A VERY NARUTO CHRISTMAS (2014)
I I I
Christmas eve in Konoha.
"Merry Christmas!" The door swung open, and Naruto smiled outward.
"Merry Christmas!" Tenten replied, holding out the bottle of wine. Naruto accepted it gratefully, stepping back from the door and walking inside. Tenten and her father followed him inside.
Naruto was wearing a bright green sweater with dozens of orange frogs embroidered on it.
Tenten was wearing a bright orange sweater with dozens of green frogs embroidered on it.
Her father was wearing a chain-mail shirt with dozens of bells linked into the chains.
"Come on in!" Naruto said, waving them to follow.
They walked past the couch, where Sasuke was stiffy sitting hunched over, clenching his drink in both hands with his elbows out. He was wearing a black sweatshirt with a silkscreened image of three giant purple robots with a single red, round eye in a cross-shaped face on the front.
Sidled right up next to him was Sakura, delicately holding a glass of wine in one hand. She was wearing a bright pink sweatshirt with abstract, canary-yellow swirls.
Sitting back on the recliner next to them was Danzou, wearing a knit blue sweatshirt embroidered with dozens of Sharingan eyes looking in every direction.
"Back in my day, we knew the importance of a good psychological trauma for developing kinjutsu, but we also knew not to go overboard with them, either!" Danzou pontificated.
"Isn't that interesting, Sasuke-kun?" Sakura enthused next to him.
Sasuke clearly weighed his options before deciding to respond. "Hn."
"Everything good here?" Naruto asked as he walked past, cheerfully ignoring when both Danzou and Sasuke said "no."
He sweapt into the kitchen, where Kakashi and Kiba were awkwardly looking in opposite directions, since they were wearing the exact same sweatshirt, with an image of three wolves howling at the moon on the front of it.
Shino had a sweatshirt with three giant beetles reared back, thrusting their shiny heads up to the exact same moon. His hands were occupied cracking open beers, which he handed to a grateful Kiba and Kakashi before taking a sip of his own.
"You want one too." He said, offering one to Tenten's dad. That wasn't a question, but he was about to follow up with one. "How do I know? Because-"
"Thanks, I appreciate it!" Tenten's father cheerfully reached out and took the beer, knocking it back for a swig, before sighing in appreciation and wiping his lips. "Ah, that was good."
Naruto patted Shino on the shoulder as he reached around the other boy to stick the wine bottle in a pale of ice on the counter next to the fridge.
"Alright," he said, glancing up at Tenten. "Iruka said he was gonna be a little late and I guess Konohamaru hasn't escaped from the Hyuuga clan house yet, and Tsunade hasn't escaped from Shiuzune yet either."
"Okay, I'll go summon the toads then." She said, leaning in to peck him on the cheek, before sidling past him to go out onto the balcony.
"Thanks!" He called after her.
Tenten stepped outside, and slid the door shut behind her. She looked up, casually glancing around as her hands came up to prepare the jutsu. Her hands paused, hesitating as her eyes caught sight of somethone.
Standing above and away from her, on the top of the roof of the building next door, was an ominous man.
Wearing a long black cloak with red clouds, over his face was a swirly orange mask with one eye hole; and on his head was a red Santa hat that clashed horribly with his mask.
Slowly, he raised his hands. "Space-time migration, special technique." He began. "Retcon no jutsu!"
The world changed.
I I I
"Hm." Tenten frowned, slowly lowering her hands and blinking away the spots after the psychedelic light show ended.
Finally she raised her hands again, focusing her chakra. It thrummed inside her in time with her pulse, and right between heartbeats, she performed the jutsu. "Kai."
There was no change.
She opened the door behind her, and stepped inside.
Naruto's apartment was dark, and quiet.
The lights were off. The party decorations weren't up. There wasn't any food on the counter in the kitchen, and now that she looked, most of the furniture was different, more sparse.
There wasn't even a Christmas Tree up.
The toilet flushed.
