Hormones are Horrible!
Naruto, Himawari, and the Jounin proctor arrived in what appeared to be the resting camp for finished examinees. Naruto was about to protest the location but he saw the uniform of medic nin standing by and he kept his mouth shut. They moved to him first but he shook his head and pointed at Himawari. She was alert and looked unhurt, but her spaced out gaze was a tad unnerving.
Much to Naruto's surprise, Jiraiya stood in the background watching the pair. Himawari was being questioned over and over by the two medics and Naruto felt that they were capable enough hands.
"What happened?" Jiraiya asked as Naruto approached him. Naruto frowned. "I don't really know. She was hit in the head hard enough to get a concussion I think, and then after a bit she called me over to tell me she couldn't see anymore, not even with the Byakugan." Jiraiya sucked his breath in. A blind Hyuuga was something the family never liked to talk about.
"What will her family say if it's permanent?" Naruto asked slowly. He knew they were strict to the point of being harsh sometimes, but by the time he and Hinata had gotten together her family wasn't something she liked to talk about very much. Jiraiya shook his head indicating he didn't know.
Naruto looked at Himawari who was starting to look a bit annoyed at the hovering medics and said, "What happens now?" Jiraiya looked down at his student and said, "Now we wait. You guys finished a day early so you get a day of rest. They are announcing what is coming next tomorrow. I suggest you rest as much as possible. Later today I've got a surprise for you if the Hyuuga is feeling up to it." Naruto looked at the sennin with a questioning look but Jiraiya refused to meet his eye. Eventually Himawari was taken away to their team room and Naruto was given some basic instructions on how to care for her.
"She's got a concussion, and that is the extent of her injuries physically. The blindness is not something that is unheard of; a good knock on the head can scramble the way our brain works. If she's lucky her vision could return in a few days." The older of the two medics said as they guided Himawari to her unrolled futon. "And if she's unlucky?" Naruto asked, almost wishing he hadn't. The medic shrugged but didn't say anything. He handed Naruto a bottle of pills and said, "Make sure she gets one every 6 hours or so, it will help with the nausea she's likely to have tomorrow morning if not sooner." Naruto nodded and thanked the men as they left.
"How are you feeling, Hima-hime?" He asked when the medics were gone and out of the building. Himawari looked up at him, although her focus was slightly to the left of his head. "Oh I actually feel fine, to be honest. I've had a concussion before and this one is way less severe. They warned me of nausea but I haven't felt any of it. I just, well, I can't see still." Naruto sat down on the end of her futon with his legs crossed.
"Are you able to do anything other than lay here? What did they say?" Himawari shrugged. "I can get up and do whatever I want as long as I don't hit my head again for a good long while. They told me to lay off trying to use the Byakugan for a couple of days though." Himawari picked at her fingernail so Naruto spoke up.
"Well Ero-sennin said he has a surprise for us tonight if you are up to it." The blonde was interrupted by a yawn before continuing. "I'm going to catch a nap though. I haven't slept in two days." Himawari laughed and agreed.
Jiraiya didn't even knock as he burst through the door of their shared room, waking Naruto and Himawari up. Naruto blearily looked around for enemies before he noticed Jiraiya. Putting down his kunai he stretched.
"What the hell Ero-sennin? Ever heard of knocking?" Himawari was rubbing her eyes, but everything was still black. The recently minted sannin ignored Naruto and dropped a bag on the floor. Naruto picked it up and rifled through it. "Yukata?" He said, and passed the bag to Himawari. She pulled out a garment and tried to feel the designs with her fingers. "It's silk too, sensei what are these for?" Jiraiya smiled and said, "We are going to dinner at a fancy restaurant as part of your surprise, if you are feeling ok enough, Himawari-chan." Himawari nodded, blushed, and smiled.
"I hadn't anticipated you being blind however; can you put on a Yukata without your eyes?" Himawari turned a deep red and nodded. "Well, I'm sure Naruto-kun here can help you if you are having trouble." Naruto choked and Jiraiya laughed. "Meet me out front in 30 minutes." "Get out of here you're making it worse!" Naruto yelled at his sensei and pushed the man out of the door. Himawari turned around and buried her face in her hands. They could hear Jiraiya cackling all the way down the building.
Once Jiraiya was gone, Naruto turned to Himawari. "Here I'll get dressed in the bathroom, want me to hand you your yukata the right way up so you don't try to put it on backwards?" Himawari blushed, but more out of embarrassment that she couldn't even put clothes on properly.
"I'd like to take a quick shower first actually. Could I have the bathroom?" Naruto nodded and then realized that he probably needed a shower too. "Hey Hima-hime, are there public bathrooms in this place? I can't remember." Himawari put a finger to her chin and said, "I think on the first floor. Check with the counter lady?" Naruto nodded and grabbed a towel as Himawari felt her way into the bathroom.
