This one's a bit...different.


Sort of random, sort of long, but I hope you find it at least mildly funny!

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, because...does Konoha actually have a Konoha Mall?

Disclaimer 2: All stores belong to respective owners/companies. Inaccurate depiction of stores is...a mistake, and not meant in any serious way. (Because putting real world stores in Konoha is fun.)

Chapter 20: The Holiday Season

Ah, the lovely village of Konoha, a place of both peaceful holiday cheer and frenzied last minute shopping during the winter season. As Christmas and the New Year approach, citizens of the Leaf indulge in all that is holiday festivity. Whether than includes going for a sledding trip down the big hill behind the training fields, or dragging hopeless family members along to the new public mall because you forgot to shop for presents, everything is a package deal in Konoha's holiday season.

While the sledding hill was very popular this year, many chose the latter part of Konoha's cheery holiday hustle and bustle — last minute, Hokage-worthy shopping battles. The mall was doomed to be filled with the screams of hysterical women and their poor, meandering husbands, as well as rogue shopping carts crashing down the escalators courtesy of a few uncouth genin. Shoppers venturing alone are warned of many potential dangers, many of which include unnecessarily large shinobi techniques, and are told to take cover should an Inuzuka pick a fight with an Akimichi. (It should be added that many clans are required to rein in their young ones, especially the violent kids who like trying out new jutsu in the worst places at the worst times…)

Inuzuka Shiro was probably one of the worst people to bring to the mall, yet someone always managed to drag him into it. He hated shopping, but the idea of causing havoc in the mall was just too appealing to turn down. So, this holiday season, be prepared for at least one Inuzuka chasing down the tail of some misfortunate village dweller in an epic chase to the pet store.

Of the poor, pitiable husbands who somehow got stuck with their wives on a designated shopping day, Senju Tobirama was inevitably included. Seeing as he lost the "I think she'll punch him/ I think he won't punch him" bet between himself and Hashirama, concerning whether or not Madara was bothering Toka enough for her to punch him—Tobirama thought she would, while Hashirama took the opposite side; Hashirama won—Tobirama was now sentenced to a torturous day…at the mall.

The white-haired Senju exchanged exasperated glances with other harried husbands, all laden with shopping bags of various sizes and colors; even the ones from the undergarment store.

So while Tobirama faced utter humiliation upon running into his own team (unfortunately), and Mariko continued to lead him from store to store with endless shopping stamina, the Uchiha faced a similar predicament:

Kagami liked a girl.

Now, one may be thinking, What does this have to do with holiday shopping?

But you see, it has everything to do with holiday shopping, because when it comes to impressing people—girls, in particular—Uchiha men are no slackers. Kagami was determined to keep this standard alive, and thus declared that he needed to buy her the best gift possible. In addition, he'd forgotten the Secret Santa project that his entire Academy grade had been working on, so he'd better get started on that too (AKA Kagami forgot to get his team Christmas presents, and if he didn't haul ass and buy something impressive, Toka would have his head, and the Uchiha would start a massive war for his poor, guillotined neck).

That, and because the girl he liked was on another team, he had to buy "lesser" gifts for those two to make it seem like he was trying harder for her. Or something ridiculous like that.

It did not help that Kagami chose Izuna to help him.

"Izuna-sama! I need your help!"

Mariko was sure that Tobirama had been standing right there, by the shoes. Seriously, he had all of her shoes. Those were indispensible, vital for her to go on with her shopping quest. (Not that the shoes were for herself; Gifts, of course. And then some for herself…and Mito! Don't forget Mito…)

How is it possible for an impossibly tall (compared to Mariko, anyway), white-haired man to disappear? It wasn't like they lived in the Frost Country, where Tobirama's white hair would have hidden him in the snowy landscape.

Clutching the awesome pair of pumps that she was determined to send to Hurricane somehow, Mariko ran to the checkout express lane, bought them, and hurried outside to see if Tobirama had gone there. Without success, she slid the shoes into her purse and checked all around the store again. Nope. The little blunette sprinted down out, in search of her missing shopping dog. She looked left and right frantically, hoping to catch a glimpse of her desired target.

