The New Naruto
Chapter 11 - Summoning Old 'Friends'
The air was heavy with smoke, the light was dull and the customers looked half dead. A small bell tinkled as light flooded the room. Several customers looked up then shut their eyes at the light intrusion.
A tall figure with another one, half his size, entered the dusty bar and closing the door behind them.
The white haired figure walked up to the bar and took a stool with his follower plopping right next to him.
Many of the customers eyed the mysterious duo, checking out everything about them.
The bar man looked up, the taller figure was gesturing him over. The old retired ninja turned bar man hobbled over on his good leg before hunching over where the man sat.
"Yeah?" he asked, his voice low as to not disturb the 'peace' in the bar.
"We're looking for a few fugitives. You wouldn't have happened to have seen 'him' around?" The white haired man kept his voice low whilst pulling a picture of one Zabuza Momochi from his right pocket, and in his left, a handsome sum of ryo.
The bar man eyed the ryo and swiftly pocketed it before taking a closer look at the picture.
"Hmmm, this guy looks familiar. Why would you be huntin' him?" He asked suspiciously.
The white haired man glanced around, his yellow haired friend doing the same before returning to the conversation.
"We've been sent to stop him from destroying this town." The bar man flinched.
'Got him.' The yellow haired kid thought.
"Yeah, he's bringing a small mercenary group to raid this town and kill anyone inside. So any information you could give would be crucial to saving this town and this… 'Quaint' little bar." The white haired man finished.
The bar man now gestured the pair towards the back door.
The white haired man nodded. He and his yellow haired friend promptly exited the bar and head round the back.
"Piece of cake." Naruto muttered as he relaxed his arms behind his head looking up at his white haired travel companion.
"I wouldn't be so sure Naruto." Jiraiya replied, hearing several sets of footsteps from inside instead of just the two he expected.
The bar man walked out of the back followed by several strong looking men.
"You think you can swagger into my bar and try to trick me into giving up valuable information?" He called out, six strong men now surrounding him, three on each side. "Leaf shinobi aren't welcome around these parts. Boys, show 'em our hospitality."
Four of the men quickly jumped forward, three lunging at the old man whilst another went for the kid.
"Oh boy, not this again." Jiraiya sighed.
"You know how to pick 'em, don't you Jiraiya-sensei?" Naruto smiled, performing a frequently used hand sign. "Shadow Clone Jutsu!"
Seven more Naruto burst from the smoke.
Four hoped over the men whilst the other three and Naruto rushed them, striking them in the belly.
The men were winded and forced back into the clones waiting fists, striking them in the spine and sending them into a world of darkness.
The bar man took a step back.
"You two! Get 'em!" He shouted as he tried to run away.
The two remaining men flashed through some hand signs.
"Earth Style: Earth Pistol!" One of them men shouted. A chunk of earth rose up in front of him like a column.
"Fire Style: Burning Furnace!" The other shouted, making a ring round his mouth and blowing.
Jiraiya grabbed the real Naruto's collar and turned his back to the fight.
The man standing in front of the mound of earth punched his fist forward. A piece of earth from the top broke off and flew towards Jiraiya. It passed through the air the other man had blown and melted mid-flight, turning into a flying piece of lava.
The remaining Naruto jumped in the way, the lava cutting through them like butter but they'd slowed it down.
Jiraiya jumped up, pulling Naruto with him as the lava glob missed his clog by inches.
The men watched him dodge and performed the same action again, using his fist to line up the target.
Several more shots flew Jiraiya's way as he flew through the air and landed on the building above, each missing.
Jiraiya dropped Naruto on the roof, out of harm's way before running along the edge.
He saw the bar man below and quickly jumped out in front of him.
The bar man jumped with fright before turning to run again, only to find himself being lifted up off the ground, held protectively in front of Jiraiya.
"Fire that this way and your boss is toast, not me." he shouted down to the men.
The air became cooler as the two released their jutsu.
Naruto jumped off the roof and landed between them, punching them on the way down, their heads hitting the wall and knocking them out.
"Now, you're gonna tell me everything you know about Zabuza!" Jiraiya said sternly to the bar man, lifting him higher off the ground.
He could feel his collar getting tighter the longer he waited.
