on something!" Naruto told the raven, pulling out some of his own shuriken.
"Okay. But let's make it interesting," Sasuke told the blonde with his famous Uchiha smirk in place. "Whoever gets the most accurate number of hits, wins. And the loser has to do something for the winner," the raven challenged his friend.
Naruto gave his raven friend a foxy grin. "You're on!"
A few hours later, a very annoyed Sasuke had to buy a very happy blonde ten bowls of ramen. He really was in a bad mood to beat me like that, the raven thought as he watched the blonde consume his last bowl of ramen. I want a rematch!
It was now the day before Naruto's birthday, and his father had not returned. This did not help the blonde's mood any, and he was still annoyed that Kakashi had been left in charge of him. He was almost ten, for crying out loud! He didn't need a babysitter. This left the blonde feeling irritable, snappy and a pain in the ass to deal with. The silver haired Jounin was almost at his wits end, and he was pretty laid back to begin with. Not much could rile him up, but Naruto's attitude was a completely different matter.
Just when Kakashi was thinking about locking Naruto in his room until Minato got back, someone knocked at the door. Thank goodness, the masked Jounin sighed as he went to see who was at the door, welcoming the interruption. It was Sasuke.
"Naruto?" Kakashi called to the blonde.
"WHAT?" came the yell from a very pissed off blonde.
"Your little friend Sasuke has come to cheer you up!" the Jounin replied in a sing-song voice.
A very cross-looking Naruto came to door. He glanced at Kakashi. "You can go now," he dismissed him, as the Jounin took his leave, winking at Sasuke, who looked a bit puzzled.
"Hey, Naruto, what's got your boxers in a twist?" the raven asked as he came in. They sat down in the living area.
"Very droll, Sasuke," Naruto replied. "Tou-san's not back yet, and I haven't heard a thing from him. Kakashi-san has been watching me since Tou-san's been gone. It's annoying," he explained with a sour look on his face.
"I see. That explains a lot," the raven answered. "You know," he continued, looking at his friend, "your father may still be back in time. Your birthday's not until tomorrow."
"I doubt it," Naruto replied with a frown on his face. "I haven't heard a thing, and he surely would have told me if he was going to make it back in time."
"Not necessarily," the raven countered. "He may not be able to communicate or something. Who knows?"
"Yeah, I guess. I just don't want to have any expectations. Then I won't be disappointed when he inevitably doesn't show," the blonde answered dejectedly.
Sasuke had never seen his friend so down before. This birthday thing with his dad was really getting to the blonde. "Hey, Naruto?" the said blonde looked up at him. "How about a spar? I want a rematch from the other day," he smirked. "I can beat you this time."
That did the trick. Naruto was very competitive with Sasuke, in friendly sort of way. "You're on, Uchiha. But don't cry when I kick your ass," he grinned at him.
"Well just see about that," the young Uchiha smirked.
October 10th had finally arrived. Naruto woke up early that morning and came rushing downstairs, hoping his father would be there. He was disappointed to only see Kakashi sitting at the table. He eyed the blonde, standing in the doorway.
"Good morning, Naruto. You're up bright and early, I see," he gave the blonde his eye-smile. "Happy birthday."
"Thanks," Naruto mumbled as he sat down, feeling depressed. "Any word from Tou-san?" he asked hopefully. The silver-haired Jounin shook his head. "Typical," the blonde muttered. "This is the worst birthday yet!"
"Now, now, Naruto. You still have the whole day left. You never know what may happen. Your father is full of surprises, you know," Kakashi winked at him.
"Whatever," the blonde muttered angrily.
