Love me U.K.E
The chimes of Konoha Academy rang loud through the yard of the campus, bringing its many students and faculty alike to take their lunches. This of course meant that crowds of people were dashing across the Academy quad to make it to the cafeteria, students were hustling to hang out with the peers, racing students who had already gotten their lunches packed were taking their seats and relaxing already, and ultimately crowds of chaos were swarming around campus in total.
Already watching this closely from afar- across the street within a cutaway alley to be more specific, Sasuke, Naruto, Lee, Shikamaru, Gaara and Kiba hurried to run from their hiding spot, race through the grass, cut into the quad and immediately blend in with the other kids who were racing to purchase food, though rather than head to the cafeteria just like their classmates, the group instead headed down the main hall of the campus, stopping by the Uchiha's locker to watch the raven stow away his backpack.
Afterward, the group as a whole followed Kiba, who knew a little of the choir rooms location but decided to lead them to where he thought it was anyway. After passing a few classrooms, turning right at the front office, heading further south down that hall then making a left, the group continued to march behind the Inuzuka who stopped in a common intersection then pointed and led the group turn down another hall to their left- this one being completely barren the further they walked down it.
Lee groaned, holding his arms uncomfortably as the group continued on its march, stopping only when they found themselves in front of the locked choir room door, bringing nothing but bad vibes to quake in the honor student the longer he stood around in front of the room of horrid tales.
"G-Guys," he started, immediately being shut out by more important conversation.
"So this is the room, huh? Doesn't look so scary." Shikamaru started, looking upon the wooden frame with his forever unimpressed look.
"Yeah because we're standing on the outside, no doubt once you take a look in, things won't look so mellow." Kiba snickered, making Gaara take a nervous step away from the group.
Naruto on the otherhand took a step near it and rested his right palm over the wood, squinting for a moment before knocking on it twice. Such an action caused Lee, Gaara and Kiba to jump in response, but as they saw the blonde slowly pull his hand away, they relaxed.
"Hey don't do that!" Kiba hissed. "You might anger the spirit."
"Oi, the door feels weak.. should I knock it down?" the fox asked, looking to the Uchiha who graced that response with a stupid look.
"That depends.. are you going to pay to replace it?"
Lee trembled looking upon the old decrepit frame of wood and it's unpolished and neglected steel plate, eyeing the fading engraved letters of the room and room number on it. To him, this room was cursed with with age and bad karma, and he knew that if his friends so much as touched the knob of the aged door, they would be smite by the wrath of the ghost kid.
Shaking to that, then letting out a yelp as he watched Sasuke gesture Kiba to deal with the room, the boy with the bowl hair cut immediately voiced his concerns.
"Wait just a moment!" he called, holding a hand out to his peers. "Perhaps you'd like to reconsider all of this Sasuke Uchiha! Nothing good is going to come out of this situation, you know that right?"
"Theres no point in backing out now when all you guys are asking me to do is sleep in a dusty abandoned room.. besides, we're literally inches away from the place. Why stop now?"
Lee flinched and went blue in the face in response, leaving Sasuke to return his sights to Kiba and watch the dog snicker as he cracked his knuckles in an arrogant manner then dug through his pockets to pull out a paper clip. When that was done, the dog approached the door, leaving Naruto, Shikamaru and Sasuke as well to turn their backs and instinctively gather around him in means of blocking, though after seeing Lee and Gaara unwilling to participate, the boys rose a brow.
"Just what the heck are you doing Lee?" the Nara started, squinting. "Get over here and block us just in case anyone shows up."
"Oi, yeah bushy-brows, there's enough room over here!"
"C'mon." Sasuke pushed, getting annoyed by the boys antsy attitude.
"Do you even hear yourselves much less know what you are doing? That is the choir room you are attempting to break into!" he whispered harshly in response.
"H-He is right.. Th-This doesn't seem like something you should do.." Gaara uttered in agreement, making the group of 3 groan.
Kiba, on the otherhand, grunted as he found the lock he messed with hard to tackle. Not only was the knob not budging, but it seemed that no matter how much he moved around his paper clip, the bolts, spindle and other workings within weren't releasing any tension or making any accessed clicks and other related sounds for the dog to recognize as a means of the door unlocking.
"Rghh-dammit.. this thing isn't budging.."
"Of course it is not going to budge- the ghost doesn't want you to enter the room!"
"Will you stop with that." Shika groaned, earning a firm headshake from Lee.
"I will not. This is crazy and you know it!"
"What's crazy is how this damn door isn't budging at all! Open up you piece of shit!" Kiba barked, standing straight the next second then kicking the frame of wood a few times, making Shikamaru groan again.
"Hey, easy.. Any louder and you're gonna draw attention-"
"From who! Ain't nobody here Nara, so shut up!"
"..tch.. don't get snappy at me just because you can't open a damn door."
"Maybe if you did that to the door, we might get in."
"Shut up Nara!"
"Then open the door."
"..It will not open that way.."
Flinching the newest voice in the area, the group of six immediately tensed then pressed their backs against the door- calming only when they noticed that the newest voice in the area belonged to Shino- who just so happened to up and appear out of nowhere and stand at the opposing side of the hall away from the group..
"Fucking creep.." Kiba growled, whilst Naruto pat his chest and stomped to the boy.
"Oi oi! What the hell is your deal! Quit doing that or else you'll give us all heart attacks!"
"..That will not happen, considering you're all in perfect health.. but then again I don't know your family's health history so-"
"What do you mean we can't open the door this way?" Shikamaru cut off, not wanting to get detoured from the Aburame boys creepy conversation. "-You're saying this door can't be picked open at all?"
"Of course not.." the boy answered, marching to said door and looking upon it. "This door is the oldest of it's brothers and sisters- built when the Academy itself was first established.. but.. due to time and certain events, this door was left uncared for, while the others were replaced or maintained..."
"So because this door is old as shit, I can't pick it?" Kiba wondered, before standing with a scoff. "Pft, figures.. so how the hell are we supposed to get in?"
"Simple.. You find the lost key."
"Wha- n-n-no! No no no no no! H- NO!"
As Kiba struggled to form a proper sentence, Shikamaru rolled his eyes to the roof of the hall before sealing them and patting a sore spot at the peak between his shoulders that he could only define as a pain in his neck.
"What a drag.. We've done so much just to do something this stupid, but it turns out we have to do more troublesomely stupid stuff just to finish and get out of this mess.." he complained before composing himself and knitting his brows together as he looked to Shino. "So what now? If the key is lost just how are we supposed to find it?"
"Simply asking me will not help you in your quest. I walked these halls the same time you had, so I do not know where the key is. The rumor however.. -The rumor states that it was lost on purpose, so perhaps it is somewhere here on campus."
"OBVIOUSLY! But where the hell do we start?" Kiba voiced, flinching once he watched Sasuke begin to walk off. "Er! H-Hey! Uchiha! Where you goin'?"
"I'm going to the office to get a pass for the classes I've missed. In the meantime, you guys try and find the key if you want."
"Hey hey! So what you're just giving up!" the dog questioned, watching the Uchiha stop his walking to glance at him from over his shoulder.
"..There's no point in trying to do this if there's no way we can get in."
"Oi.. I said I can knock it down." Naruto mumbled to himself as he hit his left palm.
"We tried.. now lets just move on. We should all try to excuse our tardies to our teachers rather than waste our time with this.." the Uchiha finished, walking off.
Lee beamed at this, turning to the group with a large smile. "Oh well! We have all tried our best, but the fates would not allow it! Maybe next time!" he said in a confident boast before marching off as well, though he was quickly pulled back by Shino. "ER! H-Hey!"
"You are not done here.."
