We just were about to leave the office when the door burst open and two people walked in.
“What is going on Tsunade?” a sharp woman voice asked. “Danzou just told us that the Akatsuki were seen in Konoha. Is that correct?”
The Hokage only sighed. “Yes, that’s indeed true. But they have already retreated.”
“When they managed to find a way into the Hiddan Leaf, the Jinchuriki is in danger. We should bring him away, to a safe place” a man said.
“What, you can’t send Naruto away!” I yelled angrily.
The two people ignored me completely. According to their voices, they had to be old.
“Konoha is already the target of the Akatsuki” the man continued. “We can’t risk that the village will be in danger if they attack. The root is capable of protecting the Jinchuriki; Danzou will take care of everything.”
“No, forget it!” Tsunade’s voice was icy. “I already took care of the situation myself. Naruto will be trained by Jiraya. I won’t send him away. The Akatsuki will find him anyway but here in Konoha we can protect him the most.”
“Tsunade” the man said angry “you’re the Hokage now, you have to think about the safety of the village-“
“I don’t think about anything else!”
“You have to inform the council, us, about your plans before you can do anything. We decide, not only you, don’t forget that.”
I could swear that the temperature in the room was colder than zero degree by now.
“Maybe we can come to an agreement if we discuss it together with Danzou” the woman suggested.
“There is no time for any agreements and plans.” Tsunade’s voice was low and controlled, but I knew that she wanted to throw those annoying old farts out of her office. And I silently cheered for that plan. Those two were just so irritating. How could they dare to threat sending my friend away, just because they were shitting their pants because of those Akatsuki guys? It also pissed me off that they always said Jinchuriki. His name was Naruto, dammit!
“I’m the Hokage; the third gave me the responsibility to protect Konoha when he retired. I’m now its leader, and I decide that Naruto will stay here to train with Jiraya. If the Akatsuki attack, we’ll be ready. And that’s final!” To underline her last words Tsunade slammed her palm onto her desk.
I grinned widely with my arms crossed in front of my chest. The old farts took a step back.
“Alright, do as you please Tsunade” the man gave finally in. “But in the future, inform us sooner. We are the council after all.”
Pf, you’re just old annoying idiots, I thought.
“Good, now what are you waiting for, team seven? You have training, so out of my office!”
We left; the two intruders were still standing in the door. As I walked past them I poked my tongue out at them.
I just laughed as I felt their burning gazes in my back.
I found out that Guy was a really weird teacher. He was the leader of team Guy, which included Neji, Tenten and Lee – as I thought. According to Tenten, Guy was wearing a green spandex body suit, had extremely thick eyebrows, a horrible black hair cut, and he always held his thumb up when he promised something, and then his teeth blinked. Guy was also Kakashi’s eternal rival. They were doing permanently little stupid matches for no one knows how long.
Also Guy always spoke about that fire of youth thing and that it didn’t burn bright enough inside of me.
I often found myself ignoring him if he didn’t just explain my next training move. In my training, I had to punch a tree, I had to fight against Lee and Neji in fist combat, I had to dodge all of Tenten’s weapons, and sadly I also had to do training to build up my stamina. This means that I walked together with Lee through Konoha – on my hands.
This was so embarrassing… The people looked at us and whispered to each other of how stupid we were looking. One time we passed Choji who munched on some of his potato chips. Of course I asked him immediately if I could have one, while the blood rushed into my head from the long upside down walking, but before Choji could say yes Lee forced me to go on.
To top this, Guy handed me one day something with the words: “Tora, even though you’re Kakashi’s student, you fit very well in Team Guy. To heat your fire of youth, I give you this special body suit. It’s aerodynamic, so you’ll be as fast as Lee.”
“Okay, eh… thanks.” I took the suit. It felt totally weird. I’ve never touched anything like this before.
“How does it look like?” I asked Neji in a whisper. I didn’t want to look more stupid than I already did if I’d once again train my way through Konoha on my hands.