Tenten whipped her head around, and after the sink water ran, the door opened, and Sasuke walked out, flicking his hands slightly to get the last bits of moisture off them.
He looked up, and paused, his scowl deepening slightly as he met her gaze. His eyes flicked around, and then paused. He activated his Sharingan, and sweeped his gaze around more carefully, cataloging everything in the room.
"Hnn." His grunt was more drawn-out and sincere than usual, as his shoulders slumped in place, before he looked up. "How do you want to handle this?"
"First we need to collect information." She decided. "Meet back here in one hour?" She offered.
Sasuke nodded in satisfaction, sweeping around to turn and walk out the door.
Tenten rubbed the back of her head, before turning around herself and going back outside through the balcony, jumping off the platform and heading off into the night.
She paused, and turned, landing smoothly. On the ground below her, Kiba and Shino were walking along the road. Kiba waved frantically to get her attention.
Tenten jumped down, to see what they wanted.
"Did you just come out of Naruto's apartment, nya?" Kiba asked a worried question, but Tenten was completely distracted by the pointless sound he stuck on the end of his sentence.
"What?" She finally asked.
"Hinata would kill you if she found out, nya!" He continued with a worried voice.
"Kiba." Shino said from beside him. Tenten noticed that he was holding a huge dispenser of bug spray, and his eyes were darting around them rather than looking at the person he was addressing. "She must be helping Hinata case it out. Why do I know? Because Tenten isn't that crazy."
"That does make sense, nyaa!" Kiba agreed easily.
He had a cat-ear head band. Tenten had just noticed that.
"What?" That's what she decided to respond with.
"And what's with that tacky sweater, nya?" Kiba added.
After an awkward pause, Tenten shook her head slightly. "I... I have to go." She finally decided on, before turning and jumping away.
"Be careful, nya!" Kiba shouted after her. "You know your mom worries when you roof-jump?"
Tenten almost lost her balance as she jumped from one roof to the next. Her mom? She hadn't seen her mother since her parents had gotten divorced when she was a baby.
She skipped from roof to roof, finally coming to rest on her apartment building. She easily dropped down from the roof to the balcony, and opened the door, stepping into her apartment.
It was an unfamiliar room. Instead of being decorated with dozens of kunai and shurinkan and senbon with festively-colored handle-wrappings, the tree was decorated with plush embroidered animal figurines. And none of them were toads!
But something else caught here attention.
"Jiraiya!" She asked, blinking in surprise.
"Ho ho ho!" The bear-like figure, wearing a bright red suit with a wide leather belt, spun in place, the geta on his feet clacking as he raised his head, placing a single finger beside his big warty nose as he winked, the white bon-bon on the end of his red sock-like hat shaking in emphasis.
"Who's this Jiraiya you speak of!" He asked with a voice that was probably supposed to sound mysterious, but instead just sounded cheap. "I'm Santa Claus!"
"No, seriously." Tenten shook her head, before she remembered that there was something even more suspicious than that. "Wait, what are you doing in my house!" She demanded, whipping out a dozen kunai from her belt holster, and pointing them with a shaky expression at Jiraiya. "Again!" She added.
Jiraiya flinched back, raising his hands in an appeasing gesture. "Alright, alright!" He said. "Just... seriously, put those knives away before you hurt yourself again!"
Tenten flicked two at him. He did an awkward jig in place, because if he hadn't moved they would have gone right through the insteps of his feet. For ninjas, that counted as a warning shot.
"Why would I do that!" He demanded. "I'm Santa Claus! I'm here to give you a present, see!" He said, reaching into the sack at his feet and holding out a present like a shield.
It was a safety helmet with a bright red bow taped to the top.
Tenten narrowed her eyes in suspicion. "Is that more soft-core bondage gear?"
"What?" He sputtered. "No! What do you take me for, some kind of pervert!?" He demanded with an outraged voice.
Tenten slowly lowered her weapons, letting the incredulous shock seep into her face. "You're not the Jiraiya I know."