The boy gulped, and the group who remained simply stared at the silent individual who looked to the old door once more in thought, however Naruto was sure to twitch as a thought of his own popped in mind and prompted him to walk his own path down the hall- this of course, making Gaara and Kiba call for him.
"Oi- I'll be back, I just have to see Iruka sensei really quick! I'll be right back, I promise!" he shouted back before running off.
Shikamaru sighed. "Great.. so just what're we supposed to do now?"
"Isn't it obvious?" Shino asked in his usual pensive tone. "We will find the lost key and then continue where we left off.."
. . .
Meanwhile, in Iruka's room, Iruka himself graded a few papers from his prior classes, taking tiny breaks every other 30 seconds to eat his cup of instant noodles beside him, stopping when he heard a knock at his door and witnessed Genma make his way in the room, holding a bento box and chewing on a toothpick.
"Ge-Genphma?" Umino uttered with his mouth full, choking his food down and patting his chest the next second, making the man chuckle then take a seat on his desk.
"Heh, don't get too excited. I don't want you to die on me Umino."
"Mrph- y-yeah, sorry." the man said between chuckles, still patting his chest. "What brings you by?"
"Nothin much.. I just came from the teachers lounge. The others were talking about going out to lunch 'nd such."
"Oh really? Where?" Umino asked, cradling his cup of noodles and slurping up it's contents.
"Asuma suggested a bar and grill, while Hayate considered that nice little noodle bar we've been to before. You know the one- The place with the cute girl you eye on occasion when we're there."
Iruka spit out what was previously slurped and coughed, bringing Genma to let out a quick sputtering noise before breaking out in laughter.
"Oh man! You shoulda saw your face!" he said in between his laughs and broken breaths as he held his abdomen with his free arm.
This only left the priory played Iruka to rub his mouth with the sleeve of his right arm as he sent daggers to his counterpart and turned redder due to embarrassment.
"Real funny jerk.."
"Relax, I was just playing with you.. though there's been talk. Kurenai keeps insisting that she's going to get you two to hook up."
"I! I-I don't need assistance when it comes to asking a woman out! I'm fine!"
"Alright alright relax," Genma eased, fanning the man with his free hand before glancing elsewhere. "Anyway, I told them I couldn't go for reasons.. Not only were they so indecisive when it came to picking a place, but talk of that test approaching was stirring up and it was starting to give me indigestion so I had to make up a poor excuse to get out of there. Also, I didn't want them to ruin my time with my store bought bento.."
"Heh, you say that as if it's a bad thing."
"It is when you buy it almost every day. Sometimes.. you just long for a freshly cooked lunch y'know?"
"I get you." Iruka spoke leaning back in his seat with a soft smile. "..So about that testing..?"
"Gugh.. Don't start, Umino."
"I'm just saying! Gosh, how long have we been talking about that?"
"Forever. We're trying to get these kids prepared." he answered, opening his lunch then picking out a single roll of sushi. "Anyway, I came to talk to you about something.."
"Something?" Umino parrotted, blinking in thought. "Well, what is it Genma?"
Rather than answer right away, the man ate his sushi roll and stared into space, his face glowing a soft pink color of which Iruka noticed and squinted to.
"It's about Anko."
"Hm!-? W.. What about Anko?"
"Well.. Fall is steadily approaching.. right?"
"R-right, if anything it's nearing the middle of September.."
"..The weather's getting colder.."
"Um.. Yeah. It has been getting a little chilly in the mornings."
"And I'm.. getting older.."
"...Y.. Yeah. That's the unfortunate consequence time gives us." Iruka agreed with a light-hearted laugh, honestly not knowing where this conversation was going entirely.
Genma simply stared into space as he maneuvered his right hand to grab another sushi roll and toss it in his mouth, as if it were as simple as slinging popcorn around, before lowering his eyes and letting out a groan.
"Have you ever woke up one morning and just got tired of being alone?"
"Huh!" Umino gasped, getting red in the face, though he was sure to nervously fidget. "U-urm.. well.. I.. I guess."
"I mean.. I've never really thought about it before until now I guess.."
"Heh.. That means you're not alone." Genma said in a single laugh. "But then again you're about 4 years younger than me so you have enough time to play around if you wanted."
"Play around.." Iruka repeated, getting redder. "Th-That's not really my style. Besides, you're young too Genma! You have enough time to play around too!"
"...So.. what does this actually have to do with Anko?" Umino pried, wanting to know more.
". . ."
"Don't tell me that despite you guys arguing all the time and the childish way you two act with each other, you actually like her!-?"
All Genma did in response was look to the roof despairingly whilst his mouth curled into a hopeless lackluster grin, which made Iruka immediately correct his posture in his seat and drop his jaw.
"Genma! Are you serious!-?" he started, sounding as if he were going to scold, but broke down to laugh. "You're.. You're so childish!"
"Childish you say?"
"Of course! Why can't guys like you just up and say how you feel rather than tease and pick on a girl like you're on a playground or something? Surely that's a better way to get your feelings across than literally acting like a kid!"
"Sometimes techniques like that don't work for men like me." he admitted, setting down his bento beside Iruka, making the fellow teacher scoff.
"Right, and I suppose arguing and bickering will help Anko know how you feel?"
"I have a theory on that."
"Care to share it in front of the class?" Iruka questioned, holding out a hand to his empty room.
Genma laughed as he stood from off the mans desk and turned full cirlce to face him the next second- his arms pompously resting at his hips as his expression became a little smug.
"I tend to think that people in a relationship who don't argue with one another every so often, tend to prove that they have a slight disinterest in whatever's going on in their partners life, while arguing shows that you care."
"Haha! That's a twisted way of thinking."
"I think it's accurate. Anko and I argue with one another because we care about each other a lot. I'm sure if we somehow stopped, then we'd both get pretty depressed."
"Heheh, well then.. whatever works for you."
"Right. So I was thinking of taking her somewhere for her birthday next month.. Possibly showing up at her house unannounced to take her on a surprise date-"
"What if she has plans with her family?"
" ! er... then that'd be just awkward." the man answered, looking to the floor.
"You'd roll with the punches though, right?"
"Of course! And just to piss her off, I'll tell her family that I popped the question and want my answer."
"Classic Genma." Iruka muttered under his breath, laughing the next second, though the sound of squeaking sneakers and a body colliding against the frame of his doorway stopped all that.
As both teachers looked upon the entryway, Iruka widened his eyes and almost lost his ability to form words as he saw Naruto heaving heavily as he held his knees then stood tall.
"O-.. oi.. Iruka-sensei.. s-sorry I'm late.." he wheezed.
"Naruto?" the man uttered blinking a few times- standing abruptly and glaring the next second. "HOW DARE YOU SHOW UP TO CLASS LATE! JUST WHAT IN THE WORLD IS YOUR EXCUSE!"
"Ah, w-well, y'see I was playing video games and-"
"YOU WERE DOING WHAT!" the man questioned, jumping over to the boy and roughly rubbing the knuckles of his right hand over his hair.
"YOU MEAN TO TELL ME YOU MISSED OUT ON SESSIONS OF IMPORTANT LECTURES AND STUDIES TO STAY HOME AND PLAY VIDEO GAMES! JUST WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU THINKING!"
"AHH-OWW! I-I'M SORRY!"
"YOU'VE GOT TO GROVEL BETTER THAN THAT NARUTO!"
"..Iruka?" Genma called, snapping the man out of his fit. "..Heh, I can see you're busy. I'll talk to you later."
"Er.. em.. No don't worry about it. I'll scold the kid later. We can still talk."
"It's fine." the man said with a shrug. "I've got to run off and head back to the teachers lounge anyway. -You think the birthday thing is still a good idea though?"
