Disclaimer: Naruto is the property of Kishimoto and Co. I own nothing. Absolutely nothing.
My Classmate Uzumaki Naruto
A little girl with long red hair walked meekly behind a tall man in a Jounin vest. There was nothing stunningly beautiful about the girl. If anything she looked plain and ordinary. Her face was chubby, like she had eaten one too many lunches. Her build small and undefined, as if she hadn't trained a day in her life, and she wore simple clothing: a sleeveless half-cut kimono vest, with a mesh under t-shirt that crawled up to her elbows. This was matched by a pair of black shorts with matching black sandals.
'Calm down, they said it was going to be alright.' The girl looked around her anxiously, trying not to trip on anything. It was her first day of class. 'Just relax, don't over think, and don't make yourself look like a complete idiot.'
She had a habit of doing just that.
With that thought she promptly tripped over something on the ground and groaned when her large face hit something that smelled distinctly of dog droppings. Holding her breath she pulled her face out of the mud and looked up to see the laughing face of the Jounin who was leading her here.
Trying to get back some of her pride she promptly got up and checked herself for any droppings that might have marred her clothing. Finding none she sighed in relief and looked around to see if anyone saw her folly.
No one had, so she brightened up slightly and continued to follow the laughing Jounin who didn't comment on the stray piece of mud on the back of her red hair.
"You nervous?" The man turned around to say this, and stopped his laughter. "What am I saying? Of course you are."
The girl looked startled at the question, but sucked in her breath and glared at him slightly. "I am not." She clenched her fingers around her kimono to hide some of her anxiety. "It's them that should be nervous!"
"Right," the man answered. "Just be careful not to say anything…dumb."
That was exactly her worry but she wouldn't let the man know that. There was something about the man's personality that annoyed her. As if he didn't particularly care for this task he was honored with, like he had better things to do. True, he probably did, but he didn't have to be so obvious about it!
Or that was the thought of the red-headed girl who continued to follow him, gritting her teeth to stop trembling so much.
"Don't worry," he said, sighing. Noticing how uncomfortable the girl looked. "The kids here aren't bad. Heck, you might make a friend or two today if you play your cards right."
The girl continued to tremble. "I am not worried. I am just cold that's all."
The man looked at the girl's clothes. "Yeah, I would be too. You sure you couldn't have worn something that didn't show off your stomach…you're kind of young for that you know."
The girl looked affronted. "I am old enough to be a Ninja!"
"No, you are old enough to enroll in Ninja School." He shook his head and waited for the trembling girl to catch up. "You want me to make your introduction?"
"Of course not." Though a part of her was telling her that she should accept his offer. This was her chance to make friends in the first day. The best way to make friends was to look normal, look like all the other kids, and fit in. "I am not a coward."
The man shrugged. "Suit yourself, kid."
He continued to walk down the hall and the girl followed. The girl realized that this school was far larger than the school she previously went to and contained so many different classrooms. She noticed that there were groups younger than her in one room, and groups far older than her in another.
The system was a lot different from where she came from and she honestly became even more terrified at the prospect of not fitting in. Would they place her in a class where the kids were younger? She didn't like that idea. Didn't like that idea at all, but it wasn't like she had an option.
She would go wherever she was told to, and suck it up. She would persevere because she had a dream to fulfill, one might even say the biggest dream this village had ever encountered.
"Okay, we are here." The man stopped by a door to a classroom. "Well, what are you waiting for?"
The smirk was back on his face and the girl scowled, slowly followed him into the room. With her hands clasped together in front of her chest, and her head bowed down she entered the class and tried really hard not to trip on anything, again.
This class would never let her live it down if she did and she wasn't in the mood to show the boys her temper.
As she came to the middle of the front the class went silent and a few of the boys were pointing to her. Pointing to her face specifically. She knew that they were likely talking about how chubby her face was. All round and ugly, like a ball of yarn. Topped with her messy red hair, it was exactly that.
A big ugly ball of red string.
'Okay, breath in, breath out. Just like I practiced.' She relaxed slightly only for her cool to get lost when someone snorted in front of her. She looked up to see a boy with messy brown hair holding in his laughter at something his friend said.
She felt dread creek up from her centre when she realized that they were talking about her. 'No, not again…'
"Class, settle down." The Jounin pat a hand on her shoulder to calm her down, but she still had her shaking gaze on the floor. "We'll make the introductions soon enough for the start of the semester. What I want to do now is to introduce a new student in the class. She just moved to Konoha, so make her feel at home."
The class went even more silent and looked at her curiously. Some of the girls with disdain, some with curiosity, but none with jealousy. That was good. Though she felt somewhat affronted that none of them thought she was worthy of being envied, though she had to admit that she wasn't exactly an incredible prize.
"Go ahead, the class is ready." The man patted her on the back once and made her almost tumble when she stepped up to the front. "Good luck," she heard him whisper.
Now with all eyes on her she had no way to escape, she would face this head on. Her shaking lessened, her body started to come back in control and she found the use of her voice again. She looked up once and saw how alien these kids appeared and looked down again.
They were so different from her, their features, their hair color, their build. They even wore different clothes.
Slowly she looked back up to see that some of the faces looked annoyed.
They wanted her to get her introduction over with, so she had to hurry it up. "My name is..." She trailed off.
