Good ol' School Days
Namikaze Naruto was finally going to be seven years old next month. This was very significant for him because he would finally old enough to go the academy to learn to be a ninja, just like his father. His ultimate dream was to become Hokage. But for now, he was just content to start at the academy.
Minato, his father, had mixed feelings about his son being at the academy. On the one hand, he wanted Naruto to learn to be a ninja, and go to school, which would make life a little easier for Minato to attend to his duties as Hokage, but on the other hand, he was constantly worried about Naruto getting hurt, killed or kidnapped, and as a result, ended up being too overprotective. He still didn't know if he really wanted Naruto to become a fully-fledged ninja or not. And as for the dream of being Hokage…well…that's another story…
Now, Naruto's birthday was in October and the Academy started classes in September. But being the Hokage's son, they had made an exception to let Naruto start, even though he wouldn't be seven until the following month.
The day was vast approaching for Naruto to start the Academy and he was so excited. It was all he talked about, and it was starting to trouble Minato a bit. He needed to tell Naruto about the 'arrangements' he had made in order for Naruto to get to and from the academy, and Minato knew that Naruto wouldn't like it, so he kept putting it off until the day before he was to start.
"Naruto," Minato called his son. He was playing in his room. "Would you come here, please?"
"Coming, tousan," Naruto answered from within his room. He came into the living room, where he saw his father sitting on the couch. "You wanted me?" he asked him.
"Yes. Come here," Minato answered, patting the couch as an indicator for Naruto to sit down next to him, which he did.
"I can't wait until tomorrow," Naruto gushed at once. "I start my training to become a ninja!"
Minato coughed. "Yes, well about that. There's something I need to talk to you about."
"What is it? You haven't changed your mind, have you?" Naruto asked, accusingly.
"No!" Minato said quickly. "I just wanted to go over some 'arrangements' I've made and some rules that you need to follow while you're at the academy."
Naruto resisted the urge to roll his eyes. Here's goes Tousan, being overprotective again, He thought.
Minato took a deep breath and continued. "On your first day, I will be taking you to the academy since they a special entrance ceremony for you, and as Hokage, I have to give the welcoming speech also." A relative had to attend, regardless, which was not a problem for Minato. However…
Naruto listened impatiently. He knew his father was going somewhere with this. He wished he'd hurry up and get to the point.
"My duties as Hokage keep me busy, as you know, and I may not always be able to take you to and from the academy," Minato continued again.
"I understand, tousan. I can just go by myself," Naruto answered, not seeing what the big deal was.
"Unfortunately, you cannot, Naruto," Minato said, seriously. "Being the son of a Hokage makes you vulnerable to attack, and I know there are people out there who could try to cause you harm, to get to me. Especially because you're my son, if they knew they could get away with it, they would."
Naruto wanted to protest, but Minato stopped him with his hand. "Let me continue. So as a result, I have asked Kakashi to fill in for me when I can't be there. He will take you to and from the academy." Minato finished. What he didn't tell Naruto was that Kakashi would be watching him at all times, even while he was at the academy.
Naruto was incredulous. "What?! I can't believe this! I thought the village was safe and that no one can come in here undetected."
"If you haven't noticed, you've always been with me, or someone else. You're right in that the village is usually safe from attack, but there's always the possibly no matter how remote, that enemies could make it in here. I'm not taking the risk to let you go alone. If you want to attend the academy, then that's the deal," Minato told Naruto with finality.
Naruto sighed, and then he nodded his head in agreement. It would be really embarrassing though, and he was sure to be teased about his 'bodyguard.'
"Good. Now, we need to go over a few rules," Minato said.
Naruto looked up at this. "What rules?" As if having a bodyguard wasn't bad enough.
"You already know the first one. You are to be with Kakashi, myself, or another jounin every time you leave the house or the academy. Never go anywhere alone. That's very important, Naruto," Minato stressed. "Secondly, never leave the safety of the academy while you're there. If something happens, I'll get word to you. You are to obey Kakashi like you would me, understand?"
"Hai, tousan, I understand," Naruto reluctantly agreed.