"Ok, alright!" He quickly gasped. "He was here a few days ago! Him and this boy walked into the bar and had a few drinks before a strange mist appeared. When it cleared the two were gone! That's all I know, I swear!"
Jiraiya quickly dropped the man and turned to Naruto.
"We're getting closer." He smiled.
Naruto grinned back, walking up to his new teacher.
Shouts could be heard from the bar. The duo turned to look as the back door burst open, angry customers awaiting their booze poured out.
"Hey! They're doing summin' to Jack!" One shouted.
"Assault!" Another cried out.
"Looks like it's time to go Naruto!" Jiraiya blurted out nervously before disappearing, leaving an outline of himself behind.
"Hey! Wait up old man!" Naruto shouted out before hurrying after his sensei, leaving the same dusty after image.
Angry customers and town police quickly chased them out of the village with various weapons.
"Hurry up Naruto or I'll leave you behind." Jiraiya joked as a pitchfork whizzed past him.
Naruto fumed as he ran alongside the old hermit.
"This is all your fault! This is the fourth village we've had to leave like this. Out of four!" Naruto shouted back at him as the duo sprinted out the village under the wooden 'Welcome' sign that stood at the east of the town.
The angry villagers stopped at the sign and just shouted at the leaf ninja as the fled into the forest, their backs to the setting sun.
Naruto stopped at a small stream, scooping some water into his mouth and washing the sweat off his face.
"Can't we at least get some food or something before we ask people where a dangerous ninja is?" Naruto reasoned, plopping down on a large rock.
Jiraiya was just leaning back on a nearby tree with his arms folded.
"Heh, ninja should be able to go for days on little sustenance like me." He smirked.
Naruto just scowled, and looked into the water, watching a leaf float downstream.
"When are you gonna teach me some new jutsu anyway?!" Naruto blurted out.
Jiraiya sighed and unfolded his arms, pushing himself off the tree.
"Alright kid. You wanna learn a new jutsu?" A flick of his left thumb and blood was in his plam. Boar, dog, bird, monkey, ram. "Summoning Justu!" Jiraiya shouted out, slamming his left hand down on the ground with a weird sealing pattern emerging from underneath it. Naruto looked on as a cloud of smoke erupted and dispersed revealing Jiraiya's usual orange and black toad companion. This time it had a big scroll in its mouth.
"Yeah! What do you think of that?" Jiraiya asked smugly, sitting on top of the toad.
"Is that the biggest you can go?" Naruto replied, seeing the same toad for the third time.
"Bigger isn't always better Naruto." Jiraiya laughed. "My most powerful combination is with two toads smaller than this." Pointing to the toad he sat upon.
Naruto raised an eyebrow as smoke engulfed the toad and Jiraiya walked out, unfurling the scroll taken from the toad's mouth.
"All summons require a contract to be made with the creature you wish to summon." Jiraiya unrolled the contract in front of Naruto on rock he was perched upon. "This contract here is for the toads."
Naruto leaned over and examined the last few names, the end two being Jiraiya himself and the fourth Hokage, Minato Namikaze.
"You actually persuaded the fourth to sign this?" Naruto asked, stunned.
Jiraiya smacked him lightly but firmly on the head.
"Idiot! He asked me himself if he could sign it." Jiraiya retorted, leaning back and gazing up at the sky, chuckling. "That yellow haired menace embarrassed me more times than I can count because he signed this."
Naruto looked at the old hermit with a little admiration. It seems he had a soft spot for the fourth.
"What was he like?" Naruto asked politely. He'd heard much about the fourth's greatness but not much about him as a person.
Jiraiya laughed loudly.
"He was like you." Jiraiya turned and gave Naruto a genuine smile filled with kindness. "Honourable, creative, powerful and an annoying brat of a student."
Naruto was taken aback at the annoying part then the last words hit him.
"He was your student?!"
"Of course, you don't think I'd let just anyone sign this thing did you?" Jiraiya smiled, pointing to the contract.
Naruto once again looked down at the contract, gazing at the fourth's name then Jiraiya's. Both were renowned for being powerful ninja, one a sannin, the other one a Hokage.
"Yeah." Naruto bellowed, "I'll sign it too then!"