Oh god, she had forgotten her name. This was the first day of class and she couldn't even remember her name. Quickly she searched through her mind trying to find out what it started with and got a K.
"My name is Ku-Ku…" She looked harder and found some more letters. "Kushin-Kushina!" She got it!
Now she got back some of her confidence and looked up.
They still looked annoyed and some even started chuckling, especially a boy with blond hair that sat in the back of the class. She couldn't see him very well, but she had other things to worry about.
Like finding out the words to her last name.
It had a U in it, she just knew it! What was it called? What was her Clan name!
Then it hit her and she almost shouted the name while closing her eyes and breathing out the words that would seal her fate in the class for the rest of the year.
"My name is Uzumaki Kushina!" But that wasn't all. "I am going to be the first Female Hokage!"
The previous chuckles in the class stopped, and a few of the boys looked stunned.
Then, like an avalanche, the entire class started bursting out in laughter as if they were one. The laughter started out harsh and got only harsher as they continued to look at the trembling girl who still had her eyes closed.
'Damn it! I messed up!' She just wanted to state her dream calmly, not look like a desperate idiot. 'Why did I just shout that?…Kushina, you've screwed up big time, baka!'
Before she could say anything to make her situation more ridiculous, one of the boys in the front of the class stood up and pointed his finger at her chubby face. He looked like every other boy in the class in Kushina's opinion, brawny and annoying looking and he proved that he was just that the next second with his remark.
"You! Hokage!" Some of his friends stood up with him, and a few of them started raving even worse, slamming their fist onto their desk. "Please, stop. I am dying over here."
He nudged one of his friends and the friend whispered something into his ear. He got a malicious grin.
"As if a tomato faced shrimp could ever be Kage."
'Tomato face. Tomato face. Tomato face.'
These words went through the girls mind while most of the class laughed. Not everyone was laughing, but most were and the red headed girl, Uzumaki Kushina, couldn't help but grind her teeth together as the full implications of what the boy said sunk in.
The boy had made fun of her weight, he had made fun of the fat on her cheeks. Something that she was very sensitive about.
Most people had the courtesy to make fun of her face behind her back, but this boy, this rude, horrible boy had the gall to tell the entire class what he thought about her chubby face for the whole world to hear.
He was purposely trying to make her feel bad, and it was working.
Uzumaki Kushina couldn't deny that she had a tomato shaped head, and she couldn't deny that her hair was that exact color. It was a dark crimson, the kind one would find in blood, or the shades of fruits, and it irked her that her hair, which could easily be called beautiful in certain circumstances, had been reduced to a mere novelty by a few simple words.
Her blue eyes lost all their meekness and she glared at the boy who continued to ignore the frantic outcry of the Chunin instructor who was telling everyone in the class to settle down.
"Everyone, stop this! How dare you show this level of disrespect to a transfer student!" The man looked furious at his class, but nowhere near as angry as the red head. "You boys are going to sit in detention today, make no mistake."
That actually got the boy who made fun of her hair to scowl, but a smirk was back on his face when he saw the grinding teeth of Uzumaki Kushina. His face was challenging, and Kushina knew that he would take her, any time, any place.
All she would have to do is name the location and the fight was on.
Before Kushina could make a retort about violent death to the boy, something crashed through the door that the Jounin teacher brought her through. Kushina jumped a little at the person who rolled on the floor and crashed onto the desk that she was standing beside. The desk made a loud bang as the person got off the desk ledge and ran out the door.
"Hold on there, not this time!" One of the tallest men Kushina had ever seen came into the class, dragging the small figure that had previously crashed into the room earlier.
She looked at the figure carefully and noticed that it was even smaller than her. "Sorry we are late. You wouldn't believe the kind of trouble this kid has put me through."
The Jounin Instructor who brought in Kushina looked at the person who the other Jounin clutched on his hands. "Is that the boy…you know the one we found on the outskirts?"
"The one and the same." The tall man yelled when the boy bit down on his arm and slammed his arm on the desk, getting the boy off him. Kushina winced when she heard a crack of skull and felt sorry for the boy who rolled of the desk, clutching his head.
"Think you're being rough on him, no?" The instructor who brought her over asked. "You might give the kid brain damage if you keep doing that."
The tall man blinked and frowned. "You wouldn't say that if you were the one who had to bring him here. The kid gave me a chase around half the village, jumped passed the city wall, and made me run after him down to the Valley of the End."
The other Jounin raised his eye brows. "You're bullshitting."
"Afraid not." The tall man leaned down on the desk and picked up the boy, and made the dizzy kid stand up straight. "God, I wish I was. But this kid, this kid is something else."
"Seems like a lot of trouble." Kushina's Jounin walked passed her and closed the door. "Well, no need for two of us. I did my job. See ya."
With that Kushina's Jounin was gone, and the class was left to look at the dizzy boy in awe. None of them had ever been to the Valley of the End. Too many dangers were associated with young children going there. It was a very dangerous location since it was the perfect place to land an ambush.
"Well, don't just look punch drunk." The tall man roughed up the boy who was quickly getting back his senses. "Introduce yourself and get to the back of the class."
Kushina, still angry at the comment about Tomato earlier, looked at the boy now in annoyance. He interrupted her response, and caused most of the class to focus on him. Though Kushina did not like to be made fun of, she did like attention.
When someone paid attention to her, it meant that she had a shot of making that person like her.
