A/N: Said I quit didn't I? Dunno, muse approached me and slapped me in the face with such ferocity that I was forced to begin writing Naruto fics again. Or it could be that heart-felt confession by Hinata, I've been spoiled by my so-called friends but I love them for it.
Inspiration: The fact that I began writing, watching, and reading Naruto again. I don't think I'll be writing epics, just one-shots for now. Who knows when I'll quit again and leave a story unfinished? I'm still ashamed of myself for that.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or its characters...
Before I start, I know nothing about this series after Naruto goes 4 tails fighting Orochimaru. All I know is the other tailed beasts are revealed, blah blah blah, so if I go off canon, please – it's fanfiction.
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By Facing Fear
Funny how time can always change someone, despite one's conviction to be unchanged by it.
Whether it be the stubborn rock that refuses to move despite the winds of the earth that push it, time wears away at it, turning it into a fine powder. Or Tsunade's youthful appearance despite her age...
But for this author's sake, such discussion will not be continued.
I write here today while I sit in the hospital bed of Konoha General Hospital, having suffered from several broken bones and appendages due to consequences of the dangerous activity of research gathering. Yet it is the knowledge, experience, and indescribable joy that continue to motivate me.
My name? Not important, just know that I am one of the thousands of ninja willing to lay my life for Hokage and village, master of countless jutsu, veteran of a hundred battles, and a witness to the millions of beautiful feminine bodies that inhabit our world.
Alright you broke me, I'm Jiraiya the Toad-Sannin, author of the critically acclaimed Icha Icha series and I'm currently writing this village bio for the sake of my literary inspiration, because what better way to gain ideas than from actual occurrences?. Along with my literary prowess, I am also the teacher of perhaps the greatest ninja in existence.
I would say Yondaime Hokage; however, it's his progeny who hold that title, Uzumaki Naruto.
Speaking of which, I see him outside my window now. 16 years old, bratty, confident, and very powerful – not a bad combination. Could use some tact though, judging from the intense blush that the Hyuuga heiress is sporting right now.
Jiraiya stared outside his window as he observed his student interacting with Hyuuga Hinata, smiling at the fact that he had a girlfriend. Secretly he'd always been afraid that Naruto would end up with Haruno Sakura; not only was she rough and abusive, she also had a flat chest – appalling! So, he took matters into his own hands to set the two up. Despite Naruto's near-fatal blood loss and Hinata's one day coma, the mission was a success.
I should write about that, he mused.
He lifted the notebook to his face and began scribbling furiously as his blushing face remembered the details of his undertaking. Giggling uncontrollably he stared at the window again as Naruto carried Hinata on his shoulders, laughing merrily all the while. Jiraiya took a solemn face, feeling depressed at the fact that these happy days are going to be short-lived: such was the life of ninja.
But he believed in Naruto, knew he can change the world for the better, and that all he needed to do was wait and support him even if it meant his death. Regaining his momentum he continued writing, trying to remember the tiny details that elude – but is recaptured – by his mind.
"When was it again?" The Toad Sage mumbled, before snapping his fingers.
That's right! October 31. Now let's see...
"Look Ero-Sennin, I appreciate this and all but I can't help but feel you're up to something." Naruto told the older man as they walked towards the hot springs.
Jiraiya shook off the comment and continued walking, "Kid, we're going for a bath – my treat because it's your 16'th birthday. It's not every day you turn 16. The place is gonna be empty because," He nodded towards the blonde's stomach, "So I'm not doing research or anything."
He narrowed his eyes, before breaking into a large grin, "Alright sensei, I trust you! I think this is the first time I'll ever do something fun on my birthday."
The Sannin felt a pang of guilt at that comment, not having done anything for the teen when he was younger, But I'm here now, and I'll make sure to make Naruto strong and happy for our sake. They reached the hot springs and stepped in, the heat scalding their skin but soothing their tired muscles.
Relishing the calming effect of the warm water they sat in front of one another and remained oddly quiet, the sounds of celebration muffled yet audible, the trickling of water resonating throughout the empty bath.
"Happy birthday. I'll give you your present when we leave this place later."
"Thanks Sensei," he replied, falling back into unusual silence.
It remained this way for a few more minutes before Jiraiya said something, "Kid... can I ask you something?"
"What is it?"
The older man contemplated as to how he should word the following question, knowing Naruto was quite sensitive about the subject "Do you feel... fond... of any girl right now?" The kid was sixteen and ninja didn't live long, relationships should start early or one may die before experiencing love and care.
At least, that's my opinion.
Naruto remained silent, opting to think his answer through rather than shouting to the heavens about his affections. Truth be told he feels nothing for Sakura anymore, after exploring the world and meeting girls of all ages his preferences changed. It became refined, or picky, or whatever else can describe his desire for quiet, strong, and kind-hearted girls which seems non-existent in the world today.
