Fox out of Time
Chapter 06: Back to Class
===June 3, 8:00 AM, Academy, Homeroom===
"Attention everyone. I have an important announcement. I realize how unusual this is two days before Graduation. I'm sure you've heard the rumors by now, well they're true and we have two returning students, they left the second year just after the Uchiha incident. Please come in." Iruka said.
The class watched the door as it opened and they walked in.
It only took a few seconds for his face to bring everything back. She stared intently, but subtly... the blond hair, the blue eyes, and the 3 marks on his cheeks, there was no mistaking those traits, or the orange clothes. "Naruto-kun." She whispered softly as a smile appeared on her face.
Iruka saw the reactions of the girls to him, but the biggest reactions were from the boys to the other, a very beautiful girl. "Class, returning for graduation is Naruto Uzumaki... and Ino Yamanaka. Please take your seats then I'll take attendance."
Naruto glanced at Ino and subtly motioned toward certain people, 1 in particular.
Ino looked and almost lost her composure, then gave Naruto a glance back letting him know they'd talk later.
"There's two empty seats in the center, lets take the direct route." Naruto said with a smile.
Ino nodded and smiled, then followed Naruto leaping onto the first table and up to the third row and dropped into their seats, Naruto in the center, she sat to his right.
Kiba started laughing from the top row, then stopped and looked down at the small white dog in his coat. "I remember you Naruto, you were number one the first year and used to pants Sakura all the time!" Kiba said loudly and started laughing at the memories.
Several people turned and looked when Sakura face planted on the table, and Hinata who sat next to her, started comforting her friend.
"Kiba!" Iruka said strongly but firmly, saw him nod and shrink into his coat. He quickly took attendance.
===Lunch, Academy Courtyard===
"So where do you wanna sit Ino?" Naruto said.
"As I recall, the best spot was... there!" Ino said, pointing to her right at the huge tree by the wall, glad the spot was still open.
Naruto nodded and lead Ino to the huge tree. It wasn't the tallest by any means, but it had a huge canopy that provided a lot of shade. Once there he sat, then Ino took a spot to his right, both facing the courtyard.
Ino took a scroll out and unrolled it. "So what do you want today, I cooked and sealed this last night and this morning, and no ramen today, just because we're home doesn't mean you abandon the meal plan."
Naruto grumbled. "Fine... is that your spicy chicken and rice with broccoli cheese sauce?" Naruto said grinning, eyes big.
"Sure is, still steaming hot, sealed right after I plated it. You want?" Ino said with a big smile, then saw him nod and unsealed it. "I'll have the honey chicken with shrimp and vegetables." Ino said then released her dish, set it aside, and put away the scroll.
"How long, and who first?" Naruto said quietly.
"I'd say about two minutes... and definitely your number one fan, she won't be alone either. Before they get here, I met some old friends in the girls bathroom after third period. You never met 'em but I told you about 'em, Ami, Katsumi and Fuki." Ino said.
Naruto looked up from his food, they were right on time.
"H,hello Naruto-kun, welcome back... you too Ino-chan." Hinata said nervously, glanced at Ino and her eyes opened a little wider.
Naruto smirked as Sakura suddenly grabbed the waistband of her pants tightly.
"Hello Naruto, welcome back... hello Ino." Sakura said without looking at Ino, but it made the blush in her cheeks very visible.
"Please relax Sakura, they won't fall down." Naruto said.
"I never figured out how you did it... I still haven't recovered." Sakura said, obviously upset and nervous, but she held it in.
"Its okay Sakura-chan please relax... for me." Hinata said gently, took Sakura's left hand in her right and pulled it away from her waistband.
Naruto scanned Hinata, she had the same outfit she did the first year, and the same short hair. Sakura had changed though, she was dressed like Hinata, including the same type and color coat, but without the Hyuuga emblems, her red shirt peeking out of the collar above the zipper..What really got his attention was 2 things. First, Hinata's friendly gesture to Sakura of taking her hand to calm her, though brief, had some very subtle signs he knew others would miss. Second, he knew about Hinata's early development, and to his hidden surprise, Sakura's coat hung on her exactly like it did on Hinata. He glanced at Ino and motioned with his eyes, she nodded subtly back that she saw it too. "Please, have a seat, we can catch up over lunch. So what's happened around here since we left... and when did Sasuke come out as being a girl?" Naruto said, unable to hide his surprise at saying the last part.