"Really? This I gotta see!" The fox decided to make its presence known. Naruto just ignored the fox for now.
"Great, all you have to do is sign your name in blood and underneath each of your fingerprints from the same hand and you're good to go."
Naruto bit the tip of his right thumb and wrote his name in blood before pressing each of his fingers onto the bottom of the fresh space to finish the signing.
"Good, now these are the signs." Jiraiya held up his hands to demonstrate. Naruto watched intently then quickly finished his own, slamming his right hand down on the floor like Jiraiya.
"Summoning Jutsu!" He called out. A large wave of smoke appeared.
Jiraiya's mouth opened slightly in anticipation.
The wind picked up, blowing away the smoke to reveal a small orange toad with purple stripes along it's: belly, eyebrows, eyes and mouth with a blue jacket on.
"Yo." He said simply, raising his right hand in greeting.
Naruto face faulted, he couldn't even summon one half as big as Jiraiya.
Jiraiya however was contemplating the situation, he thought for sure he'd have to weaken Naruto's chakra down so the foxes more powerful chakra could summon something.
The fox was, at this time, laughing in his cage.
'Shut up! Stupid fox!' Naruto thought angrily.
"The name's Gamakichi." The toad introduced itself before turning to Naruto. "So what do ya need?"
Jiraiya smiled at the young toad.
"You're all I could summon?" Naruto sighed. "Well, nothing right now I guess…"
The toad looked visibly annoyed at this.
"Fine then, just holla if ya need me." He said before bursting into smoke.
Jiraiya laughed and removed a scroll from his pocket.
"We may as well set up camp, we still have a lot of walking to do if we're gonna catch up to this guy." Jiraiya said, whipping the scroll out as bits and pieces of campsite burst out of the seals.
"All right Naruto, you get building, I'm gonna catch some…" Jiraiya began but Naruto was already finishing a set of hand signs.
"Summoning Jutsu!" He called out again.
Another poof of smoke and another toad was summoned. This time it was bigger but only in the waist department. This frog was bright yellow with orange stripes in similar places as Gamakichi but had its underarms and legs coloured a dark grey-green sort of colour.
"This is the first time anyone's ever summoned me! It's Gamatatsu's turn at getting a chance to shine!" It shouted proudly.
Naruto sweat dropped as the small toad looked around, confused.
"Hey, where're the bad guys at?" He asked, seeing no one before turning to Naruto.
"Damn it!" Naruto just shouted to the sky.
Jiraiya chuckled and called over to the toad.
"He's just practising. If you leave, get ready to be summoned by this kid for a few years before he gets the hang of it."
Naruto fumed at Jiraiya whilst the toad looked at the floor a little sadly.
"Awww, and here I thought I could get some snacks for this." He muttered before disappearing in a burst of smoke.
"If you're gonna keep practising that, go away and practise. I don't want your 'training' messing up my beauty sleep." Jiraiya teased with a half stern voice.
Naruto just gave the old man an angry glare, before opening his mouth to say something, quickly deciding against it, turning, and heading off into the trees behind him.
Jiraiya watched as he disappeared through the brush.
'That kid's gonna make one heck of a ninja,' he thought, grinning smugly. 'Then all the girls will praise me, his teacher!' His thoughts turned perverse.
The sannin turned his back to the trees and greeted an unmade camp.
"Damn kid, making me do all the work…" He grumbled, quickly setting to making his own tent.
"Summoning Jutsu!" Naruto shouted out again, his voice croaking due to the strain of shouting the same line over and over again.
This time, a larger cloud of smoke erupted in front of the blonde genin.
He quickly looked up in excitement.
"Damn it!" Naruto shouted out.
The orange toad quickly took the hint and scarpered, a smaller puff of smoke accompanying him.
Naruto was kneeling on the floor, his hands holding his body up off the ground. He was panting heavily, his chakra was running low.
He'd found a small clearing in which to practice. Small oak trees surrounded him and the dark green grass was soft enough to sleep on.
Naruto clenched his hands, clutching some dirt and grass blades as he pushed himself back up onto a kneeling position.
His hands went through the hands signs again: Boar, dog, bird, monkey, tiger…
Naruto slammed his hand on the floor, giving off a weak cry of summoning jutsu only for nothing to happen.