It was now 4 o'clock in the evening and no sign of Minato. Naruto went from feeling angry to depressed by the end of the day. Kakashi suggested that he go for a walk or train on the private grounds (It was 27 acres and well protected by ANBU, so Kakashi didn't need to accompany him). The blonde agreed that the fresh air would do him good and went outside. Fall was definitely in the air. The leaves were changing beautiful colors, and quite a few of them had already fallen to the ground. The air was starting to get chilly as well. Naruto sat down by a tree trunk looking around the wonderful nature around him, but he couldn't really enjoy it. Today was his tenth birthday. His father wasn't here, nor any of his friends, and he felt miserable, alone and abandoned. Some birthday this turned out to be. Anger gave way to deep sadness as a tear trickled down the whiskered cheeks.
"It's not fair!" the blonde yelled, as a few more tears escaped. He felt weak for crying, but he just couldn't help it. He felt so miserable. After staying out for what seemed like hours, he finally decided to go back to the house, and besides he was getting cold anyway.
The house looked strangely dark. Why aren't there any lights on? He wondered as he opened the door. It was completely dark in the house. Did the power go out or something? As the blonde turned on the light switch to see if it was working, he suddenly heard loud voices shout, "SURPRISE, NARUTO!"
Naruto jumped in shock and turned around to see his father, his friends from the academy including Sasuke of course, Iruka, Kakashi and even Jiraiya. They had all jumped out from their hiding places. "Happy Birthday!" they shouted in chorus.
The blonde was still in a state of shock. He didn't know if he should feel relieved or overwhelmed. "T-tou-san? Y-you're here?" he finally managed to get out. Minato came over to him and gave him a hug.
"Of course!" he grinned at his son. "I wouldn't miss this for the world. I planned a surprise party from the beginning. I came back this morning, but you know, I had to keep it a secret."
Naruto felt indignant at this. What a sneaky thing to pull, he thought. He made me go through all that anguish for nothing!
"Come on, son," Minato urged him. "Everyone is here, and waiting for you to open your gifts!" He pulled his son along to the huge pile of presents sitting on it.
The blonde's eyes got as big as saucers. "T-theses are all for me?" he asked.
"Yes," the older blonde grinned at him.
"Wow," Naruto said, looking over the pile once more. Jiraiya came up to him.
"Hey, kid. Finally turned ten, huh?" The Sannin greeted with a hearty pat on Naruto's back. "I bet you'll be a whole buck load of trouble for your father now."
"Ero-sennin, good to see you," Naruto gave him his foxy grin.
"When are you going to stop calling me that?" Jiraiya hissed at him.
"Probably never. It suits you so well," the blonde teased. Jiraiya huffed.
"Learned any new jutsus?" he asked the younger blonde instead.
"Yeah. Tou-san taught me the Tajū Kage Bunshin no jutsu."
Jiraiya raised a brow at this, impressed. "Really? That's a forbidden technique."
Naruto grinned again. "I know. But I had a hard time with producing a regular clone, so Tou-san thought I could do this one because of my stamina and chakra levels."
Jiraiya smiled. "Your father is a smart man. Say, do you know if there's any sakē here?" The blonde shot him a look of annoyance, so the white-haired Sannin patted him on the head and said, "Just kidding." He left in search of Minato, who was in the kitchen.
Sasuke came up to Naruto next. "Happy birthday, Naruto," he greeted.
"Thanks, Sasuke," he answered. Then he narrowed his eyes in sudden realization. "Say, you knew all about this didn't you?" he accused the raven.
Sasuke held up his hands in defense. "I must admit, I did. But your father made me swear to secrecy. Sorry, Naruto."
"It's okay, Sasuke, I understand," Naruto replied with a shrug. "I guess everyone here knew about it. I'm just glad that Tou-san is here." The raven nodded in understanding.
Minato came back out of the kitchen. "Alright Naruto, open those presents, and then we'll have cake."
The younger blonde smiled and began the long task of opening his gifts.
The party long since over, and the clean up done, it was now quite late, and past Naruto's bed time. Minato looked at the clock.
"It's time for bed, son," he said to Naruto who was admiring all his gifts. He tried to stifle a yawn.
"Okay, Tou-san," he agreed. He went upstairs to brush his teeth. Minato followed and waited in his son's room for him.
