Naruto was about to head back to the stadium when he heard someone having a coughing fit. It took him two seconds to locate the person coughing, and a few moments to realize why.
The poor guy must have been an asthmatic when he was a kid, or had been regularly exposed to fine powders growing up.
One of the cases he had been taught by Tsunade was that of a child during the second war with a rather odd lung issue called asthma that managed to make it to shinobi life. He had been a poison expert who specialized in concentrated doses, though when exposed to a larger dose made of dust he nearly choked to death.
According to Tsunade who examined his corpse, his medical condition combined with over exposure to fine powders during his younger years made him more vulnerable to dying from choking. Especially since he lived in the desert. It was still a mystery how the kid lived as long as he did in such a dusty environment and still managed to be an effective ninja.
"You alright James? That's the third time you've had a coughing fit from the pepper," asked his friend, a woman with red hair. Further inspection revealed them to be the same idiot duo who kept trying to capture his partner Shifter.
Naruto was at the booth giving James a look.
"We you exposed to fine powders between the ages of 10 and 15?" he asked seriously.
From the grimace James gave, it was obvious he had.
"Former asthmatic I bet too."
"How did you know?" asked James.
"I'm a level five doctor. I can treat humans and Pokémon, but I specialized in Pokémon. From what I can tell the tiny sacks in your lungs have been contaminated by something, most likely fine powders. How were you exposed to that?"
"Is it dangerous?" asked Jesse.
"It can be deadly if it's not checked and cleared out. He would have had to be exposed to high doses of something like poison or stun powder, maybe even sleep powder in an enclosed area over a prolonged period of time for it to be this bad. And it would had to have been around the time he had asthma."
From the look on James' face, he knew exactly what caused it.
"Look, while I am young I am a qualified doctor. You should really have this checked out before it deteriorates into a more serious condition. Do you have any emergency contacts?" asked Naruto.
James shook his head.
"I cut ties with my parents when I ran away. It's partially their fault in the first place."
"They found this girl and tried to make her my fiancee. She terrified me and used to have her Gloom use it's powders on me all the time, and my parents never listened to my complaints. Eventually I had enough and ran for it," said James.
"Gloom's powders could cause this, combined with your medical history. Let's get you into a hospital and get this cleared up...maybe a copy of this issue will get them to leave you alone about the whole fiancee issue."
James had an X-Ray done of his lungs, and was prescribed some pills to clear out the sacks that had been infected by Gloom's powders. At Naruto's suggestion, they sent a copy of the results to James' parents with the note that his health had been damaged by the Gloom that belonged to James' fiancee, who scared the crap out of him with how much she terrorized him.
Ironically enough, James told Naruto his friend Jesse looked nearly identical to said fiance, but didn't terrify him nearly as much.
Naruto suggested that if his parents still insisted he marry this girl who nearly killed him with her negligence, then he should try eloping with Jesse to force the issue. It was clear that there was feeling there, but they were unsure how to proceed.
Naruto had noticed Jesse reading the charts, and correctly guessed she had some medical training.
He offered to let her and James travel with him so he could make her a qualified nurse at the very least. He needed to brush up on basics anyway.
Considering her dream was to become a nurse, but she had been sent to the Chansey school by mistake, she all but jumped at the offer.
Team Rocket didn't even care that the two quit the organization considering their success rate was so bad. They didn't even wear the correct uniforms!
"Well that was boring," said Naruto. He had come in third place in the Pokémon Championships, having beaten Green out and allowed Red to beat him. He wasn't in it for the fights, he was in it for the experience.
Besides, he was more concerned on how to start Jesse's training, shinobi style.
Back in Konoha...
"HA! It's about time he learned the headaches of being a teacher!" said Tsunade when she got the news.
"What's going on?"
"Naruto found a prospective nurse, and he's going to train her in how to be a good medic. Apparently she was sent to the wrong school by mistake."
Shizune laughed evilly. She could see why Tsunade found it funny.
"Should we make him stew a little or send him some books to work with?"
"Let him stew for a bit before we send him any help," said Tsunade grinning.
Back with Naruto...
It was James who caught Naruto experimenting with the Rasengan. He startled Naruto so much he accidentally destroyed a tree, drawing his companion's attention.
On the plus side, Naruto now knew he could expand the small ball and do greater damage. All he had to do was perfect it.
"What the heck was that?" asked Meowth. He seemed to like the Everstone necklace Naruto had given him. It would allow him to get stronger without ever worrying about evolving.
"Rasengan. Something my dad made. Anyway I'm a shinobi, not like that pansy Koga, and that was me using pure chakra manipulation," said Naruto.
"You're the one who humiliated Koga Uchiha?" asked Mamoru.
"His last name is Uchiha?"
"Yeah, but everyone just calls him Koga."
Naruto started banging his head against a tree.
"Why do I have the horrible feeling that I'm the cause of the Uchiha/Uzumaki rivalry?" he asked to himself.
"Nothing. Anyway, who's cooking dinner tonight?" asked Naruto.
"It's my turn," said Mamoru.
"So what was that blue ball in your hands? It looked a lot like a Pokémon attack!" said Meowth.
"Rasengan, or Spiraling Sphere. It's a condensed ball of chakra that goes in multiple directions and can cause massive damage."
"Chakra is a mixture of both physical and spiritual energy. It's inside everything, from Pokémon to people. Some, who have had their coils unlocked, are able to manipulate it to a certain extent. Where I come from, only people who have had these coils unlocked and have passed a test are allowed to even have Pokémon."
