Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi.
A/N: I wanted to see Naruto and Haruhi together — he doesn't seem to mind girls bossing him around, so why not give him Haruhi? It wont be a an immediate relationship… I don't know if it will be that apparent either, cause Naruto is a bit slow and Haruhi is a little stubborn.
To Please You
— JUNE 5 —
Naruto watched silently as the children played with one another. He wanted to join in, but the parents were around… and the last time he had joined some of the children in the playground, a group of them had beaten him up. They were saying the same things as their parents.
He glared at the children playing below. Perched on a tree branch, Naruto was tempted to throw a few fruits their way, and hopefully injure a whole lot of them… but he wouldn't. He couldn't. He still hoped that one of them would change their mind and ask him to join in their games — that they would be kind and share with him some of their snacks and share some stories of their 'adventures'. So Naruto continued to sit on the branch, unmoving, unbending, just watching silently, and continued to hope.
"Hey! You there!"
Naruto looked down from the tree and saw a girl in a yellow sundress, white petals strewn sparsely on the skirt. She was waving at him, a plastic bucket and shovel held by the other hand.
"Come down and be useful!"
Naruto just stared blankly at the girl below him. Was she actually asking him to join her with her games? Could it be possible? He looked around and noticed that there were no other kids around her, that it was only her beneath his tree. "You want me to play with you?"
"You aren't busy, so I want you to help me." She was looking at him with her honey brown eyes, they were growing impatient as he just continued to sit on his branch unmoving — just staring at her. "So come on!"
"Ya!" I do — I really want to! Thank you! Naruto wanted to add, but he just settled with that one word and jumped down to the dirt ground below. He smiled at her widely after dusting off the dirt he gathered from the tree — he had to be presentable. "So what are we going to do?"
"Treasure!" She shoved the plastic bucket with the plastic shovel inside. She took a folded piece of paper from her dress pocket and unfolded it, showing him map of some sort. "I found this on my way to the park today—" She pointed on an area of the map that marked an X. "—and see this X over here? It has to be a treasure! And I want you to join me in this. You up for it?"
Naruto excitedly nodded at the little girl beside him. He had never played treasure hunt before. He had seen the other kids play this game, but they never had a treasure map, they just dug at areas in the sandbox, where they had buried some of their toys. Her treasure hunt game was definitely going to be more fun; she had a map, and it seemed to lead to areas outside of the playground. "I'm definitely up for this!"
"Okay, but first you need something." Haruhi dug into her pocket and took out a sticker. It was a standard yellow star sticker, with SOS written in the center of the star. She took the padding behind it and tacked it on his shirt. "There you go! Now you are part of the SOS Brigade!" She showed him her own sticker at the left breast pocket of her dress. "I have one too, but I am the leader." She indicated this with the crown that was set upon the top of her star sticker. "Captain Suzumiya Haruhi!"
Naruto saluted her with a wide grin on his face. "Captain Haruhi! Uzumaki Naruto reporting for duty!"
"Nice to meet you Soldier Naruto! Now we need to see where to head off to first." Haruhi laid the map on the ground beneath them, and studied it. The map was only composed of colors, like green, grey and brown, with a splattering of black dots, but Haruhi seemed to understand it — she pointed on the green areas of the map. "This has got to be the forest in Konoha, and the X is over here, which seem to be closest to the open fields used for training. So that means we have to cut through the training fields to get to the X. You got that Naruto?"
"Ah, I see." Naruto nodded his head and stood up from their crouched position on the ground.
Haruhi folded the treasure map and placed it in her pocket. She pointed towards the horizon (which Naruto knew to be the general area of the training fields) "Let's head out!"
"Yes Ma'am." Naruto saluted and followed Haruhi towards the training fields, plastic bucket and shovel in hand.
There was chaos.
The Third Hokage had called most of the active and available shinobi in the village to solve the problem. It was brought to the Hokage's attention earlier that someone had breached security and taken important items from the vault. Once the vault had been investigated, it was found out that at least two scrolls containing the jutsus that had been created by the first two Hokage's were taken. The seals on the vault had not been broken, so it meant that it was an undercover job, and their security had been breeched by either a traitor or a spy.