"Of course. I can't imagine anyone other than you doing something so.. befitting."
"Ha, well I'll see you later." he said in parting as he waved and exited the room.
Naruto stared long and hard at the leaving man as a word he had uttered rang loud in his mind until he felt he couldn't hold it in his head any longer. So, looking to Iruka and curling a brow, the blonde spoke.
"Oi.. Iruka-sensei.. what's a.. birthday?"
"Hrm? You serious? Its a day of celebrating your birth- are you playing around with me?"
"Erm, no.. I just-"
"Nevermind all of that. What took you so long to make it to class? Were you really playing video games?"
"If I tell you the truth with you keep hurting my head?" the fox asked in a flinch.
" *siiigh* as if there'd be a point.." he spoke, hunching as he rested his hands on his sides. "Listen.. Up until now your attendance has been perfect, so I find it funny how the day before you and I are supposed to go somewhere you suddenly flip the script. If this is your way of saying that you don't want to go to the ramen festival, then simply tell me instead of trying to bail-"
"What're you talking about! I never said I didn't want to go- I wanna go!"
"Yeah, that's why I agreed to go in the first place!" the boy voiced before glaring. "Oi, if this is your way to try and disinvite me, you've got a better chance trying to ditch me or something!"
"Y-You.. erm.. well. Well if you want to go then I expect you to attend all your classes. Do you really think something as simple as that is too much to ask for?"
"Not at all! I'll listen to you Iruka-sensei! I promise!"
Pulling back to the response, but sighing again as he tried his hardest to hide a growing smile, Iruka shook his head then returned to his desk to go back to work, leaving Naruto to approach the man and look to his cupped lunch that gave off an amazing aroma.
"..hmm? oi.. Iruka-sensei, what is that?" the boy asked, childishly pointing at the cup of noodles whilst the index finger of his otherhand rested over his bottom lip.
The teacher stared, but was sure to narrow his eyes and shake his head. "It's my lunch. Don't put your fingers so close to it, that's gross."
"Mrh.. I'm so hungry." the boy stated holding his stomach, making Umino glare.
"Then go buy yourself some lunch... or.. here," he said, pushing Genma's unwanted bento over to him. "You can have that."
"Mmrh.. I want that cup though-"
"Huh! No way!"
"Naruto, no! Have the bento!"
"Why don't you have it? I want that-"
"No, besides, Genma already had his fingers in that lunch and I don't want it-"
"So I'm supposed to eat it instead? C'mon, just let me have that cup-"
"It's better than what I did with these noodles!"
"I don't care! Gimme!"
"Oi.. I'm so hungry.."
"Tough, you're grown, get your own!"
"S..sensei.. please?" the boy whined, hunching as he held his stomach.
Grunting and going back to grading papers, Iruka moved on to ignore the blonde beside him, however, after a few seconds of keeping to himself then hearing the boys stomach break the silence by bellowing it's own whines, the man grew soft-hearted and handed the boy his instant noodles without so much as a glance. This brought Naruto to let out a brief squeal of glee as he snatched the food and sat atop of the mans desk as Genma had and slurped away what was left of the meal, leaving Iruka who eventually watched this from the corner of his eyes to shake his head and smile wearily at the boy.
"You're one odd kid Naruto.."
"Hm!" the boy jumped with a single noodle hanging out of his mouth, bringing Iruka laugh.
"Hahaha! You're the only kid I know who seems to like ramen more than I do. That's really saying something y'know?"
"What do you mean?" the boy rhetorically asked, after slurping up his spare noodle and curling his brows. "Liking this stuff makes me weird?"
"Not really, I'm just teasing you." the man admitted rubbing the back of his head. "..I.. I want to apologize to you Naruto."
"Hm? Why?" he wondered, continuing to eating what little soup was left.
"..I jumped the gun and accused you of not wanting to go to the festival all because you were a little late to class.. That wasn't right, so I wanted to say, sorry."
Blinking twice before drinking back the mixture of broth and tiny vegetables, the fox slammed the empty cup and utensils used on the desk before wiping his mouth and actioning a tiny shrug.
"It's alright. I'm just glad you even asked me to go."
" ! , heh, w-well. I'm glad you agreed on going and still want to go. As I said before, it's not everyday a teenager wants to hang out with an adult.. You know that the festival lasts all day right?-"
"No way! Really?-!"
"Er, yeah.. Feel free to tell me when you want to leave. I'll drop you off at your house whenever you want."
"Whoa whoa whoa! Wait a minute! If the festival lasts all day then I wanna stay until it's over!"
"..hm.. but I have to ask Sasuke first.. I'm sure he won't mind, but still I gotta ask.."
"Sasuke? Shouldn't you ask the adult in the house?"
"Hm?... so.. Itachi?"
"Er, if he's the adult, yes."
"Itachi doesn't really care, he's always out until late at night anyway, so I'm sure he wouldn't mind. I still have to ask Sasuke though." the blonde spoke as he folded his arms and looked to the roof, snickering the next second. "Oi oi oi, I'm so psyched! I can't wait to go to the festival sensei!"
"Likewise! You better win that contest or it's papers until the end of the year Naruto!"
"Heh! Don't bet on that! You wait 'nd see, I'm gonna eat every bowl of ramen in sight! They'll have to handcuff me and drag me out of the whole thing in order to stop me!"
"Big words. We'll see tomorrow."
"Haha, I'd like to prove you wrong right now but this ain't the time and I gotta get going!" the fox laughed, jumping off the desk and heading toward the door. "Sasuke and the others need me for something big. I'll see you later then!"
"H-Hey! What are you talking about? Just what're you plotting Naruto?"
"Guugh, I'm not doin anything bad.. I just need to find a key."
"A.. key?" Iruka repeated, blinking inbetween his words.
"Mhm. Sasuke need's a key to the cursed choir room... hmmm.. Hey! Speaking of the key, do you have any idea where it is?"
Rather than answer, Iruka bridged his brows and abruptly stood from his seat, knowing that the blondes story so far meant that nothing but trouble was afoot.
. . .
Meanwhile, having made it to work finally, Izumo tiredly paced himself onto campus and into the school before easing himself passed a few students and staff as he had made it into the office. In no mood to greet anyone, much less speak, the man made it to his desk and instantly took a seat before resting his head on its surface and attempting to get some shut-eye in, however a firm call of his name brought the man to tiredly reveal his eyes and lift his head, only to see Sasuke Uchiha himself.
"You don't look well." the boy started, raising a brow. "You're alright?"
"Ah, yeah just tired is all," Izumo responded rubbing his eyes then twitching to the sudden thought that got the gears in his head to work.
Earlier, when Kotetsu had finally introduced the Kamizuki man to Kakashi Hatake himself, there was talk about Sasuke Uchiha taking something of his.. a u.k.e..
Remembering this, Izumo's eyes grew large as he looked upon the Uchiha who gave the man a salty look in return.. Just how in the world was a boy like Sasuke Uchiha able to take something as complex and expensive like a u.k.e from Kakashi Hatake without any reprocussions what so ever?
Izumo had remembered some words Hatake shared with Kotetsu over the matter, but being he was so tired he couldn't really remember it word for word. All he knew for the moment was that Sasuke had what Kakashi owned.
"...Mr Kamizuki?" the Uchiha started, watching the brunette flinch.
"Erm- yeah? What is it Sasuke?"
"Can I get a pass for the classes I missed. I was a little tardy this morning.."
" ! , and just why were you so tardy?" the man questioned, standing from his seat and leaning over his desk to the boy.
"Was it because you were.. busy.. with something?"
". . .What?"