“It’s kind of the same body suit that Lee and Guy-sensei are wearing” the Hyuuga answered. I figured out that he and Hinata were cousins, but she was born in a higher status than him. I didn’t understand it exactly because this whole stuff was too complicated for my poor brain.
“It’s also green, and really tight. When we trained the first time as a team Guy-sensei also wanted us to wear it. Only Lee agreed to it, but he also acts and looks like our teacher, so that’s no surprise. However, I and Tenten refused to wear this and if you want my advice don’t do it, unless of course you like it.”
“Eh… thanks Guy, that’s really nice from you, but I can’t wear it. My… flame of youth is just not hot enough for it, I’m sorry.” No way would I wear this thing!
“Hm… I understand Tora. That’s sad, but I guess you’re right. Well, if that’s the case, we’ll train even harder so that you can wear it one day!” *Blink*
Oh god, please save me!
But even though Guy was weird with his looks, talking, and actions, I couldn’t help but to like him. He was a great teacher, and soon my Taijutsu had increased drastically and I managed to walk almost as many rounds as Lee. Of course the people kept staring and laughing, but I didn’t care now. They were just jealous because they didn’t have so much stamina like we had.
After my training with Guy and his team, I climbed the Hokage-mountain up to the stony field on top of it. There I trained my earth controlling power. Mostly I practised alone, but sometimes one or more from the other rookies visited me and then we fought against each other. The most fun I had with Kiba and Akamaru of course, but through the training I and the others came closer and I learned more and more about them and the village: Stories about the former Hokages, Konoha’s history, the different clans, the Uchiha massacre, rumours about the other rookies. Some of it was really interesting, other stuff was plein boring. But I didn’t mind the information and my new friends came soon more often to help me with my training.
I was attacked by two Kibas, by hundreds of bugs, by a storm of weapons, by shadows, by a yelling Lee, by two Hyuugas, and sometimes by normal attacks.
After every training I had the earth under my feet better under control, I could sense their attacks just by their foot stand, I was able to do more than just throwing rocks. Soon I could dodge Shikamaru’s shadows without even seeing them, I could feel every one of Shino’s bugs, I could tell exactly who the real Kibe was and who was Akamaru, I could dodge every weapon Tenten threw at me.
I just waited and listened until I counterattacked. It was like the earth and I were one, like we were connected.
Today was one of my rare free relaxing days. I was walking through the streets, searching for Naruto. I haven’t seen the knucklehead for weeks. Even though I visited Ichiraku in every free moment and asked its owner about his favourite client, Naruto always was somewhere else.
Now I was once again on my way to Ichiraku when I suddenly heard Ino yelling: “Hey Tora, how are you?”
She came out of a house that smelled like flowers.
“Eh… Fine I guess” I answered, asking myself what she wanted. “I search Naruto, did you see him?”
“No, but have you seen Sasuke since you’re his team mate? Do you know where he is?” she asked with hope in her voice.
I sighed. Of course it was about Sasuke. Everything she and Sakura were talking about was about Sasuke.
“Nope, sorry Ino, I have no idea where he is.” I wanted to continue walking and searching, as her eyes probably fell on my clothes. The fact is that I was still wearing the same clothes I had worn the day Kiba had found me. I didn’t have time to buy new ones.
“Do you still have no other clothes than these?” she asked in disbelief.
I only shook my head.
“Wait here.” She run back into the flower shop, yelling: “Mum, I go with Tora shopping okay? I’ll be back later, love you.”
Wait what? Shopping?!
I wanted to quickly get away before she could drag me into every shop in Konoha, but I was too slow and to be honest I really needed some new clothes.
But, to have at least one normal not-girlie girl in our group I insisted to take Hinata with us. So we went to the Hyuuga mansion, knocked on the huge door and asked her father who opened if Hinata was at home in the moment. Luckily she was, and she even had some free time to hang around with us.
I was really happy to have her by my side.