A small shot, but one nonetheless.
"How about I don't?" The boy looked at the man suspiciously. "How about I just run, and you try and catch me again. What'll happen?"
The Jounin went dead silent for a moment, then walked over to the desk and slammed his fist on it. The desk cracked into pieces and the kids at the front row ran up to the next row, trying to escape the shards of shrapnel.
"This, anything else you want to ask me?"
The boy's eyes looked annoyed, and he rolled them once. "Right, because you have to look after me 24/7." He looked at the class and scratched some leaves out of his head. "Hold on a minute, there is something in here."
With that the boy pulled out a small piece of metal. It was about the size of a needle and Kushina saw that it had some blood on it. The boy looked at it carefully then shrugged and tossed it into a bin. He turned to look at her for a minute, looked uninterested and went back to leveling a curious expression at the class.
Kushina felt somewhat annoyed that he ignored her like that, especially when she was so close to him but she didn't make a comment.
She observed what he was wearing and put her fingers on her nose to block out his stench. He smelled like trash, and looked worse than that. From head to toe he was muddy, so muddy that she couldn't tell what color his hair was, though she guessed that it was blond, at least the parts that showed.
Attached to his blond hair was some kind of headband to keep his hair out of his eyes, and below that was where things got a little tricky.
She couldn't be sure since he was so filthy, but she predicted that it was a dark shirt with a spiral on the centre. This was interesting because she had seen that spiral somewhere before, but didn't recall where.
Below that shirt was a pair of orange shorts that looked close to yellow. It hurt her eyes to look at it, and she smirked thinking how stupid he must have looked compared to her.
This definitely got the attention of class clown off her back.
The boy had blue eyes, the same color of her own and had about the same facial structure as herself. Somewhat boyish and slightly chubby.
But where her face was large and round, his face had a sharp contrast at the edges, indicating a boy who was used to being starved. Judging by how haggard his eyes looked and how many dark lines were attached to those sections, she guessed that he probably spent a lot of time looking for food in the streets.
But there was something about the way he stood that made him even more interesting in her eyes, it was the way he didn't care what the others thought of him. Even looking like trash, like utter filth, he was relaxed. He was even grinning at some of the boys who were pointing at him, and gave somewhat of a playful smirk at some of the girls who looked at him with distaste.
"Seriously, get this over with. I don't have all day." The Jounin nudged the boy on the back. "Introduce yourself now."
The boy looked like he was going to protest. He even had his glare leveled on the man, but closed his mouth and sighed. "Alright, alright." He looked back to the class and gave off a devilish sneer. "My name is Uzumaki Naruto. Not sure what I am supposed ta say now, but it's nice to meet ya." He paused. "Sort of."
The man looked like he was going to bump his head against the desk, again, but controlled himself and pushed the boy to the back of the room. The boy protested all the way there, and almost tripped over a foot that a random boy spread out. But instead of tripping, the boy just reared back his foot and hit the boy who was about to trip him back.
"Nice try, kid." The blond haired boy messily took a seat that he was assigned to and glared at the Jounin one last time. "Okay. I am here. You happy now?"
The Jounin smirked. "Kid, you have no idea."
"I'll get out you know?" The boy pulled out something from his pocket. A pencil. "The moment you are out of here I'll just run off. I got shit ta do."
"Sure you do." The man said. "That's why I got a tracking seal on you, leave and I'll be on your ass like flies on a carcass."
The boy looked to be thinking, and shrugged. "I'll find a way around that." He paused. "Eventually."
After that exchange the man took a few steps back and walked down to the end of the class. The man looked at Kushina, who still stood there in the front like a fool and gestured for the little girl to sit in the back.
Kushina looked slightly wary of this command, but nodded just the same if only to get the strange man away from her. She could tell this person was dangerous, and she wasn't ready to face something like him…yet.
Slowly she walked passed the boys who made fun of her earlier, and made an effort not to trip at some of the feet that tried to get her. Unlike the blond haired boy before her she didn't ram her feet onto anyone, but she did give a death stare to anyone who tried to hurt her. She wanted to let them know that she wasn't a girl that they could cross.
"This seat is empty." She turned her head to the messy boy from earlier and held in her breath at his stench. It almost smelled like dried blood. What the hell was he doing before coming to class? The boy ignored her expression and pointed to a chair about two seat away. "If ya want to sit anywhere, feel free to sit here."
"Umm…no thanks." Uzumaki Kushina wasn't a mean person by nature. She was a kind and loving person, but even she didn't want to be near a trouble maker like this boy, even if his name sounded a lot like her own. "I think I'll sit back here." She gestured to a seat far away from the boy."
The boy shrugged and faced the classroom. Kushina took a seat on her chair and pulled off her back pack. Inside she found her pencil case and noticed that a few of the pencils were missing. She looked at her classmates and noticed some of the boys from earlier holding them. She grit her teeth, cursing herself for not noticing this act of theft earlier.
"Don't let them get ya down." She turned to face the boy who was also looking at the boys who stole some of her stuff. "They are trying to get ya pissed. Don't let them see you mad, or it'll get worse." He smiled to her, showing rows of dirty but surprisingly white teeth. "Trust me, I know."
"Thanks." She said this reluctantly and tried to avoid contact with the boy. She was nervous about making friends, but even she wasn't that desperate to make friends with someone like him. "I'll remember that."