"I'm asking you if the reason why you were late was because you were BUSY.. with something..?"
"...I just woke up late." the Uchiha lied with a pokerface before breaking his expression into a sour one. "Can I get my pass now or what?"
Looking around the office and seeing no one around for the moment, Izumo quickly hurried around his desk before gesturing Sasuke to follow him down a short hall then to the supply room where the man opened the door and pretended to look around for things as he eye'd the Uchiha from the corner of his eyes- spotting the kid keeping his distance and staying out of the area.
"What're you so nervous for? Help me out here.." Izumo pushed, making the teen raise a brow however do so in the end.
The moment the Uchiha made it into the room, Izumo bumrushed the door, shutting it quickly then locking it behind him. All of this was weird enough to bring Sasuke on the defensive and take a few steps back from the office assistant, but as he watched the man fold his arms and squint, he kinda did the same.
"..Look," he started, only to break the silence. "I have no idea what you're up to, but you can't possibly think you can try something on me without the school firing you for this."
"Hm?" the brunette grunted in surprise before shaking his head and waving his hands. "No no no! You've got it all wrong! I'm not trying to do anything here! I just wanted to ask you some questions!" he defended.
"Questions?" the teen repeated, sounding as if he didn't believe it.
The man nodded earnestly before holding his aching cranium. "I apologize, I understand that what I've done came off as weird but I'm serious, I'm just a little confused over what I recently gotten myself into and I think you can help clear the air."
"No offense, but I think that's what the school counsellor is for."
"No no no, this has nothing to do with school." Izumo spoke before cupping his chin. "The questions I have deal with you and Kakashi."
"K- K.. What?" the boy let out faltering at Hatake's name alone.
"It's true that you and Kakashi Hatake have crossed paths before right? And that you happen to have something that was once his too right?"
"Wh.. I don't.. How did-"
"A while ago I ran into a man named Kotetsu and he ended up introducing me to Kakashi Hatake, and eventually your name was brought up in a certain conversation but so was the issue of you having something of his. Is that true?"
"Wait a minute! How is it that you ran into Kotetsu, and how is it that those guys managed to say everything like that so openly with someone like you?" the Uchiha questioned, feeling flustered.
Izumo shrugged in response and shook his head as he let out a soft sigh.
"The reason why I was introduced to Kakashi was because I told Kotetsu that I've always wanted to work with the guy, so he worked something out-"
"Wait, so you're telling me you work for Kakashi now?"
"In a sense. But he still wants me to keep my job here so-"
"So he can keep tabs on me and Naruto.." the Uchiha hissed, tightening a fist and sending hellbeams to the floor below him.
That Kakashi.. Turning the school faculity into his own mini army of secret spies..
What a dick.
"What." the Uchiha snapped, earning Izumo's twitch.
"..So.. I'm curious.. the thing you took from Kakashi.. it was a u.k.e?"
"I'm not going to tell you. Not if you're affiliated with Kakashi." he answered approaching the door and getting the man to move. "If you want to find out, then do your research." he uttered as he left.
"Erm! W-wait a minute, Sasuke!" the man called out giving chase. "Whatever you think is the case here, you're wrong. I'm just curious as to what's been going on without my knowing- I feel as if I was thrown into a story without so much as knowing the book or the characters y'know?"
"I'll tell my teachers you ran out of tardy slips." he responded leaving the office.
As that happened, Izumo stopped following the boy and instead stood before the office doors to watch the raven navigate through the halls of children until he wasn't distinguishable anymore. This left Izumo to groan and roll his eyes as he couldn't quite understand where the boys animosity came from, though he had pondered and figured that Sasuke's attitude and Kakashi's common attitude did share a likeness when it all boiled down to it and it had something to do with a u.k.e. Izumo just had to find out who that was when he had the time..
". . ."
Glancing over his shoulder and seeing no one important or above him in rank of position loitering around in the office, the brunette rushed over to his desk, took a notepad, wrote down a few words and left the office walking the same path the Uchiha had.
He figured he had a few minutes to spare when it came to getting more insight on that matter.
Meanwhile, back at square one, Kiba was continuing to pick the unpickable- breaking his trusty paperclip along the way and resorting try to unlock the door with the nail of his right hand.
"Tchk! ..this.. is.. BULLSHIT! Why won't this fucking door open!"
"You're trying to open a door thats 100 years old with nothing but your nails... There's no way you could've possibly thought that was going to work." Shikamaru uttered with a semi-bothered expression.
"Shut up Nara! It's not like you've been much help! Just what's standing around nagging me gonna do to get this damn door open huh!"
"A hell of a lot less than you digging your nails into a keyhole, that's for sure." the boy groaned rolling his eyes.
"rgh, I swear you got such a fuckin' mouth on you.. Why didn't you go run off with Shino, Lee and Gaara when you had the chance!-? Youd've been better off tryna find that key rather than stand around here and nag me!"
"Pft.. why didn't you go look for the key then? Cause you prodding your fingers at the door isn't helping either genius.. Besides, you know the only reason I didn't run off with those two is because I find this entire ordeal to be a waste of time.."
"Tch, yeah well I didn't want to run off with them either.. What's the point of looking for a key when you've got a master lock picker right here before your eyes!-?"
"Uh-huh.. Well until you manage to unlock that door with your magical nails, I'm just going to state for the record that I'm actually with Sasuke on this one. If the door can't be opened from the outside and the rumored key for it is lost then there's just no point in trying to get in there." the Nara said in a sigh, shutting his eyes and easing his hands into the pockets of his blazer all the while.
"-Just where the hell is your sense of fun and adventure? If this door opens then the fun begins! Why would you just wanna give up on that so suddenly?"
"Because there's no point. The door won't open unless we have the key and we've been told said key was lost. What's the point in trying to find it and open this door? To successfully ensure that Neji and Sasuke will enjoy their private slumber party?- No thanks. I'd rather not waste my time. If something isn't meant to happen then it's just not meant to happen."
"First off, this isn't a slumber party Nara!" The Inuzuka voiced, turning to the lazy boy. "Neji and Sasuke could possibly die, and we'll have the video proof to prove it later on tonight! So stop being such a damn buzzkill, geez.."
Shikamaru groaned the loudest he could as his right hand left the pocket it rested in, flew high and perched itself atop his forehead- this action was cut short however as Sasuke was sure to hurriedly march down the hall in a manner that happened to alert both the Nara and Inuzuka. Stopping what they were doing, the boys look to the Uchiha who stood before the both of them, purposely sporting a face that screamed he was going to attack the first person that said something wrong to cross him.
"Uh.. you alright Uchiha?" Shikamaru questioned, cautiously bringing his arms to fold.
"Yeah, you honestly look like you're about to throw punches dude." Kiba added hearing the Uchiha grunt in return.
"...Kakashi has Izumo working for him."
"Mr Kamizuki!-?" they both let out in disbelief.
"Wait a minute! You mean the guy who sits in the office and doesn't do shit but write passes all day? That Izumo Kamizuki?" Kiba shouted, losing control over the volume in his voice.
"Bullshit.." Shikamaru put in, glaring at what was said prior.
"Afraid not.. Just a second ago when I was trying to get my pass, Izumo randomly trapped me in the supply closet just to ask me questions about Kakashi and my ties to the guy. Turns out, Izumo must've crossed paths with Kotetsu and he introduced him to Kakashi."
"Kotetsu?" Kiba repeated, sending a 'please elaborate' look to Shikamaru.
"He was the guy who gave us the tour at Kakashi's factory a long time ago and acted like he didn't give a crap about his job."
"Yeah. That guy." Sasuke confirmed, earning the action of smacked teeth from Shikamaru.