Hinata always whispered and stuttered into my ear what the new outfit Ino picked up for me looked like. I didn’t trust Ino enough to believe her that the shirt or pants had the exact same colour as she described. And I was too afraid that in the end I’d buy something pink.
On the way from one shop to the next Ino told us that she had seen Sakura a few days ago. Like my other team mates I haven’t seen her since our meeting in Tsunade’s office and so Ino told me that according to Sakura she already had managed to heal a fish and that Tsunade was helping her to increase her enormous strength. I didn’t know if I really should be happy about it. Sakura was already fearful and I couldn’t help but worrying about Naruto who was more or less Sakura’s punching bag.
“H-how is N-N-Naruto?” Hinata asked me silently after I explained Ino that I definitely won’t wear a skirt. I mean seriously, I couldn’t move in that thing.
“I don’t know Hinata” I answered. Why did she always become so nervous just by the sound of Naruto’s name? “I haven’t seen him for a long time. I actually wanted to search for him today but if you want to we can search him together after our deathly-shopping-tour.”
“N-no!” Hinata said quickly. I looked at her surprised. And then it hit me. Of course, she loved him!
I grinned and boxed her into the side. “You really like Naruto, don’t you?”
“I-I don’t… I don’t know w-w-what you m-mean.” I could almost feel the heat coming from her blush.
I only laughed.
“Hey Tora, try this one!” Ino pushed a shirt into my hands.
Sighing I went into the changing room. This was such a drag!
Hours later Ino was finally satisfied and I carried two big bags with new clothes. Seriously, I never would need this much!
“This was really fun!” Ino said happily. “Well, I have to go back to the shop, helping my mother. Bye Tora, bye Hinata.”
“Do you want to help me searching for Naruto?” I asked Hinata with a wide grin.
“N-n-no! S-sorry, but I… I have to go. Bye!”
Laughing I shook my head as Hinata ran quickly away. I didn’t care if she was too shy; I would help her gaining Naruto’s attention. Even though I wasn’t such an expert in subject love, but screw that. There’s always a first time.
I made a quick stop at my apartment to leave the bags in it and then continued my search for Naruto.
I didn’t found him of course, but I found a really sweet place to relax for some time. After the shopping tour I really deserved a break.
My resting place was a wooden board under a wooden protection/shield that gave me a really nice cool shadow. The board stood on a stone field on top of a wide wall. One could only reach that place by climbing up some stairs or by jumping like a shinobi.
I lay down on the wood until I was comfortable and slowly drifted off into sleep…
“Hey, you’re lying on my sleeping place.”
I cracked an eye open – not that I could see anyone – and asked with a sleepy voice: “Do you mind sharing it with me, Shikamaru?”
I could feel him smiling. “If you make some space for me, I don’t mind.”
I grinned and gave him enough space so that he could lie down next to me.
“I always come here at such a beautiful day to watch the clothes” he explained yawning.
“Sounds interesting” I mumbled sleepily.
So we both lay there on that warm sunny day, too lazy to move a muscle until…
“Tora I finally found you, believe it!”
“Naruto, is that you?” I asked in disbelief. I’ve searched this knucklehead the whole day, and then when I lie down doing nothing he showed up!
“Of course it’s me, believe it!”
“Could you two please go somewhere
else?” an irritated Shikamaru asked us. “You’re standing right in my vision,
“Oh sorry Shikamaru. Tora, do you want to go to Ichiraku’s with me? I didn’t have had a good ramen for weeks now, believe it!”
I grinned, fully awake, and followed Naruto before Shikamaru would be too pissed off from us.
Ichiraku was more than happy to see his favourite client. “The noodles are already in the water, Naruto” he said before we even took a seat.
“Ah finally a good ramen, I totally forgot how delicious it was” Naruto said before he grabbed his bowl of ramen with extra pork. We decided to speak about our training after we have filled our stomachs.
When Naruto had emptied his fifth bowl he was finally close to being satisfied and told me what he had learned in the last weeks.