The scrolls had to be found. They were the jutsu's that the first and second Hokage had used to win the war and protected the village with. They were invaluable and would pose a threat if they were in the hands of the enemy.
"The scrolls of the First and Second Hokage's legacies had been stolen. It has just come to my attention today. There had been no breech of security when they were taken from the vault, so it is done through treason or there is a spy within the high ranks. I want you to scout all the areas of Konoha. Look for the culprit." Hokage took out the list of names that had been registered by him to enter the vault. "These are those who are under suspicion." The list was not lengthy, so it would be quick to search for them. "I want Ibiki and Yamanaka to interrogate them and look for that scroll."
The shinobi's left the grounds in search of the traitor.
Naruto looked around the forest. They have been in it for many hours and they still have not found an area marked with an X. Haruhi was just a few steps ahead of him, looking at the map, and then looking at her surroundings. There were no landmarks on the map, so Naruto doubted she knew exactly where she was heading… but he didn't complain.
At least not much. "Are we close Captain Haruhi?"
Haruhi looked around and then towards the map. "Hmm… we should be close by. We have been walking in a straight line through this forest. It doesn't show how many steps we need to go. But I know for sure we are heading in the right direction." She turned towards him her eyes serious. "Don't doubt your Captain, Soldier Naruto!"
Naruto quickly shook his head at her in a negative. "I only got faith in you Captain."
"Good, now pick up pace." Haruhi smiled widely at him in approval at his answer.
Naruto was following diligently behind her when his stomach growled. Haruhi turned towards him with a raised brow. He laughed nervously at her. "Sorry, Captain. Don't mind my stomach."
She stopped in her tracks to face him. She looked around their spot. It was a little clearing in the forest, a river bed below them. After a quick investigation she nodded her head. "We can stop here. A good captain takes care of her troops." She sat on a protruding root of a tree, and dug into her pockets. She took out a two granola bars, and handed him one. "This is for you."
Naruto took the offered granola bar. "Thank you."
She nodded to him and started eating her own granola bar. The running water from the river bed, and the crickets of the forest the only noise aside from their breathing and chewing. Naruto studied the forest and found it weird that there were nothing scary that they have encountered so far. It was fenced up and everything, so Naruto thought that it was because the village wanted to keep whatever was inside the forest, inside.
"Hey Captain Haruhi, did you know what the sign on the fence had said earlier?"
Haruhi looked towards him, her honey coloured eyes drawn in a question. "You can't read Naruto?"
Naruto blushed in embarrassment. He never had a chance to learn at the orphanage. The other kids were taught by the caretakers, but Naruto was kept apart from them, so he couldn't join in the learning. "No… no one… no one taught me how." He tightened his little hands into fists. What would his new friend think of him? Would she laugh at him and not want to be with him, because he's dumb? It wasn't his fault. They didn't want to help.
Haruhi studied him for a moment and Naruto had to draw his eyes away from her intense stare. "It said Forest of Death." She watched Naruto nod his head slowly, his eyes still downcast. She was a captain. He was her soldier. "I'll teach you." His head came up, his blue eyes looking at her in confusion. "I'll teach you." He was surprised. "You are my soldier, and I'm your captain. I'll teach you."
Naruto could count in one hand the times he had ever been this happy. The first time he had been begging for food, he was happy when the old man at Ichiraku ramen had offered him all the ramen he wanted — he had the best meal of his life. There was also a time when the Hokage had ordered him to his office, and Naruto had been so surprised when the Hokage had given him his goggles as a birthday present. It was worn and used… but Naruto didn't mind — the way the Hokage had handled it, it seemed like it was important to him, and meant a lot. The other time was when he met Haruhi, asking him to join her in this quest. Now she was teaching him to read.
He had to stop the tears from flowing, he knew it was sad of him, of the world, to have another child teach an orphan to read. But he would accept it with a grateful heart. His first friend. His first mentor. "You're the best Captain."