"Wrong sign kid." The fox murmured.
Naruto rolled over onto his back, panting heavily.
"I… Know…" He gasped.
He reached over for his water bottle and drank the remaining liquid inside. It wasn't much.
"Get back to the old man. No more can be accomplished by pushing yourself this far." The Kyūbi scolded.
'What about your chakra?' Naruto thought, too tired to speak.
"Your arm muscles are already at their limit. I could give you my chakra but you'll only end up breaking your body even more and I won't fix it." The fox reasoned before turning his nose up proudly.
'I guess you're right…' Naruto thought back.
He just lay there, spread out gasping for a minute or two before gathering what was left of his energy.
His back arched, his legs bent to stand. Naruto hoisted himself to his feet.
Naruto's eye sight darkened. The momentum from his rise led to his fall as he fell flat down onto the ground face first. The impact hurt but Naruto was already off in the world of slumber.
Two dark figures glided over the earth, each leaving no footprint nor trace they had ever been there bar the dark cloaks that flew behind them. Their hair and bodies were engulfed by these cloaks, leaving a lot to the imagination.
Not five minutes had passed since Naruto hit the floor as the figures were met with the sight of the blond, unconscious ninja.
"Hey, look who it is." The taller of the two spoke in a deep voice.
The smaller one gasped as the taller one knelt and checked the blond's vital signs.
"He's still breathing." He muttered.
The smaller one let out a breath she didn't know she was holding.
The taller figure grabbed Naruto round the waist and hauled him up onto his right shoulder, glancing down at the repeated hand prints on the floor.
"Seems as though we'll have a guest joining us for breakfast." The taller chuckled.
Without a word, the duo quickly hurried on, their cloaks whipping around them. As they moved, a glint of silver could be seen under the taller one's cloak.
Night was here and the moon helped illuminate the half made campsite.
Jiraiya was kicking back and relaxing in front of the fire he'd made, one leg folded over the other with a twig and marshmallow roasting over the fire between his toes.
"Man, how long is that kid gonna take?" He asked himself as he stared up at the night sky, full of stars.
"You'da thought that kid would've run out of steam by now, even with his chakra level." He said to himself. "Any minute now he's gonna come swaggering through those trees, eat my marshmallows and try to make me put up his tent."
Another hour past and the bag of marshmallows emptied. The moon was now right above Jiraiya, signaling midnight or sometime close to it.
'He's probably run out of chakra if he hasn't come back by now.' Jiraiya thought. He pushed himself up to a sitting position and flashed through the summoning signs before slamming his hand down on the ground.
A small puff of smoke later and a small orange toad was lying on his back, his eyes closed and a large nose bubble present.
"Oi." Jiraiya nudged the toad.
The nose bubble popped and the toad awoke, quickly jumping to its feet and looking around.
"Oh it's just you." He muttered.
"When did Naruto last summon you?" Jiraiya asked politely but with a hint of worry in his voice.
"The blond? That was ages ago, last time he summoned me, he looked ready to collapse." Gamakichi explained.
Jiraiya nodded and dismissed the toad before checking the campsite quickly for anything he would mind getting stolen before taking off into the trees Naruto had walked through earlier.
The sound of a crackling fire pieced the silence. A dim orange invaded the darkness in Naruto's closed eyes. The sound of light footsteps and the light was gone.
Naruto's senses were returning to him slowly.
He opened his eyes briefly and a lighter darkness greeted him in, what looked like, the dark inside of a tent.
A soft voice called out to him.
"Are you ok?"
Naruto went perfectly still, he recognized that voice.
A hand reached out with a wet cloth and dabbed at his head.
Naruto could feel the cold sensation running through his body. He quickly turned and came face to face with an old friend.
"Hello… Haku." Naruto blushed. Haku was kneeling by Naruto's side, holding the damp washcloth over now wet hair.
She quickly withdrew the washcloth from Naruto's head and gave him an honest, kind smile. Naruto quickly pushed himself into a sitting position and returned the smile in the form of the grin as the two hugged tightly.
"It's good to see you again, Naruto."
"Yea, you too Haku."
They broke the hug and Naruto could look at Haku properly for the first time in a while.