"What do you mean by that!?" He demanded. "Oh and I'm not this Jiraiya guy whoever that is! I'm Santa Claus!" He paused, frowning slightly. "Hey, are you okay? Do you maybe have a really bad concussion?"
Tenten sighed. "I need to go meet back up with Sasuke." Considering the time, she needed to get back to their rendevous point.
"Sasuke!?" Jiraiya said, sputtering. "That player? Alright, now I know something is wrong with you."
"I don't even care." Tenten shook her head dismissively, and stepped back out the door.
Jiraiya bit his lip, and finally, after an internal debate, growled in exasperation, before clipping his thumb on his tooth and flicking through handseals, before slapping his hand on the ground.
There was a poof of smoke, and a white snake appeared.
"Yes, Santa Claus?" On the face of it the question was respectful, but it was delivered with enough emphasis that he knew he was being mocked.
Jiraiya grumbled about his Summons not even respecting him. "Hey, let Manda know there's been a delay. I've got to check up on a good little girl that apparently has a serious head injury, so we're going on hold but will have to ramp up later tonight."
The snake bowed. "Yes. Santa Claus." Then it vanished again in another puff of smoke.
"Right." Santa Claus turned, spinning with a grandiose hop as he faced the door. "It's my duty as Santa to look after poor little chickadees, after all!"
I I I
Sasuke walked solemnly down the hall outside the Hokage's office, marching towards the door.
There was a girl standing outside the hallway on guard duty. It was Ami, from his genin class. Sasuke remembered her. Not because he wanted to, though.
When she saw him coming, she pursed her lips and an annoyed expression crossed her face as she turned to confront him. She did a double-take when she saw his sweater, though.
Sasuke activated his Sharingan.
She raised her eyes as her eyebrows came together, and she opened her mouth to tell him off, but the instant her eyes met his, they rolled back in her head and she slumped to the ground.
It wasn't a problem. Sasuke always blamed it on Naruto when he did this, which everyone always believed.
He pushed open the door, and swept inside.
He faltered once he saw who was sitting behind the desk, though.
"Oh! What a surprise to see you here, Sasuke-kun. You look different than usual, too."
Orochimaru smiled at him with a warm and cheerful expression without any malice. It was a genuine kind expression.
Sasuke knew how to handle this. His hands formed the seal. "Kai." He said.
"Oh my?" Orochimaru frowned. "Is something wrong, Sasuke-kun?"
"Hokage-sama!" Kabuto dashed into the room, with a worried expression on his face. "Someone knocked out your jounin bodyguard!"
"Kai." Sasuke tried again, before turning to Kabuto. "By the way, that was Naruto." He casually added.
Both of them gasped at the same time.
"So, once again, he's trying to steal Christmas!" Orochimaru said. "It's good that you told us this, Sasuke-kun! We'll handle it right away!"
Orochimaru jumped out the window, already performing handseals. Kabuto frantically scrambled after him, and they hung in the air for a moment before a giant toad appeared underneath Orochimaru. The two man smoothly landed on it's back, and it began hopping away.
There was a pause, a moment of perfect silence in the Hokage's office.
"Kai." Sasuke tried again, just to be sure.
It didn't work. He was less confident this was Konohamaru getting him and Naruto back for fooling the brat into thinking he'd been frozen in carbonite for a thousand years, and beginning to consider that it was something else.
"Hnn." He considered his options.
Since the window was open, he jumped out, and began hopping across the roofs, back to Naruto's apartment. He frowned as he considered the possibilities.
"Sasuke-kuuun!" He didn't glance down. It was obviously Sakura, although her 'sultry' voice sounded less fake than usual.
He wouldn't admit it, but he sped up to get away.
"Sasuke-kun? Do you not hear me?" Sakura's non-plussed, surprised call followed after him.
Sasuke outright sprinted until he was sure he lost her, before coming to a stop on Naruto's balcony.
