I Hate You
“A clone? In Himawari’s Birthday? Again?”
“It’s okay oniichan...” Himawari murmured, but she looked down in sadness after they stared at the ruined cake in horror and disbelief in Boruto’s part.
“I’m sorry, Himawari-chan,” Hinata said as she hugged her daughter --thankful that her daughter didn’t cry this time, “please understand that even if your daddy is very busy, he still cares. See? He even made an effort to be here with us. He always does.” She reassured her.
Himawari only nodded and stared at the ruined cake. Her lips tug up to a small smile as she thought about how her dad’s clone had tripped, fell and his face splat on her birthday cake before poofing out.
Unlike last time. That one was so painful. But she didn’t cry... not much. She was a brave girl and she didn’t want to make her mom more sad than she already was.
Boruto was another story though.
“It’s not okay. This is his fifth time poofing out on us. It’s not fair for us, especially Himawari! Heck, he probably forgot it’s even today that’s why he sent that clone instead of himself!”
Himawari stood up and faced her brother, “Oniichan! I said it’s okay!” She exclaimed, “I’m already eight! He knows that and I know he’s happy and I know that he knows that....that...”
Boruto curled his hands to a fist. “Don’t even try Himawari.” He uncharacteristically growled at his sister, “This hokage business of his is ruining our family.”
“Oniichan! it’s okay.” Himawari pressed on.
Boruto was having none of it, “Why can’t he just stay home like a normal dad? He already had us before he even became a hokage, right? Why can’t he just quit? ”
“We’ve already talked about this Boruto.” Hinata warned her son.
Boruto continued anyway, “Oh that’s right, it’s because he doesn’t have any parents that--”
Hinata immediately stood up to answer the phone.
“This is the Uzumaki residence, Hinata speaking, who is this?....Oh.”
Both Boruto and Himawari stared at their mom as she speaks to the phone in hushed tone after learning who the caller was. Though seeing as their mom was softly smiling at this time of the day, it only meant one thing.
As if on cue, a jingle was heard, then a soft click, before the door opened revealing Naruto (the actual, not poofing Naruto) with an averaged size gift box under his arm. He smiled as he hold out the box to Himawari,
“Happy Birthday, Himawari-chan.”
Himawari squealed and ran to their father, teary eyed, laughing at the same time as she hugged her dad. Hinata walked up to him and welcomed him home. Boruto stayed in his spot.
He always promised to come to our birthdays. To any special event. But...
Naruto looked at his son, already knowing that he disappointed him yet again. But it didn’t stop him from inviting Boruto into a hug.
It’s always his clones that’s coming back to us.
Boruto didn’t move and just glared hard at his father. Naruto sigh and took a step towards his only son.
Not his actual self.
It’s not fair.
“I hate you.”
Naruto stood there, hurt and shock, as Boruto ran upstairs to his bedroom and slammed his door. He didn’t come out when his father and Himawari knocked on his door, or when his mom did. She came back again though, he guessed it was after she made Himawari and their dad go to sleep as he heard their bedroom close earlier that night.
His mother sigh.
“Boruto....I know you don’t... I just..... I just wish you would understand how important this is to your father sooner rather than when... when you’re older.” She said softly, but he still heard it.
Then, as if his mother had gained back her courage, she grounded him for a week. He didn’t hear what his punishment was though, as his world turned into darkness.
He woke up with the sun shinning on his face, the wind ruffling his hair, and wet grass soaking his clothes.
Wait, wet grass?
Boruto groaned as he sat up, rubbing his eyes as he looked around. He wasn’t in any places that he could recognize. He began to slightly panic as he stood up, looking around the forest that he’s not familiar with.
Was I sleep walking? No. That wouldn’t be right, mom would have noticed by then. Kidnapped? Again, out of the question.... am I even in the village? Or at least near it?
He decided then that he would check around to find a way back to the village. He made four clones to go to the four direction of the compass. Since the sun was still somewhere in the east, it made it easier for him to estimate wich direction is which. Then he waited.
He noticed that he didn’t have any of his weapon pouch with him, so he looked for something sharp around to defend himself. He found a broken stick with a few leaves as well as some average sized stones by a bush and picked it up. It wasn’t much, but it could serve as a distraction for him to run away.
When he heard a ruffling of bushes behind him, he got into position for a fight or flight response to whoever his offender is. He didn’t expect his offender to be his father though.