She had ditched the tomboyish hairdo and the kimono. Now she had her hair loose around her shoulders, her clothes were now a soft pink, short sleeve top with a black and yellow flower design along the arms. A similarly coloured short skirt adorned her lower half, coming just above the kneecaps with light brown sandals finishing off the outfit.
"Wow, you've really changed." Naruto exclaimed.
Haku giggled softly, she was giving Naruto a look over too. His arms had gotten bigger and it wasn't hard to miss seeing as he wasn't wearing his black and orange jacket.
"Well since Zabuza found out about me, I decided to wear something more 'me'." Haku said.
"I can hear you ya' know." A deep voice called out from outside the tent.
Haku giggled while Naruto's eyes went wide.
He pushed himself up and crawled over to the tent flap, moving it aside to see Zabuza settled around a small camp fire with his Kubikiri Hōchō impaled in the ground next to him.
Zabuza's look had changed too; Naruto could see his ninja trousers were no longer grey camouflage but jet black, his shirt was now long sleeved and bore green camouflage with his sandals still retaining the grey camouflage and travelling halfway up his knee. His head band had remained in the same position, with the metal Kirigakure symbol on the left side of his forehead, while the bandages he wore around his face hung around his neck, loose.
"Hey kid!" Zabuza smirked, his pointy teeth glistening in the firelight. "Nice boxers."
Naruto looked down and realized he was only dressed in his black t-shirt and bright white boxers.
"Gah!" He moved to cover himself with both arms as the tent flap thankfully fell back into place. He quickly turned and scanned for the rest of his outfit.
"Here…" Haku's voice rang out. She had turned her gaze to a corner of the tent with a bright red blush on her face, both arms holding out Naruto's clothes and gear.
He took it graciously and Haku quickly hurried out the tent.
Outside, Zabuza was laughing quietly to himself as the still red Haku told him to shut it, sitting beside her guardian.
Shortly after, Naruto emerged from the tent fully dressed, his own face harbouring a small blush of embarrassment, before sitting opposite the missing ninja.
"How'd I get here?" he asked.
"We brought you here of course. You looked ready to die when we found you; all passed out with no chakra."
The memory came back to Naruto.
"Oh yea? Why?"
"Well it… uh…" Zabuza awkwardly started. He didn't want to admit he missed the kid a little, not to mention his influence on Haku.
"I couldn't leave you lying there… Naruto." Haku finished for him.
Naruto flashed her a smile and she lightly blushed.
Zabuza smiled at the scene before decided to ask Naruto about his new gear.
"Seems you think you're ready to fight for real now, eh kid?" Zabuza asked, glancing at Naruto's short sword.
Naruto took the hint and looked at his sword for a moment before drawing it and holding it out for them to examine.
"My friend back in Konoha." He began, "She taught me about correct stances and timing. We made this together after the second exam."
The firelight danced over the blade, making it shimmer as the fox head on the hilt looked ready to strike.
Haku gazed at the blade with awe as Zabuza admired its quality workmanship.
"That's a fine blade you got. Shame it can't stand up to mine." Zabuza teased.
Surprisingly, Naruto admitted defeat.
"That's to be expected," He began. "After all, I've only been training a little while," His eyes met Zabuza's. "…but don't underestimate me."
Naruto released a little killer intent and Zabuza matched it.
Needless to say, Zabuza did understand the power behind Naruto's words. He had underestimated the kid back on the bridge and he'd almost lost Haku to him. He knew now that Naruto would never do such a thing, he had taken Haku in a different way.
"So what are you doing out here anyway Naruto?" Haku asked.
Naruto wore a blank look on his face, trying to remember.
"Oh yea!" He shouted out. "Me and this perv were looking for you two."
Zabuza and Haku looked taken aback before mentally readying themselves to defend.
"Hmmm and why's that?" Zabuza asked cautiously, his hand twitched a little closer to his sword.
A branch snapped and leaves rustled as the clear sound of a something falling through the trees behind the missing ninja.
In a flash, Zabuza had grabbed his sword and whirled around to face who or whatever was behind them while Haku had lunged for Naruto, twisting his arm behind his back and lifting him to his feet, readying a senbon at his neck.