"Good, because there will be consequences, if these rules are ever broken," Minato warned him. "Now, it's time for bed. You have a big day ahead of you."
"Hai, tousan," Naruto answered, giving him a hug. "Goodnight."
"Goodnight, Naruto." Minato said, returning the hug and watching him leave.
The next day, Naruto woke up early and very excited, in spite of last night's conversation with Minato; he couldn't wait to start at the academy. He quickly got dressed, and rushed into Minato's room.
Much to Naruto's displeasure, he found Minato still asleep. Naruto leapt onto his bed and shouted loudly, "First day of school! First day of school! Come on, tousan, get up, get up, get up!"
At first, Minato rolled over and mumbled, "Don't want to go to school. Five more minutes."
"Not you, tousan, me!" Naruto gushed excitedly. "Now get up!"
"Okay, I'm getting up, it's time for school," Minato grumbled, rolling back over to face his hyperactive son.
"Get up then, it's time for school, time for school, time for scho-woah!" He was cut off when after bouncing so much from excitement; he fell off the bed, landing on his head.
This got Minato up so quickly, that if you had blinked, you would have missed it.
"NARUTO!" He exclaimed, as he quickly picked him up and sat him on his bed, checking for injuries.
"Where's the break? Do you feel a break?" Minato asked quickly.
"No," Naruto answered, used to this kind of treatment from his father, but greatly annoyed by it.
"Sometimes you can't tell because fluid is rushing to the area. Now any rushing fluid?" Minato asked again, checking his head for bumps.
"No," Naruto said again.
"Are you woozy?"
"How many fingers am I holding up?" Minato asked, holding up three.
"Tousan, I'm fine!" Naruto insisted.
"Just answer my question!" Minato said, emphatically.
"Three," Naruto answered.
"See? Something's wrong with you, I have…" Minato looked at his fingers, realizing he held up three said sheepishly, "You're okay then. Listen, Naruto. Are you sure that you want to go to the academy this year? Because it's no problem if you don't. I mean you can wait five or six years…"
"Come on, tousan. It's time for school. I don't want to be late!" Naruto interrupted, getting down from the bed, and tugging on his father's sleeve. He was relieved that Minato stopped his fussing over him.
"Ah-ah," Minato said waving a finger at him. "Not without breakfast."
Naruto sighed, but followed his father out to the kitchen to eat. He gulped down his food quickly that Minato set out for him and said, "Okay, I'm done, let's go!"
"Naruto! You shouldn't eat so fast!" Minato admonished him. "We have plenty of time, you know."
"I'm just so excited," Naruto answered.
Minato smiled. His enthusiasm was contagious. After packing him a lunch, he said, "Very well. Let's go then."
As they walked towards the Academy, Minato reflected on how every year, he was always there as the village's Hokage, to welcome all new students. This year was different. Now, his own son was going to be attending. It just seemed too hard to believe. He's growing up so fast, Minato thought, as they walked together.
When they arrived at the academy, there was quite a crowd of people and children, gathered around the entrance to hear Minato's customary speech. Minato had Naruto be right by his side, since he wouldn't let Naruto out of his sight, while he gave his speech, much to Naruto's embarrassment.
"Everyone-congratulations on your entrance into the academy. From here on, please work hard as you pursue the shinobi way. My wish is for each of you to contribute greatly to Konoha." Everyone clapped and cheered for Minato.
When Minato was done, he greeted a few people, with Naruto trailing along slightly behind him. Presently, one of the jounin teachers came up to talk to Minato.
"Hokage-sama!" He greeted. Then he looked over at Naruto who was hanging back behind his father, feeling shy. "This must be your son."
Minato nodded, bringing Naruto in front of him. "Yes, this is Naruto. He's starting the academy this year."
"What an honor to have him. I'm sure he will do well here," the jounin answered.
Naruto blushed and looked down.
"Thank you for letting him start a little early, he really wanted to come," Minato said.
"Ah, not a problem at all, Hokage-sama," the jounin said waving it off.
"Please take good care of him," Minato whispered, leaning forward so only the jounin could hear him.
"Of course, Hokage-sama," the jounin answered back. Naruto just stared up in confusion. To Naruto he said, "We're expecting great things from you, Naruto-sama."
