The HeadbandWhen Naruto's headband is torn up during training, he is given a new one...

"Is there any way we can fix it?" Naruto asked sadly.

"It's just a headband, brat," Jiraiya said offhandedly, "easily replaceable..."

"When Iruka-sensei gave this head when he made me Genin..." Naruto said quietly, "He hoped it would protect me..."

Ouch, Jiraiya thought to himself, I think I hit a nerve...

Sarutobi had the mentioned name Umino Iruka a few times in his letters. A Chunnin schoolteacher who did 12 A-rank missions and more than capable to be Jounin; problem was he loved kids and prefers to stay in the village and, apparently, the only person who can keep Naruto in line. Jiraiya began to wonder if he should have brought the Chunnin sensei along. Iruka was apparently the only authoritative figure Uchiha Sasuke respected as well.

That night he watched as Naruto slept with his head plate. Jiraiya felt bad for the boy as it seemed to be his last night with something precious.

Jiraiya inspected the worn cloth, it did not seem to be made recently as ten years ago. It seemed to be as old as fifty.

Didn't Minato once said it was Chunnin Ashika-sensei's way of protecting him.

"Here," Jiraiya said, handing Naruto the black cloth embedded with the leaf plate, "your new headband."

"Thanks..." Naruto mumbled putting on the head band.

"By the way," Jiraiya said, "the head plate... it's the same as your old one... Iruka's still watching out for you."

"Really?" Naruto said, his eyes brightening, "Thanks Pervy-Sage!"

Mattaku... he's too much like you Minato... Jiraiya chuckled to himself, Who would've thought Umino Ashika's, your Chunnin academy sensei's, son would have given that same head band he had given to you to Naruto?