"Ah Haku?! What the hell?!" Naruto protested.
"Be ready Haku!" Zabuza barked at her.
A whistling in the air was heard.
Two kunai landed at Zabuza's feet, a small white piece of cloth tied between them.
"Huh?" he muttered confused, redoubling his grip on his blade with both hands.
"Time out!" A voice called out.
Naruto raised his head, trying to spot whoever was the cause of this commotion.
Between Zabuza's legs, he could make out a large white and red blob.
"My bad! Didn't mean to scare you like that!" A familiar voice called out.
"Oi, what's your deal Jiraiya?!" Naruto shouted.
The white haired sannin walked towards the trio, his arms up in surrender.
Zabuza called back to Naruto.
"You know this guy?"
"Yeah," Naruto replied, clenching his teeth, "he's my sensei for this trip."
Zabuza let out a breath of relief but kept up his guard.
"Sorry about that." Jiraiya apologized, his left arm now rubbing the back of his neck in a Naruto-like fashion. "The branch broke." He laughed quietly.
"Why are you here?" Zabuza kept his stance stiff but loose enough to flow and dodge if needs be.
Jiraiya stuck his head to the side and glanced over at Naruto.
"You didn't tell them?"
Naruto was still stuck in Haku's arm lock, not trying to escape.
"I was about to before you burst in!" Naruto yelled angrily back at his teacher.
"Will someone tell me what the hell is going on here?!" Zabuza demanded.
Jiraiya stopped walking toward the ex-mist nin, a good fifteen feet away.
"As my idiot of a student failed to explain." Jiraiya began, with protest from Naruto heard in the background, "We've come to make you an offer."
Zabuza's ears pricked up at this.
"What kind of offer?" He asked cautiously.
"One that will get ANBU off you back." Jiraiya said softly, just loud enough for all four to hear.
Haku tensed herself at this bit of information.
Naruto picked up on this and made a note to ask about it later.
"I take it we have a ninja's truce?" Zabuza asked the sannin.
"Until this conversation is over, yes." Jiraiya replied.
Both Naruto and Haku were confused, neither of them had heard of a 'ninja's truce'.
Zabuza lowered his blade and stepped out of his stance. Without turning to look he called out to his partner.
"Take Naruto and go play for a while. The grown-ups are gonna talk."
Haku released Naruto's arm and re-holstered her senbon.
"Sure, Zabuza-sensei." She knew this was business and acted accordingly.
Naruto was rubbing his arm as the feeling of pins and needles left.
"Geez Haku, you didn't have to be so mean." He complained childishly.
Without a word, Haku grabbed his sleeve and pulled him off into the trees behind the older ninja.
"So… Shall we begin, Jiraiya of the sannin?"
The young ninja pair walked through the trees. Naruto occasionally pushing branches or leaves away from him and Haku following close behind.
"Sorry again for hurting you… Naruto." Haku apologized.
Naruto waved it off.
"I told you, it's fine." He reasoned, "I probably would have done the same. Hell, I did it first back at the bridge, remember?"
Haku smiled, reassured at Naruto's kindness.
"What do you think they're talking about?" She asked Naruto casually.
"Heh, Jiraiya-sensei's gonna ask you guys about joining us." Naruto grinned proudly.
"Yeah, as in the hidden leaf."
Haku's brain worked furiously through several thoughts at once. The thought of being able to live in peace in a village, to be able to live like a normal person again. To… see Naruto every day. Her brain was fighting these thoughts for the hidden deception they might contain as well as the blush from the final thought.
"Hey, you ok?" Naruto asked, waving a hand in front of her eyes.
Haku blinked and shook off the momentary brain crash to see they had stopped near the edge of a cliff.
Several rocks were arranged around the edge with some jutting out into open air. The biggest rock of all stuck out over the cliff a good ten feet with the moon currently balancing on its tip.
"Come on!" Naruto grinned and grabbed her hand, pulling her towards the big rock.
Stunned at first, Haku kept up with the young blonde, running up along the rock before standing on the edge, staring out into the night sky, the moon encasing their forms.
"Beautiful…" Haku gasped, her breath taken away.
She carefully looked over the edge of the rock and saw just how far up they were; at least a good five hundred feet or so.
