Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, just some dvds and games.
The light shining through the canopy of leaves littered the ground with the cooling hues of green. The trees that make up this canopy are ancient; easily over a thousand years old, towering above the tiny figure basking in the safe warmth this cocoon of nature has made.
The child, for only a child can be so small sat in the alcove of the gathering of trees reading from a battered and worn book, its spine cracked from overuse. He wore an old white tee (t-shirt) which was slightly splattered with the dirt of the ground with a red spiral seemingly painted on taking up the centre of his top and also the only colour displayed on the child. His shorts were duller in colour, grey with grass stains on his rear where he had sat upon the ground for so long. His feet were covered by the mud caked sandals indistinguishable in colour. Atop his head sat his shaggy blonde hair constantly dishevelled no matter how many times it was brushed. Occasionally the bangs of his hair would drop into his amazing blue eyes which he'd quickly and forcefully puff out of his way before he'd continue reading his book. His tan skin easily noticeable in the mid morning light was wrinkled in great concentration as his eyes consumed the text before him.
The crunching of the crisp new grass alerted the blonde to another presence in his little alcove of the forest. The stranger drew closer till the sound of their footsteps stopped. The boy finished his thorough investigation and glanced up from underneath his bangs at the newcomer.
"Naruto" the old man puffed, serenely on his pipe, sinking down to the child's level and leaning back against the tree the youngster was sat against".
"For one so young you certainly are a hard one to find" he stated whilst glancing at his blonde acquaintance, "reading that book again are we? Sometimes I wonder why you like that book so much?" he chuckled kindly "I think it's time for a mid morning snack don't you Naruto?" again he glanced down at the boy who was fast approaching the age of four.
"Cookies and Milk?" Naruto replied finally looking away from his book and showing his gleaming blue eyes.
"Of course, one's never too old for cookies and milk" the older of the two replied pushing himself up from the ground while taking a puff on his pipe and extending his gnarled hand to the boy. With a grin spread across his whiskered face, the boy jumped up tucking the book close to his body and took the man's hand in his own.
Sunlight streamed through the window cascading across a desk overflowing with scrolls and paper work. The leather backed swivel chair occupied by a familiar old man, the Third Hokage Hiruzen Sarutobi, turned from signing papers to his surrogate grandson Naruto Uzumaki who was at that moment dunking his cookie into his glass of milk as most children do, with adamant delight, half the cookie was dunked repeatedly before finding its way into the blonde's open mouth. The Hokage chuckled at this display of childish antiques. Naruto glanced up briefly to see the Hokage also dunking his cookies into his glass of milk, he fought back a yawn picking up his book and continuing to read from where he left off.
The hokage filled up his pipe with dried leaves and packing them in tightly before using a match to light it taking a few puffs he turned back to the sofa, to be met with an adorable sight.
Naruto was curled up in the very corner of the sofa very much how a cat does with his eyes half lidded and head tilted slightly and the hokage's spare robes dwarfed the boy which made the entire picture that much more adorable, especially when Naruto yawned and shook his head slightly trying to stay awake. He also noticed that Naruto had a milk moustache from the earlier snack. 'That boy never ceases to amaze me. How did he get my spare robes?' the hokage thought. He watched as Naruto lost his battle with sleep and his head lolled to the side, small breathing noises evened out showing that the boy was resting. With a small thump the book that Naruto had been reading fell to the floor landing face down. The hokage pushed himself out of his chair away from the demanding pile of paperwork. He moved quietly round his desk to the sofa grabbing the blanket draped across the back for just such an instance, and wrapped the blanket across the blonde. He softly carded his hand through the child's hair. Smiling at his innocence, crouching down he retrieved the book glancing towards the cover then placing it on the armrest above the boy's head.
The title read 'The Legend of the Gutsy Ninja' he chuckled before returning to his chair. He sighed before starting on the paper work which was mounted haphazardly yet organised on his desk.
Naruto slowly woke, rubbing at his eyes gingerly; he looked up glancing around the room. 'Where was his book? What happened to the hokage robes he was wearing? And where did the blanket that was pooled around his waist come from?'
"You know you can read other books besides that one?" The Hokage replied raising the hand that wasn't busy signing the paper work and pointed to the arm of the sofa where the book was situated. "There are several bookcases stored in this room with books in them that you haven't yet read." His hand then waved vaguely around the room. Besides the desk that with its never ending piles of paper work and sofa there were two bookcases in the room as well as a nice little piano which was quite easily hidden behind the door, it was old but very well looked after, although it'd been sometime since it was last played. A month at least. The two bookcases one tall and wide behind and to the left of the desk near the sofa and the other; short and skinny, facing across from the sofa. They were both crammed full to the brim with books and the occasional scroll hanging out or on one of the many shelves.
