Of Brothers and Budding Stalkers
The rest of the week passed by without further incident. Minato had faithfully come by to visit every day at 3 o'clock. Naruto hadn't heard another word from the Hokage, but he hadn't really expected too. He knew all too well how busy a job it was. Today, although, was Naruto's last day and he was pretty excited. Minato had dropped by early in the morning before school started, he was a teacher at the academy, as Naruto had found out early on, and told him that after he was discharged this afternoon Minato would be taking him to see the Hokage about living options.
3:30 rolled by with no blonde teenager in sight. Naruto sat on his hospital bed, dressed in some hand me downs from Minato until Naruto could get out shopping for something that fit. The more he stared at the clock, the slower it seemed to tick, so Naruto stood up, still a little wobbly from the sudden height adjustment he was still getting used to, and paced the room. Naruto had grown pretty close to Minato over the last seven days. The taller blonde would often sit for hours just talking, telling Naruto about his life, asking stupid questions, asking good questions, things to keep Naruto from feeling lonely. Although when Naruto asked if he had any friends outside of Naruto, Minato put on an unsteady smile and said that they were usually too busy for him. After that, Naruto had wisely let the man continue talking. He knew the look in Minato's cerulean eyes all too well.
The doors finally cracked open, letting in a tired looking blonde. Naruto grinned widely, happily acting like a 12 year old. Being discharged from hospitals were always happy memories for him. Minato stepped inside and took a quick look at Naruto. The bandage around his forehead was reduced to just a piece of gauze covering the wound. He would often berate the shorter blonde for scratching it. The baggy clothes that Minato had managed to dig up from his closet fit Naruto very badly, as Minato as he was, was more than a foot taller, and broader in the shoulders and waist.
The older blonde couldn't help but chuckle at the child's appearance. Putting his hands on his hips, he smiled brightly and said,
"Well, Naruto-kun, are you ready to leave this place?" Naruto almost jumped with joy. He had been patient, letting the nurses and doctors poke and prod him, but the alluring sight from his window almost broke his will to stay until everything was done.
"I've never been readier!" Naruto said, almost tripping with the few steps it took to cross the room to Minato. Minato frowned.
"Are you still having trouble walking? I can get someone to look at that…" He said, tentatively. Naruto shook his head quickly.
"No, it's nothing like that. I just feel like my body is the wrong size. I'm sure I'll get used to it. I'll have it down pat in the next few days." Telling partial truths were always easier than lying. Minato didn't need to know that he was really almost 6 feet tall, and definitely not as scrawny as he was now.
The journey to the Hokage's office from the hospital was a familiar one to Naruto, as Sarutobi had often requested his presence after particularly harsh beatings. Although when Naruto had gotten older, the route had changed from street to rooftops. Walking at the slow pace Minato was setting for the younger blonde was killing him, but he put on a smile, and stumbled down the street. The only thing that Naruto felt uneasy about was that no one was glaring at him. A few were staring, but he was pretty sure it was more at his clothes and state of being than him himself.
The Hokage's secretary, a younger version of a woman that Naruto vaguely remembered as a child, gave the pair of blondes a distasteful look that made Naruto flinch. Minato glanced down at Naruto before shooting the lady an equally distasteful look. The taller blonde made a note to ask Naruto about that.
"Hokage-sama is ready to see you." She said, looking down her hawk nose. Minato nodded stiffly and pushed the younger blonde gently into the office. Sarutobi was sitting at his desk, puffing his pipe and sorting through paperwork. Glancing up he made brief eye contact with Naruto, leaving him once again saddened by the lack of warmth he was used to.
"Hello boys. I trust the rest of your week has been without incident?" Both blondes nodded in unison. The aging man let out another cloud of smoke and placed his paperwork down in a neat pile. Resting his elbows on the dark wood of his desk, he folded his fingers together and said,
"I've had some tests performed on you while you were in the hospital, and the Hyuuga clan has determined that you have a very well developed and frequently used chakra system." Naruto's eyes widened. What other tests did the Hokage perform? Sarutobi's voice snapped him out of his thoughts.