"Yeah, I was wondering about that too." Ino said.
"Who... oh! You mean Saska. You've been gone six years so you don't know... after you left. Her father and most of the adults with the sharingan were locked up for about two years, then the kunoichi and a few shinobi were released back to the Clan..." Sakura said sadly then looked down at the ground.
Naruto thought a moment, then glanced at Ino who nodded she understood.."The rest were executed weren't they... that's when Sasuke came out as Saska, a girl." Naruto said and Sakura nodded. "What about Itachi, his... I mean her older brother... or is Itachi a girl too?"
Sakura giggled briefly then raised her head. "No, Itachi is male, he retired from the Police Force and has been a Sensei at the Academy, he and Kakashi are the best shinobi in Konoha, and the most popular Sensei at the Academy. They always get the best students... but the girls prefer Itachi because Kakashi is..."
"He's what?" Ino said, noticed the look on Sakura's face.
"He's a pervert, he reads these little orange books called..." Sakura said, blushing as she said it.
"Ichi Ichi Paradise." Naruto interrupted calmly, and saw the shocked looks on Sakura's and Hinata's faces. "Jiraiya writes 'em, he's gotten much better the last few years wouldn't you say so Ino-chan?"
"Hai... and I still say Princess Namamaki is based on me, he just doesn't want to share the profits from the issues she's in." Ino said.
"You're just mad she turned out to be a futa and you didn't see it coming." Naruto said with a smile.
"Show off!" Ino said and glared at Naruto a moment before she noticed Sakura and Hinata ere staring at them. "We've been out in the real world for six years doing and seeing things you can't imagine... we'd really appreciate it if you didn't tell anyone that though."
Sakura and Hinata looked at each other a moment. "Okay, for old times sake we'll keep it a secret." Sakura said.
Naruto swallowed his mouthful of food then looked at them. "So how big are they Hinata... Sakura?"
Both girls paled at the mention of their name after the question. "W,w,w,w,w-what d,d,d-do y,you..." Hinata stuttered badly.
"Your breasts." Ino said and elbowed Naruto. "Naruto isn't the most subtle person around and I wish he hadn't said anything yet... but he's been around me for six years and Tsunade-sensei four years, we both know how to spot hiders like you both are. You have our word we won't tell anyone." Ino said sincerely.
Her eyes tearing up Sakura grabbed Hinata's arm. "Come on Hinata-chan, we're leaving!"
Ino felt the slight tingling of her Time Seal then everything stopped.
"I fucked up didn't I?" Naruto said.
If time had stopped and she was aware of it... it meant only 1 thing. "They aren't ready yet Naruto... why did you say anything? Look at their faces. Sakura is horrified, she's one comment away from dropping out of not only the academy, but society. You don't need my gifts to know how emotionally fragile Sakura is... she's worse than when we left, low confidence, no self esteem, I'm amazed she can even speak in public... emotionally she's about as strong as the average three year old. Don't even get me started on Hinata's issues... she's obviously been using your memory as an emotional crutch her entire life... she'd kill her entire Clan if she thought you'd run away with her... the only reason they aren't both basket cases is because they found each other, and have probably been at least kissing and feeling each other up for about two years. they're so far in the closet they're finding holiday presents from last year!" Ino said strongly then reached over and grabbed his shirt. "I swear Naruto, if you don't fix this, I won't sleep with you until you do." Ino said coldly..
Naruto nodded. "You're right Ino-chan... and I'm sorry, I forgot... I'm use to talking to you and the other girls. I let my guard down... it won't happen again." Naruto said firmly looking into her eyes.
Ino saw the familiar look in his eyes and smiled, he NEVER made the same mistake twice.
"What do you say... the Isaribi technique?" Naruto said.
Ino remembered what they did to earn Isaribi's trust. "How's that silver tongue, you think you can talk your way out of this and get them to agree?"
Naruto cocked his head slightly and smiled.