"You better." The boy leaned back on his desk and looked at the ceiling.
Eventually the class resumed and Kushina managed to put the thought of getting her supplies back to the back of her mind. She had to focus on the next few subjects. They were going to have evaluations and she needed to get a higher score, or they would demote her to a lesser grade.
Kushina didn't want that and the shame of repeating the year gnawed at her thoughts the more times she failed to produce the right answers when the teacher called her out.
She was starting to feel even more frustrated when the sleeping street urchin from before managed to answer most of the questions that were on the board correctly, even when he had to be woken up by the teacher by thrown chalk pieces. It grated on her nerves that someone who wasn't even trying to pass this class was doing better than her when she had to put all her efforts just to keep up.
Her pen was working furiously trying to extract as much information about Chakra Theory, History, Math, and Science as possible, so that she wouldn't fail the quiz which would come up tomorrow.
She could just imagine the new kid, who was even newer than her, doing good. He seemed to be some sort of genius, despite how he looked since he didn't take any notes, and generated answers that startled the teachers.
"That's incorrect, Uzumaki-san," the teacher told her. "I am afraid your definition of Chakra has a few missing parts. Would anyone like to explain what it is…Ahh, Namikaze-san, you want to give it a shot?" Kushina looked even more frustrated when the second blond kid in her class, an annoying girly-boy by the name of Namikaze Minato answered the question, although it was slightly hesitant.
She wondered how true the saying was that blondes were complete idiots, since the only kids in her class with that hair color seemed to be a lot smarter than the rest, though one of them didn't look particularly smart.
Her own red hair meant that she had a sharp tongue, since comments about carrot top was a common way for other children to verbally abuse her, and her wit had to be just as sharp.
But seeing the street urchin shrug off all the annoying comments about sleeping in class from the instructors, she was starting to wonder if ignoring people who made fun of you was a better way of dealing with the hatred, than retorting back in kind.
The way the blond managed to pull off his smile, and nod when he was asked to answer a question made her realize that it sure was a lot easier than fighting back with sheer force when provoked.
Still, she couldn't do that. She didn't have it in her to let any rude comments made about her slide. She had pride in herself, and pride in every part of her. She wouldn't let someone shame herself into thinking that she was less than them, and she knew that she didn't have the kind of endurance the street urchin did when it came to shrugging off barbs.
To her, harsh words hurt, they cut deep, and she would slice right back at those who tried to hurt her.
"Hey, kid." She was taken away from her thoughts at the blond who was pointing to the class. "You sort of phased out for the past ten or so minutes."
"You just glared at your desk." The boy pointed to her desk. "I thought there was some kind of bug crawlin' on it, but turns out you were just looking at the wood." He blinked a couple times. "You're kind of weird, ya know that?"
Kushina huffed."Says the boy wearing trash for clothes." Then she realized what she had just said and caught herself. "Oh, sorry. I didn't mean for it to sound…like that."
By then it was too late. The boy glared at her, and turned away. Kushina felt somewhat bad, but it annoyed her that he didn't accept her apology. She wasn't purposely trying to be mean, and he did call her weird first. What kind of person casually calls another strange without expecting some vicious retort back in response?
After packing her stuff she followed her classmates out of the room, but not before looking at the haggard looking boy's back. He seemed to be staring out the window, looking for something. Kushina shook her head and leaned against the wall when she almost tripped on a trap on the floor. She crushed it, realizing that it was probably the boy from earlier.
"You coming?" She didn't get a response back from the boy. He just looked back at her, looked at her strangely, then resumed looking out the window. "Fine, suit yourself!" She huffed and stormed out of the room, but not before slamming the door behind her.
When she got to the field her classmates were practicing on she felt her feet slip on the floor, and looked to see the same mud stain she got earlier. How strange that she had to step on the same pile of dog droppings from earlier. She groaned and took a piece of leaf from the ground to wipe it off and nodded her head when it was all gone.
Looking to the side she saw that the girly-boy, Namikaze Minato, stepped on something similar. Seemed like she wasn't the only one with horrible luck in bad weather. She took a few steps towards his direction, but stopped when she noticed a few people walk next to him. The blond haired boy turned to face these two, one a girl who was taller than Kushina, and another a boy who was taller than Minato himself.
Kushina felt somewhat hesitant now and stepped back to where she was before and looked around the field to find someone she could hang around and found no one. Every person in the room had some kind of friend they could depend on and she was the odd person out.
She looked to her teacher for help, but noticed that he was too far to see her plight. So instead of whining she decided to try and make contact with a few of her classmates.
"Tomato, the hell you doing here?" Kushina turned to see the same boy who made fun of her earlier and bit her lip, making sure not to say anything back. "Kage's aren't allowed on these training grounds."
Kushina thought that was a stupid statement, but decided not to anger the boy further. "Especially female Kages!"
That got a round of laughs from the boys next to him and Kushina clenched her fist to calm herself, making sure not to just slam into him for making that terrible statement. It wouldn't do to start the first day in class with a fight. It would ruin her already diminishing reputation and not many people made friends with delinquents.
The boy, Uzumaki Naruto, who was probably in the class, was proof of that.
"Can't you just leave me alone." Kushina said this through gritted teeth, there wasn't a shred of meekness in her voice. "Is it too much to ask to be left alone?"