Rushing down the stairs of the building, he stopped at the counter and said, "Hey excuse me, are there any public showers or baths or something nearby?" The lady at the counter sighed and pointed down a hall behind her. Naruto thanked her and after finding the bathroom, proceeded to take the quickest shower he has ever had, including all those times as a child when his hot water was cut off.
When he returned to the room, he heard the water still running in the bathroom and took this chance to change quickly. Jiraiya had gotten him a rather nice orange and white yukata. A childish pattern of frogs danced around on it, and it made the blonde smile. He'd have to think of a way to pay the old pervert back.
Naruto was watching people out of the window of their room when Himawari came out of the bathroom. Her hair was still wet and Naruto got a good look at the hooked symbol on her forehead for the first time in a while. Her yukata was a light lavender colour, the same as her eyes, and was decorated with tall cranes embroidered in a darker purple. The sleeves fell almost to her knees. In her hand she was holding the obi wrap which was a dark golden colour.
"Oh wow, it looks like Ero-sennin spent a lot more money on yours than he did mine, ha-ha." Himawari blushed and said, with a bit of struggle, "D-did I put it on right? It's not inside out?" Naruto told her it wasn't and then said, "Did you need help with the obi?" Himawari nodded and gasped when Naruto grabbed it out of her hands. She hadn't realized he was that close.
Naruto slid his hands around her waist to pull the obi around and Himawari struggled to keep her blush down as she lifted her arms. Tying obis is one thing is one thing Sakura and Hinata made him do for them all the time. The simple knot at the back was easy to tie and after only a few seconds, Himawari had a nicely tied obi around her waist. The pair put on the geta sandals that were at the bottom of the bag and made their way down to the front of the building.
Jiraiya showed up after a few minutes donning a simple white Yukata with green and red triangles making the trim. He led them down the street into the higher class restaurant area. Himawari was holding onto Naruto's arm as she tried to take in the sounds and smells of the area. The finally stopped at a small but nice looking restaurant that greeted Jiraiya when he opened the door. The host led them to a small private room with 8 cushions. Himawari took her seat beside Naruto, who took his on the opposite side of the table of where Jiraiya was seated.
"Who are we waiting for?" Naruto finally asked and Jiraiya grinned. "Oh, just some people. No worries they should be here any minute." Naruto frowned and gazed down at Himawari who was squinting while she let her hand roam over the table. Occasionally a calloused finger would bump into condiment setting and she would make a show of memorizing its placement. All Hyuuga females were taught how to act blind for espionage missions that they liked to snatch up, but she herself had never had the chance to use the skills she had learned, and now that she actually was blind she found them coming back to her in bits and parts. It was still frustrating as hell though. The screen door suddenly slid open and she withdrew her hand and looked towards the noise.
"Naruto-nichan! Sensei!" A familiar sounding voice shouted loudly. Something collided with Himawari and she was pushed into Naruto roughly. "Obito! Stop! She's injured!" Naruto glanced up at Minato and smiled widely. Behind Minato, Naruto watched as a young girl with brown hair and purple markings and a young boy with a messy mop of silver hair and a mask covering his face follow his brother into the room, with Kushina slipping in and sliding the door shut with a quiet whish.
Naruto stood up and Minato stepped towards him and gave him a man hug, patting his back and exclaiming how much he had grown in the whole 10 days he had been gone from Konoha. Himawari had been enveloped in an apologetic hug from Obito and was vaguely amused at the angry ranting of the girl whose voice she didn't recognize. Jiraiya loudly welcomed Kushina and invited them to sit down.
"So the old man couldn't even wait until I aced this exam before giving you a team, eh?" Minato blushed slightly, but looked proudly at his team. He turned to his brother and said, "Well, he has such faith in you, and there were other circumstances that I will have to inform you of later." Naruto caught the look in his brother's icy blue eyes. Something wasn't right, but he wisely kept his mouth shut. Instead he turned to Kushina who was watching the young boy sitting beside Minato quietly. Naruto would have choked at seeing his sensei as a child, but he had seen glimpses of the white haired boy around town with a massive white haired man that Minato had confirmed was his father, Hatake Sakumo. Kakashi's eyes looked bedraggled and he had large bags underneath them. He was staring at his bamboo place mat.
"So Ne-chan, I guess this is the 'emergency mission' you guys had? Where's your team? Or is this a joint effort, maybe?" Kushina glanced at the younger blonde and gave him a foxy grin. He could see sometimes that although he had Minato's colouring, he got most of his features from his mother. It was enough to put either a lump in his throat or make him want to burst with pride. "No, no joint team. The genin I tested did not pass my test. It's a simple as that. They were not nearly ready enough for field work." She lowered her voice and put a hand up to her mouth and said in a stage whisper, "Hokage has been lowering the age that genin can graduate normally. He fears war is on the horizon and we need all the genin we can get. Those that I tested won't even be sent back to the academy; they will go to a sort of boot camp and be drilled in basic militia before being tested again." Naruto leaned back and nodded. They had done almost the exact same thing after the first attack on Konoha, when Tsunade was still in charge.