Wait... non-existent? He wracked his mind for the answer, knowing full well there was a girl like that he knows.
"Oh, sorry Sensei." He scratched the back of his head ashamedly, "Actually, no one right now."
The Sannin sighed in relief, For a minute there I thought he was gonna say 'Sakura'. Although he had nothing against the girl, Jiraiya believed that she wasn't girlfriend material, being as abusive and rough as she is.
Well, for Naruto anyway, some guys DO swing that way.
"What do you look for in a girl anyway?" The older man asked, "Please don't tell me you prefer flat-chests."
The teen rolled his eyes, "After what I've been through with you, I guess you can say I've gained an appreciation for something the size of my Rasengan."
"Good man!" Jiraiya shouted, before punching him in the arm a little too hard than what was necessary, "Well, you've learned from the best after all."
"I did," Naruto nodded solemnly, "how many times you've been caught spying and you're still breathing, that requires skill."
The old man swelled with pride at his student's compliment. Biting his thumb he ran through a series of seals and slammed the palm of his hand on dry rock, summoning an old frog. The animal propped himself up on the rocks and sat down, pouring some saké in 2 tea cups.
"Ah, Jiraiya, you finally summon me to drink! Here I was thinking you've forgotten about this old toad." He took a shot from his cup.
"I could never forget you," As he poured saké to a third cup for Naruto, "you gave me my first drink. Sensei was so mad." Laughing with mirth he gave the cup to his student.
The teen frowned, "I'm not an adult yet."
He dismissed the comment, "It's your birthday. You're a ninja, which technically means you're an adult. You've killed before, and you've been through more ordeals than an 80 year old civilian. Now if we can only help you lose your virginity..."
"Pervert!" Naruto shouted as he blushed at the comment. He took the cup and waited for Jiraiya to drink his.
"To you my boy!" The frog shouted, and the three of them gulped down the rice wine. The teen coughed a bit, but handled his alcohol quite well – this was the strong stuff.
Their drinking session continued as they talked casually, mostly about the Sannin's exploits when he was younger, including the time with Tsunade and melted fudge.
"Ha ha, I still can't believe she did THAT..."
"It was so sticky, I swear she..."
Naruto chose to drown their voices out; the conversation was getting just a bit too obscene for his tastes. Plus, Tsunade was like an aunt to him, he'd rather not hear those details. The teen drank some more saké, the acrid taste and burn was oddly soothing.
And his light-headedness was making him hallucinate some amusing things.
For instance, he could swear heard someone getting into the bath on the other side of the hot springs. It was odd, since today was the celebration of the Kyuubi's defeat – everyone would usually be outside enjoying the merriment. A small squeal followed a splash... that sounded like Hinata...
Jiraiya and the toad stopped and became quiet, perhaps he wasn't hallucinating after all.
"I'm gone, they don't allow animals in the bath and I wouldn't wanna get you young ones in trouble. Happy birthday, Naruto." The frog whispered before disappearing in a puff of smoke.
The older man looked serious as he heard the sighs of relief from the other side of the bath. From the sound of it she was alone, and his pervert instinct was coming back full force. Naruto glared back at the old man, if it was Hinata on the other side, he didn't want this letch to see her. His protective instinct kicked in, he didn't want her privacy to be taken advantage of; she was his friend, despite her being shy around him all the time!
He wanted to know why...
But now wasn't the time!
The blonde made several clones – without their usual clothing – and formed a fence, blocking off Jiraiya from the women's side of the bath. Hopefully their nakedness would dissuade the pervert from actually trying to fight, he wanted to protect Hinata.
"Hinata's the only girl I don't have a profile for," The Sannin whispered, "I'll let you in on it too."
Tempting. Very tempting, "No, c'mon Ero-Sennin, forget about it, there's a hundred other girls." The pleading in his voice didn't go unnoticed and Jiraiya chose to talk... for now.
"You seem too concerned about her..."
Naruto blushed, "Eh? She's my friend, I wouldn't want you to do that to her." He whispered indignantly.
"You sure about that?" Jiraiya replied with narrowed eyes, "You weren't this concerned when I peeped on Sakura."
The blonde was trapped and he knew it, evident by his inability to look at his sensei in the eyes, "I realized that the type of girl I like... might be Hinata."
"What's your plan on getting this girl?"
Naruto was flustered, "What do you mean 'plan'? There is no 'plan', I can't have a 'plan', she's –"
"Shhh..." He stifled his student, he had a plan, but it requires their presence being unknown to the heiress at the moment.
"Sorry." Naruto whispered, "Anyways, she's a future clan leader, she's gorgeous, she's tough, and she's really kind; what would she see in a guy like me?" The teen bowed his head, "Plus, she's always stuttering around me, nervous or something, I think I scare her."