He heard something behind him, and turned to look as Tenten jumped the last distance and landed beside him.
"So you figure anything out?" She asked him.
Sasuke debated whether to grunt or answer. Well, she was Naruto's girlfriend after all. "We've been swapped with our 'selves' from a bizzaro-alternate universe parrallel to our own." He nodded, confident that his succinct explination was correct.
Tenten frowned in uncertainty. "Well it matches what I've seen, but that's a bit of a stretch, isn't it?"
"Hn." Sasuke couldn't imagine what else it could be. He paused, frowning at the door. "Someone snuck in since we left." He said. The thin piece of transparent tape he had put on the bottom of the door frame had broken.
"You can tell stuff like that with the Sharingan?" Tenten asked with an incredulous voice.
"Hn." Sasuke wasn't about to deny it.
He slid the door open, and they both darted in, weapons ready for anything.
I I I
Tenten darted down the hall, checking the bathroom and closet while Sasuke inspected the kitchen.
When she threw open the bedroom door, she faltered. Whatever she had expected, this wasn't it.
"Naruto-kun." With a husky voice, Hyuuga Hinata rolled around, laying suggestively on her side, her head tilted up with the smile of a tempress on her lips and her considerable assets ready to spill out of the silky lingerie top she was wearing. Her hand was languidly resting on her hip between a pair of tiny panties and the top of a lacy stocking held up by a garter belt.
There was a frozen instant as the two women took each other in.
"You man-stealing harlot!" Hinata screached. She fluidly whipped around from a sensual pose to a fighting stance, and Tenten barely had time to dodge the blast of chakra shaped like a lion's head that shot from her extended hand, saturated with killing intent.
Tenten dodged backwards, throwing occasional kunai as delaying measures as she retreated back down the hall.
Hinata was absolutely pouring out killing intent, and Tenten skipped to the side as she got to the living room.
"I'll murder you!" Hinata screetched, as she charged straight forward.
Tenten pulled the trigger on her trap. The ultra-fine wires attached to the kunai she had thrown snapped tight as she pulled on them, closing around Hinata and tangling her movements.
"Sasuke!" Tenten shouted. "Come wammy this crazy bint with a genjutsu!"
"You'd even sink that low!" Hinata shouted furious. "I already offered to do a threesome if Naruto wanted!"
That made Sasuke pause, nose wrinkling in disgust, long enough to give Hinata an opening.
"Kaiten!" She shouted, chakra exploding away from her in a spiral, blowing out the windows.
Sasuke and Tenten retreated out the door, crouching in a rest position.
"What the hell was that all about?" Tenten asked.
Sasuke half-heartedly shrugged without looking at her.
A haze of murderous chakra slid out from the ruined apartment like fog, drifting from Hinata as she slowly walked out, scowling up at them with the veins of her Byakugan throbbing.
"Hey!" A familiar and obnoxious voice called behind her. "What the heck are you getting up to!"
Tenten looked over her shoulder, and sighed when Jiraiya, dressed like Santa Claus, landed beside them.
"Oh it's you." Tenten said dismissively.
"Tch." Sasuke clicked his teeth in annoyance.
"You kids definitely aren't getting anything good this year." He said darkly. "And you!" He shouted, pointing at Hinata. "What if you catch a cold! Put a coat on!"
"Murder!" Hinata replied.
"What did you even do?" Santa Claus moaned.
Hinata jumped straight for Tenten, still surrounded by murderous intent.
Tenten flung a fuuma shurinkan at her, and the other girl contemptuously batted it away, lunging forward as another murderous hellcat of chakra emerged from her extended hand.
Tenten just flashed Naruto's signature obnoxious grin as she let the wire on the deflected fuuma shurinkan pull her out of the way.
"Oh geeze!" Santa moaned, leaping aside himself.
Hinata twisted in mid air, torquing her body and preparing another mighty palm thrust, while Tenten smoothly hit the ground and rolled over, coming up with a katana in her hands.