"Oh come on, just how in the hell did those two manage to cross paths, and why the hell would Kotetsu bring Izumo to Kakashi?"
"I barely even asked the guy." the Uchiha answered, bringing his left hand to cradle his suddenly aching head. "-I was just too taken back by the fact that Izumo knew about Kakashi and my ties to him that I immediately went on the defensive-"
"You think that's a good idea?" Shika questioned, leaving Kiba to shrug.
"Yeah, I mean, Mr Kamizuki isn't exactly a bad guy. Just because he met with Kakashi doesn't mean that he's suddenly a douche." the dog reasoned, bringing Sasuke to look to the floor feeling guarded.
"We don't exactly know that for sure.." he mumbled, looking from the ground then around. "..Where's Lee and Shino? And where's Naruto?"
"Lee and Shino went to search for the key for the room." Kiba answered quickly whilst Shikamaru actioned a shrug.
"As for Naruto, he kinda ran off after you did to see Mr Umino. Don't know if he's still with him now thoug-"
Alerted, Sasuke, Shikamaru and Kiba turned their heads only to spot Naruto waving to them at the end of the hall with a huge grin on his face that made them instantly suspicious.
Just what was he so giddy for?
"Oiiii! I brought help for the key problem!"
" ! , Who cares about that," Sasuke voiced back, actioning his right hand to gesture the boy over. "Hurry over here dobe, I got something to tell- er!"
Biting his tongue as he watched no other than Iruka march from around the corner and pass the blonde to march down the hall and approach the group of three, Sasuke was the first in his trio to get a little blue in the face as he wasn't sure what Naruto said to Iruka to have the guy make his way to them, but he was positive his idiot fox didn't say anything good, considering Mr Umino had on his most sternest face.
Shikamaru instantly facepalmed. "Just great Uchiha.. you've got one hell of an idiot playing for our team."
"Sasuke Uchiha." Iruka started in a firm tone, folding his arms and taking a parental pose in front of the boy. "What is this I hear about you needing a key for the choir room?"
"Oi, Iruka-sensei.. I told you he just needs it to see the room." Naruto spoke, catching up and making himself apart of their circle.
"Hmph.. I'll excuse you from any amount of trouble associated with this Naruto, considering you're fairly new to the school and rules seem to be fresh with you in general.. but Sasuke Uchiha, you've got a lot of explaining to do. You all do!-" he cut to, looking over the group. "You all, as well as the other students of Konoha Academy, are fully aware that when a room on grounds is locked, it means that students are to stay out. So explain to my why Naruto has told me that you need a key for the obviously locked choir room?"
"W-Well funny thing!" Kiba cut off, thinking of something to try and save the Uchiha's ass, though nothing was cooking fast enough in his head. "Um.. uh!"
Again the group of three was alerted and left to turn their heads down the hall only to be surprised yet again as they saw Izumo hurry and approach. Though the group saw this as more trouble than what they asked for, eventually they were quite surprised to hear what was said from Mr Kamizuki once he neared the disgruntled sensei..
"Iruka, are you having a problem with Sasuke and his friends?"
"Hm? Yes, it's good you're here.. I don't know if you're aware, but these three were trying to make their way into the choir room."
"Is that a problem?" Izumo wondered, giving 3 innocent blinks to the man who twitched in turn.
"Uh, well.. Yes. Students aren't allowed in locked rooms, especially this one. The choir room has been shut down for years, it's off limits to all students-"
"I'm well aware of that, but I told them to try and find the key for the room because Sasuke and his friends brought up a good argument when they spoke to me long ago about the room."
"Yes. If it wasn't for Sasuke, Shikamaru, Kiba and.. erm!"
Pausing to flinch the moment he looked to the blonde, Izumo found it hard to breathe much less function when he noticed and realized he was standing before a live operational unit that was classified as a pseudo human of sorts.
There were so many questions the man wanted to ask the boy and perhaps Sasuke as well, however, once he noticed the blonde narrow his eyes a bit and pull back in response to the mans stare, the Kamizuki man composed himself and tried to continue where he left off with Iruka.. though, he would find his eyes wandering back to the blonde every now and again.
"Erm eh, s-so.. what I was saying was.. um.."
"Are you okay Izumo?" Umino asked, craning his head in confusion.
"I-I'm fine.. just uh.. just.. I just lost my train of thought!" he randomly laughed, feeling he could keep his focus solely on the fellow faculty member.
"Well you were saying that these kids approached you with something-"
"Yes! They came to me with the idea that we should attempt to bring choir back to the school."
"Yes, of course they ran this by me awhile back and I was irresponsible enough not to fill in the other administrators and stuff.. but I thought it was a good idea. The students need an area in which they could express their creativity without having to do so in the gym or keeping it to themselves."
"I.. I understand what you're saying, but you do realize that the reason why the choir room was locked away was because students were failing to show up in the place-"
"Yes I understand, but Sasuke and his friends were sure that if we brought it back then they'd be able to fill the room!"
"Oh really? And just how will they do that?" Iruka wondered, giving the teens a skeptical glance.
Izumo could feel a few tears of sweat run down the sides of his face as he was finding persuading Iruka to lay off a bigger task than he could handle, but with an eager step toward the man and a quick lie already cooking in his head, Izumo decided to roll the dice and hope this lie would be enough to stop Iruka's meddling.
"They want to show their musical talents at the end of the year rally!" he randomly spurted making everyone flinch, especially the teens.
Shikamaru knew damn well he couldn't play for the life of him- and sing? Please! The school would have better luck trying to get him to tapdance!- and he didn't dance!
Sasuke and Kiba had the same thought in mind, but being they couldn't say anything as they were sure they'd ruin this entire lie in general, they buttoned their lips and looked to Iruka who had stared at them stupidly in return.
"Eh! Y-You guys have talents?"
Apprehensively they boys looked to each other from the corner of their eyes then slowly nodded to the man, bringing Iruka to flinch yet again before rubbing the back of his head.
"O-Oh.. Oh my.. Wow.."
"It's surprising I know, but don't you see that if the choir room was accessible to these boys the entire school would've known they had talent?"
"Erm.. yes. I suppose you have a good point. You all have a good point." Iruka admitted, letting out a nervy laugh. "Geez, I.. I would've never known. I'm so glad you boys want to aspire to the musical arts and bring the room back to life. Mr Sarutobi will be so glad to hear this- he's always been a man for the arts! Have you ran this by him at all?" he continued, looking to Izumo and bringing the man to flinch.
"Urm y-yeah! I was-"
"Great! Well, I'm sorry for intruding on you guys' efforts. Please excuse me, I'll be on my way-"
"Wait, Iruka!" the Kamizuki man called out, grabbing the sleeve of his shirt. "I haven't exactly told Mr Sarutobi or the fellow staff entirely yet.. I wanted it to be a surprise for all of them.. you know?"
Staring at the man then smiling broadly, Umino nodded then rubbed the back of his head nervously as he blushed.
"Oh wow, I'm so happy that you had that in mind Izumo. You're surely going to make Mr Sarutobi so excited."
"I-I know right?"
"Right. Well your secrets safe with me, I won't tell a soul!" the man promised. "However, I hope you don't mind I stop by on occasion to see you guys play.. o-or perhaps sing!"
The boys all flinched, but looked to Izumo who smiled weakly. "Y-Yeah. We'll have that all ready for you in due time. But until then, this is between us." he spoke, releasing Iruka then holding a finger to his lips.
Iruka did the same and nodded before chuckling to himself and marching off with a glowing aura surrounding him, leaving Izumo to hunch and sigh as he watched.
"Geez.. that man is really one for honesty and academics.." he muttered before standing straight and looking to the boys, flinching as he noticed their glares. "U-Uh?"
