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'Minato sensei looks a little restless today,' Aoi commented. 'What up with him?'
'Aoi!' Obito turned and exclaimed with a smile. 'What are you doing here?'
Aoi shrugged. 'I was just walking by and thought I'd stop after seeing that.' She pointed at the blond shinobi currently walking around talking to himself and running his hand through his hair in a nervous and frustrated gesture.
Obito shrugged too. 'Honestly I have no idea myself. He has been like this since morning.'
'He's fussing over trivial things again,' Kakashi said, suddenly appearing behind her, his hands behind his head and looking positively bored and unbothered.
'And what would that be?' Aoi asked, furrowing her eyebrows.
Kakashi sighed pointedly giving her the impression that she couldn't understand obvious things the way he could. Aoi balled her fists but otherwise controlled her temper. Sometimes the urge to punch a hole in that smug bastard's face was overwhelming.
'He'll come to you soon enough,' Kakashi replied. 'Then you'll know.'
Not wanting to start a fight right there, Aoi looked away from Kakashi's face and turned to Obito.
'What are you doing here so late anyway?' Aoi asked. 'Wasn't your training over hours ago?'
'Oh yeah,' Obito said. 'But sensei asked me to stay back and help Kakashi train for his jounin exams coming up.'
'Oh right,' Aoi said remembering that Kakashi was going to be taking his jounin exams in a month and at the age of thirteen. It wasn't like Aoi wouldn't be happy for him once he made a jounin because she knew she would be deep, deep, deep down. She was dreading to have to deal with his enhanced sense of superiority once he did make jounin. He was unbearable as it was. Once he became jounin, she didn't know how much more unbearable he would get and didn't want to find out.
'He's been nothing but a hindrance,' Kakashi said shortly. 'I don't get why Minato sensei thought weak people like you could help me anyway.'
'Teme…' Obito growled.
Kakashi didn't seem bothered. 'I'll go train on my own now. At least that's gonna help me improve.'
'What. A. Jerk,' Aoi announced as she and Obito sat at a ramen stand and ate. 'He is so full of himself!'
'I will beat the hell out of him one day for sure!' Obito said with such force that he broke the chopsticks in his hand and had to take new ones later on.
'I wonder what was up with Minato sensei though,' Aoi said.
'Maybe he lost something important?' Obito suggested slurping in his ramen.
'He never loses his cool,' Aoi said. 'I'm doubtful he'd lose his cool like that by losing something!'
'Mask face said he'd want to talk to me later,' Aoi continued. And then it struck her. Of course! She should have guessed earlier. 'Obito, I'll see you later, there's something I need to do.'
'Huh?' Obito started after her utterly confused about what had just happened.
As mentioned earlier by Kakashi, this matter was trivial to him, so she was pretty sure he hadn't offered Blondie sensei any help. And Aoi wasn't used seeing Minato sensei like that and thought she'd take him out of his misery.
'Minato sensei!' she called as she came to the training ground where Minato was standing alone, procrastinating.
'Aoi,' he said. 'Good timing. I was about to go look for you!'
'Yeah, I know,' Aoi said.
'You know?' Minato raised both his eyebrows surprised.
'Ask her,' Aoi said. 'Directly.'
'What I said. You're fretting for nothing.'
'Honestly sensei, are you blind?'
'Most the village thinks that you two are already going out, the way you two are always together. So just ask her!'
Aoi rolled her eyes. 'Okay, let me tell you something and you have to promise me you won't tell Kushina sensei that you got to know this from me. If you do, then you can very well go and start digging my grave now.'
'Okay, I understand, I won't tell,' Minato said. 'What is it?'
'She's been into you since the day you saved her from those shitty cloud ninjas who kidnapped her,' Aoi said.
'She told you that?'
'No, but Kushina sensei isn't the most difficult person to read.'
'So I should just-.'
'Yeah. And ask her straight to her face. Not speaking your mind is a sign of weakness and not to mention it sucks to keep things inside anyway. So you should just tell her how you feel.'
'Got it!' Minato said grinning. 'Thanks Aoi. I can always rely on you.'
'Lemme guess, that masked face jerk refused to help you?' Aoi said. 'You should've come to me first.'
'Since you both grew up with Kushina and he was in my team, I thought I'd ask him first,' Minato admitted sheepishly.
'And being the jerk that he is, he couldn't care less,' Aoi finished Minato's sentence in her own words.
Minato smiled. 'Maybe you should cut him some slack,' he said. 'With Obito I understand. But you know what happened to him. So maybe you should be a little less harsh?'
Aoi shook her head. 'He missed the whole point of it,' Aoi said. 'And it doesn't give him the right to be a jerk to everyone. At least I'm not gonna tolerate it.'
'You definitely follow your own advice don't you?'
'Of course. I wouldn't be giving it away to you if I didn't. Good luck. And if everything goes well which I know for a fact will, you owe me one.'
Minato smiled. 'Sure. I'll treat you anywhere.'
'No,' she said. 'I can get treats out of Kushina sensei easy. Not to mention Guy and Ebisu too. You have to teach me Rasengan.'
Minato laughed. 'Yeah,' he said remembering their conversation by the lake years ago on her first day of the Academy. 'You're definitely old enough for it now.'
'Yess!' Aoi grinned.