Ino almost melted, emotionally. "Sakura is the focus, Hinata is so submissive it isn't even funny. Either of us could have her naked with her face between our legs in under two minutes with words alone... you set the mood, I'll play along. Ready?"
Naruto nodded and got back in the same position he was in when he stopped time, saw Ino do the same, and released his power. The moment he did he leaned forward and gently grabbed Sakura's arm. "I'm sorry Sakura-chan, please forgive me. Just please stay and I'll drop it, I promise... I'm not used to being around my old friends yet, I've been on the road for six years, please give me a chance to make this up to you and Hinata." Naruto said in his most sincere, humble voice.
Ino watched very closely, the look Hinata gave Sakura spoke volumes to her, Hinata was begging her, Sakura clenched her jaw and eyes shut a moment then sighed. "You promise you won't mention... that again, or tell anyone?" Sakura said trying to hide her real emotions and not disappoint Hinata, she couldn't resist Hinata's 'big puppy eyes' look. Besides... it wasn't like she had any other close friends, her entire 'inner circle' was Hinata. The few other girls she knew, basically in secret from their friends, were unavailable at the academy because they were all too shy and/or afraid to be themselves in public.
"I promise... we, promise, don't we Ino-chan?" Naruto said sincerely.
"Hai. I know how you feel, I went through the same thing. If you want I can help you, so can Tsunade. He didn't mean to embarrass you, he's still a little dense sometimes about girls." Ino said.
Naruto nodded and half smiled, genuinely a little embarrassed.
"Okay, one chance. I don't have many friends... so please Naruto, don't tell anyone. Many girls don't like... girls like us, as I think Ino has noticed. And some boys..." Sakura said nervously.
"Who got molested, was it a girl I used to know?" Ino interrupted, her expression hard.
Sakura paused nervously. "Shuuki... her family owns that dessert shop next to the sushi bar... you remember it Ino, The Sugar Tree."
"Shuuki, what did... wait, little Shuuki was stacked?" Ino said, angry at first, then slightly shocked.
Sakura nodded. "As big as you are now... maybe a little bigger, but that was covered up, no one knows except us and the families. It's why she dressed like that." Sakura said quietly.
"I always thought she had a weight problem because of her family business, free samples and everything." Ino said. with some regret. "Did she change classes to get away from who attacked her... she was in my third period class before I left."
Sakura glanced at Hinata who squeezed her hand and nodded. "She dropped out 2 years ago, about a month after it happened, everyone thinks it was because of family trouble."
"All she ever talked about was baking and being a kunoichi... nothing else mattered to her... I use to tease her about it, call her a ninja baker, and she'd throw cookies and cupcakes at her enemies instead of shuriken and kunai. Naruto... I know I promised not to except in a real emergency, but I'm calling in one of my, special favors " Ino said sadly, but determined.
"Are you sure about this Ino, I'm sorry about what happened to her, but if it means this much to you... find out if she wants it, and if she agrees I'll make it happen." Naruto said firmly.
"Y, you can... do that, get Shuuki-chan back in by Graduation?" Hinata said with some minor stuttering.
Naruto smiled and nodded. "Has she kept up her skills?"
Sakura nodded. "She incorporated it into her baking... no one in Konoha can match her now, anything she makes is the best thing you've tasted in your life. The other places don't even try to compete with her special items, they don't make anything on her special list because it never sells."
"Her cinnamon buns will melt your brain." Hinata blurted out, then blushed and put her hands over her mouth.
"After Academy I have a few errands, we'll go see her and then the old man. He owes me." Naruto said.
Ino smiled. "That's my Naruto-kun."
===3:10 PM, Naruto's Apartment===
Naruto walked in his door and stopped. "Wow, great job! You got everything done already?"
Tsunade looked at Naruto from the couch where she had several papers scattered around the coffee table. "Once I got that lazy repair crew properly motivated, they got the new floor laid and appliances installed in three hours."
Jiraiya laughed from the kitchen table where several manuscripts were. "They arrived at 8:00, she threatened to castrate them all with her bare hands if they didn't finish by lunch."
Tsunade snorted in annoyance.