However, they both flinched when a huge explosion went off in the forest to the east of the village, and a tornado suddenly moaned upwards from the explosion to connect with the clouds.
"I found Naruto." Sasuke stated the obvious.
I I I
Naruto reared back, flipping head-over-heels madly through the air when the jutsu collided, desperately catching himself with one extended foot, skidding along another three meters before coming to a halt.
He slammed his other foot down into a fighting stance, and whipped his hand out. His arm was bare, his sweater shredded to nothingness all the way up to his shoulder.
A pulsing orb of chakra formed on his outstretched palm, and the Rasenshurinkan howled as air was sucked into it.
Across from him, the dark-Naruto, who had wisely chosen to wear a leather jacket without any sleeves in the first place, also landed, whipping his own hand out.
Two arms of burning red chakra eagerly burst out of his stomach, reaching around to feed chakra into the Rasengan forming on dark-Naruto's palm, staining it jet-black with the Kyuubi's crazed energies.
"What a good idea." Naruto mumbled to himself. Or rather, both of them simultaneously mumbled the same thing to himself as they stared at the jutsu the other version of himself was creating.
Dark-Naruto was the first one to pick the thread of their previous conversation back up.
"If you're going to advocate utilitarianism, at least have the balls to go full consequentialist!" He shouted.
"Yeah right!" Naruto roared back. "Telling ninjas that the ends justify the means is always a terrible idea!"
"Ha!" Dark Naruto sneered back, as he flung his super-compressed Rasengan at Naruto again. "Like ninjas even understand what ethical utility is in the first place, moron!"
"Also, Menacing Rasengan!" He hurriedly added, wanting to get the name in before it detonated into a humongous explosion of demonic chakra.
"Well I'm not hearing any better ideas out of you, idiot!" Naruto shouted back, throwing his own attack at the other guy.
"Ah, Rasenshuringan!" He hastily shouted, before his own technique could activate.
The spiraling orb of darkness impacted the compressed air whirling in a sphere, and the shockwave that emerged from the condensed evil chakra explosively expanding was once again sucked into the sky by the tornado that spontaneously formed from the updraft.
'So cool', the both childishly thought at the same time.
Naruto shook himself. "So if you have a better plan, let's hear it!"
"That's why we have to unmake everything first!" Dark Naruto shouted in conviction. "It's not just a matter of a coup attempt to replace the current leadership, but a full-blown revolution is needed to update the sociological paradigm!"
Naruto narrowed his eyes. "Sounds like something that Akasukai would do." He said with a jeering smile.
"You take that back!" Dark Naruto roared in anger, before forming the cross-shaped seal. "Kage Bunshin!"
Thousands of Dark Naruto popped into being, and each formed a Rasengan before dashing forward in unison.
"Oh yeah!" Naruto cheered, forming his own Kage Bunshin, forming their own Rasengans and charging forward.
The battle was joined.
I I I
"Alright." Pein, Leader of the Akatsukai, addressed the members that had been dragged along. "I've recovered the copies of my bodies from this alternate world, so we can go back now."
The assembled Akatsukai ignored him.
He cleared his throat, assuming they just couldn't hear him over the racket. "I said-"
"We heard you." Black Zetsu said, slightly impatiently, not looking away from his binoculars.
"But it just got to the good part!" White Zetsu enthused.
"So exciting!" Tobi said cheerfully, kicking his legs. He had an old-timey collapsible spyglass pressed against his mask, where his bad eye would have been if he even had an eye hole on that said.
Sometimes Pein really wondered how much of Tobi's dumb act was really an act.
"Right." Pein grunted in annoyance. "Let's get out of here."
"Eeeh!" Tobi and White Zetsu whined in perfect synchronization.
"NOW!" Pein barked.
"All right, all right." Tobi said like a sulking child as he picked himself up.
"Spoilsport." White Zetsu muttered.
Pein ignored them, stalking off into the distance.
Beyond them, it was screaming chaos as two armies of Narutos collided mid-air with hundreds of detonating Rasengans.