"Sure, if you weren't such an idiot." The boy took a step towards her, and Kushina suddenly realized how tall he was. He was almost a head her length and probably twice as wide. "Coming into Konoha and saying you gonna be the next Hokage? You have some serious balls."
"I don't have balls," Kushina said, shaking from anger. "I am a girl."
The boy looked her up and down, and Kushina managed not to hit him when his eyes were at her bare stomach. "Prove it."
He reached his hands down to her, and Kushina couldn't stop herself. Her hands flew through the air and she grabbed the boy's wrist and slammed it over her shoulder, bringing his entire body with it. His head hit the ground and in an instant he was knocked unconscious.
"Sensei, Kushina just attacked a student!" Kushina turned around to see the girl that was next to Namikaze Minato point to her. "She just broke his head."
Kushina tried to make a response that it wasn't true, when her teacher cut her off. "Uzumaki, get up here." The teacher did not look amused. Kushina glowered at the tall raven haired girl, then glared at the teacher.
"I didn't do anything." She took a few steps towards him, ignoring the small rain drops that fell from the sky. "He tried to grab me and I defended myself."
"That's not true, Sensei." One of the thugs friends came to his defense. "She just came up to us and attacked us. She was mad about the comment we made earlier."
The Chunin instructor looked a bit skeptical but shook his head. "Two against one, Uzumaki-san." He looked at her. "Tell me, who am I supposed to believe."
Before she could make a response someone burst out laughing.
"Oi, that was awesome. I saw you break his head from down the field." Kushina turned around to see Uzumaki Naruto limp towards them. Apparently he had sprained his leg, how she didn't know that from earlier she had no idea. "He was gonna pull up your shirt and you just went all anti-perv on him. Nice, real nice."
He looked at her with approval and then at the teacher. "Yo, sensei, I thought we were gonna have target practice. What's taking so long?"
The teacher looked at the boy in surprise, then looked at Kushina and sighed.
"Okay, you are cleared." He looked at the friends of the boy who called her tomato. "Detention, all of you."
With that the teacher left them and Kushina turned back to Uzumaki Naruto who was laying on the muddy floor looking at the rainy sky. She approached him, cautiously, and covered her head with something as the rain continued to pelt down on them.
The teacher picked a horrible day to do target evaluations, but whether rain or shine, Shinobi had to adapt to the environment. Maybe the man even picked this day to teach them that lesson.
In any case Kushina had more interesting things to worry about, mainly one Uzumaki Naruto. "Thanks." She looked slightly guilty. "You didn't have to do that."
The boy looked at her with real puzzlement. He got up on a sitting position, ignoring the rain falling onto his blond hair and down his face. Kushina thought he looked a lot darker that way, with his hair down on his face like that, while water fell down to his neck and clothing.
Now with the rain washing away a lot of the dirt she was startled at how similar he looked to an actual member of the Uzumaki clan.
"Oi, why are you lookin' at me like that?" He got off the floor and shook some of the water off his head, causing mud to fly everywhere.
Normally Kushina would get angry at mud hitting her, but the boy had gotten her out of trouble.
"There something on my face?" He pushed his face close to her own, making Kushina notice just how scrawny he was. "See anything there?"
The girl backed away when his forehead almost touched her own, and promptly tripped while walking back. The boy reached down and grabbed her hand and hoisted her back to the floor before she could fall. She was grateful, but slipped forward, and into his arms for just a second, causing the boy to look surprised, and her to look embarrassed.
"Sorry about that," he said. "Didn't mean to pull so hard."
"That's okay," Kushina answered, she mumbled the last part." It was sort of my fault."
"Eh, not really. It's the rain, makes things hard to stand on." He walked past her and pulled off his dirty shirt. Kushina looked away as he wrung the shirt out, letting muddy water fall down to the wet floor. "Man, I hate rainy days."
Kushina looked back at the boy, who still didn't wear his shirt. "Why?" She didn't mind rainy days. Rain was beautiful. "What is it about the rain you hate?"
The boy looked at her startled. "Oh, no. I don't hate the rain per say. Just rainy days in general."
He bent his neck down and pulled his shirt back on his body, not before giving Kushina a look at his back. It was just as corded as his arms. She noticed he had powerful arms, as if he trained a lot. The muscles on him were well defined, given his age, and his neck muscles were no laughing matter.
"I..um…okay." She had no comment on his statement, and it didn't look like he wanted to talk about it. "Do you want to partner up for the evaluation?"
She closed her eyes, fearing rejection. She knew she hadn't been very nice to him, and he could easily spite her back by saying no to her. A part of her hoped that he wouldn't but another part of her knew that it was inevitable. Though why she cared what he thought of her sort of irked her.
Just moments ago she wanted to get as far away from this urchin as possible, but now that he had shown his true colors, she wasn't so sure.
She opened her eyes to see the boy's attention on Namikaze Minato, and she felt annoyed. "
Hey, don't ignore me." She walked in front of him, making his tanned face look at her own tanned face. "Well, what do you say?"
The boy looked like he was coming out of some kind of stupor and shook his head.
"Sorry, I got distracted." His eyes went to Minato one more time, then back to her face. "You were saying?"
"I..need a partner." She looked hesitant to reveal the next part. "Everyone else is taken."
"I see." He looked around him, confirming what she said. "Then I guess I need one too." He smiled at her and took her hand.