"Don't forget it!" Haruhi smiled at him, then rolled up the empty wrapper and put it in the plastic bucket. She mumbled something about not littering to him. "When we're done this treasure hunt, I'll teach you to read — I will also go and have a talk with your teacher. Not teaching a student to read; that's just bad practice."
"I don't go to school… at least not yet."
"Your parents then."
Haruhi noticed Naruto's face fall when she mentioned parents. "You an orphan?"
Naruto looked around before looking at her, his head was tilted down. "Ya… but it's not that bad…" He plastered a smile on his face. "I have other adults taking care of me."
"Then I'll go to the orphanage and make my complaint." Haruhi placed both her hands on his shoulders. "Cheer up. You've got a Captain now, and Captains look after their soldiers. I'll take care of you." Taking a hold of his hand, she started leading him through the forest. "Now let's find that treasure."
Naruto blushed as they continued walking along hand in hand. It was quiet nice. He never had a girl hold hands with him before. The only ones who ever hugged or held hands with him, showed him any gesture of comfort, had been the Hokage and the old man at the ramen stand. He watched her as she walked ahead of him, their hands still held — the forest trees had obscured the lights, but it seemed to have a spotlight on her, which helped them navigate their way through the dark forest. This was his very first friend. He was very happy.
He'll cherish her.
Naruto heard a loud buzzing sound moving around them — judging by the sound of it, it had to be some huge bug, monstrous in size. Forest of Death. That's what Haruhi had read from the sign. He nervously darted his eyes around them, watching for any movement among the trees. "Haruhi… do you think this forest is dangerous? It is called the Forest of Death."
Haruhi laughed. "Don't worry soldier. It's just a name. There is no danger in this forest."
"But there's a buzzi—" Naruto stopped in mid sentence, and listened for the buzzing that was circling them a while ago. There was no longer a sound. It was just crickets and the water stream.
"What were you going to say?" Haruhi looked at him, she didn't seemed concerned about being in the Forest of Death.
"Nothing." Naruto continued walking with her. If Haruhi wasn't afraid, he wouldn't be either.
The Third Hokage scanned the village with the use of his crystal ball. The telescope technique only allowed for him to watch within his village, so if the culprit had gone beyond the walls, there would be no hope for him to see where they had run off to. He first scanned the forest around the main city of the village, before moving on to the forest of death. He doubted that the culprit would have been able to escape unscathed through the forest, but as an escape route, though dangerous, was a good route to take — going through the Forest of Death would pose a dangerous feat for his shinobi's as well.
He noticed a light within the forest and focused on it.
In all his years as a Hokage, Sarutobi had never been heard to shout so angrily, that it reverberated throughout the tower.
"Soldier drop down!" Haruhi dropped to the ground and hid behind a protruding tree root. She looked over the root and investigated the grounds below. "Dammit!"
Naruto crawled on the ground till he was beside Haruhi. "What's wrong?" She signalled him to come closer to her. Naruto did so and scanned the grounds she was looking at. He observed two men in jounin uniform talking to each other. They both had scrolls in their hands.
"Those are jounin shinobi's of Konoha." Naruto watched the two converse with each other, and they seemed to be consulting a map. "Are they after the treasure?" Naruto highly doubted that. But to be in the spot where Haruhi and him were heading, made it seem plausible. But what would shinobi's want with a child's treasure?
Haruhi gave him a signal to be quiet as she crawled closer to the two shinobi, by travelling behind trees. Naruto followed her when she gave the signal and they both listened in on what the two were saying.
"You idiot! Where was the other map I gave you? It had the points of the tunnels under this damn forest." one jounin with black hair spoke angrily, "Now we have to fight through this damn forest to get out."
"I thought this was it. It was the only one in my pocket." The red head exclaimed as he started digging into his pocket, showing that there was not other map in his possession.
"Forget it, we have got to get out of this forest. There are dangerous creatures here and I would like to stay alive." He hoisted the scroll on his shoulder. "I went through all the trouble to get these scrolls from the Hokage vault, I would like to be able to spend the money I get from selling it."