"I'll wait until it gets to a boring part." Tobi whispered to Zetsu, both of whom grunted in acknowledgment.
I I I
Naruto breathed raggedly. The wind blew, and the dust that spiraled up obscured his vision. The battle had started in dense woodland, but it was a clearing now, and mostly what danced on the wind was sawdust.
A dozen Dark Naruto Kage Bunshin popped out of the swirling dust, shouting as they formed Rasengans, and Naruto displaced two dozen Kage Bunshins to engage them, overwhelm them, and then counter-attack.
But a dozen kunai rained down, striking each Dark Naruto in a vital spot, whether it was organ, brain pan, or spine.
"Tenten." He said, as she landed beside him.
"Naruto, what's going on?" She asked, eyes scanning around them. "Sasuke and I got pulled in too."
"Eh? You did?" Naruto said, surprised. "I dunno, I've just been talking with my alternate self. You know, hanging out."
Tenten surveyed the destruction with a meaningful look.
"Come ooon!" He whined. "Of course we're testing our best jutsu at the same time!"
Across from them, a pillar of blue chakra swirled, and the dust was blown away with a kaiten.
"So, Light Naruto." Dark Naruto called out. "It seems we are at an impasse, but I think we can all see how I'm superior after all!"
With that, Dark Naruto cackled madly, reaching out to pull a voluptuous Hinata wearing only lingerie against his side.
Hinata smirked at Tenten.
Tenten grit her teeth.
"Oh yeah?" Naruto shouted, reaching out to his own side.
"Naruto." Tenten said in a dark voice. "Don't make this into that kind of fight."
Naruto smoothly recovered. "Well, I have something else. I also have the power of friendshi-"
Before he could finish, Dark Naruto was cut down from behind as a chidori exploded through him.
"Dude!" Naruto shouted, whipping his hand up. "Wait until I'm done giving you your cue, don't cut me off!"
"Hnn." Sasuke grunted sourly, and then his eyes widened as he ducked to the side as a murderous lion of chakra tried to rip off his head.
"Die scum!" Hinata roared.
Sasuke sighed. "Seriously, it was just a Kage Bunshin."
Dark Naruto popped out of the ground, and raised an accusing finger at Sasuke. "What if I hadn't used kawarimi to swap! I would be dead right now!"
Sasuke ducked under another killing blow from Hinata and stared at Dark Naruto like he was a huge idiot as he gestured vaguely at the tremendous destruction that surrounded them.
Naruto sighed, and opened his mouth to talk.
But the world wavered, and with a snap, he was squeezed into a swirling rainbow vortex, dragging Tenten along with him. As he vanished, he was relieved to see that Sasuke was dragged along as well.
"Everybody okay?" Naruto called out.
Tenten grunted, pushing off his chest, and he let her slide out from under his arm.
That meant Sasuke was just fine too.
"Right, let's head back." Naruto said, slapping his hands together and then brushing off his pants.
Tenten sighed. "So what happened?"
"No idea." Naruto said cheerfully.
"And you aren't curious at all?" Tenten demanded.
Sasuke grunted. "With Naruto, it's usually not worth figuring out."
Naruto pouted, but didn't deny it. "Whatever, let's get back to the party."
Tenten sighed and let it go. "Lets."
Sasuke grunted, pausing to pull off the dirty sweater, revealing that he was wearing another copy of the exact same sweater beneath the first one.
Tenten didn't even bother questioning that.
"If we hurry, we can make it in time for cake!" Naruto said, excited.
I I I
Naruto opened his door, and walked into his apartment, holding hands with Tenten.
Danzou was sleeping in the recliner, his hands folded over his stomach as he snored lightly.
Naruto walked past him, Tenten following along easily.
When they got to the kitchen, Kiba was passed out face-down on the table, while Shino and Tsunade stared at each other with bleery, red eyes. At least, Tsunade's eyes were rough-looking. Shino was still wearing his glasses, so it was hard to tell.