"Just what the heck did you do that for?" Shikamaru started. "You know if we all get caught in this they'll probably pull us from graduating and fire you."
"Just what's the big idea Mr Kamizuki! Why'd you help us like that?" Kiba questioned, folding his arms whilst Sasuke glared even harder.
"Was this an order from Kakashi?"
"No! No no no no no!" the man chanted shaking his head. "I'm not here for what you think I'm here for! I don't want to get the drop on you or keep tabs like you guys might've assumed! I just want information!"
"For Kakashi?" they questioned simultaneously, making the man jerk.
"NO! I just want to know what's going on with you Sasuke!" he said with a point before shifting his finger to Naruto. "A-And.. I wanna know more about you too.."
"Me?" the fox said in surprise as he pointed to himself.
Instantly Izumo sported a goofy look on his face as he hunched to the blonde and stepped to him.
"Yes yes, you're a unit right? A fully functional and operational unit with human dna?"
"O-oi.. W-Well I-"
"Shizune told me so much about you, and both she and Kakashi were sure to fill in many gaps as to why they had a connection with you and Sasuke both- but enough about them! Tell me, what is it that you can do! Tell me more about yourself, Naruto!"
"Alright that's enough," Sasuke cut in, blocking his blonde while Kiba and Shikamaru eased Izumo away. "Just what is all of this for? You can't seriously think that I'm going to believe you helped us out all because you want to know about Naruto-"
"Huh? Why is that so hard to believe?" the man blinked making Shikamaru groan.
"Because everyone wants to know about Naruto-"
"And it turns out they only want to know about him for all the wrong reasons!" Kiba finished for the Nara before going in to block the blonde as well. "Everyone who's associated with Kakashi always brings trouble for us and especially Naruto, so don't think that just because we've known you for awhile we're just going to up and trust you now!"
"That's right Sasuke already told us that you're working with Kakashi now, so that means we have to keep our distance from you now too.. ugh.. it's going to be troublesome, but don't think that just because you're someone we have to respect on school grounds we're going to let you manipulate us." Shika stated, bringing Izumo to shake his head and wave his hands.
"Boys, I don't want to do any of that- I'm a man of my word!"
"Seriously! Listen, I only began to work with Kakashi just a day ago and he's barely told me anything about- well.. anything! All I know is he's plotting to destroy this guy named Danzo, that's one of the leaders of the corporate world mind you, and how his connection with you seems to derive from this boy!" The man explained looking to Sasuke and pointing at Naruto. "Look, I don't want any trouble, I just want to learn more about him because studies in u.k.e's and Kakashi's sciences in general fascinate me and-"
"Let me stop you right there," Kiba cut off holding a palm to Izumo. "We all have gone down funny roads thanks to Naruto, and we've learned while being on those roads that anybody who says they're fascinated with him are either creeps, stalkers or psychos-"
"W-Well I assure you, I have an interest, but I'm most certainly not any of those things.." the man defended sweating due to nerves.
"..Tell us why we should trust you?" Sasuke spoke, folding his arms.
"Erm.. well I don't know what I should say to get you to trust me exactly.."
"Tells us what Kakashi's been up to!" Kiba forced out with a stomp, making Izumo flinch.
"Eh.. I'm not so sure I should.. What he's doing in something kids like yourselves should be involved-"
"Look, it's all thanks to Naruto and Kakashi that we've been exposed to things we would've or would not've liked to know, so whatever you say will hardly be surprising to us." the Inuzuka boy spoke, making Shikamaru nod.
"Plus, you have a better chance giving us intel on the guy rather than staying silent if you want to get what you want out of this whole thing."
"Well?" Kiba asserted, beginning to tap his foot.
"Uhm... *sigh*.. the day I was first introduced to Kakashi.. he had already had a plan for me to execute involving Root, the results of a new doll and something to do with Kabuto Yakushi.."
"What?" the boys let out in surprise, whilst Naruto widened his eyes in worry.
"-I don't know what I'm to do exactly while working with Kakashi, but so far he's already put me under the tutelage of Shizune and we're in the process of making a new doll and.. well.. I'm sure that the making of this new doll will result in.. a major incident involving Danzo.. at least that's what Kakashi said.. in lighter terms.."
"A.. Are you serious?" Shikamaru uttered almost losing his breath, while Kiba shared the same expression as Naruto.
Sasuke on the otherhand had looked to the ground in thought for a second before returning his stare to Izumo.
"Go on." he pushed, wanting to know more.
"There's not much else to say. I told you, I've only worked there a day ago.. so far all I can grasp of what's going on is Kakashi is going to use me to make a new doll and.. cause Kabuto to defect. That's what he said when we were first introduced.."
"There's.. no way.." Shikamaru mumbled looking to Sasuke who turned to look at Naruto.
At a loss for words, the blonde simply stood and looked passed the Uchiha to stare upon Izumo of whom he saw as an innocent bystander in all of this..
Kakashi was involving a man who knew nothing into a matter that was bigger than what he could ever assume. That wasn't right..
"Naruto?" Sasuke started, seeing the blonde slowly shake his head in shame.
"...Hey.. lets trust him alright?"
"You serious?" Kiba put in with a puzzled look.
"Mhm.. He doesn't even belong in all of this.. Kakashi's just dragging people into situations he knows they can't handle all because he's pissed.."
"At who? Sasuke?" Shikamaru questioned raising a brow.
Naruto shook his head. "Sai is a Shimura.. his grandfather is Danzo. Most likely Kakashi's acting out over what happened between me 'nd Sai long ago.."
Sasuke glared but shut his eyes the next second to shake his head and pinch the bridge of his nose. "Rgh.. Doesn't he know that by doing that, he would only make you-"
"He just doesn't get it, but it's not his fault.. Kakashi just doesn't understand."
Feeling that saying anything against that would be wrong and in turn make Naruto feel even worse than he already had, Sasuke Shikamaru and Kiba kept to themselves and in turn looked to Izumo, each and every one of them giving their own assuring looks to the man in silence, making him rub the back of his head nervously.
"Your name is Izumo, right?" Naruto randomly questioned, stepping away from his friends blockade and toward him.
"Erm.. yes. Yes it is."
"I wanna thank you.. for y'know.. telling us all of that." he uttered smiling weakly. "It's isn't everyday we run into someone who's actually a good guy in all this."
" ! , Hah, It's no problem." the man nervously said, shocked and awed at how well the blonde spoke and reacted. "So.. your name is Naruto?"
"Mhm. You're interested in me? You have questions?"
Flinching to the words, Izumo hurried to push himself and nod to the boy, however the sound of squeaking sneakers down the hall brought him to see Lee, Shino and Gaara standing awkwardly down the hall.
"U-Uhm! W-We... We must have made a wrong turn guys!" Lee abruptly shouted, shooting the finger of his right hand in the air. "Let us move on and talk to our other friends who are not currently here in this hall we ironically ran into-"
"Lee. It's cool." Shikamaru let out, watching the three boys twitch then approach cautiously.
As soon as they made into the groups circle they looked to Izumo who chuckled nervously, though the awkward air was quick to break as Naruto cleared his throat sigh the mans way.
"Oi.. I'll answer all your questions another time, but right now I have to find the key with the others."
"The key?" Izumo repeated, blinking twice before pointing to the room. "You mean the key for there? What're you looking for that for? Better yet, why are all of you trying to get into that room?"
"We wanted to be in there just cuz, but we really need to be in that room now considering you up and told Iruka that we're all aspiring to be little Mozart's and Beethoven's." Kiba spoke, making Izumo sigh.
"Sorry about that.. I just didn't know what else to say.."
