Title: Little Ghost Of The Dojo
Summary: Years ago, a little genin boy was fatally injured on a mission. Now he's a ghost who haunts the academy dojo waiting to be reunited with his sensei and freed from his prison. Can Naruto help him?
I dedicate this story to my friend Roving Otter, without whom, I would not have gotten as far as I did in this story. Go check out her Gai/Lee fanfics, they're awesome!
Also I'd like to dedicate this story to d00mfuzzball too. She helped me a lot on this first chapter when I starting writing this story about a year or so ago. Please check out her Naruto fics, I guarantee you'll love them!
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, Kishimoto-san does. But then, you knew that already
"Gai-sensei... Please don't... forget... me..." the fatally injured boy of twelve gasped out as he turned his head to face his sensei.
Gai-sensei hugged Lee close to him, in his final moments of life. Having been fatally injured in a mission while protecting his teammates, Lee hadn't wanted to spend his last moments of life in the hospital. Instead, he'd asked Gai to take him to a dojo nearby that was used by the academy. He would have preferred to be out by the old log that had taken so much abuse when he was younger, but the bottom had fallen out of the sky earlier that day, and it was pouring.
"I could never, and -will- never forget you Lee..." Gai's tear thick voice choked out as he hugged the boy tighter to him, heedless of the blood starting to soak through his clothes. Just before Lee's life flame completely burned out, Gai whispered, "I love you, Lee... I love you..."
Eighteen year old Naruto had heard the stories, both about the brave little soul who'd died for his teammates as a genin several years back, and the one about the unseen child weeping in the wee hours of the morning in the dojo known only as The Ghost Of The Dojo. He'd even heard the sounds himself once, though they had stopped when he'd unwittingly made a slight noise.
As frightened of ghosts as he was, he was determined to find out what or who was making the sounds. He had a sneaking suspicion that this ghost that noone had yet seen, yet everyone claimed to have heard, was the same child who'd died for his teammates years ago. Others had had the same suspicions, but never bothered to check them out for themselves as far as he knew anyway. Taking a blanket, a bento, and a backpack of supplies, he crept into the dojo long after everyone had left for the day. There really wasn't much to do there when you're trying not to make a sound, however. So for the most part, he sat in a corner, and waited.
And waited, and waited... and waited some more.
When he got hungry, he pulled his blanket over himself, then quietly tucked into his bento. After his meal, it wasn't long before he started feeling sleepy. He tried his best to keep his eyes peeled to see this Dojo Ghost. Maybe he could talk to it. Thinking about what they'd talk about, his eyes closed of their own accord.
Naruto slowly opened his eyes...
To meet big, round ones staring right back at him.
Naruto screamed and slammed up against the wall he was leaning on. The eyes disappeared and Naruto was once again alone.
Naruto spoke quietly and hesitantly. "W- who a-are you?"
A little louder and slightly more confident. "Are you the Dojo Ghost?"
"I won't hurt you. I'm sorry I screamed." Naruto doubted anything he could do would hurt a ghost anyway.
Minutes passed, and just as Naruto started to think that he'd never see them again, the eyes and only the eyes appeared.
Naruto tried to quell his fear. He had to remember that this ghost was only a child, and that he might be lonely. "H- hi... My name is Uzumaki Naruto..." he said, unable to think of anything else.
The eyes blinked but didn't otherwise move.
"Can I see the rest of you?" Naruto asked, his fear leaving little by little.
Ever so slowly, a body came into view until Naruto could see the little boy floating in midair. The boy wore Chinese clothing with the exception of his ninja shoes and he sported a flipped haircut that framed his forehead protector. The look on his face was one of sadness and utter despair. Tearstains ran down his cheeks where he'd been crying. Naruto wondered what had made the little boy so sad.
Naruto took a moment to link the face to the name, then blurted out, "Your name is Rock Lee, isn't it? Good to meet you!" Naruto smiled brightly. Then his smile faded. "Why are you crying?" It hurt him to see a child crying, even if this child was a ghost.
"I miss my sensei, and I can't get out to see how he's doing..." Ghost Lee spoke quietly, fresh tears flowing down his cheeks. "I'm trapped in this dojo..." He wiped at his eyes. "I've been trying to get out ever since I realized I'd passed on to the afterlife."
Naruto wondered why the little ghost boy couldn't leave. Then he realized that since he'd died here, he was bound to the dojo, and therefore, unable to escape. He'd probably have to haunt the dojo forever unless his sensei could be brought here to somehow release him from his bonds.
Naruto put his hand to his chin and thought for a moment. "Hmm, maybe I could bring him to you. I can get him to come to the dojo, you'll be able to see him and you'll both be happy."
"Really?" Lee clasped his hands together with fresh tears in his eyes. "You'd do that for me?"
"Sure, why not?" Naruto grinned again. "It'd make you happy wouldn't it?"
"Yes!" Lee exclaimed happily. "It would make me very happy!"
Naruto beamed. "Then I'll do it! I'm always happy to help out a little kid."
"I'm not a little kid." Lee muttered, folding his arms.
"You are to me!" Naruto laughed, as he began to pick up his things.
"You're going to leave now?" Lee asked worriedly. "It's still the middle of the night."
"You want to see your sensei, don't you?" Naruto asked, puzzled as to why the younger boy didn't want him to leave.
"Well yes, I do," Lee told him, "But he'd be asleep by now, and..." Lee averted his eyes.
Naruto understood. The little boy was lonely. Probably hadn't had anyone to talk to in years. A big grin slowly lit up Naruto's face."I'll stay with you until morning, then I'll go find your sensei and bring him here."
"Thank you so much!" Lee put his ghostly arms around the orange-clad ninja and hugged as much as a ghost could. "I can't repay you in any kind of way, but know that I am grateful."
"No problem, you wouldn't have to repay me anyway! I'm happy to help!" Naruto said as he sort of put his arms around the little ghost boy. It was awkward, as it felt as though there was barely a presence there.
Lee looked up at Naruto who was nearly two heads taller than he was. "Thank you..." he whispered.
The next day, a sleepy but determined Naruto went to the library to look up information on Rock Lee. It wasn't too hard to find, and he set about reading.
He discovered a lot of things about Lee, including the boy's ninjutsu and genjutsu disability that had very nearly prevented him from becoming a ninja at all. He learned that Lee had not long graduated from the academy when the fatal mission had taken place. He learned Lee's teammates names, and the one piece of infomation that he sought from all the rest.
The name of his former sensei: Maito Gai.
He then looked up info on Maito Gai. Finding a wealth of information on the man, the one bit of info that stuck out was that, apparently, Lee had been his favorite student, and he'd taken it extremely hard when he'd died. So hard in fact, that it wasn't long after Lee had died, that Gai had given up teaching altogether and become a recluse.
With a name, he could look up this Maito Gai in the Konoha directory, track him down, and convince him to come with him to the dojo where he could be reunited with his favorite student and somehow free Lee from being forever doomed to haunt the dojo.
It was so simple, it was almost too simple.
Naruto smiled as he went to check out both books. Now he could go home and take a nap, then look up Gai when he woke up. Because, if there was one thing he was, it was dead tired.