Suddenly, Mariko slammed into a tall, muscular figure. She cursed herself for searching everywhere but in front of her, and hoped that the person was Tobirama. Well, such a hope was rather improbable, but she hoped anyway. It turned out to be the very last person she expected to see at the mall that day.


"Kagami, my man!" Inuzuka Shiro slung an arm around the Uchiha, grinning widely and flashing his canines. Shiro, who was on a team with Biwako (Hiruzen's future wife, somehow), and one very negative, very arrogant Hyuuga Hideaki, was the life of his team. Meanwhile, Biwako quietly browsed the dress section, and Hideaki (fondly called Aki, though it is not quite clear who is fond of him…) glared at the wall (for an unknown reason).

"If it isn't Shiro," Kagami chuckled nervously, sulking slightly at his plans of discreetly buying gifts ruined for the moment. Kagami failed to realize that running around full speed whilst leading a blind Uchiha who happened to be the younger brother of the clan head was very, very, very conspicuous. So terribly noticeable, that Kagami thought no one would notice. Somehow.

"Whatcha buying?" drawled Shiro, taking a peek in Kagami's bag. The young Uchiha snapped the shopping bags away from the prying fingers of his friend, whose doggish grin was annoying him to no end. "Late shopping? No worries, we're the same."

"Totally looks like it," Kagami answered dubiously, seeing how Biwako was now trying on different hair ties, and Aki's glare had turned its wrath on Kagami. The two despised one another, but rarely exchanged words unless provoked.

"Kagami." Izuna gestured at the cash register. How he knew that way was the cash register, no one ever knew. "The shop people are getting annoyed."

"Oh, thanks Izuna-sama." Kagami thought Izuna-sama was the coolest mentor ever.


Kagami cringed. The Loud One had arrived, namely a monkey whose mouth never seemed to be able to stop, let alone close.

"Late shopping?" Hiruzen asked vigorously. "No worries, we're—"

"Hey man, don't be a parrot," Shiro cut in.

"Parrot?" The two delved into an idiotic conversation that neither seemed to understand, nor remember later on.

"Hey Kagami," Hiruzen continued, abruptly breaking off a retort at Shiro's witty remark and starting a new conversation. "I saw Tobirama-sensei earlier. He was like…a snowman decked in shopping bags."

"That's hilarious," Kagami deadpanned sarcastically, paying for his purchases while still trying to keep Shiro and co. from seeing the secret items. "I've gotta go." He made a dash for the door, and somehow, Izuna kept right up with him.

(All Izuna really said was "Make sure I don't trip" or something along those lines.)

"Have you seen Tobirama?" Mariko asked.

"Snowball? Nope." Madara shook his head. He then glanced over the railing—they were on the second floor—and caught sight of Team Toka minus Kagami. Not that he cared. "Oh wait, maybe I did. That-a-way, blue princess."

He pointed at the escalator.

"I believe he and a few other hapless husbands fled to Payless Shoes." Madara nodded, this time, confident with his answer. The Uchiha could be helpful…when they wanted to be.

"Thanks, Madara. See you around." With one last, sort of confused, sort of grateful glance, Mariko turned on her heel and headed in the direction he pointed at. Madara, still looking down the balcony, waved nonchalantly back at her.

"That…actually looks really good," Danzo said quietly, watching Torifu admire his ice cream super deluxe meltdown chocolate fudge extreme delight.

"I know, right? Wanna grab a spoon and have some?"


"Yeah, seriously." Torifu grinned. That was, until Inuzuka Shiro whooped and leapt by on a skateboard, bumping into Torifu and sending his ice cream super deluxe meltdown chocolate fudge extreme delight crashing into the ground with a horrifying SPLAT!

"Oh, man, I'm so sorry!" Shiro exclaimed, spinning to a halt. Torifu stared at his poor ice cream in dismay, an expression which quickly morphed into sudden Akimichi rage. Danzo wondered whether or not he should call the Mall Shinobi Police Forces—the only police force not Uchiha, because Uchiha were not "lowly enough to work in malls", apparently—because an Akimichi and an Inuzuka had just engaged in battle. This was Code Red, Generic Emergency #127: Endangering Holiday Shopper Security.

"Shiro, you idiot!" shouted Biwako, huffing.

"You're all idiots," grumbled Aki, receiving a harsh reprimand.