With a jerk she was pulled to a run and the two of them made it in time to grab the last of the kunai and throwing stars that were needed to complete this test. The girl watched as the boy looked at his kunai in distaste. He quickly grabbed her kunai and looked it over as well.
Kushina watched him sigh to himself, throw the kunai at a nearby plank of wood and shake his head.
"Sucks, we got the worst of the bunch." He looked back at her. "Here, you're gonna need this. I'll show you how to throw this. It's not like the usual ones."
"No thanks." She steeled her gaze at him. "I can do this on my own." She turned to face the plank and let go of her kunai.
It didn't hit the mark. It didn't even hit the plank. Instead it hit a nearby tree and Kushina looked embarrassed as some of the girls behind her burst into giggles, while the boys made comments on her being a tomato headed idiot.
She looked around to see that Naruto was not in her sight and felt betrayed that the boy left her when she needed some reassurance that she wasn't a total outcast.
"Oi, here." She turned back to the plank and caught the kunai thrown at her. "Got it back for ya."
Naruto stepped over something on the ground, probably another trap, and was inches from her. "Let me show you how to throw that."
"I told you I don't need your help." Her red face became even redder and her hard eyes were meeting his own."What is your problem? You deaf or something?"
"Don't think so," the boy answered. "But I am pretty sure you are if you didn't hear what I just said to ya."
"I heard you loud and clear, and I don't need your help." She tried to hit the plank again and it missed. "See, now you got me so angry that I can't even hit right." She turned away from him and towards a group of kids, who laughed when she got nearby.
The boy ran behind her and touched her shoulder. "Listen, kid, I am tryin' ta help you." He pulled her back from that crowd before she could lunge on them. "You probably won't get this chance again, you hear?"
She glared at him, glared at those concerned blue eyes and reluctantly nodded. "Alright, but if this doesn't work I am going to punch you." She flexed her arms. "Got it?"
Uzumaki Naruto nodded, and smiled. "Sure thing, kid." It made Kushina annoyed that he called her that when he was almost as small as herself. "Okay, here is how you throw a kunai that doesn't have balance. You start by…"
As Naruto helped her throw the kunai at the targets, which initially got many of the boys nearby laughing at her dead aim, she was starting to wonder if the boy was sincere. She wasn't getting any better and no matter how many times she tried listening to his advice, it wasn't working. But when she voiced her concern the boy shrugged and told her to repeat what she did again.
Namikaze Minato and his friends were getting better result than her, and she still hadn't seen what Uzumaki Naruto was capable of, so she wondered if he was just bullshitting all along. Maybe he didn't know how to throw a kunai at all, and just wanted to be around someone.
With the way he looked she doubted he had many friends, sort of like her.
She looked around the raining field and saw girls her own age in their own group and looked at them with longing, especially when Naruto yelled at her to get back to practicing. Kushina didn't like following orders, especially not from someone her own age, but the seriousness of the boy's voice told her that he wasn't to be crossed.
Truthfully the boy scared her somewhat. Not in the way of danger, but in the way that he looked at some of the classmates. Especially how he looked at Namikaze Minato, looking at him with such intense longing. It made her kind of sick that he was checking out the other boy so much, but she decided not to comment.
So what if Naruto was into Minato? Nothing wrong with that. As far as she could tell he wasn't hurting anyone, and even if Minato looked uncomfortable when him and Naruto met eye contact, Naruto wasn't making any signs of forcing himself to be near Minato, if anything he looked reluctant to get close to Minato.
"Hey, can you pay attention to me, and the girl-wonder?" Kushina waved over Naruto's eyes. "Hello, is someone there?"
The boy's eyes got back to her."Oh, shit. Sorry. I did it again didn't I?" He looked kind of guilty. "Sorry about that."
"Why do you keep doing that?"
"Looking at the Namikaze kid." She pointed to the other blond and his group of friends, a group that seemed to be getting bigger. "He doesn't even like you."
Naruto looked startled. "Um, how do you know that?"
"They've been moving away from us for the past hour or so."
"Oh." The boy looked hurt, and Kushina felt bad. "But that's cause he doesn't know you!"
"Yeah, right. I am sure that's it." He said this while looking at something off at a distance. For a second she thought he was looking into space, but noticed that there was someone in a tree nearby, watching Naruto.
Kushina was about to ask who was inside the tree when the shadow on the tree disappeared and Naruto turned to face her. "Okay, you'll get it this time." He pointed to the target. "Just do what I said. I'm telling ya, you'll get it."
Kushina wasn't so sure about that, but did as she was instructed. Miraculously it worked. It actually hit the plank. She turned to Naruto studying her movements and was shocked when he grabbed her hands and looked at the callous.
She was kind of embarrassed that a boy touched her hands that way. "You train a lot?" He looked at her, and Kushina saw approval in his eyes. "Good."
She nodded. "Only thing I am good at." She paused. "That and brawling."
The boy smirked. "We should fight some time."
Suddenly a whistle blew through the air and both children turned to face the Chunin instructor. They looked back at one another and nodded. They would both do their best in this evaluation. Slowly they made their way into the line, and Naruto even pushed one of the boys who tried to push Kushina.
The redheaded girl protested that he didn't need her help, but Naruto didn't give her back a response.