"What? Why?" asked Jesse.
"Because we don't have any healing machines like the ones here, and healing a Pokémon that's been injured, let alone had their stats changed by an attack, is expensive. That's why I came here...to train and hopefully bring back some machines so the rest of the village can have a Pokémon like the rest of the world."
"So why are you a doctor? Don't get me wrong, I'm glad someone's finally teaching me how to be a healer, but aren't you a bit young?" asked Jesse.
"Because in my village, there are three main jobs. Trainer, Breeder and Ranger. Trainers are pretty much the standard. They train with their Pokémon and go on missions. Breeders are our doctors. We heal Pokémon and humans alike. Rangers are the border patrol and those sent to rescue stranded trainers and Pokémon. I know one woman who went to the breeders for her first Pokémon egg and got the wrong one because the test had been pushed back and she had been running late."
As Naruto explained, Jesse and James were entranced. Shinobi sounded like super heroes with how they could fight side-by-side with their Pokémon. They were a little disappointed that he couldn't unlock their coils, since they were far too old, but since he specialized in healing without chakra out of necessity, he could train Jesse without becoming frustrated with the fact she couldn't pick up most of the techniques he was used to.
She would probably be delegated to training the new breeders on how to use machines.
"So your grandmother's recalling you to Johto because she heard an Uzumaki was the one who humiliated Koga?" asked Naruto.
"Yeah. She said that rumor came back that the one who did it was an Uzumaki, and she wants to meet you."
"Well what are we waiting for? I can train Jess on the way there, and James can get some more Grass-types to play with."
Naruto had noticed a real weird effect James had on grass-types. It was like he had some sort of scent that attracted the things and caused the carnivorous ones to try and eat him. Fortunately James still liked the grass Pokémon despite the way his former fiancee had used her Gloom to terrorize him.
"So what's the Uzumaki clan like?"
"Loud, exciting and not at all inclined to follow the tame ordinary life of the trainer. We're encouraged to expand how we define ourselves...both my parents were magicians. Though they'll definitely be grilling you on sealing, since we've started expanding on that area. It's just so useful!" said Mamoru.
"Sounds like fun."
"Oh, and they won't hesitate to get you drunk once they find out your real age."
"I have only one question about our clan, and it's the only thing I need to know. Will there be ramen?"
"We practically inhale the stuff," said Mamoru.
"That's all I need to hear. Lead on!"
The first thing Naruto thought when he came upon the landmass that would later become Uzushio in Johto, the very first thing that came to mind was 'big'. The second was that it was very lively, warm and welcoming.
The final thing that struck him was the fact that almost everyone who claimed the Uzumaki blood had bright red hair and jewel colored eyes.
Then he smelled it, something that had his mouth watering.
He hadn't had proper ramen in months since that blasted hangover.
He vanished from his spot so fast that if anyone from Iwa had seen him they would have said he was the second coming of the Fourth. He left an actual after-image in his wake, causing Mamoru and the others to blink in surprise.
"Ten bowls of miso and keep 'em coming!" said Naruto loudly.
"Aye aye!" said the chef without hesitation.
Naruto only vaguely heard the chuckling turn into full on laughter behind him, too engrossed with his ramen (which was salty from his tears of joy) to care about what his clan thought.
"Definitely Uzumaki, even if the hair is wrong," chuckled Mamoru's grandmother Yuki.
Jesse and James sat at a table a little ways from Naruto, who was devouring his twelfth bowl and didn't look like he would be stopping anytime soon. The bowls were bigger than his head, and two openly wondered where he put it all.
However it was when Yuki saw Jesse things really turned interesting.
"So tell me how is Karin?"
Jesse blinked. How did this woman know her mother's name?
"I'd recognize those green eyes of yours anywhere child. Karin was one of our best nurses before she left and got married in Kanto."
Jesse admitted sheepishly "Mom died shortly before I got admitted into the wrong nursing school. She never told me what her maiden name was though."
"Then it's long past time we got you started on seals."
Yuki looked at the blond shinobi who had finally finished off the rest of the stock in the small ramen stand, to the owner's delight (mostly because Naruto paid him in full with a tip to boot) with open amusement.
"So... Koga would be considered a ninja throwback by your standards?"
"The outfit is something we mock openly back home," confirmed Naruto.
"I understand you bring with you sealing books and music?"
"I can do more than that. I can get Obito or Hinata to bring back Academy books so you can learn how to use chakra. Not like it would be used regularly until much, much later after all, and the Uzumaki clan were known as the first to use it," said Naruto shrugging.
"Well, you're not the first musician we've had in the clan and you won't be the last. And bringing Jesse here means she can get the training she missed out on because they sent her to the wrong school."
If Jesse could get a high-enough ranking with the nursing community, she could get a Chansey or a Happiny egg to raise as her assistant.
Jesse had made friends with a Chansey in the nursing school she was sent to, and Naruto had asked around. That Chansey could be made into her partner if she could get a good ranking then she could see her again.
"Who's that playing the coral pipes?" asked one of the Uzumaki.
"Sounds like that newcomer Mamoru brought back. You know, the blond?"
The two walked towards the music, and there sitting with a group of other musicians was a cheerful blond keeping in tune with the others with ease.
When they switched to one of the Uzumaki favorite folk tunes, the blond did his best to keep up with the others, as he didn't recognize this tune at all.
When he finally took a breath, he got a standing ovation from the clan. He grinned sheepishly, because he wasn't used to playing for such a large crowd.