An epic battle—as epic as genin can get—commenced.

Tobirama ducked past the shop where Toka was looking at shoes. What is with women and their shoes?! He dodged her view and followed a couple of his old friends, fellow married men who suffered the wraths of their wives in Holiday Shopping Mode. Especially last-minute shoppers who defied the laws of the shinobi world and trampled each other to get to the super clearance sales.

"Hey, man. Everyone's finished wiping out Payless Shoes®, let's head there," suggested the lead husband in this hazardously put-together band of misfit, misguided spouses.

Tobirama had a bad feeling about going towards shoes…

The Inuzuka's skateboard rolled down the mall's halls. Madara stepped on its edge and stopped it. He considered it for a moment, and then grinned mischievously. It was like he was 12 years old all over again, back when he and Izuna liked jumping off cliffs just to see if his gigantic Uchiha fan could be flown on…

Toka was having the strangest day. She was picking out shoes for her baby niece, and she had been eyeing an adorable pair of white leather sandals, complete with a pink flower on the straps, but things outside the shop continued to irk her. First, it was a couple of rowdy kids, then after that, a suspicious band of creeping men, then the uncouth genin again, and finally—

Was that Madara on a skateboard?

The mall was a bizarre place…

It was upon nearly losing Izuna in Sports Authority® that Kagami had a holiday season realization:

He hadn't gotten the clan head a gift.

So, the Uchiha boy frantically dragged said clan head's younger brother to the Konoha Mall's weapons department (because that exists), that lovely section of the mall where all ninja must frequent for supply replenishing. Somewhere in the "Scrolls and Summoning" aisle, Izuna was captivated by…something, leaving Kagami to frantically search for an appropriate gift. Maybe something simple would do.

When Kagami found the "Kunai Deluxe Set: Befitting for any Clan Leader!" set, he dashed to the checkout counter. However, he neglected the rules and regulations of the weapons department, and the checkout clerk sort of just smirked at him.

"Sorry kid, can't let you buy that."

"Why?" demanded Kagami.

"Uh. Read the sign," the pimply teenager replied. He couldn't have been much older than Kagami, but proudly wore a chuunin flak jacket, complete with the price tag he'd forgotten to take off. Kagami rolled his eyes, but looked at the sign anyway.

"What about it?" Kagami saw nothing concerning. Uchiha eyes tended to skip over any unwanted bits and pieces, leaving only the satisfactory parts for comprehending.

"Uh, man." The clerk rolled his eyes, exasperated. "You're not allowed to buy them. Only shinobi of chuunin rank or higher are allowed to buy things here. Even then, you need a membership card to purchase weapons."

This kid obviously hadn't been here before, the clerk was thinking to himself. Kagami contemplated for a moment, and then told the other boy that it was vital and essential and life-threatening, this situation was. He needed this gift. The checkout boy sort of just sniggered imprudently and shook his head.

"Sorry, I can't do anything for you without a card. In fact, a card and a guardian would easily get you this extremely important gift," the clerk sneered. Kagami was about the snap back angrily at the clerk when a hand reached over his shoulder, a membership card in its fingers. Kagami's eyes became saucers as he stared at the magical arm; the clerk glared at the card. That is, until he looked up to the owner of the membership.

"Get this boy his weapons," a familiar voice drawled, setting a hand firmly on Kagami's left shoulder. If Kagami's knees had not locked, he would've fainted dead away, leaving Uchiha Madara with a mess he didn't want to deal with.

"Y-y-yessir!" stuttered the clerk, swiping the card and scanning Kagami's items. He hastily bagged them,

"Madara-sama?" exclaimed Kagami, staring wide-eyed up at the clan head. He hoped his plans had not been ruined.

"Hey Kagami. Don't let these people give you trouble," was all Madara said. He took his card back and slipped it into his wallet. The wallet seemed to appear from nowhere—ninja had a thing for doing that. Madara was especially talented at it. He could make an entire horse disappear, if he wanted to. Well, the horse would have to stay first. As far as most people knew, horses ran away at the sight of Madara, perhaps because he gave off such a menacing aura. Though a horse expert from Hurricane might have said otherwise, seeing as Madara had seemed rather amicable and negotiable today. Seriously, he was being nice.