"So let's introduce ourselves to the newcomers here and then Naruto and Himawari can regale us with the tales of their test, and explain why Himawari is looking a little sick!" Himawari's face turned beet red and looked down. Naruto glared at his brother's girlfriend but she just winked at him. Minato coughed and Obito sat down fully beside Himawari. The girl calmed down beside Obito and Kakashi just sat there like a lump.
Minato pointed at Obito and said, "This is Uchiha Obito, as you know. This lovely little girl is Mumei Rin; she aspires to be a medic and can already perform a basic healing jutsu at the age of 10!" Rin had the decency to look modest as her teacher praised her, while Obito was still beaming. "This here is Hatake Kakashi. He's a chuunin already but requires more team time before he can qualify for Jounin." Kakashi bowed his head a little lower as he was introduced, although it seemed more out of habit than politeness.
Naruto glanced at Rin, wondering if he would have some time to exchange ideas with her and see what she knew. He was still contemplating what to say to her when Obito's voice broke through the low chit-chat. "Sensei, what's wrong with your eyes?" All conversation froze and everyone's stares were directed at Himawari and Obito. Minato and Kushina had noticed something off before, but now when they looked at her they both noticed that she wasn't focussing on anything. Jiraiya sat back and said, "Well, we might as well hear your tales of the second test while we wait for the food."
By the time Naruto had led Himawari back to her room she was utterly exhausted. When she had to retell what had happened to her and what the doctors had said the food had already been eaten and drinks had been served (to the Jounin). All she wanted to do was put on her pyjamas and go to sleep. They still had to attend the closing ceremony and announcement of the third exam tomorrow and she didn't want to appear weakened by her injury. She snuggled into her covers and tried to say a good night to her teammate but fell asleep halfway through, mumbling incoherently.
Naruto smiled when he heard Himawari mumble and drift off, but his face soon turned more serious. His brother was waiting for him at his room he was staying at. Double checking to make sure Himawari had a few weapons within hands reach before he left he was mildly surprised to see more than a few people still roaming the streets at nearly midnight. The rooms his brother was lodging at were all the way across town near where Jiraiya was staying.
Minato's room was on the second floor and was accessible by a balcony so the younger blonde laced his calves with chakra and jumped right up onto the railing without a sound. His descent to the floor and then the door were equally as quiet. He opened the door quietly and promptly slammed it shut in his own face.
In retrospect, Naruto would kick himself for not knocking, but he was so used to living in their tiny apartment that he just didn't even think of it. It only took a split second of seeing Kushina, his future sister-in-law in this universe, and his mother in another time standing not ten feet from him pulling on a pair of pants and other wise wearing only a bra and panties (although the younger blonde was infinitely thankful for that small mercy) before his brain shut down and his body took over slamming the door before the red head could say anything.
In fact, in the minute that passed before the door opened again, all he could hear was laughter from the red head and worried natter from his brother, who he would later find out, had still been buck naked in the bed. He stood dumbfounded with his hand still on the door knob when a red faced Minato opened it. Kushina was sitting on a chair, a terrible grin spread across her face. The bed was neatly made, but when Minato offered for him to sit on it, the younger blonde shook his head wildly and proclaimed his love for standing. Minato turned redder but Kushina mercifully didn't laugh again.
Naruto was horrified. Beyond horrified. Sure he knew that Kushina was a very pretty woman, he was proud that his mother was attractive, but not to him in the slightest. Even thinking about what he just saw as he was supposed to, a brother-brother thing, was just as bad. He briefly wondered if this is what normal families were like. He had heard horror stories like this from Kiba about his sister and even one from Ino about her parents. The thought made him feel closer to them now, despite their being long dead and gone. He shook his head. This was too much.
"What did you want? Just spit it out so I can go home and cry myself to sleep." This statement made Kushina bark a loud laugh drawing his eyes to her. She bit her finger and said in a silky voice, "Oh Naruto-kun, didn't like what you saw?" Then she licked that finger and Minato made some sort of protest but Naruto just turned beet red and tried to ignore her.
"I'm sorry, Naruto-kun. I had actually wanted a serious discussion here. When we get home there are some serious changes being made and I wanted to discuss them with you first. Are you still up to it or," Minato coughed a bit, "should we wait until tomorrow?" Naruto pursed his lips and crossed his arms. He shook his head and said, "I'm fine. Let's get this over with." Minato nodded and sat down on the bed.
