Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. I do, however, own quite a large patch of mud.

AN: This is a spinoff story from Beginnings (which you do not need to read to understand this) and will be told entirely in one-shots. I realize I should be finishing up Beginnings, but I am all Epically Long-ed out, and so am taking a break. This is only one desposit of one-shots, Facets is the other.

One other thing, those that have not read Beginnings may be confused at to who this 'Senji' person is. It's Sasuke under a pseudonym.



"What is that smell?" I asked, pinching my nose theatrically and dangling a grinning Naruto by the ankle.

"I dun gone out and played in da mud!" Naruto said brightly, blue eyes barely visible in the thick covering of goop on his face. "And t'ere was a doggy and we played too! It was a nice doggy, Senji-san. Big, and hairy, and happy!"

"Ah," I said. At least the dog explained the stench. "And you dared to come into my house so messy?"

Plop went a big piece of mud onto the floor, and Naruto giggled. "Yes! Yes, Senji, I did!"

The floor was solid oak, beautifully polished, and covered with a fine, thick rug. Senji was sure the smell of wet dog and unwashed child would never leave it now, and a blotchy stain would forever cover it.

Naruto couldn't stop smiling.

So I smiled, just a little bit, as well and carried him out to meet the business end of the hose.


AN: I know it was short, but... please review?