"Of course not! We Uchiha are—" Kagami was cut off by a lupine howl and a battle cry. The source of the former cry slammed into the Uchiha boy, knocking him off his feet and sending all his gifts sprawling onto the floor, startling the cash register clerk in the process. Inuzuka Shiro growled and got to his feet, dusting off his shirt.

"Sorry, Kagami." He sprinted away, dodging the next attack. Torifu was getting tired of doing his human meatball technique (whatever it really was…) and sort of just lingered by the decorative trees scattered throughout the mall. In the end, he just made Shiro buy him another ice cream super deluxe meltdown chocolate fudge extreme delight.

"So you broke that window for nothing?" Hiruzen gestured the weapons department, where the shattered glass had sent the clerk boy into a hysterical breakdown, screaming about how his boss was going to fire him or something like that.

"I didn't break it," Torifu said calmly.

"I didn't break it either," Shiro added, shrugging. "I flew through the doors, not the window."

The group glanced over and saw Hyuuga Aki, who shrugged. They turned to Koharu, who shook her head, then to Biwako, who pursed her lips, and then to Homura, who wasn't even paying attention.

"I swear, if you guys cause any more trouble," a menacing voice began. The genin cringed in terror, for all academy students were taught to fear certain people. One of those people happened to be a strict, terrifying, freakin' scary Senju woman by the name of Toka, and there she was, standing before them, looming like a ghoulish fiend prepared to devour the souls of little children.

"Ah, Toka-sensei! Merry Christmas!" Kagami handed her a box, hoping to pacify his teacher's growing irritation.

"Thanks, Kagami." Toka smiled, slightly, and then turned on Hiruzen. Kagami shrugged helplessly; at least he had tried. "Sarutobi Hiruzen! What is the meaning of this?!"

Toka then held up a security camera photo, in which Hiruzen was rollerblading through the attached Walmart® Superstore whilst waving a flag bearing the symbol of Kirigakure. The group sniggered, and then Toka turned on Shiro.

"You too! What is this?! A skateboard?!" Toka shoved the picture at the Inuzuka, whose eyes grew wide as he saw, very clearly, his own wild hair in a blur as he skated between racks of undergarments in Victoria's Secret®. Ashamed, the boy hung his head, though his mouth was twisted in some sort of attempt to keep from smiling.

A skateboard mysteriously rolled up the group. Toka glanced up to see Uchiha Madara, stepping rather carelessly over the sea of glass.

"Sorry about that," he told the clerk boy. "My brother tends to break things."

"I do not." Izuna glared, without eyes, at his brother. "I just have eyeless Mangekyo Sharingan, that's how powerful I am."

"I believe it, Izuna," Madara sighed, smiling at his brother. Izuna only ever told jokes on rare occasions, so he supposed it was alright to smile for once. Smile genuinely, that is. Madara then whipped his Sharingan on, and searched through the mall. "Ah, there she is."

He spotted Mariko wheeling through the mall on one of those wild, untamable shopping carts let loose by another ludicrously sugar-high genin. She spun around the corner and pulled up the shopping cart, as if it was drawn by horses. The "horses" then spooked at Madara's presence and wheeled away, the shopping cart screeching back to Marshalls® and Home Goods® by the hands of some beginner puppeteer.

"I found your husband," Madara stated flatly.

"Did you?" Mariko answered.

"He's in Payless Shoes®, I don't really know why," Madara mused thoughtfully. The group of genin stared at him, pausing for a moment to watch a group of Suna kids bound past them—a redhead flinging chakra strings about, a boy just a bit younger than her with the strangest eyebrows, and a taller boy with black hair and sharp eyes who sort of just sauntered after them—before returning their attention to the Uchiha clan leader.

"Um. Madara-sama, what are you doing?" Koharu ventured boldly. Biwako, Shiro, and Hiruzen all took a sharp breath, the intake a loud enough gasp to warrant some attention from Izuna, whose hearing was sharper than a bat's.

"Searching for that ridiculously pale Senju," the clan leader answered. He glanced at Koharu, then glanced at Kagami. Then he grinned. For Kagami, it was such a scary smile that he shrank backwards. He bumped into Izuna, who patted his shoulder nonchalantly, imperturbable. "He's still there, Mariko."