Instead the blond boy bashed through the line, till they were standing behind Namikaze and his friends. Kushina grabbed onto Naruto's shoulder and pulled him away before he could get closer to that particular group, but not before giving him an annoyed look.
The urchin was not going to make friends by just being near the people he wanted to be friends with.
Friendship just didn't work that away.
Naruto looked angry when she did this, but she wouldn't relent on this and so the boy had to follow. They waited in line, a small distance away from the wary Namikaze and Kushina took the time to study the boy much more closely. When she grabbed his arm earlier she felt loads of coiled muscles. It was hard like rocks.
To her that was strange since most children her age had soft muscles.
There was also the haggard look about him, like he had been fighting with a blender, and wasn't looking to give up any time soon. His hair was in a huge disarray and the leaves that still clung to it proved that he had been traveling through bushes for a while now.
What caught her attention was that some of the leaves didn't look native to Konoha, so he must have been outside the village earlier.
"It looks like it's your turn," the boy said. He gently pushed her to the front. "Knock them dead, kid."
"Stop calling me that!" She said this a bit too loudly and more laughter rang out around her. She growled and picked up a kunai. "I am not a kid."
"Right," the boy replied. "Just hit the target."
Kushina growled at him and turned to the target. She looked at the boys around her, and looked at the girls who sneered at her as well. Not everyone in the class was making fun of her, most weren't even, but it seemed like no one wanted her to succeed. She cursed herself for making such a stupid response earlier, but knew she would just have to play along with the Kage statement.
"Watch me, I am gonna be the next Hokage!" With that she let the Kunai fly, just as Naruto told her to and, oddly enough, it actually hit the mark. She looked completely shocked and turned to Naruto who smirked at her, and pulled out a kunai from his pocket.
She noticed that it was the kunai they had been practicing with earlier, the one with the strange balance and noticed for the first time that she threw a different kunai. She heard someone yell something about missing their kunai and turned to see the dark haired girl with a pony tail who was standing beside Minato walk towards the plank.
Kushina sneered when she realized what Naruto had done and looked at the girl pulling her kunai out of the plank in satisfaction. This particular girl was one of the reasons she couldn't talk to Minato, couldn't even get near him because of the look she gave her, a look that told her that she wasn't worthy or something.
"Very nice, Uzumaki." The instructor gestured for her to take a seat out of the lesson. "Full marks, you don't need to show it again."
"But sensei!" The boy beside Minato looked affronted. "That wasn't even her kunai!"
The instructor looked annoyed. "Doesn't matter, unless that kunai was something special she gets full marks. Now go wait your turn. You guys can't sit out till you get at least one hit near the mark." So this continued for another hour while Kushina stood to the side, with a smirk on her face.
She had shown her class that she was better, shown them that she could be just as good as Namikaze Minato, the boy who had claimed earlier that he would be Hokage one day. She scoffed at the boy who stood next to her, scoffed at the way he dressed and looked, like some kind of sissy.
"Hey, that was pretty good." She turned to face Minato. "How did you learn to switch the kunai like that?"
Kushina blinked. "I didn't switch the kunai."
Minato looked puzzled. "But…who did?"
Kushina pointed to Uzumaki Naruto who once again hit a perfect score. Naruto was told to sit it out, but he continued to go the rounds with everyone else. It was like he was rubbing it in that he was so much better. It surprised her how good he was at hitting the mark, and made her question just what kind of life he must have lived to get that good.
"That Naruto…he sort of scares me." Minato looked afraid. "He's been giving me these strange looks for the past hour or so."
Kushina felt annoyed that Minato was talking to her about Naruto. She didn't expect the class genius to just approach her and make friends with her like that, but to talk to her to get information on Uzumaki Naruto? That pissed her off. Kushina decided that she wouldn't talk about the urchin, especially when said boy had helped her out earlier.
"Can you tell me why he keeps staring at me." This was it, Minato was going in for the direct approach. "Has he told you anything."
Kushina grit her teeth. "No, he didn't. Go away." She stood up and turned her back towards the genius. "If you aren't here to talk to me, then I don't want you to talk to me. Leave me alone."
Minato looked like he had made a mistake, and promptly tried to correct it. "Listen, it's not that I don't want to talk to you. I just wanted to know about the new kid first."
"If you haven't noticed, I am also a new kid." She pointed to herself. "You aren't going out of your way asking anyone about me."
"Because I can ask you about you." He admitted.
"Then you should have done so from the start." She scowled at the prodigy and walked towards Naruto. "Naruto, think you've shown off enough."
The boy looked at her strangely. "Showing off? The hell. I just wanted to practice."
This got some annoyed groans from some of her classmates and Kushina could feel the searing hatred many of the humiliated students gave off when Naruto made this statement. Kushina wasn't the most subtle person on the planet, but even she wouldn't say something so brain dead out loud, especially like that.
"Come on." She grabbed his hand and made him sit this one out. "Before someone throws a kunai at you."
The day finally ended when the last of the evaluation began. Not surprisingly it was the Taijutsu portion of the evaluation to judge what kind of previous hand to hand combat training the children had. This would allow the instructor to make a battle plan to train the students based on what the students already knew.
Though there was already a standard academy regiment, the specialty moves that were taught were based heavily on how many students in the class could actually perform them.
So far the instructor got everyone together into pairs again to practice and Kushina ended up with Naruto again, much to her annoyance. The boy still looked distracted and wasn't paying as much attention to her as he should and felt the need to strike him upside the head a few times when he freaked out Namikaze Minato.