Naruto and Haruhi looked at each other. These were enemy of the state, they needed to get out of here. Obviously the map that Haruhi found was never a treasure map. It was an escape route for the traitors. "We should go." Naruto said, tugging Haruhi away, they needed to get to safety.
Haruhi though was stubborn. She had a huge smile on her face. "What are you talking about soldier? We are the SOS Brigade! We are going to help our village!" Her honey brown eyes twinkled with excitement. "New mission: Recover important scroll documents!"
Naruto looked at her in disbelief. They were both just children. He hadn't even started shinobi training, and now he was asked to pick a fight with trained shinobi's — jounin? Sure he had been in fights, but that was civilians and he was still beaten up. Sure he could handle a few hits, but he was sure that these jounin's would kill him, and her. They stood no chance. He wouldn't let his friend be in danger.
"Are you going to leave me behind Soldier?" Haruhi's eyes looked at him intently. "Are you going to abandon your Captain?"
Naruto looked at her and then towards the two jounin below. From the two of them, he may have a better chance than her in putting up a fight. He couldn't abandon her either, he was pretty sure that if he left her and headed back to safety, that she would stay and fight and retrieve those scrolls herself.
I'm her soldier. She's the Captain. She's the girl. She's the damsel. "I'll fight for you." Naruto said with determination, he may be scraped up and end up in the hospital afterwards, but as long as its protecting her.
"Buck up, this is an exciting adventure." She smiled gleefully and started gathering some sticks and stones on the floor. She placed all the rocks inside the bucket. "We'll use these as our weapons." She then started to gather some fruits and berries around them.
"What are the food for?" Naruto asked, if he ever got hungry after the fight, he was pretty sure he would get it from an IV tube in the hospital.
"They said something about monsters in this forest," Haruhi continued to gather all types of food, like mushrooms and bugs. "Monsters usually come out when they are hungry and smell food — like those trolls under the bridge — but because we have no goats… I'm pretty sure that they would also eat some fruits and vegetables — like vegetarian trolls."
It was crazy. But at least it was a plan. "So you want to lure them here?" Naruto asked, he left her with gathering for the fruits and mushrooms, while he gathered the weapons — sticks and stones were nothing compared to kunai, but at least he could give them some damage.
"That's right." Haruhi grew satisfied with her gathered assortment of food. She looked at his pile of weapons and nodded in approval. "You ready soldier?"
"Wait." He took her gathered food and put them in his pockets. He had heard buzzing earlier, so if what she said was true, he didn't want the monsters to go to her. He cut off her protest when he took her goods away. "I'll do the luring and the fighting. You are the captain so you'll just give me orders from afar, okay?"
Haruhi looked at him, a pout on her face, but after much thought she saw the logic in it. Captains usually stood in the background and made the plans. "Okay, but I'll keep some stones here incase you're in trouble, I have to watch over my soldiers too you know."
Naruto nodded and looked towards the jounin and saw that they were still in the clearing planning on what they should do. He turned towards Haruhi, "So what's the plan?"
"Our first move would have to be crushing the fruits to release their juices, that way it would attract the monsters more. Then you would throw it at them, and wait for the monsters to arrive. Once the monsters are attacking the jounin, you will throw some rocks at them to do some damage." Haruhi explained.
"What if the monsters direct their attention to us? Humans are considered food too." Naruto asked her.
"Make fire with the sticks. They are afraid of fire." She saw the questioning look on his face. "You know how to make fire?" Haruhi received a negative from Naruto with the shake of his head. "Then I'll make a fire and if you want to escape the monsters, just head to me okay?"
"Alright." This was crazy. It was really insane of a plan. But he needed to stay, because she was staying. He needed to protect her — the village might even see his heroism after this… that is if this doesn't enforce the idiotism instead.
"Good luck soldier!"
Good luck indeed.