Naruto was surprised to see him when he came in. Minato had a huge grin plastered on his face. "I've got one last gift for you, Naruto. I wanted to give it to you in private."
"Really? What is it?" the younger blonde asked.
"Open it and find out," came the reply. The older blonde handed Naruto a neatly wrapped package.
Naruto opened it to find a scroll. He frowned at it and looked up at his father, who told him to unroll it. The younger blonde wondered if it was some kind of instruction for a new jutsu or something. He saw the complex symbols and formula of a storage scroll. The kanji at the center of the circle that was supposed to identify what was sealed inside, which read "blade"—but that was thoroughly unhelpful. He wordlessly set the scroll on the ground to get it flat, placed his palm in the middle of the circle, and pushed chakra into it to break the seal. There was a "pop" and a puff of white smoke, and when that cleared away the "blade" was revealed. It was a small sword—larger than the Hatake "White Fang", but smaller than the sword used by the ANBU. The sheath was decorated with swirled patterns, and at the point where the blade connected to the hilt was a white spiral carved from some kind of ivory. When Naruto drew the weapon from its sheath, the metal of the blade—while not particularly shiny, as shiny was bad for ninja weapons; shiny was not stealthy—seemed to almost glow blue.
The blonde boy gaped at the sword, clearly impressed. "Where did you get this?" he asked, studying the sword.
Minato felt a pang in his heart when he answered. "It belonged to your mother," he answered quietly.
Naruto looked up at this. "My mother?" he repeated. "She was a ninja?"
"Yes. She didn't use that sword often, but it was very important to her. Her home country was wiped out in the wars, and that weapon was one of the only things she was able to take with her when she fled from the advancing Iwa-nin." He ruffled Naruto's hair. "She'd want you to have it," Minato explained, swallowing a lump in his throat.
Seeing that sword again brought back both painful and happy memories for him. "I know you'll be careful with it," he added.
Naruto almost looked like he was going to cry a bit. He carefully sheathed the sword and sealed it back into the scroll. After rolling it back up, he laid it down on his bedside table and then gave his father's middle a crushing hug.
"You're welcome, Naruto," Minato answered, returning the hug and feeling the tears prick at his own eyes. "But there's one more thing in the box for you," he told his son.
Naruto let go of his father and went back to the box. At the bottom, he found something else. It was a kunai, but it was oddly shaped, it had three points instead of one blade. "A kunai?" he asked, holding it up, examining it.
"It's a specially made one by me, son. It's a little heavy because of it's odd shape, but when you get used it, it's easy to use," Minato explained, beaming at his son.
"Thanks, Tou-san," Naruto told him, yawning once more. He climbed into bed, and was surprised when Minato tucked him in. His father hadn't done that since he was six. He raised a questioning brow at the older blonde.
"For old times, sake, Naruto," Minato told him, ruffling his son's blonde mop of hair once more.
Naruto got very quiet and looked down at his sheets, crumpling them in his hands.
"Naruto? Are you okay?" Minato asked, getting concerned at his son's quietness.
"It's just that. . .I thought you were really going to miss my birthday," Naruto finally got out. "I was angry about it at first, and then really sad."
The older blonde pulled the younger into a hug. "I'm so sorry, Naruto. I wanted to surprise you. I didn't know you were feeling that way."
Naruto pulled back to look at his father. "Well, it was a surprise, but I had fun. I'm glad you were there." He grinned at his father, who grinned back. Then Naruto suddenly smirked, with an evil glimmer in his eyes, as Minato raised a questioning brow. "Just wait until it's your birthday, Tou-san."
Minato sweat dropped nervously. He knew what that meant. Payback.
AN: Just a little one-shot in honor of Naruto's birthday, though I know it's a little late. Hope you enjoyed this. Thank you for your time.
I was inspired by Reaper Nanshi to do this: Draw your own conclusion: Sasuke is ticked off about continually being defeated by Naruto. He is looking for a stationary target. If you review, he'll see you're active and therefore won't target you. Draw your own conclusion.