"Thanks," Mariko said cheerfully. Her face then darkened, and if possible, the intensity of her glare beat out that of Mito's and Toka's combined—just for a moment, though. All the genin shrank away. Even Madara made a face (him being the man who could be frightened into a curling ball of nonsensical, traumatized mumbling upon Mito's "glare of doom"…), though he and Izuna didn't move back.

"Give him my best regards," Madara quipped, as the little blunette stalked menacingly over to Payless Shoes® to fish out her husband.

The group was quiet.

Madara turned to Kagami, and looked him in the eye. Though he had his Sharingan deactivated, Kagami fought hard to resist the urge to scream for his mother and hide behind Toka, because he feared the complete Mangekyo. Izuna patted his shoulder though, reassuring him.

"I must tell you, Kagami, that gifting that kunai set to me would be nice, but an effort made in vain."

"Um. Why?" asked Kagami.

"Well, I made that kunai set."

The husbands were lounging rather peacefully, out the back door of Payless Shoes® and in a little comfort area with leather couches and coffee and even a few cookies. The Aburame man kept to himself, quietly sipping his still-steaming coffee and saying nothing, only the glint of his glasses as he nodded any hint to what he wished to convey. Meanwhile, several other husbands and/or fathers made themselves comfortable, finally away from their wives.

Tobirama felt relieved. He had escaped, even if it was just for a little. He knew he would face some major consequences upon returning, but seriously, this was really nice.

His happy time was cut short.

Mariko burst into the room, eyes flaming. She was closely followed by a hoard of angry mothers and/or wives who looked like they should have been carrying pitchforks and flaming torches rather than clothes hangers and rolled up coupon catalogues.

"Senju Tobirama," Mariko seethed. "Stand up."

Tobirama stood.

"How did you find me?" he said, trying to sound calm. Tobirama utterly and completely failed, his voice rising an octave and a half higher than usual, making him sound like a horribly pubescent boy who couldn't control his voice cracks. The word "you" experienced a terrible leap in octaves, Tobirama's voice lilting and slipping into a squeak that would've made Mariko laugh in any other situation.

"You have Uchiha Madara to thank," Mariko smiled.

Tobirama swore he'd get Hashirama to kill that man, or something of the like.


"Be warned, Tobirama." Mariko advanced, her band of wives cackling deviously behind her, eyes glowing as their most evil plots were thought out. "Be warned…"

"What was that?" asked Madara. He heard a bone-chilling scream…well, screams, as in more than one person was scared to death on the other side of the mall.

"That was marriage," deadpanned Izuna. He easily stepped onto the escalator without tripping, and Madara wondered how in the world he did that. Was it practice, or was he faking blindness? As if reading his mind, Izuna added, "I see my feet from your eyes."

"That made no sense," Madara answered dryly.

"Madara-sama?" Kagami had been thinking about the odd smile that the clan leader had flashed him earlier.

"I'm telling you, Kagami," Madara suddenly burst out, as if he had been talking for the longest time. Uchiha tended to do that; talk about only what they wanted to talk about, anyway. If you told one of them that revenge was not the answer, he would definitely refuse all your thousands of reasons why revenge was not the answer, and promptly carry out his plans with little regard to "friends and family". If you told one of them that what they wanted wasn't necessarily what they needed—for example, if they wished to right the death of a loved one—they would brush you off, find an evil old mentor, train to rule the world, and then continue with their plots to rule the world, whilst taking advantage of another Uchiha bent on revenge to accomplish those plans. This was the Uchiha way.

In this area, the Senju were much more open-minded. Hashirama, who always made references to trees (until he got the hint that people were getting tired of his them), would say that the Senju had open arms like that of a great oak, taking in all ideas, no matter the point of view. That is, until someone tried to steal Mito, and the Valley of the End was formed.

"If you like a girl, go tell her. Though the fact that your teacher is a Senju irks me…" Madara rambled on, switching from topic to topic with the ease of a shinobi reading an Icha Icha book. "Then, you see, nail care is important because one time, Izuna…"

Kagami suddenly wondered what sort of experience the clan head had with women. Seeing as the Hokage's wife always slapped him silly (did Madara provoke her on purpose, or what?), Kagami assumed that Madara would not be the best to go to for girl advice.