Much less a five years old version of his dad who was very short for his age and slenderly thin; ‘slenderly’ isn’t even a proper word. But to summarize it, the kid was obviously malnourished. How’d he know it was his father? Simple, no one can miss those three whisker marks on both of his cheeks. The blonde hair and the ocean blue eyes that everyone adored was also not hard to miss, the colors that he himself had gotten.
The sight of his father in a younger version of himself made a lot more sense once one of his clones reported to him that the hokage mountain had four heads instead of seven and the whole village was very, very different.... and old. The Uchiha district even existed!
So he was back to the past.
His father’s time, too.
How the heck did I get here?
He was so glad he kept his mouth shut (he did not just sputtered nonsense earlier when he saw his dad, no way), it would have been an embarrassing disaster. He let his clones disappear before looking back at his dad’s younger self.
This younger version of his father flinched and quickly hid behind a tree. Boruto was left confused at his own father’s reaction.
But then Naruto gained enough courage to go to the boy again. If he was right, then he wouldn’t be too late to save the poor boy from having puffy cheeks and red spots where it’s really, really itchy.
“Uhm...’xcuse me but uhm...” Naruto started as he looked down to the ground, glancing at Boruto every now and then, ready to run away if the boy holding the stick would hurt him, “Could you please drop the stick down? You’ll uhm..”
Boruto twitched. Here he thought his mom was like this when his parents were kids. But nonetheless, he dropped the stick. He was feeling itchy anyways. His father sigh in what seem to be relief. Though it was cut short when Boruto was about to reach for his neck. Naruto screeched at him to not scratch anything as he reached out to slap away the offending hand from the boy’s face. Boruto glared at him.
Naruto, being a stubborn kid himself, glared back at him, all the shyness gone in an instant.
“Don’t scratch yur neck mistur, from my own exper--expir--experniense,” Boruto raised an eyebrow in amusement as his father’s younger face scrunch up in effort to get the word right, “That wood from da bush makes you very, very itchy and puffy.”
“Y-yeah!” Naruto was not feeling the least bit intimidated by the kid in front of him. Boruto could tell that he was in denial.
“Now come! We need to rub you with mud!” Naruto said as he pulled the other in a vise grip, a strong one for a malnourished kid in Boruto’s opinion, to the river that he would normally catch fish for breakfast or dinner.
He didn’t notice the medium sized rock and tripped, sending both of them to the poisonous bush he so feared not to touch again.
And so when the Lord Third had come to make his usual visits in the forest, he did not expect Naruto and a stranger both covered in mud.
“Jiji!” Naruto brightly exclaimed as he went to the old man.
“Naruto,” the old man blinked, “what happened?” He asked as he glanced at the boy in front of him and the one that was sitting by a small wooden fishing pole.
“Well, that guy ov’r there touched that icky bush stick and I’d to warn him but then he looks at me so I kind of hid behind da closest tree which was prob’ly useless--”
Hiruzen chuckled, “Naruto, breathe.”
“--then I went to him he drops the stick I pulled him here so I could get him to be mudded but then I trips on a rock and we both fell on the icky bush so here we are!!” Naruto finished as he bounce side to side.
Boruto sweatdrop. He never knew his that could say a whole paragraph with a single breath, he’s not even panting after he said all those things!
“So who’s your company Naruto?”
Boruto perked up, “Boruto. My name’s Boruto, Lord Hokage.”
He did say he hated the title hokage, but that doesn’t mean he has to disrespect every single one of them. His aunt would always say manners first before emotions.
Hiruzen raised an eyebrow, “No last name?”
“Ah, that uhm.... I think it’s best if...” Boruto trailed off as he looked at his dad-- Naruto-- and Hiruzen took the hint.
“Naruto, can you look for the mushrooms we had for dinner last week? It was very delicious. Think you can do that?” He looked down at the kid, the mud already drying off his face.
“Of course, Jiji!” Naruto then looked at his future son, “I’ll be back, Boluto-niisan! The soup I make is really delicious, ’ttebayo!” Then he ran back into the forest.
Hiruzen then looked at Boruto expectantly. Boruto sighed, he noticed that everyone had been sighing for the past 12 hours.
“My last name is Uzumaki, Lord Third. I...” He hesitated and shifts a bit from where he was sitting,“...I come from the future. If I say my last name in front of him, well,” Boruto’s mouth twitched as he unconsciously smiles softly, “I got a feeling dad won’t forgive me if I ever did.”