Together, they both raised their shot glasses, and pounded down whatever was inside in one smooth gulp, before slamming them back to the table.
"You're late." Kakashi said dryly.
"We were gone like two hours. How much have they had to drink!?" Naruto incredulously demanded.
"I lost count." Kakashi honestly replied.
"Konohamaru here yet?" Naruto said, looking around.
"Came and left." Kakashi said. "Hanabi tracked him here, so he's hanging with his team now, I think."
"Cool, cool." Naruto said, slowly.
In front of them, Shino's head rolled up, and then he bonelessly slumped forward until his face smacked against the table.
"Alright!" Tsunade cheered, thrusting her arms straight up, making the large sweater kittens embroidered on her sweater dance back and forth. "Still got it."
"Tch." Sasuke expressed his own opinion.
"Oh, Sasuke." Sakura said in a breathy voice, walking into the kitchen as well, lacing her arms around his comfortably. "That... was amazing."
Naruto met Tenten's eyes, and they both shrugged.
Sasuke didn't hesitate. "Sakura." He said, and she looked up to meet his eyes.
"Sharingan." He announced, and she slumped bonelessly down, collapsing towards the floor. Sasuke caught her before she could impact.
"Oh, so you do care." Kakashi responded, amused.
Sasuke didn't dignify that with a response, turning and walking away.
They could hear the door slam behind him, though, so it wasn't like it hadn't gotten to them.
Kakashi sighed. "Well, I'm just glad whatever that space-time jutsu was ended."
"Yeah." Naruto agreed. "It was one of the best presents ever."
"What?" Tenten asked, frowning at him.
"Yeah! It was amazing! I got to have a battle debate with an alternate version of me that was evil! I can't wait to figure out who's awesome present THAT was!" Naruto enthused, before frowning slightly. "Also, remind me to talk to... a guy... about a totally cool jutsu idea I got!"
Tenten sighed, shaking her head slowly.
"Well, I'm going to go hide from Gai." Kakashi cheerfully admitted, before disappearing in a swirl of shunshin.
"Urp." In front of them, Tsunade slumped forward, joining the other two passed out on the table already.
Naruto grunted, before he reached into the fridge, pulling out a pitcher of water to put in the center of the table, and then getting three cups from the cupboard to stack up.
"I guess the party is a bust." Naruto said with a sigh.
Tsunade punctuated that by starting to snore.
Tenten paused. "You want to come over to my place for the rest o the night?" She quietly asked. "...I'll make you breakfast, too."
Naruto smiled at her. "Yeah, I'd like that."
He took her hand, and the walked out to the balcony to hop away into the night.
I I I
The swirling vortex collapsed, leaving only empty spaces where people had stood before.
Naruto slowly lowered his hand from where he had been pointing at the strange, alternate version of Sasuke, that had been serious even wearing such a stupid sweater. "Huh." He said, confused.
Naruto glanced over, flicking his black hair out of his eyes. The spot where the Light Naruto version of himself had stood was gone, too.
"Hey!" Jiraiya landed with a clatter, flanked by two huge snakes. "Is Tenten around!? I think she has brain damage!"
"Santa Claus." Naruto said, smiling darkly, shaking off his confusion as he re-focused on his original goal. "For you to come directly to me, how convenient."
"Naruto-kun?" Hinata asked, confused.
"I'm going to steal Christmas, and then remake it according to my own opinions." Naruto explained quickly, without taking his eyes off his prey as he stood up.
Hinata tapped her lips as she considered it. "Well, okay!" She said, brightly, before turning to also threaten Jiraiya with a fighting stance.
Santa Claus grit his teeth, retreating a step.
That was when a humongous toad slammed down on top of Naruto's position.
"Ku ku ku." Orochimaru laughed. "I see I'm just in time to stop you! Naruto-kun!"
The fight lasted three more hours, but that's the story of how Orochimaru (alternate) saved Christmas.
I I I