"Ino, help the girls in." Naruto said and headed for Tsunade.
"Girls?" Jiraiya said smirking excitedly.
"Sakura Haruno and Hinata Hyuuga, we got reacquainted today during lunch." Naruto stopped and looked around, then smirked. "Where are they?"
"Since the construction crew was already here... well, you know how they are. They had the roof made into a custom terrace, the stairs are at the end of the hall." Tsunade said and pointed, a big grin on her face.
Naruto shook his head. "I'll go later... I know they'll still be up there.
"Is, this all yours Naruto?" Hinata asked, stunned.
"Yep, the whole floor is now a single apartment... did they finish the first three floors?" Naruto said
"Only the basics, fixed the walls, new floors, open floor plan, otherwise empty and ready to be customized for the new tenant." Tsunade said.
"All the floors are like this... does this mean you... own the building?' Hinata asked.
"Yes, they've been working on it for a couple days, I bought the building the second day we were back. By the way Tsunade, did you decide what floor you want?" Naruto said.
"Jiraiya has his own place... and he will be using it." Tsunade said as Jiraiya glared at her a moment. "Shizune and I will share the third floor... she's at the store getting food by the way. Little bitch is making me cook supper tonight because I'm the 'Mother figure'." Tsunade said, making 'quote marks' in the air as she said Mother Figure.
"Care to join us Sakura, Hinata?" Naruto asked.
Both girls nodded happily.
Naruto and Ino put away their things while Hinata and Sakura nervously talked to Tsunade, then all 4 left.
===3:27 PM, The Sugar Tree===
Sakura and Hinata walked in first, smiles appearing on their faces as they did, also noticeably relaxing. "Afternoon Shomi-san, may we talk to Shuuki-chan?' Sakura said.
Shomi smiled when her favorite customers came in, noticing the 2 blondes behind them. Her smile faded slightly for just a moment when Sakura referred to her as 'san' instead of 'chan' as she usually did. "Hai, she's in back. Who are your friends?"
"This is..." Sakura said.
"Naruto Uzumaki!" Shomi interrupted, her shock showing her face.
They froze, Ino clenched her fists hard, loudly cracking her knuckles. "And his girlfriend, Ino Yamanaka.. do you have a problem with Naruto?" Ino said coolly as her expression was turning stone cold.
"No, please Yamanaka-san, you misunderstand. I was simply shocked to see him, I've never had a problem with Naruto... I just never had a chance to meet him before he left." Shomi said sincerely.
Ino glanced at Naruto then smiled and relaxed.
"It's okay, I believe you. Ino-chan is a little... protective. We came here to see Shuuki about something very important, you may want to close up temporarily and hear what we have to say." Naruto said.
Shomi nodded, walked around the counter, flipped the sign to 'Closed', locked the door and went into the back.
A few moments later Naruto watched Shomi come back out followed by a girl Hinata's height, she had a blue bandana covering her hair, a cute round face like Hinata's, she was wearing a white apron over a heavy green shirt, that based on what he knew about how large her chest was, hid it very well. Her hands he could tell were strong for a girl her age, but still 'girl hands', with loose black pants and worn kunoichi sandals, all of it dusted in flour. She looked a little sweaty, but happy based on her smile... especially after she saw Sakura and Hinata, she ran out and hugged them.
"Hello Shuuki." Ino said politely, but she knew Naruto could tell she was nervous.
Shuuki looked at the very busty blonde a moment, then the purple color of her clothes, blue eyes and blonde hair clicked her memory. "Ino... Ino Yamanaka?"
Her eyes scanned the other blonde. "Then you're Naruto Uzumaki... I remember you, the most popular kid at the Academy. they use to hang around you like fan girls." Shuuki said smirking at Ino.
"I was Sasuke's fan girl." Sakura said, politely correcting her friend.
"This girl landed him. As much fun as this reunion is, we're here on serious business Shuuki." Ino said seriously, paused nervously then looked right into Shuuki's eyes. "Graduation is coming up in two days... do you want to return to the Academy for it and be a kunoichi? We can make it happen."
Shuuki's jaw dropped and her green eyes got big as saucers.
End Chapter 6