"It's fine." Naruto assured, laughing a bit. "Heh, so I'm not sure if I should be asking you this, but.. do you know where the key to the room is?"
Nodding and causing the kids to flinch in surprise, Izumo walked off and eventually led the trailing kids back to the office where they watched him approach his desk, open a drawer, dig through it and eventually pull out an old copper key on a slightly rusted keychain- holding it out to the kids the next second.
Lee flinched and let out a quick yelp in response as he hid behind Shino, whilst Sasuke took the key the man offered and stared at it.
"This is the key?"
"Why do you have it?" Shikamaru questioned, feeling oh-so confused. "I thought the rumor around here was that the key was purposely lost."
"Purposely lost? Erm.. I don't know much about the rumors or stories you're referring to, I just know as soon as I started working here, Gai gave me this key and told me that I'm the only one who he trusts is responsible enough to handle it. Since then he's been giving me old books and other junk and materials to put into the room."
In other words, back in the day, Gai pushed his responsibilities with the supposed cursed room over to the new guy..
Sasuke, Shikamaru and Lee could only soften their expressions and look to Izumo sympathetically, while Naruto and Kiba jumped to step to the man.
"Oi, you've been in the room before?" the fox started, raising a brow.
"What's it like?" the dog asked with slight impatience in his tone.
Izumo blinked but was sure to shrug before looking to the roof in thought. "Hm.. It's just like any other classroom, except its a little bigger do to it being for choir and theres nothing but old dusty books and worksheets in there."
"So there are no ghosts?" Naruto asked, making the man shrug.
"I uh.. I honestly don't know. I didn't see any."
The blonde glowed to those words as he looked to Sasuke, making the Uchiha sigh as he tried to return the look to the boy, though his smile lacked the certain glow that emphasized he was really happy about Izumo's comment. Instead, his expression appeared to be a toned down "I tried to tell you/I already told you that" look.
"Tch yeah right! We'll be the judge of that Mr Kamizuki- Thanks for the key." Kiba scoffed, snatching the key away from the Uchiha.
The boy was sure to flinch however as the bell of the school rang, indicating lunch was over and that it was time for students to get back into the habit of going to their last remaining classes.
Groaning the group of 7 looked to the roof of the Academy with hopeless expressions, all of them looking to the barking Inuzuka who made his feelings vocal at the end of it all.
"Dammit! We wasted all this time doing absolutely nothing, and now I'm gonna be starving in class! Just awesome!"
"Not everything was a complete waste." Shino assured in his usual deadpanned delivery as he snatched the stolen tool from the Inuzuka. "The lost key was recovered."
"Will you stop with the lost key thing?" Shikamaru groaned, getting irritated by the schtick already. "The thing was never lost to begin with, it was here in the office the whole time. Which means your whole fairy tale is flaud. Nothing's in that room and Mr Kamizuki just proved it."
"To be fair, that was not my fairy tale. It was just stories I had heard and decided to share with you all. As for the room in general, Mr Kamizuki has not proved anything at all.." Shino corrected before looking to the Sasuke. "You still must go through with what you promised, Uchiha."
"Hnph. I never planned on backing out even though you, Kiba and Lee's theories and stories pretty much collapsed thanks to Izumo." he uttered, taking the key from him then move to leave the office.
"... ! , wait, you mean me?" the office assistant spoke, flinching when he saw the kids head out in a group. "H-Hey, wait a minute! Just what are you guys talking about? What promise? A-And hey! Th-The key.. . . . I'm.. not exactly supposed to give that out.." the man mumbled, slumping when he saw the kids continue to advance and eventually split to make it to their classes.
Distressed by the lack of acknowledgement and.. well.. the entire situation that dealt with being around the teenagers in total, Izumo couldn't help but wonder if he had done the right thing when it came to telling Sasuke and the others what was going on with Kakashi.. that and allowing the Uchiha and his friends to walk away with the only key to the closed off choir room.
Sighing loudly as he leaned on his desk, the brunette folded his arms and looked to the roof of the office in thought, figuring however those boys were going to take the information he had given to them and they'd do to the choir room wouldn't be so bad at the end of the day..
"I mean c'mon.. what harm could they do? They're just kids.."
He muttered this to himself in the hopes of being unnerved by the entirety of the situation, though he knew no matter what was said, nothing would change his gut feeling on everything.
Izumo figured if Sasuke and the others were "just kids" then why the hell were involved with Kakashi and knew so many things he deemed very serious..?
The man cupped his chin as he forced himself to take a seat at his desk and think hard on it, though no matter what he came up with, it never really made sense to him. He just knew he had to go by Kakashi's rule and play his part until he ultimately understood the whole story.
Already in class at the University, Neji focused on finishing up a few extra credit notes to turn in as soon as class was over, but the more time had progressed, the more the boy became distracted by the variety of large and small nuisances that he knew he shouldn't have thought of during his time at the University.. but he just couldnt' help it.
Utakata liked Gaara, so was it a good idea for Neji to leave those two alone? Sure he trusted his instincts and was pretty positive that if Utakata wanted to try anything funny, Gaara would abstain from it, but Neji also knew that when it came down to it, if Utakata wanted to do something stupid, he would.
Stopping his writing, but grunting as he forced himself to continue jotting down his notes, Neji tried his hardest to stay focused on the task at hand, but the more his mind kept attempting to push back the thought of the Utakata/Gaara problem, other problematic thoughts backing that one, pushed back and proved to be an even bigger problem in itself.
Utakata wasn't the Hyuuga's only issue, Neji still need to find out how he wasn't going to handle the whole Deidara situation as well.
Sure, it wasn't that hard of a decision the more the boy thought on it- all he had to do was not tell Gaara that he tried to go behind his back and get back at the boys former owner and just move on.
But at the off chance that the boy would find out, and he most likely would the longer Utakata stayed around, the Hyuuga would be in trouble.
But what was the worst Gaara would do to him? Not talk to him? Frown a little more?
Stopping his writing again, Neji brought his expression to sour as he knew that such a mild action from the Shukaku would bother him more than he'd put on. He had to be honest with him, or at least ask the boy what he thinks the Hyuuga should do about it..
Still.. that scared him. How would Gaara react?
Neji thought about it a little longer, not finding any good outcomes coming out of the act of honesty and in turn bringing the boy to groan to himself as he dropped everything he did and cradled his aching skull.
..There were more issues though..
Flinching to the call, the Hyuuga lifted his head from his palms and looked to his professor, visibly frowning more than he could control.
Who looked to him in return was the one and only Minato Namikaze, who seemed to share the same face as he folded his arms as he looked down to the boy, though the man was sure to kneel beside his desk and raise a brow.
"Is something wrong? You look upset.."
...Yeah, there was the other problem.
Minato had finally recovered from his sickness and now was back to teaching at the University, which left the Hyuuga to feel a little awkward.
It was he, along with Sasuke, Shikamaru and Kiba's, plan to tell Minato about Naruto, but just how was he supposed to tell a grown man that he had a kid out of the blue? Just how would the man take it? Would he think that the Hyuuga was joking or would he get offended?
Neji didn't know, and that made things just a little more harder for him the more he looked at his teacher, though, he was sure to flinch once Minato's expression began to grow and look more achen.
"Neji? Do you need to talk?"
"Erm! n-No.. I'm fine." the brunette let out going back to taking notes.
Minato in return, softened his look, but still looked to the boy with concern. "Are you sure?"
"Yes, I'm just.. focusing."
"...oi.." the man let out, making Neji look to him. "..You.. know I'm not buying that right?"
"C'mon, walk with me." he spoke rising to his feet, hitting the brunettes shoulder as he advanced toward the back of the room.