"If you wish, you may remain a civilian and I will allow you to receive a stipend until you obtain steady work. Or you may choose to be instated as part of our shinobi force, under strict supervision and limited actions until we can be sure that you are indeed just a victim and not a spy in our midst. Your chakra seems to be very well developed; you may in time become a great asset to the village of Konoha." Naruto inwardly cringed at the suspicion, although he knew it was appropriate and necessary. Sweeping a bow with just the right amount of respect, if not a little too much, Naruto gazed at the floor and said, his voice annoyingly high pitched,
"With your permission, Hokage-sama, I feel I would best serve Konoha as a ninja. I will dedicate, and if the job requires it, lay my life down for this village and every person who resides in it." Sarutobi and Minato blinked at the seriousness of the statement. Naruto remained bent, his eyes picking out patterns in the carpet. Sarutobi took another long drag of his pipe, savouring the sweet taste of the special tobacco he had ordered from the small wave country that bordered the fire territory. Flicking his fingers, he said,
"You may rise." Naruto rose and stared directly into Sarutobi's brown eyes. The Hokage searched the boy's face for any sign of faltering or deception, but found none. Satisfied for the time being, he smirked, breaking eye contact. Minato noticed Naruto relax a little, and put his hand on the shorter blonde's shoulder. Naruto glanced up at him before smirking.
"I hereby instate Naruto as a Konoha genin, and with such responsibility, I expect you to do everything in your power to protect Konoha and its citizens." Naruto broke out a large smile, genuinely glad to be back in the fighting force. The aged Hokage shuffled his papers again before sighing.
"Now comes the problems of housing and a team." Minato spoke up for the first time since entering the office. His hand never left Naruto's shoulder, and Naruto was glad for it. He was never one for casual contact, but something about Minato made him relax more than usual.
"I volunteer a room in my house for Naruto-kun here." Naruto gazed at Minato, unsure of how to feel. It wasn't very often that someone offered something like this to Naruto, coupled with the fact that Naruto was still under suspicion of being a spy. Sarutobi sat his desk, seemingly unsurprised.
"Alright. That goes perfectly with the team problem. Minato, I realize that I have yet to properly congratulate you on your passing of the Jounin test this morning." Minato stiffened into a proper stance before his leader.
"Thank you, Hokage-sama, it is most appreciated." The Hokage gave a small smile and said,
"As your first mission, I hereby assign Naruto here as your personal student and apprentice until such time as he becomes Chuunin, or gives his life in the line of duty." Naruto winced at the last line, but smiled openly at what this meant. He would get to be taught by his hero! His grin did not go unnoticed by Sarutobi or Minato. Minato patted his shoulder again and slightly pushed down on his back to signal a bow.
"If that is all, Hokage-sama." Minato glanced back up and saw Sarutobi nod curtly."You are dismissed." He said, and Naruto stood back up and was gently guided out of the door by his new roommate. Minato waited until they got to the street, stopping only to help Naruto when he tripped on one of the steps.
"So, I think a congratulation is in order, Genin Naruto." Naruto grinned and rubbed the back of his head. Minato rubbed his chin and gazed over the busy afternoon of Konoha.
"Why don't we go to this little ramen stand that set up recently? I think it was called, Ichiraku or something. C'mon, let's go!" Minato tugged on Naruto's sleeve and he more than happily went along. In his time, Ayame had died in the first attack, and Teuchi had passed during the snowy winter he had lost Hinata. Naruto shook his head. His mouth was turned down in a frown, but he berated himself. This was no time to dwell in the past…err…future. He could change everything, and this time, no one would die.
Minato watched the grim look on Naruto's face suddenly turn to determination. The sad look in his blue eyes almost went unnoticed, but Minato caught it out of the corner of his own blue eyes.
After they had seated themselves and ordered from a much younger Teuchi, and a woman that Naruto assumed was his wife, Minato turned to Naruto and said,
"Why did you flinch when the secretary made that face at you?" Naruto paused, and then shrugged.
"Did you remember something?" Naruto shrugged again and said,
"It was more of a feeling. I think that people used to hate me when I was child. I don't know why. Maybe wherever I'm from, I was the village pariah." Minato gave a nervous laugh and patted the younger boy on the back.
"You? You are much too cute and lovable to be a pariah." Naruto turned a bright red and slapped Minato's hand off of his back.