The fact that the class was glaring at the two of them wasn't helping, especially after the comments on how easy everything was started coming from Naruto. Due to the blond's help Kushina managed to do well in several of the evaluations, not just the kunai and star throwing, so her grades were on par with Namikaze Minato, but the majority of her classmates weren't doing so well.
Of course most of their malice was directed to Naruto so she didn't have to keep watching her back for any attacks, though she did catch one of the boy's setting up some kind of trap for Naruto, only for Naruto to see it and find a way to set the traps back on said child. He didn't even seem that bothered that there were several attempts of this in the course of the class.
When she asked him why he didn't care he got very mysterious and said he was used to this, so she didn't bother to go further. Clearly the boy wasn't going to talk about his past, and frankly she didn't have time to listen.
"Uzumaki, get over here." Kushina was sent out of her day dream of being a Hokage from the shout from her teacher. She looked at the annoyed boy who was waiting to spar with her. "Hurry up!"
The redhead nodded, stood up, dusted herself off, and ran down the rainy courtyard to where the boy stood in a Taijutsu stance. She couldn't recognize it, and couldn't tell the strength of it, but from the advice she got from Naruto Kushina knew that she had to hit her opponent quickly in this condition.
"Start!" Kushina immediately bolted and speared her opponent to the ground. In an instant she was on top of him slamming her fist on his face.
It only took two seconds to get him to quit and the teacher looked annoyed that he didn't get to evaluate his male student. Still he gave Kushina points for speed and even gave her some advice on quickly tripping opponents and how to dodge if they try to grab you while tripping.
That made her happy, and knew that she would have to try that next time on her next opponent.
Of course her quick victory over that boy did come with consequences. Not many of the boys approved of a girl being so good at brawling and many tried to do the same thing she did, and to her even, but a piece of advice from Naruto got that situation turned around when she did a reverse on every tackle that came her way.
It was just a matter of using their own momentum against them and victory was secured.
When it came time to face Namikaze Minato she was certain that she wouldn't lose and waited for the boy to attack, but the attack never came. Instead the blond waited for her to make the first move. Before she could do that, however, Naruto called from the crowd of kids watching. "His left leg is injured, hit his left kneecap!" Kushina looked at that spot and saw the weak point. "Yeah, see it? Hit that!"
She nodded to herself, knowing exactly where to hit and looked at the face of one angry Namikaze Minato who looked positively murderous at the other blond. Kushina understood why. He hadn't been defeated by anyone yet either, but the injury he had gotten earlier when he was trampled by an Akimichi had gotten him an injury.
Kushina now meant to exploit that injury and the two both knew that this battle was not going to be easy on him.
So it came to a great surprise when Minato tripped her when she ran into him, and slammed her face into the mud. She tried to get out of his grasp, but he wrapped his arms behind her and trapped her in a hold. She let out a scream when the hold became more painful and had to give up after the pain got too much. She didn't know what annoyed her more.
The fact that she lost, or the laughing Uzumaki Naruto when Minato won.
"Sensei, we need you. All Chunins are requested for a brief meeting." Someone came in to get their teacher. "This will not take long, but this is a serious emergency."
With that their teacher left them alone and Kushina started to feel the glares of all the people she had defeated today. Only most of them were on Naruto. Kushina was at least respectful when she fought her opponents.
Naruto didn't even look like he was trying.
Even now when more than half the class was surrounding him he just looked at the fleeing Chunins, like he knew something. Like he knew what the meeting was about.
"Kid, you might want to step back." Kushina felt Naruto's hand on her shoulder. "I got to take care of something."
She looked at the haggard looking kids surrounding them. Then she looked back at Naruto, she was worried for him.
"I'll stay, you can't fight this many on your own." She stepped in front of him, only to be flung back. "What is your problem!" She screamed at him.
His eyes narrowed for a fraction while he turned his head to glare at her. "This isn't your problem. Plus you'll only just get in the way."
She opened her mouth and shut it. She took a step back and took cover near a boulder. Peeking out of the boulder she watched as Uzumaki Naruto did something that would change her perspective of what it means to be strong…forever.
Authors Notes: It took me a while to write this, but I hope it was worth it. When the latest chapter of Naruto came out, I knew it was time. This had to be done. There was no question Why, it was When! Now that I've written it please enjoy this humble author's work. I'll probably take a while to update the next chapter, unless for some odd reason I get a boatload of feedback telling me to continue. I am not really expecting much so far, but who knows what might happen. You guys are probably wondering what the hell is up with Naruto? Yes. He has travelled back in time, that much should be obvious, but his circumstances are interesting. Many stories have focused on the Minato Kushina parts of the character relationship, but I've always found the POV of a prodigy like Minato to be very, very annoying. I've always been a fan of the underdogs, and Minato is not my cup of Tea. He's not a bad character, but he is seriously boring. I don't mind smart characters, but you just don't feel for them like you feel for the reckless ones with a good heart. No, I don't think this is going to be a NarutoKushina and Minato is not going to be a villain, frankly he is just a kid. There will not be any bashing since I really don't have the time for that, but if you have suggestions feel free. Sadly I'll have to wait for the next chapter before I have enough material to start on the next. The consolation is that it might be worth it! So please review and let me know what you think.
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