"My Susano'o, Kagami," Madara exclaimed. "You really need to pay attention."

"Sorry, Madara-sama."

"No, really. You didn't hear a word I said about your Koharu, didn't you?"

At this, Kagami could do nothing but stammer out a few words, flabbergasted.

"Did you think I didn't know?" Madara asked, arching a brow. He was rather amused at the hue of red that was filling Kagami's face. Seeing as people didn't blush often, this was a moment of embarrassment in which oxygen ceased circulating in Kagami's blood. Or he was holding his breath, and it was turning his face red.

"I knew," Izuna piped up. "You've been giving her the googly eyes."

"How do you even see that?!" Kagami pulled at his hair, frustrated. Izuna smiled enigmatically, holding a secret he would bring to his grave. Even Madara and his little minions knew nothing of his special abilities. To not see is to see, in Izuna's case. He was blind, but he had that uncanny sixth sense regarding many things.

"Kagami!" called a new voice. The Uchiha trio looked over to see Mariko, waving. She had a small journal in her left hand, while her right one dragged Tobirama by the sleeve. The poor Senju looked miserable; Madara thought he deserved it, at least for now.

Mariko tossed the journal. It was titled: Things Koharu Might Like, with a smiley face and a heart doodled next to the text. At this point, Kagami was wondering if everyone knew.

"It's only me and those two!" Mariko said, reassuring him. She then dragged Tobirama away. If it was any consolation, Tobirama was promised some delicious pillow time later (this made him perk up).

"I guess…I should go buy something?" Kagami said. He looked around cautiously, wary of rolling human meat tanks, dog-boys, negative Hyuuga kids (Aki had threatened to stab a few vital chakra points and leave them all sputtering for mercy on the ground, though that was terribly extreme and Biwako scolded him for it), and crazy monkeys.

"Of course, boy!" Madara exclaimed. He was glad he came; this was quite fun. "All I see here is…what is this?" He picked up an article. "This is obviously for your father, this is for your mother, and oh, so kind, something for your little brother—" Izuna nodded as Madara said this, smiling, "—and this is obviously for the monkey, these shoes are for Toka, I can just tell, and why did you buy something for Hashirama? You're full of nonsense, Kagami. And this is for Tobirama…huh. Befitting. This is for Mariko—wow, you know your Senju well—and what is this? Is this for Mito? She'd like the color…" Madara continued to pick through Kagami's bags, easily distinguishing which gifts were for which teammates/family members. Perhaps it was his Sharingan that helped him.

"You can keep this kunai set for yourself," Madara continued, "from me. And Izuna, too." Izuna nodded.

"What about—"

"Your girl? That's easy. Read the book." Madara gestured at the journal Mariko had tossed to him. How this journal came to be, he wasn't sure he wanted to know. The pages of the journal emitted a mysteriously enchanting light, as if it held the secrets to the world (Secrets that did not contain the words "Because you let Rin die" or "I am an avenger" or "To become one with this world" or "Because becoming Hokage is my dream!").

Kagami held before him a holy journal…

Inuzuka Shiro sighed, helping sweep up the mess he'd apparently caused. He, Hiruzen, and for some reason Danzo, were tidying up the broken glass. Biwako and Koharu were restacking boxes of supplies that they had knocked over, while Homura and Aki grumbled about how they were involved in this mess ("My teammates are idiots" and "Tell me about it…").

"Seriously, this happens every year," the manager of the weapons department said at one point. "Can't these kids' parents keep them in check?"

This angered Shiro, who threatened to run home, get his best friend, a trusty Shiba Inu by the name of Jirou, and take down the manager. Torifu stopped him though, while preserving his ice cream this time. So, instead of getting Jirou and pulling a few Fang-over-fang attacks on the store, Shiro cursed the weapons shop of Konoha Mall.

Let it be known that Inuzuka curses are nearly as potent as Uchiha boys bent on revenge.

It would be a while, but the manager and his son, the next manager, would face great horror when a cotton ball snowflake, a snake boy, and a blonde girl broke down the entire wall of ninja fans. It didn't help that the girl had the strength of fifty elephants, and that the window shattered upon impact of a wooden shelf. The wooden shelf had been hit by another shelf, which had fallen over as a result of the domino effect of falling shelves, punched by the little blonde girl in the back of the store. The Second Hokage had a great time with that. A few years later, the young Third Hokage had a lot more fun when the snake boy let all the pet store snakes out, inducing a scared rampage by the blonde girl, who slapped the cotton ball silly and destroyed the store again.