The Third Hokage rushed towards the Forest of Death. After scanning the forest, he had seen two children in the forest, one of them was definitely Naruto, accompanied with a little girl. He cursed at the ANBU that he had assigned to watch Naruto, how dare he take his eyes off of the boy and allow him to wander around in a forest filled with monsters. There was even a little girl. He had looked into law enforcement if there was any concerned parents that had come by looking for their daughter. There were no records of any such report, so the girl was still unknown.
He spread his chakra around the forest to scan for any other chakra signatures. He found them to be assigned in the middle of the forest — surrounded by monsters. He definitely would have to demote that ANBU to toilet and day care duty.
He gave a signal towards the group of shinobi following him. "They are up ahead in the center of the forest. They are currently surrounded by monsters. Circle and surround them. The children are to be kept safe."
Everything had gone according to Haruhi's plan. The moment he had thrown the fruits towards the jounin, the monsters had swarmed in afterwards. They had not paid any attention towards him or Haruhi, they followed only the scent of the fruit juices. Naruto quickly threw an arsenal of rocks towards the jounin, dealing his fair share of the damage along with the monsters.
What didn't go along with the plan was that one of the jounin had caught his location and was now leaving his comrade to fight the monsters alone. Naruto threw more rocks towards the jounin trying to hinder his trek.
"Demon!" The jounin made a grab for him, but Naruto ducked out of the way. "If we capture you as well, we can sell you for a hefty price. To have you as a weapon is a dream of most villages."
Naruto scrambled away from the man, once again escaping his grasp.
"Duck Naruto!" Haruhi's voice called out, and Naruto did as she said and an array of rocks were thrown at the jounin's face. Blood sprayed from his nose as it broke.
"Fuck!" The jounin looked to where Haruhi was and snarled. "You are next you little bitch!"
Naruto growled angrily at the man. How dare he talk that way to his friend. He delivered a kick towards his groin and sprayed dirt on the jounin's eyes. He was momentarily blinded and crouching on the ground. Naruto used this time to smash a rock on the guys head. It didn't do much damage but Naruto was pretty sure it should give him a headache.
"Monster in front of you, soldier!"
A familiar buzzing rang through his ears and the sound continued to grow. He looked up and saw a giant wasp monster flying towards him and the fallen jounin. He turned around and made a run for it, and spotted Haruhi with a stick of fire in her hand.
"Naruto run towards me!"
Following her orders he headed to where she was. She seemed to have found a little alcove within a huge tree trunk. She snuck inside and he followed soon afterwards. She set the fire in front of the entrance of alcove. "It should still be distracted by the jounin right now."
The adrenalin coursing through his veins faded and Naruto was now left alone with the fear. He had just engage combat with two jounin shinobi's and had called forth monsters. This was not something that regular 6-year-olds engage in, genin maybe, but not non-shinobi trained youngsters. This was definitely crazy.
He turned his attention towards Haruhi and saw that there was no fear in her eyes, just determination and joy. "What are you so amused about?" Naruto demanded, he was scared for his life here. "We just faced against jounins and now we are trapped in this alcove with just a fire to defend ourselves from the monsters."
Haruhi looked at him in the eyes. Her honey brown eyes never wavered. They still held the same determination and amusement, there was no fear at all. She grabbed a hold of his hand. "We are the SOS Brigade, I'm the Captain, and I've got you Naruto." She squeezed his hand. "You and me together, I'm pretty sure we'll make it out alive."
"We're just kids." She's crazy. First friend of his and he attracted a crazy person.
"We're a team!"
"We're not trained to go against jounin or monsters."
Her hand loosened around his. Maybe what he said finally got through.
"I chose you, I saw that you could do great things." She spoke softly, her hand let go of his. "I thought you and I could go to adventures. We would be the SOS Brigade and nothing will stand our way. I wanted to find adventure, and you were willing to go with me. I thought that was great." She paused and she curled herself up in her corner of the alcove. "My first friend and we had our first adventure. It seemed like a great start…"
First friend. He looked at her and couldn't believe that. How could a cute girl like her not have friends. Well… actually it did seem plausible. If she took her friends to these kinds of adventures, he was pretty sure any sane and normal kid would have refused the friendship immediately.