Hiruzen’s eyes softened and his posture became relaxed, “Then it’s best not to ask for further information.“He smiled softly while Boruto looked confused, so he explained that digging for more information about the future will only ruin the timeline.
“But why? Aren’t you suspicious of me that I’m wearing Konoha’s hitai-ate and that I might be an enemy?” He couldn’t help but ask.
“Well, for one, I could recognize those cheeks anywhere as well as those unique colors that also comes in the package. Also, the fact that you ask me that is proof enough that I can trust you not to break his trust.”
“Jiji! Look! I’s found lots!” Naruto yelled as he ran towards them, his arms full of the mushrooms he picked in the woods.
“Ah, I’m afraid I have to go now, young-one. Maybe tomorrow? I have a meeting to attend tonight.” Hiruzen said as he patted Naruto’s head.
Naruto’s grin faltered for a moment before smiling brightly at his surrogate grandfather, nodding as he put aside the mushrooms to hug the old man. When the Hokage left, Naruto started gathering small woods to create his fire, and collected the pot he would hide around the river so no one can take it from him. He was making the mushroom soup.
While both boys waited for the soup to cook and hopefully a fish could be catched before lunch, Naruto, out of childish curiosity, asked Boruto some questions that he could never figure out.
“So....” He started, unsure if Boruto wanted to talk to him or not. When he was sure he got the other’s attention he continued, “Are you Jenin? ”
“You mean gennin? Yeah, I am.”
“Then how comes I never see you around da village?”
“I just graduated.”
It was quiet again before Naruto shoots him question after question. It was even a miracle that he answered them all. But then again, it might have come from the family. They are the future Uzumaki, after all.
“You look just like me.” Naruto stated as they walked around the woods, preferably the direction back to the village as Boruto just blindly followed his future dad, “’Cept Fer yur lines. You have two and mine is three.”
As if to make his point, Naruto pinched his own cheeks.
Boruto just shrugged, not really used to this kind of attention from his father. Naruto only pouted, before stopping to look at the whole village. Looks like his dad had led the both of them to the hokage mountain. The whole day they were just walking and running around the forest while Naruto did all the talking and Boruto would answer back if ever needed.
How’d they get here? He was not paying attention.
True to his clone’s words, the village looks very old, less modern and more of a still developing to a city type of village, but it looks so good now that the sun is almost completely down and stars were shining.... he stopped the train of thought before he got more confused.
“Look, we’re back!” Naruto said as he pulled down his goggles on his eyes that Boruto didn’t even noticed was in his head ---How the hell did I not notice---before running to one of the heads and jumping off.
Wait, jumping off?
Boruto reacted a second too late as his father’s younger self was already decending down the cliff. Boruto jumped after him without thinking much of the situation besides Must...save...kid... and reached out to get a hold of any part of Naruto’s body.
Naruto, shocked at being held tightly in foreign arms and chest in what he could tell was a protective stance (one ANBU did the same to him when the villagers decided to attack him) as they both landed on the ground unceremoniously. Boruto mostly got the beating from the ground as he lost his footing from the fall while holding Naruto. He didn’t care though as he frantically checked if Naruto got hurt. When he was sure that the kid didn’t get a scratch or a broken bone, he slumped in relief. Then he realized what just happened.
Damn, brotherly instinct just came in.
Naruto was thankful for the concern, but he did not appreciate the niichan kind of ruining his own fun.
“Why’d you do that?!” Naruto exclaimed at the tall boy in front of him.
“What do you mean? You were jumping for your death!” Boruto countered as he glared at his young charge.
“I was flying!”
“Free falling from the Hokage mountain is not flying! You could have died!”
“I do it after coming back from the forest every night! This is no different!”
“You do what? Naruto,” it felt so weird saying that, “You do not go free falling without supervision!” He learned that his brotherly instinct has been activated for the past few hours he was with this kid.
“I have you!”
“A proper adult supervision! I’m not an adult, dattebasa!”
Naruto growled and stomped his feet, “Why do you care?! I don’t have any parents waiting for me at home so why do I have to care if I--” As if realizing what he was about to say, Naruto’s eyes started to water and he looked away from Boruto.
It was a bad idea.
He saw a mother and her child walking from a distance, holding each other’s hand.
His tears fell.
Boruto, who was just watching the younger version of his dad, was left speechless. He did not know what to say to him. It was all... he used the... Boruto just did not know what to do; especially when his father saw the mother and her kid holding hands. Then out of conscience and brotherly instinct that was usually reserved for Himawari when she’s sad and the other kids in his timeline, he held the younger boy’s hand.