"As you know, I have a new team. However the day after the team was formed something happened. Do you know of Hatake Sakumo?" Naruto nodded and Minato continued. "He took his own life, and to make matters worse, Kakashi found him just as he passed. That's why he looks like such a wreck. Sakumo-san was a single parent and they were very close." Naruto looked shocked. With travelling with Kakashi, and then having to train his elements before saving Gaara and then sage training and fighting Pein, he never really had time to actually talk to Kakashi. Sure they trained together but mostly in silence. He had heard some things, but he had never really given it any thought.
"Man, is he ok? I mean, he's not ok, but is he…?" Minato shook his head. "He's in really bad shape. That's part of why I needed to talk to you. He is selling the house that they lived in and didn't have anywhere to stay, so I offered him a place on your couch while you were gone. It was that or he was going straight to the chuunin barracks. I didn't want him to be alone, he honestly reminded me of you a bit from the few times I met him beforehand. A bit more aloof but the same values." Naruto nodded. "That's fine. But what are we going to do when we get back? I can sleep on the floor I guess, it's no big deal."
Minato glanced at Kushina and said, "Well, here's the thing. That little apartment is getting a bit crowded, and Kushina's place is no better. I had originally thought maybe to give you my room, and Kakashi the couch like we had, but he is worse than I thought. Obito tells me he hasn't slept other than a few hours here and there all while sitting in the corner staring at nothing. I need to be around for him, not just as his sensei, but to evaluate his mental state. You know what I mean." Naruto did in fact know exactly what he meant. Minato was still making reports on his mental health, even two years later. Jiraiya had told him that the reports were less mandatory now and once he reached Chuunin Minato could stop altogether as Chuunin and above had to take a bi-yearly exam anyway.
"So you're saying we are moving then." Naruto looked at Kushina, whose smile was more reserved now, but he could see the corners of her mouth itching to spread across her face. "And she's coming too." Kushina made a kissing motion at him and he felt his cheeks burn again as the image of her partially clad cam unbidden to his mind. Dammit he was nearly 30, not 14! Naruto cursed the god of hormones and grit his teeth.
"Well, yeah. Rent is expensive, and she wouldn't take another bedroom up. Would you be averse to sharing a room with Kakashi? You don't have to if you are really uncomfortable with it, but it would ease my mind a bit." Naruto nodded a bit. "Yea I'm fine with it. That kid's gone through hell, I know a bit of that. I can probably help him." Minato frowned but chose not to say anything.
The older blonde looked at his younger brother before looking pointedly at Kushina. She dropped her smile and rolled her eyes. Naruto ignored both of them. "Am I good to go now? I don't want to leave Himawari undefended for too long." Minato nodded and Naruto turned to leave. He had made it to the railing when a quiet voice called his name. He turned to see Kushina had followed him out and closed the door.
"Look, I'm sorry for teasing you so much there," she grinned wildly, "you're just a lot of fun. No harm right?" Naruto paused. This was probably the best moment he was going to get for a while to ask her this. "Now that you are actually committing to moving in with my brother, I have to ask. Does he know?" Her face went a bit pale, but her expression didn't change.
"Know what?" She said sharply. "Don't play dumb. About your little friend all tucked happily away in your belly." Her poker face faltered and she looked around. Leaning in she whispered, "Who told you? If it was Jiraiya-sensei I'll fucking gut him!" Naruto almost laughed at her anger. He forgot how raunchy she could be. He held his hand out and said, "As much as I would love to watch that, it wasn't him. When you were trying to heal me in that cave and used his chakra, it pulled me into your subconscious, or where ever. We had a bit of a chat, although he seemed like he was struggling to talk. Is it always like that? I did ask Ero-sennin afterwards about it and he told me a whole bunch about Mito-sama, it was very interesting." Kushina looked less alarmed, but definitely more disturbed.
The red head pulled her hair around her shoulders so it was mostly in front of her and fretted for a few seconds. "You're not freaked out?" Naruto made a face. "Pfft please. I was a pariah where I was from before Konoha too. See these?" The blonde pointed at the scars on his face, "Ero-sennin says I might have been born in the area that Kyuubi was when he sealed into you by Mito-sama. Apparently those two brothers that lived in his stomach have the same markings. I'm willing to bet exposure probably killed my mother during childbirth." "Oh Naruto-kun, I'm so sorry…" Naruto shook his head and said, "Don't be. I didn't know her and Ni-san barely remembers her. How did Mito-sama seal you into her belly by the way? I thought it had to be done at birth?" Kushina shook her head and smiled.
"Not tonight. It's a long story and you have other things you need to concentrate now. I'll tell you in Konoha. We'll make it a date." Kushina winked and went back inside, leaving Naruto blushing and trying to force away images. Hormones! Slinking away he was relieved to see that Himawari hadn't even moved in his absence. He changed into his own pyjamas and went to sleep. Tomorrow was going to be exciting.
End Chapter 20