After that, they had little luck with angry redheads (not blondes, this time), because the next one that walked in was hotter than a habanero, and she managed to wrestle the clerk boy—now going through a midlife crisis as an older man—and pull most of his hair out (not that he had much left, anyway). She also knocked down the ninja fans, and as a bonus, broke that same window again. Only the help of a docile-looking Uchiha girl and a soft-faced blonde boy proved to be helpful.

And then, the Uchiha proved to be bad, too, because one boy, after slapping his goggles onto his face, determined to find a great gift, accidentally knocked over the shelves. These shelves, unwisely arranged so that even without the force of fifty elephants, could all teeter and totter over, until they all crashed into the front window. The boy apologized at least fifty times, as did his two teammates. He never paid them back, though, seeing as he died on the next mission he set out on. It made the new manager very sad, seeing as he had yelled at the poor boy. (Well, no problem, because the boy exacted revenge by summoning the Kyuubi next to the mall…)

Finally, the most recent incidents involved yet another blonde, except he had the mischievous face of that redhead, and would not shut up about how he was going to be Hokage someday. When he left for three years, the mall breathed a sigh of relief, but when he returned, the little blonde girl who had become Hokage nearly cried.

History tends to repeat itself, especially for this mall…

Oh, and Orochimaru, sorry, this is a super sale only for couples and families.

Hashirama the ghost stared at the mall. Oh how this mall caused him so much trouble. He saw that it had been expanded, with some older parts renovated and redone, but it was still the same Konoha Mall. He chuckled to himself. His granddaughter now saw why this mall caused him so much pain; she had been part of the reason, after all.

Tobirama was awfully sore the next morning. His muscles ached from carrying all those bags, and he was tired from the night before, as well. He rolled over. Seeing Mariko's face, peaceful and happy for the holidays, was worth it. He smiled. The punishment wasn't…that bad. He'd also managed to buy a pair of shoes at Payless Shoes® that Mito was bound to like. Maybe he'd get on her good side this year.

(Mito knows if you're naughty or nice…)

She sees you when you're sleeping, she knows when you're awake…that was Mariko, really.

She knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake! That could be Mariko, but Mito fit the bill better. Mariko rolled over and hugged him as Tobirama wondered whether Hashi had ever had any trouble with women and shoes…and holiday shopping.

"Hey, Gramps. Have you ever been to Konoha Mall?" the boy asked, fingering the scarf that the old man had just given to him for his birthday. How the old man knew his birthday was today, the boy didn't know, but he appreciated it. The old man certainly felt a bit of his cold, ancient heart warm up upon seeing the boy's bright smile. It was almost as if the boy was the son he never had.

"I have, why?" the old man rumbled quietly from his seat.

"Just wondering. Crazy stuff always happens there. I broke a window, once," the boy admitted, grimacing.

"My brother broke a window," the old man murmured.

"I broke the weapons department window," laughed the boy. He glanced in the mirror, a sad, dusty thing hanging on the rock wall. One of the Zetsu had found it one day, and brought it back to the cavern triumphantly. The boy admired the sequoia green scarf against his black outfit. He then hesitantly fingered the scars on his face; they didn't bother him much, though.

"Did you?" the old man chuckled. "My brother broke the same one."

"That mall is crazy," the boy laughed. He went on to tell the old man of how husbands hid in Payless Shoes® despite trying to escape wives that were buying shoes, how he'd tried to buy a gift for his elders and for the girl he liked, but ended up breaking that window… "It wasn't my fault, honest. The Inuzuka kid bumped into me."

The old man chuckled.

Some things in Konoha never changed.

Well. That was an adventure.

Thoughts? Comments? Concerns? MORE BURNING DESIRES?! (like a yummeh Tobirama?)

Thanks for the reviews, you guys make my day!

...this is becoming like the adventures of Momdara and Hashidad.

What happened to Tobirama and Mariko?! (nooooo)

I was tempted to make this its own story. Oh well. XD

Ciao ciao ~