"Bah, shut up, Minato. I'm not cute." Puffing his cheek out, the younger blonde pouted and caused Minato to laugh even harder. He didn't stop laughing until the ramen came, smelling as good to Naruto as always. This time though, he savoured the taste of the meal as much as he could, causing Minato to finish first. He hadn't had a bowl of Ichiraku in nearly 7 years.
"What's wrong? Is the ramen not good?" Minato said over a mouth full of noodles from his second helping. Naruto wiped a tear quickly and shook his head, eating slightly faster than before. Minato didn't say anything else, and Naruto cursed letting the nostalgia get to him.
"It's excellent. I couldn't have asked for anything better." Naruto paused for a moment, before looking into his noodle broth.
"Uh…Thanks, Minato. For letting me stay with you. That's really nice of you." Minato sucked a noodle up, noting Naruto's pink cheeks and smiled.
"No problem~! It's not like I could put a cute little kid like you on the street! Us blondes gotta stick together!" The future Yondaime Hokage of Konoha's smile was infectious. Anyone who knew him from Naruto's time could have told you that, and now Naruto was falling prey to it. A large grin spread across his scarred face as he punched Minato playfully in the arm as punishment for calling him cute.
Sweating and topless in the hot summer day, Naruto and Minato both were posed in a steady stance with their arms out. In unison, they both slowly brought their front foot around in a semi circle until it was positioned behind the next one. The scraping of the loose dust and dirt made a few birds that were perched on the ledge of their makeshift training area, situated on top of Minato's apartment roof, look at them warily, before going back to pruning and cooing and whatever else birds do in their spare time.
Another arm moved, followed closely by a shorter one, and the motion was repeated again and again until Naruto's movements became more like one who knew what he was doing, rather than copying what he was seeing. Minato flicked his glance over to the sun and nodded, dropping his stance. Naruto did the same and let out a breath, stretching his arms and rubbing the cramps from them.
"Ahh~ Naruto-kun, that was great! You've almost got it all down to memory!" Naruto rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment, but smiled brightly. Minato had spent the last 4 months teaching him some slow moving, but difficult exercises. They were meant to teach the body discipline while building stamina and muscle without furious movement. They also helped, as Minato had suspected they would, with Naruto getting a feeling for how big his new body was. Not that Minato knew why he'd be feeling that.
A falcon soared across town, dipping low to screech loudly before taking off again. Minato looked up, tossing a towel to his apprentice, and sighed.
"I have to report to the Hokage's office." Naruto nodded.
"I'm going to go grocery shopping, is there anything you want specifically for dinner?" Minato raised a finger and said,
"We haven't had pork in a while, right?" Naruto shrugged and wiped the sweat from his face with the towel. Minato slipped a white tank top on before shrugging his green Jounin vest on and jumped off the side of his apartment building. Naruto watched him run and jump over a few more buildings before he suddenly turned his head to look behind him. The hairs on the back of his neck were standing on end, but after a close scan of the street, he realized that there was nothing there. Frowning, he picked up Minato's discarded towel and walked down the side of the building into his small bedroom's window.
Panting and pressing herself against the wall of the alley way, a red faced dark haired girl with pearly eyes that seemed to almost glow in the dark of the alley silently thanked any and all gods that had anything to do with her not being discovered. If her family found out that she had been spying on someone for something other than a mission; and on hot sweaty boys nonetheless, they would be scandalized. They'd probably throw her out, and Hizashi would never let her live it down.
Thinking again of the shorter of the two, her heart fluttered harder than it had when she first spied upon him a few months ago, and her vision darkened as she flitted out of consciousness and melted to the ground, a smile and a blush gracing her unconscious face.
Sarutobi had just finished cleaning his crystal ball when Minato tapped on his open door. Nodding, but not taking his eyes off of the slightly opaque sphere, Minato stood at attention, staring straight ahead. Sarutobi ignored him, giving the ball another rub.
Minato was a good boy, Jiraiya had taught him well. Sarutobi was well aware of Jiraiya's intentions for the blonde, and if it weren't for Orochimaru expressing an interest in the position of Hokage, he would have named him a potential successor already. Sighing, he gave his ball one last wipe of the cloth and set it down on its purple velvet cushion.
"Good afternoon Minato. How are you?" Minato was still at attention, but his stance relaxed almost unnoticeably.