He wasn't normal.
She wasn't normal.
He had been in fights, he experienced hardships, he'd always been in the face of fear.
She wanted to look for adventure, and embark in dangerous and scary missions.
In this crazy world he lived in, Naruto knew they were meant to be. Six-years-old and he found a soulmate, an eccentric one, but still the same.
He took hold of her hand. "Your still my captain." Naruto saw her lips spread into a smile, "You may be crazy—" the smile quickly turned into a frown as Naruto continued, "—and into crazy adventures… but like you said, it's you and me." He squeezed her hand. "I think I'm the only one who can handle this insanity."
She looked at him seriously. "You are the only one. I tried with others. They didn't work out." She smiled widely at him and squeezed his hand back, "I'm glad I found you."
The intimate moment between them disappeared when they saw shadows moving on the other side of their fire. Naruto pushed Haruhi further into her corner and crouched in front of her. He held his hands out in a fighting stance that he had seen genin do.
He'll protect her.
He felt her grip on his shirt tighten, and his resolve grew.
The Third Hokage stood in front of the two youngsters in his office.
He had found them inside a tree, it wasn't hard to find because a flame was set in front of the opening. After removing the flame, he had been assaulted by Naruto with a kick in the face. The fight didn't last long, after Naruto recognized him. The brat didn't even ask for forgiveness, infact Naruto just went and ranted to him about scaring him. That was when he saw the young girl behind Naruto — it seemed the boy was protecting her from danger.
"Who gave you the crazy idea of going into the forest? It's called the Forest of Death, that should have already sent you a warning that it wasn't a playground."
Suzumiya Haruhi, the female friend of Naruto, was about to speak, but Naruto intervened. "We had a treasure map! We thought it was safe, seeing as we didn't see any sign, and if there was, you know I can't read Hokage!"
Sarutobi grumbled at that, it was true that Naruto was unable to read, and with the Shinobi Academy enrolling by the end of the summer, Naruto needed to learn quickly.
"Well the fence and locked gate should have been an indication that you'd be trespassing if you enter."
"The gate was open." Naruto had found it surprising as well, that someone would just leave a giant gate unlocked, but Haruhi was able to open it without any trouble, so he thought it was just some sort of divider of one forest into another.
"In either case you shouldn't have entered."
"If it was so dangerous old man, why didn't this 'guard' of mine — that you keep saying I have — not do anything about it huh?" Naruto looked at the Hokage defiantly.
"It's been dealt—"
Haruhi spoke up, cutting off the Hokage's tirade. "Why are you two arguing? Naruto and I just stopped traitor jounin from running away with your important scroll. We should've been celebrating by now! We're heroes!"
Naruto stopped his tirade and looked at the old man. "That's right! Where's my prize Hokage? I just kicked shinobi traitor butt!"
Sarutobi, rubbed his temples. Children. "Hmm… I thank you for your help." Naruto and Haruhi smiled at each other — if they stayed together, Sarutobi thought they would make a cute couple in the future. "But because you two risked your life by entering dangerous grounds — against the rules as you children are not shinobi — all you get are my verbal gratitude."
"That's it?" Naruto exclaimed in indignation.
"Well you broke rules, and instead of alerting me or the jounins, you fought them yourself. They would have escaped if you weren't so lucky." Sarutobi explained.
"That sucks." Naruto kicked his shoe on the floor. "We save the day and we only get a Thank You. Ridiculous. For all that trouble."
"The life of a hero isn't always grand." Haruhi patted Naruto on the shoulder, trying to comfort him. "It will be filled with hardships, but someday we'll get our medals… one day we will be truly heroes."
"Life of a hero sure is tough." Naruto said with his arms crossed across his chest.
"If you stick with me, we can do it together." Haruhi told him assuredly. "You with me soldier?"'
"Always Captain!" Naruto said with a wide smile.
Sarutobi watched the two children talk to each other. He was quite emotional at seeing Naruto being so happy with a playmate — not alone — but happy, smiling with a girl, was quite heart warming.
A/N: Thanks for reading.