Stretching and twisting and turning like a cat Naruto rose from the sofa over to the smaller of the two book cases scanning the shelves for something he hadn't read. He scanned the shelves at least twice before one book caught his eye he'd read everything in this particular bookshelf except this one. Its bright orange cover was what drew him in (he was slightly more partial to orange than most) then the author of the book, it was the same as his favourite maybe it was a sequel, he slid it from its place in the book shelf.
The hokage was signing away he completed a stack and a half of paper work when a soft cough caught his attention, 'anbu don't normally draw attention to themselves so why would...' looking up he saw Naruto with a familiar orange book in his hands. The hokage's eyes widened 'that's why the anbu got his attention'.
Just as Naruto was about to open the book it was no longer in his hands instead the hokage stood ruffled with the book in his hands, his eyes wide.
"NARUTO! WHERE DID YOU GET THIS BOOK? DO YOU REALISE THAT THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR CHILDREN'S EYES? WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? The hokage all but screamed. Naruto mutely pointed to the bookcase beside them where a gap had appeared signalling that the book had once resided there. Then it clicked 'Naruto was barely four years old of course he didn't know that he wasn't to read the certain books till he was older. Wait the book was found in his bookcase, but his copy of the book, was in his desk third draw down, concealed by a gen justu. How did the book get here?'
Kneeling down so that he was level with Naruto and placing his hands on either side of his arms "I'm sorry Naruto I didn't mean to scare you. It was wrong of me to shout like that. I was shocked to see you holding this book is all. It should never have been in the bookcase in the first place. Why don't you pick out a different book?" Naruto still encased in the hokage's arms turned his head to the bookcase gazing at the titles before turning his head back to the hokage and shaking his head. "But Naruto y..." "Read" He signed "What all of them?" The boy nodded "What about the other bookcase?" He inclined with his head. This time the boy shook his head, standing with cracking knees the hokage guided the small child over to the second bookcase which was filled with more scrolls than it was books, picking one out he held it out to the blonde "What about this one?" he asked. The child nodded and took the book entitled 'Kohona: A History'. Moving over to the sofa he took his seat in the corner and began reading, with another tired sigh Sarutobi moved back over to his desk, dropping into his chair, he pulled open the third draw down released the gen justu and was amazed to discover his copy of the orange book currently in his hand was exactly where he left it. 'Where did this one come from then?' sighing he reapplied the genjustu closed the draw and summoned an anbu to get rid of the orange book known as 'icha icha paradise' before once again commencing with his paperwork.
The soft hum of voices wandering up the corridor alerted Sarutobi that his jonin meeting was soon to commence he ran a wrinkled old hand down his face. Jonin's although at the top of the carrier chain mainly, could act very childish if things didn't go their way. He shuddered at the memory of the last meeting and its resulting actions.
He signalled to the anbu stationed at his door to open it for the approaching shinobi. The horde of chattering jonin and special jonin descended into the room, with a patient gaze and intense glare the hokage quickly silenced the room.
Clearing his throat and just as he opened his mouth to speak a low rumbling growl filled the room every head turned in the direction of the sofa where Naruto was still sat reading although sheepishly as his stomach had interrupted the meeting.
"Naruto, I forgot you were sitting there, why don't you run off and grab some lunch. I'll pay, just ask Teuchi to put it on my tab." The hokage smiled gently at the boy. Sheepishly Naruto rubbed the back of his head placing the book down he uncurled himself from his cat like position on the sofa and steadily made his way towards the door while the entire room watched his every move.
A clearing of the throat stopped the boy in his tracks turning he raised his head to face the hokage.
"Aren't you forgetting something Naruto?" the hokage inclined. A confused expression appeared on Naruto's face then when the hokage held his arms out the light dawned, he gave a quick glance to the other occupants of the room turned a pleading look to the old man who just held out his arms and twitched them indicating a yes I'm serious look to the boy.
Embarrassedly Naruto made his way over to the old man, clambered into his lap where he received a grandfatherly hug.
"What grandchild doesn't give his grandfather a goodbye hug?"
"But I' m not your grandson" Naruto signed shyly back
"Maybe not by blood no, but to me you will always be my grandson" He squeezed a little tighter before releasing the boy from his hold. "Now be off with you, go eat some food and remember it's on my tab!"
The retreating blonde merely raised a hand in acknowledgement book tucked under his arm, before disappearing out the door with a click shut it behind him.
Okay that's it done. (2023 words wow, four pages on word, 7 pages when hand written, over 4 hours typing, can't read my own writing typical.)
This is my first run at a multi-chapter fic so i wouldn't mind some feed back. There are more chapters to come, but should I continue with it or not? If so I'm so gonna need a beta. Thanks.