"Good afternoon, Hokage-sama. I am excellent. Fresh from a work out with Naruto-kun. His progress with controlling and disciplining his body is excellent." Sarutobi smiled and pressed his fingers together, forming a tent.
"Ahh yes, Naruto-san. I must say he is a bundle of energy. Very outspoken, yet still polite. Reminds me of a certain blonde at that age." Minato grinned. It reminded him of himself as well.
"I have called you in a little earlier than usual this month for a reason, but first I'd like to get the usual out of the way. Has Naruto shown anything unusual?" Minato shook his head.
"His uncertainty with his body has almost disappeared. I've only seen him fumble 6 times this past month. He still talks in his sleep, and as before, the only names he talks about are the two Hinatas. I finally asked him about the name, and he shrugged and said that he remembered a little girl named Hinata, and an older one with the same name, but a different person. I saw the look in his eyes. I think they may have been family or friends that have died." Sarutobi nodded.
"Any information on his origins?" Minato shook his head.
"Nothing, sir." Sarutobi let his hands fall to his desk before he pushed a small manila folder towards Minato.
"As you recall, I had blood tests done on Naruto-san when he first arrived as protocol for any foreign or unidentified patients in the case that they are comatose, or die." Minato offered a slight bow of his head, glancing at the folder.
"Well, the interesting thing was that when we tested his blood with this new system that Tsunade had perfected the research for, called DNA testing, god help me if I know what that means, well, we found that Naruto-san has a relative here in Konoha." Minato's eyes shot up. He was not expecting that.
"Hokage-sama, with all due respect, why are you telling me? Should you not be informing Naruto-kun that he has a family here that probably misses him?" Sarutobi sat back and nodded at the folder. Minato bent and grabbed it, opening it and scanning its contents. The blonde sputtered.
"But… This… This is impossible!"
"Is it really, Minato?" Minato glanced down at the paper and saw a pair of sheets with a strange picture that consisted mainly of a few columns of horizontal stripes. The first one was labeled 'Namikaze Minato' and the second one was labeled '??? Naruto'. Several of the columns were circled and numbered on his own sheet, and when he compared them to Naruto's sheet, the circled column on Naruto's sheet, which made up of about half of them, were identical to Minato's. On the bottom of Naruto's sheet, the words, handwritten in red ink, 'approximately 49.5% of subject N's DNA matches with subject M. Other than a few abnormalities make up no more than 1 percent of subject N's DNA, there is a 99% chance that subject N is subject M's father, full blood brother, or son.' Minato noticed that his name was printed in a different hand and ink than the researcher's hand.
"I'm fairly certain he is not your father, and I'm certainly hoping his is not your son…" Minato sent him a warning glare.
"Hokage-sama, please." Sarutobi just smiled.
"How can he be my brother? I was orphaned, Sensei can vouch for me; he was there."
"How much older are you than Naruto-san?" Minato glanced up at him quickly, but returned to rereading the confusing amount of numbers and letters that were printed and written on the pages.
"I don't know, about 5, give or take a year."
"How old were you when you were orphaned?" Minato's face paled.
"…I was 5… But… the bandits, they burned half the village down before Sensei drove them off… I was sure I saw their bodies…"
"Are you?" Minato took a few steps back and sat down in a chair, not bothering to ask permission to sit in Sarutobi's presence. Sarutobi didn't mind, this time.
"My father for sure. I identified his body by his ring, my mother I… Well I thought I was sure. Her body was burned really badly." Minato looked weakly up at the Hokage.
"Are you telling me that my mother wasn't killed? That she was taken by the bandits and… And Naruto is the product?" Sarutobi shook his head.
"The sheet says that Naruto would have to be your full blooded brother. I'm saying your mother was pregnant before she was taken. She may not have even known. She may have escaped the bandits, or they may have taken mercy on her because she was with child. I don't know, but that sheet says that she survived long enough to bear another child, and that boy is your brother. It would explain the resemblance." Minato took one last look at the manila folder before doing something that Naruto would later laugh his ass off at.
End Chapter Three
Whoa what? Lol, I'm still looking for a muse to help me finish Unarranged Arrangements! Just drop me a PM if you are interested~
Lol, I totally just messed all my chapters up, so sorry if you ended up reading chapter 3 in chapter 2's place, my bad my bad, I think I got it all fixed now though.