"Hai! I'll do my best!" Naruto answered.
Minato knelt down to Naruto's level, placing his hands on Naruto's shoulders. "Remember what I told you. Have a good day."
"I will. You can go now, tousan. I'll be fine," Naruto said. And with that, he followed everyone inside.
Minato sighed as he watched Naruto go. It was really hard for him to let go. But he did have tons of work to do back at the office…
Naruto found a place to sit at a desk, as he waited for class to begin. Behind him, he heard two students talking in hushed voices…
"That's the Yondaime's son, right?" asked one.
"Yeah, that's him alright," answered the other.
"I bet he'll be awesome!" said the first one.
"Hmm…maybe…" answered the second.
Naruto didn't want to hear anymore. Fortunately, the teacher came in. He didn't like the fact that they were comparing him to his father already…
Minato was swamped with paperwork. How does it pile up so fast? He wondered. His thoughts then turned to Naruto. I hope he's doing all right…
It was break time, and Naruto was outside the classroom practicing his shuriken throwing. He wasn't alone, however. Someone was watching him to make sure he was safe, but Naruto was unaware of his presence.
"Darn it!" Naruto yelled in frustration as he missed the target. "I'm going to have to practice this a lot more!"
Finally, the end of day came. Naruto walked out to the front of the academy and noticed a swing, hanging from a tree. He went over to it and began to swing, waiting for whoever was supposed to pick him up. He knew it wouldn't be his father. He would be too busy…
Suddenly, Naruto was pushed roughly from the swing. He fell down into the dirt.
"Hey!" Naruto protested loudly.
"Hey, yourself kid. What do you think you're doing on my swing?"
Naruto looked up at the kid who had pushed him off. He was bigger than he was and he wasn't alone. There were two other boys with him.
Naruto stood up and brushed off his clothes. "Your swing? I don't see your name on it."
The boy came up to Naruto and grabbed him by the front of his shirt and lifted him off the ground. "If I say this is my swing, then that means it's my swing." The other kids snickered. "From now on, you're not allowed to play here, unless I say so, got it?" he asked Naruto.
Naruto was a bit afraid, since this was a bigger boy, but still…he wasn't going to let this boy think he could bully him! After all, he was the son of the Hokage. But before Naruto could do anything else, a jounin ninja "poofed" out of smoke right next to them. Naruto recognized him as Kakashi.
"Is there a problem here?" Kakashi asked coolly to the boy, who still held Naruto.
"Not any more," the boy answered, letting Naruto down, a bit roughly. "I believe we've come to an understanding." With that, he turned and left.
Naruto glared at their retreating backs. Kakashi watched them also. "Are you alright, Naruto?" he asked him.
"I'm fine. I really didn't need your help. I could have handled him myself. You have the worst timing," Naruto complained as they started walking towards Hokage tower.
"Really? You could have fooled me," Kakashi replied.
Naruto choose to say nothing. He was fuming on the inside though. Next time, things will be different.
When Kakashi and Naruto arrived outside Minato's office, he asked him, "Are you going to tell your father what happened?"
"No. I'm fine, and there's nothing to tell," Naruto answered him shortly.
Kakashi shrugged and knocked on the door. A 'come in' was heard from within.
Minato looked up from his work, as he saw Naruto and Kakashi come in. "Ah, Naruto! How was your first day at the academy?"
"Fine," Naruto answered vaguely, giving Kakashi a look that clearly said, 'don't say a word.'
"Just, 'fine'?" Minato questioned.
"Yes," Naruto answered shortly. "I'm tired and hungry. When can we go home?"
"Now. I'm finished," Minato told him.
"Good. Let's go then," Naruto said, really wanting to get back home.
Minato eyed Kakashi, knowing that something was going on that neither him nor Naruto was telling him. "Thank you for bringing Naruto here, Kakashi."
"Not a problem, sensei. Ja ne!" He said as he disappeared.
Naruto walked home with Minato in silence. Minato was worried. This wasn't like Naruto at all. He should be bubbling with joy about his first day. He had been looking forward to this forever. Something was wrong and Minato was going to find out what it was…