Neji groaned in response, but slowly lifted himself out of his seat and turned to follow the blonde ahead.
"Class, be sure to continue reading until you reach page 222. And I want this room silent when I get back. No fooling around when you're finished." Minato warned turning to his class before leaving the room with Neji still continuing to follow.
. . .
The only time Minato stopped walking was when he led the Hyuuga to the vending machines a floor below his room, where he purchased a bottle of water for the boy and handed to him with that concerned look still perfectly set on his face.
"Here," he started, getting Neji to groan a little more.
"You didn't have to get this for me. I told you I'm fine."
"And I told you that I'm not buying that. What's wrong Neji? You know you can speak to me if anything's on your mind."
"...I'm not so sure of that.." the boy mumbled averting his gaze elsewhere.
Minato blinked twice then refrained as he leaned on the wall beside him, still looking to the Hyuuga with concern. He didn't know what was up, but he was so curious.
"I told you Mr Namikaze-"
"Oi, I know what you said. But c'mon.. I know when you're lying Neji." the man let out, allowing himself to chuckle a few times afterward. "You always frown when you're lying, which is rare, considering you never really frown.. just scowl." he laughed as he nudged the boy. "I know as tough as you try to come off, you wear your heart on your sleeve. You're like an open book to me."
"So c'mon.. spill it. What's wrong? Girl problem? Trouble at home? Tell me, and let me help you."
"C'mon, whatever's going on with you I'm sure I can help you with it Neji. You just got to speak first."
"I just.. I don't think you'll understand.. even if I did try to tell you.."
"Try me." the blonde urged with a smirk.
And so the Hyuuga did. He was already at the point where his stresses were making him a bit antsy, and it was apparent that Minato wasn't going to ignore the issue so..
"You have a kid." the Hyuuga bluntly stated making Minato pull back and blink 3 solid times.
"I-I'm sorry.. w.. what?"
"You have a kid." Neji repeated, looking to the man with a stern expression. "His name is Naruto and he looks exactly like you granted he's an idiot, but then again you have your moments too sensei.."
"Ehh! W-Wait a minute!~" Minato flinched, almost losing his balance. "How do you know about Naruto?"
"-Look, I know it's hard for you to believe but... wait.. What?" the boy questioned, taking his turn to flinch.
"Y..You heard me..." the blonde muttered, slowly recovering as he hunched to the boy. "How do you know about Naruto? How do you know about his connection to me?" he questioned, whispering behind a palm.
". . .W-wait a minute! How do you know about Naruto?" the Hyuuga shot back. "And how do you know about your own connection to him? You aren't supposed to know!"
"I'm not.." the man repeated, allowing a dumbfounded look to paint over his face. "..Uhm.. No no, I'm most definitely sure you're the one who's not supposed to know.. but then again.." He paused to cup his chin and think. "..Perhaps you have a class with Naruto back at the Academy, and you slowly put the pieces together-"
"That's not it at all!" Neji cut off. "I had a hunch that I acted on a long time ago, and thanks to Obito, my friends and I made the decision to introduce Naruto to you, but you were sick and-"
"Oh! So not only are you a friend of Naruto's but you're a friend of Obito's cousin as well?-!" Minato assumed, bringing Neji to flinch and leave the blonde man to smile. "That's it isn't it? Ha, so that's the connection.. Obito's cousin... S.. Sasuke! Yes that's it! Wow.. so many people know about this than I would've figured. Wow, I'm so excited!" he admitted clapping a few times.
"Y-Y.. You're excited?"
"Yes, why wouldn't I be? So many more people know that I'm Naruto's father, how cool is that?"
"Err... w.. Well.. I didn't imagine you'd take this information so positively."
"Why wouldn't I? I have someone to hang out with and spoil, and talk to when my father isn't around! *gasp*! You should tell me everything you know about Naruto! You are his friend right! You can tell me what he likes, what he doesn't like, what's his favorite color, his hobbies, his pet peeves *gaaaasp*! Do you know if he likes the show 'When the Leaves Fall'?-! If so then I have to plan a get together and-"
"Minato please!" Neji voiced, bringing the man to cover his mouth and freeze.
It was.. just a shock.
Not only did the Hyuuga realize that Minato had already known of Naruto's existence, but he also realized that the man seemed to be completely accepting to the boy and everything that centered around Naruto in total..
Er.. Minato did know what centered around Naruto, right?
Flinching to that thought, Neji looked to the man and completely felt a nerve in his brain ache as he watched Minato continue to keep his palms over his mouth and look to the Hyuuga as if waiting to be ordered to refrain from doing so- which was kind of annoying..
Minato was the adult here! Just why in the world was he so childish?
"Rgh, you can speak now Minato."
"..So you know all about Naruto right? What he is and what.. uh.. he does and all of that?"
The man nodded as he shut his eyes to smile, making Neji squint.
"And.. you're fine with that?"
"..Erm.. You do know what I'm talking about exactly right? I assume you've already met the boy and talked all of that over with him right?"
"Oh yeah I met Naruto! He was so nice- erm.. well.. not really to me. He didn't really seem to like me much.." he admitted rubbing the back of his head.
Neji stared, mainly because he figured that Minato wasn't really getting what the boy was referring to when he spoke on what Naruto did for a living, but rather than press onto that issue.. he simply moved on.
"He.. didn't like you?"
"Yeeeaah.. But I think he was just shy and nervous. He doesn't know what it's like to have any parents right? All he does is hang around Obito and Sasuke right? No one else? Naruto doesn't know what it's like for an adult to take care of him so he doesn't really know how to react to me, but I'll change his views on that! I'll change his mind about me completely, you'll see!"
As the man made his vow the bell of the University had chimed down the halls of the building, leaving the blonde to flinch and immediately look to the watch on his left wrist before flailing about.
"Aw maan! It's over already?"
"I'll see you later Mr Namikaze-"
"W-wait Neji!" he called, pulling the boy back. "About Naruto-"
"If you want to learn more about him then ask him yourself. That's what you said you'd do in the first place right?"
"..I have to get to my next class." the boy uttered, easily slipping out of the blondes grip. "But.. Minato,"
"If you have any idea what Naruto's all about then it's safe to say you're aware of his past with Kakashi right? You know that at some point, Kakashi was keeping Naruto for himself don't you?"
"Er.. well, yes I believe so. But from what I understand, Kakashi put Obito and Sasuke in charge of taking care of Naruto.. Right?"
"...You have no idea what's really been going on.." Neji let out, leaving Minato to flinch. "Well.. I'll leave Naruto to help fill in the gaps. Afterall, I feel I'm out of line for even trying to utter his business to you."
"Erm, but wait! Neji!"
"Oh, and thank you for the water." the boy called out with a wave as he proceeded to walk off.
Left behind, Minato couldnt' help but curl his brows in confusion as he didn't entirely understand what the Hyuuga meant nor what the boy was referring to when it came to Naruto and his past entirely, but the Namikaze man knew he wasn't going to be in the dark about it for long.
In order to learn more about Naruto, his past and anything else of importance that involved the boy, Minato knew that he had to get to know him first, and being more involved and at his side was key.
He had to do that.
Tightening his fists and nodding to himself, Minato felt that his plan was already in action, as the next day would allow him to get all the information he needed to fill in the gaps that confused him, but also to get to know Naruto more.
Haven't updated anything in awhile...
Sorry guys, this was mostly due to my distraction to tumblr, video games, lack of melding chapters together w/o leaving out anything i might find important and to the eventual happenings that was my computer crashing and me having to find and replace parts..
I got it back though and I gotta say, 7 days away from your comp can give you ideas..
Anyway, thanks for reading the chapter, The Spam is soon...