The Toad Sage listened to him, mouth open wide, This... has got to be the densest kid I have ever met... EVER! He had to grab onto something before his hands found his student's throat and clenched. His hand met the saké bottle and brought it up to his lips before the blonde intercepted it.
"No way, if you get drunk who knows what you'll do." And drank the entire bottle in one go. He dispelled the clones and relaxed again, made easier by the alcohol he just devoured.
"You wanna know how you can get Hinata?" Jiraiya said with such a tone of seriousness, that Naruto listened with such intent, "Let her see you naked. Right. Now."
The blonde was so calm right now, that he couldn't even clenched his fist hard enough to punch his teacher, "You're insane. If I do that she'll Jyuuken my ass to a pulp." He can still remember the pain induced by the technique from the Chuunin Exams, and had no intention of repeating that experience.
"No she won't, because she likes you."
"Hah! I must be drunk, for a minute there I thought you said she likes me." Naruto giggled uncharacteristically.
"I'm serious." And he was, from the tone of his voice, to his facial expression, every word being spoken by the older man was truth derived from his observations.
And his observational conclusions were always correct.
The teen didn't want to get his hopes up but maybe, just maybe, the man was speaking the truth, "She's nervous around me, we wouldn't make a good couple." He grunted out.
"Idiot, she's nervous because she likes you."
Naruto smiled, not one of his overly large, exaggerated smiles, but a sincere one, contemplating the possibility of a relationship with Hinata, "I really hope you're serious about that."
"Why wouldn't I be?" Jiraiya inquired.
The teen shook his head, "Ahh, never mind, I guess I'm just being negative."
This is it! Now or never, I have to execute my plan, "Naruto... promise me, that when you get together with Hinata, that you'll treat her with respect and love; don't follow my example."
"I realized that long ago ever since I saw you passed out in the dumpster and this girl took money from your wallet. And what do you mean 'when'? Are you drunk already?"
"You didn't stop her?" He growled, Now's not the time to get sidetracked! "Regardless, come here."
"I'm kinda naked..."
Jiraiya scoffed, "Look, I know you feel insecure since my pe–"
"You really wanna finish that sentence?" Naruto growled, and as soon as his teacher made no sign of indeed finishing his sentence, he moved closer towards the man...
... and was punched by him full force on the forehead, sending him flying!
On the barrier separating the men's and women's bath.
The wooden fence splintered into a thousand pieces as the blonde hit it with such ferocity and eventually fell in the steaming bath unconscious, his hands on his forehead from where Jiraiya punched it. Hinata froze – it couldn't be! Unfortunately (or fortunately) it was indeed Uzumaki Naruto, ninja of the Hidden Leaf Village, in all his glory.
A loud feminine scream confirmed the success of Jiraiya's mission, there was just one part left.
"Hinata-sama!" He shouted from across the hot springs, "I'd get him out of the water quickly before he drowns!" Then disappeared without a trace.
I don't really know the details after that: I respected Naruto's desire to keep me away from Hinata and left rather than watch what would unfold. But from the rumours that spread throughout the village the next day, they found a very naked Hyuuga on top of the Uzumaki, it looks like she pulled him out of the water just in time before she passed out. Naruto then woke up, remained conscious for 3 seconds with a wide-eyed expression, and exploded.
Well, no... that's an exaggeration. His nose bled so much that he had to be run to Konoha General Hospital for a quick replenishing.
That's no exaggeration.
Funny actually, ever since the incident the two of them have been seen together more often and now, 4 months later they're dating, and Hiashi – although seething initially – warmed up to the idea thanks to MY influence. And Tsunade's since she did arrange the meeting and did most of the talking.
But it was my plan!
I knew from the very beginning that Hinata was nervous around Naruto; that much was obvious. This made a growth in their relationship difficult, Naruto was willing to accept her affections, but the girl... the girl was a different thing altogether. She was willing to love and be loved by Naruto, but it was her insecurity around him, her nervousness, and lack of self-confidence.
So, show her naked to Naruto and vice-versa. Naruto reaction to her was proof enough that he found her extremely attractive (his case of blood-loss is the second documented event in Konoha: the first was me seeing Tsunade's... endowments *heh heh*). The vice-versa is just for fairness, since he does get to see her naked.
And now I'm glad to say...
Jiraiya the Toad Sage closed his notebook and looked outside his window. He saw Naruto waving at him, his arms wrapped protectively at Hinata, while she herself waved along with him. The couple was obviously happy with each other's presence; he didn't need much information gathering to discern that much.
The older man waved back and smiled...
Hope you enjoyed it! Feels... good to be back, even if just indefinitely.
So, how's my writing?