“Pervy sage is such a huge pervert” he started.
“Do you mean your teacher?”
“Yes! He always spends his free time at the bath house, the hot springs, or the river to spy on the girls bathing. I have to figure out everything alone, because he’s too busy with his stupid researches. He barely even looks at me! But he showed me how to walk on water and he promised me to help in controlling the nine tail’s chakra. Also I learned a new jutsu!” He laughed proudly and happily. I only smiled. I really had missed hanging out with him.
“It’s called Rasengan and it’s a jutsu created by the fourth Hokage! It takes three steps to do it: Rotation, power and containment. Of course I can do all of them, it was easy, believe it. Watch it Tora!”
Suddenly he jumped off his chair, created a second Naruto and formed a huge mass of chakra in his hands. Although I couldn’t see it, I still felt it. This power was unbelievable awesome. By now I was a little bit jealous that I was so awful in Nin- and Genjutsu, although I still felt happy for Naruto. And by the way I already could move the earth like I wanted it to, so Naruto had every right to learn something badass. And this Rasengan definitely was badass.
Suddenly the massive power vanished and Naruto hopped satisfied and happy on his chair.
“Wow that was cool Naruto” Ichiraku said. “But next time, please do it outside or you will destroy my ramen shop.”
“Oh, I’m sorry; of course I don’t want this to happen either, believe it! What did bushier-brow sensei teach you Tora?”
I needed a moment until I knew that he meant Guy. Bushier-brow sensei, haha that was good…
So I told him about my training, my new teacher, my fights with the other rookies, my shopping trip today… and so on.
“Oh yeah and before I forget it” I added with a grin, “Hinata really wants to see you to spend a day with you.”
“Hinata? Why does she want to meet me?”
I only shrugged. Naruto had a brain to figure that out.
Suddenly someone came into the ramen shop. It was Naruto’s new teacher.
“Ah here you are Naruto. It seems like you really don’t eat anything except ramen.”
“I told you to not call me that in front of other people haven’t I?!”
“I don’t know it anymore. Pervy Sage, this is Tora my friend and team mate, believe it!”
“Hello, Pervy Sage” I mocked the man who only grumbled in response.
“Anyway, I’ve searched you to tell you that I won’t be in Konoha tomorrow.”
“What? But I want to learn a new jutsu!”
“Pf, you didn’t even master the Rasengan… However, you are going to train, but if you want to you can practice together with your disrespectful new friend. Tomorrow, at eight am, you’ll be at the front gates of the Forest of Death.”
Forest of Death? That sounded dangerous, exciting and deathly.
I was in!
“You are going to meet a woman called Anko. She’ll explain everything to you. If you manage to survive tomorrow in the Forest of Death on your own, I’ll let you make a contract with a summoning animal, okay?”
“Yes yes yes!”
“Good, if you excuse me now, I have to do some… eh… research.” He giggled dirtily and disappeared.
One hour later we left the ramen shop and walked happily down the streets, speaking in excitement about the Forest of Death and what kind of animal Naruto would learn to summon.
We didn’t notice the huge Venus fly trap that merged out of the ground in a side road. Glowing yellow eyes followed us as we walked past the half black, half white Akatsuki member.
“The dragon spirit and the Jinchuriki” the white side started speaking. “Maybe we should capture both of them at once?”
“Idiot” his black side said. “They’re too strong to be taken out at once. No, Leader is right; we should only concentrate to take the spirit first.”
“I don’t think that she’ll be a great match for the others. She doesn’t seem to be that strong…”
“Careful, don’t underestimate her. But you’re right; she has very low chakra and was able to do only Taijutsu.”
“Yes, although it looked amazing how she moved the earth. I think it’s time to take her do you agree?”
“Yes, let’s head back to the others.”
“Sasori should be more than impatient by now.”
“Who cares what that puppet thinks?”
Still discussing Zetsu emerged through the ground. Of course no one had noticed the Akatsuki spy.