She grabbed onto Naruto's jacket with her free hand and gripped his hand tighter.
Naruto smiled kindly as he carefully helped her sit down with him, their legs hanging out over the edge of the rock.
"What… um…" Haku started, "What do you think would happen to me?"
Naruto looked confused for a second before she explained further.
"I didn't belong to a village but Zabuza took me in. If… if whatever deal their making does let us join the hidden leaf… what would happen to me?"
She looked up at Naruto, their eyes meeting. She stared into Naruto's crystal blue orbs and waited for his response.
"I dunno." He sighed. That was not what she was expecting. "I guess you would be free to become a Konoha ninja if you wanted."
"But what if they don't want me?" Haku replied, panic invading her voice. "What if they only want Zabuza and not me?"
Naruto looked into Haku's shining, brown eyes, the moon reflected in the slight tears that were threatening to break free.
"I guess I'll just have to keep you." Naruto smiled. "If they don't want you living in the village, you can live with me. Hell, most people don't want me in the village but they haven't kicked me out yet." He gave her one of his best smiles. A rare, genuine Naruto smile.
Haku calmed down a bit at this. At least Naruto would stand by her.
A hand reached out and pulled her closer.
Naruto was rubbing her shoulder gently in reassurance as she rested her head on his arm.
The couple sat there for a while, admiring the sight of the nearly full moon in front of them begin to sink below the earth once more.
Haku pulled away from Naruto's shoulder slightly and turned to face the blond.
Naruto looked down at Haku's gentle face. They were only mere inches apart. Haku closed her eyes and leaned forward slightly, her lips moving towards Naruto's. Naruto copied, closing his eyes and moved his face to meet hers.
The distance closed as the two met, their lips interlocked as they both experienced their first kiss.
The moonlight bathed the couple as Naruto and Haku pulled apart, their hearts both beating rapidly before turning away from each other in embarrassment.
Naruto's free hand found Haku's as he held it gently.
She returned the gesture as their gaze both returned to the other, both moving in for their second kiss of the night.
"You better not be deceiving me." Zabuza growled as his hand gripped Jiraiya's own, shaking it once before releasing.
"Is that anyway to refer to your new best friend?"
Zabuza chuckled deeply.
"Friend? We'll just see…" he muttered before reaching for his long black cloak.
"Are we setting off immediately?"
"Yeah, Naruto left behind an important girl back in Konoha. I'm sure he'd want to get back there quickly." Jiraiya beamed.
"I'm sure Haku will have something to say about that."
"Let's just say Naruto's influence changed her for the better; she's become rather fond of him." Zabuza explained.
"Really? Well, it seems Naruto has a way with the ladies. I must note this down…" Jiraiya's hands flew to his pockets before coming up with a black notebook and pencil, jotting something down in its pages.
"I hope you won't be using him for any of your… research." Zabuza said menacingly. Jiraiya flinched.
"No! Of course not! Why would I do something like that?!"
"If I find out you've been using him, or Haku, there won't be a safe place on earth for you to hide."
Jiraiya quickly pocketed his notebook and whistled a random tune nonchalantly.
"Good to see we have an understanding." Zabuza sent a little killer intent at a specific area of Jiriaya.
The sannin felt it but did not dare risk even a joke.
"Everything's ok?" A voice behind them called out.
The elder ninja turned to see the younger generation stepping out from the bushes, both a little flushed and smiling.
"Yeah, it seems we're going to be moving Haku. Pack your things."
The girl instantly set about, collecting her stuff, her flushed look gone in an instant while Naruto walked over to Jiraiya.
"So what's going on pervy sage?" Naruto asked.
An anger mark popped up on Jiraiya's head.
"Now we're not in a delicate situation." He cracked his knuckles. A loud 'thunk' echoed in the clearing.
"Don't call me that!" Jiraiya stood over Naruto, his head partially buried.
Haku quickly dropped what she was doing and hurried to Naruto's side, helping him back up and rubbing his forehead.
Zabuza raised an eyebrow at this but made no comment.
"Instead of hitting me, this conversation could've been over already!" Naruto yelled back.
Jiraiya just glared at Naruto but gave in.
"Everything has been agreed on. We're going back to the leaf village!"