In a forest filled with fragments of the midday sun, excited laughter rung. At first, it appeared as if the voices came from the large tree that dominated the forest clearing. But instead, it was from the six young children that raced around the tree's thick trunk.
"Naruto! Wait up!"
"Haha! Sakura you're way too slow!"
"Don't worry Sai! I'll save you!"
"Hinata, throw your shuriken!"
"Hurry up Ino, or the evil ninjas will get you!"
"Eee! Sasuke! Save me!"
They fell down in exhaustion in a circle, staring up at the mosaic of tree leaves and blue sky with their hands held together.
This was what they would always be like: together.
A thin trail of blood stained on sharp rocks, snaking down the small ravine.
A small shoe floated in the water, abandoned.
A little girl lied by the side. She was not breathing.
Terrified screams of five different voices echoed in the background.
I'm hallucinating. This heat is making me crazy.
Tiny beads of sweat roll down his forehead. His sky-blue eyes stare suspiciously and tiredly before him as he sits on his bed. Surrounding him is a mess of last week's laundry flung carelessly on the floor and pieces of simple, cheap wooden furniture that are still visible.
"Naruto…you should really clean this place up…" A soft voice approaches from the small kitchen by the doorway of the apartment. It belongs to a rather petite teenage girl with jet black hair that reaches her mid-back and bangs that frame cloud-lavender eyes. She carries a bowl of soup noodles.
Don't talk to it. It'll just encourage my insanity.
The heat and confusion buzzes in his ears.
"Wh-Ack! What the hell?" The girl's inquiring face is close to his now—to close. He falls back, smacking his head against the wall. "Ow!"
"Oh! Are-are you okay?" She leans over and touches the back of his blonde hair.
What the hell? I can feel her touch…ghosts aren't solid…
I give up.
"You're face is really red."
He brushes her arm away. She—no it—is right, his face is overheating. Great. Now he feels dizzy.
"I'll go get a cold towel to cool you down…" She gently replies with levity. When she returns, she places the towel on his forehead.
She's too close and it doesn't help cool him down.
I'm so stupid. Getting all worked up over a hallucination."
"I'm fine, I can do it myself."
She let's go and he holds the towel with his own hand as she sits across from him on the mattress. Now the heat is a bit better. He looks away at her as he asks:
"So…are you really Hinata?"
He allows himself to look back at her. She is patting herself all over her body, as if doing some sort of check-up. Then she gives him a small smile and replies, "Yep."
"Then…where were you all these years?"
She places a finger on her lips and ponders this for a moment. "Eto…I died." She replies happily, "And now I'm back!"
"Why? Don't ghosts go to Heaven? Why are you here?"
She shrugs in the same, quiet, yet happy-go-lucky manner. "I dunno." After a bit a silence, she shyly asks, "Are you going to try to ramen?"
He sighs, deciding to play along with this sick game his mind is playing on him. He takes the chopsticks and takes a slurp. His blue eyes widen.
"Is…is it okay?"
It tasted the same as she last made it. Ten years ago.
He looks at the ghost—his hallucination incredulously. Dumbfounded, he replies:
"It's…it's great. Hinata."
I really am crazy.
I can't take full credit for this idea because this concept was inspired by a spring anime that came out this year called Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai. And yes, I did actually memorize that title. If you have seen it (wasn't it so good!) then you'll probably see the resemblance right away. If you haven't, then you really should…
But anyway, after finishing the anime, I was so hyped up that I really wanted to write something about it. But I thought trying to do a fanfic about AnoHana directly would just be useless because the anime was just so great I wouldn't have wanted anything else changed.
So I turned to Naruto. This also happens to be my first fanfic in Naruto…
I do plan on deviating from the plot of the AnoHana, so please stick around!
Thanks for reading!