His dad or not yet, a kid is still a kid.
Naruto looked at Boruto as if the boy had just grown two heads. Confused with his own feelings, Naruto just smiled (it always made him feel more comfortable when smiling) and held on. He pulled Boruto to the direction of his apartment, all the while skipping and babbling random topics.
Boruto didn’t comment on the quick change of mood his dad seems to be an expert at doing. Instead, as they walked in the street, he looked around, soaking in what he could see about the past. The stores weren’t as glamorous as the ones from the future, but your everyday needs are all there. There were some new buildings here and there, and when they turned, the street and the buildings were completely new. Nothing was a lot more interesting than the glares directed to him and more on his younger father.
Being born in a different timeline and being a proud Uzumaki brat, he glared back. The glares from the passerby worsened into a hateful one and he could feel it burning the back of his head even as they got a safe distance away.
It was all so overwhelming. He didn’t have this kind of treatment in the future, and he was not used to this intense feeling of hatred directed at him. It was as if he made the biggest mistake of his life, and he did something so wrong to the point that he should have died a long time ago.
He didn’t even noticed that they’ve already arrived in his father’s apartment. Old and run down.
He tightened his grip on Naruto’s hand, and glared at the rusty old crooked door that isn’t even worth calling a door at all.
“Sorry about that. Jiji said that the repair for the door would be coming soon. Someone broke in last night so...” Naruto said as he scratch the back of his neck.
“Someone broke in?”
“Yeah! Hey hey, I was good at protecting myself dattebayo!” Naruto smiled proudly and pound his chest to prove it, “Now come! Let’s eat Ramen! It’s the best food the gods ever gave ’ttebayo!”
Naruto pulled Boruto in his apartment and was quickly greeted with a small space and a table as well as a chair in the middle.
“I have another chair somewhere in my room. You can get it while I heat up the water!”
Boruto complied. Then they waited for the water to boil.
They both groaned.
“I hate waiting for the Ramen to cook ’ttebayo/’ttebasa!” They both exclaimed.
They both looked at each other in surprise before laughing.
“You like Ramen too!”
“I love ramen ’ttebasa!”
Then the water finally boiled. Naruto exclaimed that he’d serve and excitedly turned around to get the boiled water. When Naruto turned around to face Boruto, he stared at Boruto in shock and horror that he dropped the hot water.
Boruto cursed and went to Naruto, lifting him up and away from the mess. He checked if there’s anymore damage done when he noticed Naruto staring at him, wide eyed.
“You’re disappearing ’ttebayo.” He whimpered.
“What?” Is all Boruto could say before cheking himself. True to Naruto’s words, some of his body parts were fading away. Quickly.
Naruto touched Boruto’s face, eyes darted in every direction in panic as if trying to memorize every single detail before his face was completely gone too. And even though Naruto knew he was crying for the only person besides Jiji that showed that they cared for him, he smiled his brightest smile at the disappearing boy in front of him.
“I’ll.... We’ll meet each other again right?”
Boruto stared back at his dad in horror, before quickly hugging the child as much as he possibly could.
“We’ll meet each other. I’ll come back, I promise.” He said as his whole body was gone. Then he kissed Naruto’s forehead.
“I love you...”
The last thing he saw was the face of his dad’s younger version, crying hard as he tried to reach out for Boruto.
He did not expecting to be back in the future.... in the women’s washroom.
And so, he received a couple of beatings by the women who saw him, a doctor reporting to a ninja that he tried to sneak up on women inside the women’s washroom, an extra bump on his head courtesy of one Uchiha Sarada, and a push to the Hokage office where his dad was busy talking with Uncle Shikamaru.
“Lord Hokage, your son had violated the women’s personal space in one of the hospitals around the area.” Konohamaru, who was holding him down by his shoulders had spoken up, breaking the comfortable conversation his father (the old one, thank goodness) was having with the other man.
He’s all grown up... I wonder...
He watch as his father blinked at them, then sighed tiredly. Probably at the guy behind him or on whatever else is going on that he didn’t know about. His father nodded in thanks (adding a complaint of “stop calling me Lord Hokage, Konohamaru”) before asking for a family privacy in which, both adult complied.
The Uzumaki men stared at the office door until it clicked shut, then Boruto turned around to look at his dad who was staring back at him.
Then Naruto’s eyes softened and gave Boruto a warm smile.
“Welcome back, Boruto-niisan. ”