|11-23-2008, 09:55 AM||#1|
tale of galant jiraiya
Join Date: Oct 2008
Thanked 107 Times in 62 Posts
Dear To Me
Naruto~!” Sakura-chan calls to me. I lean back in my seat at Ichiraku’s, trying to see into the street. Pink hair is the first thing that comes to my eyes. “There you are,” she says sternly.
“Sakura-chan!” I return just the opposite from her tone, which would be brightly and with a smile. She comes into the shop and sits next to me. I offer her the bowl I’m eating out of. “Want a bite?”
She shakes her head and turns to me. “That’s not what I’m here for. Tsunade-sama wants to speak with you.”
I make a face. “What does baa-chan want?” I whine. “I’m eating! And I’m only on my second bowl…”
“Not anymore you’re not!” my teammate snaps, and she drags me off my seat. She tosses money onto the counter to pay for my unfinished bowl. The old man behind it looks disappointed, probably because I couldn’t pay him all the money I normally do with my, um, four – maybe five? – usual servings.
“Oi, OI! Let go!” I hiss and struggle, but it’s no use. She’s got me in her iron grip. My feet drag in the dirt street as she hauls me away towards the Hokage mansion. I stick my tongue in my cheek and cross my arms. “I can walk, dattebayo.”
“Fine,” she says. She drops me. My head hits the road with a loud thwump.
“Ta, ta, ta, ta…” I exhale as I hold the back of my head, trying to sooth the newly stinging pain there. I wince as I glance up at my teammate. “You could’ve been gentler, Sakura-chan!”
Her hands, I notice, are impatiently resting on her hips. “Get up, Naruto. Tsunade-sama said it was important.”
I blink up at her. I stand quickly and dust off my pants. “You couldda told me that from the start, ‘ttebayo,” I murmur. Still rubbing my head with one hand, I walk alongside her towards the big red-topped building. “Why are you so cranky today, anyway?” I tease. “It’s not that time of the –”
“Shut up, Naruto,” she grinds out. I bet she wants to hit me, but at least she has the courtesy not to since my head’s already sore. “PMS is not the reason. It’s nothing.”
It’s never ‘nothing’ when it comes to Sakura. Maybe she’s still stewing about the news we got pertaining to Sasuke. That would put her in a bad mood for a while, I guess. I won’t pry, though; I’d hate to make her crankier. So I walk in silence – which, I gotta say, is hard to do – and we enter the Hokage mansion. Sakura follows me, making sure I go all the way to the main office near the top, and then she waits outside as I walk in.
I throw the doors closed behind me once I’m inside the office. “‘S up, baa-chan?” I greet in a chipper tone.
Tsunade is at her desk, her hands folded like they always are with her mouth leaning against them. I’m glad to say there’s not a trace of alcohol in sight (heh, isn’t that rare?). “Don’t ‘baa-chan’ me!” she snaps out of habit. She calms herself and looks directly into my eyes. “I wanted to speak to you about something, Naruto.”
“Hmm? About what?” I ask as I cross the room and sit in the chair in front of her desk. “Sakura-chan said it was important or something.”
“This might pose as a bit strange, but…” She raises a hand and spreads her fingers. “Five. I want you to name the five people dearest to you.”
I stare at the Hokage quizzically. “Why the hell are you asking me that? That’s a bit personal, don’t you think?!”
She stands and begin to pace. “Well, say – hypothetically – I wanted to appoint you the next Hokage… I’d need to know who to keep close by you to work with you and help you along the way, wouldn’t I?” Tsunade turns and smirks at me. Her golden-brown eyes flash.
A grin consumes my face for two reasons: one, she just hinted about what my future could be, and two, she wants to help me with it by having all my most precious people close by. I feel like hugging her for that.
So I do. I run up to her, knocking the chair I was sitting in over, and wrap my arms around her waist. “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” I repeat over and over.
“Yeah, yeah,” Tsunade-baachan grumbles, returning the hug half-heartedly. She sounds embarrassed. She pushes me off of her and looks into my eyes again. “So who are the five?”
My grin disappears. “Well, uh, I don’t think you can have half of them here,” I mutter. I return to my fallen seat, pick it up, and practically fall into it.
The bossy blonde woman cocks her head slightly, her hands going to her hips. “Why not?”
“Er, well… some of them… can’t.” She frowns at me when I say this. I sigh, knowing I have to make the list in order to explain to her what I mean. It’s not easy, because so many people are dear to me, but I’m able to come up with an instant five that I couldn’t live without. Starting with my index finger and ending with my thumb, I tell her in seemingly no real order: “Ero-Sennin, Iruka-sensei, Gaara, Sakura-chan, and Sasuke.”
“Oh,” she says slowly. “I see.” She sits down at her desk once more and leans back. “Jiraiya can’t because he recently…” Passed away, she’s about to say. Her lips move to shape the words but they never come out. Tears form in her eyes, and I blink away my own. She and I have both cried enough over my godfather. Hell, I didn’t even know was my godfather until the same woman in front of me told me at his funeral! Tsunade clears her throat and changes the subject to someone else. “And Sasuke. He doesn’t even want to be apart of this village anymore, that much is apparent.” She pauses as something occurs to her. I can almost see the light bulb above her head. “Why is he on your list, anyhow? I thought you said you hated him?”
I grit my teeth and pound my fist against the desktop. It’s half to hide my sudden depression over Ero-Sennin and half to show the anger I have towards the teme. “Yeah, I said I hated him, but I meant the Sasuke I knew before the whole Orochimaru mess. The Sasuke who was part of Team Seven, the one who was like a brother to me, ‘ttebayo. That Sasuke is the one who’s precious to me, not the revenge-bent Sasuke one who’s out to destroy the village because of something it tried to do with the Uchiha clan, or whatever it was.”
She nods, completely understanding. I think we all liked that Sasuke better; not even Sakura-chan likes the ‘new’ Sasuke. Besides, he’s kind of hard to forgive since he just left her crying and unconscious that one night.
I think of something. “Um, since Jiraiya-sama isn’t… around… anymore, maybe you could take his place, baa-chan?” I ask meekly.
She looks surprised for a moment. Then she gives a small smile. “What for? Won’t I just get on your nerves?” The smile evolves into a smirk. “Besides, you’ll see plenty of me while I train you how to take charge over Konoha.” The smirk fades a little. “…If the council and I appoint you as Hokage, that is. Is this all hypothetical, remember?”
I laugh, knowing she almost forgot it was supposed to be ‘hypothetical’. “Nah, you won’t bother me none,” I say with a similar smile. “Like how Iruka-sensei is a father figure and Jiraiya was a grandfather figure, you’re like my missing mother or grandmother. Why do you think I call you ‘baa-chan’ all the time?”
Tsunade gets this weird warmth in her eyes for a moment. She chuckles. “I thought it was to make fun of my age.”
“That’s part of it; I can’t deny that,” I laugh. I think we’re both trying lighten the previous sad mood.
“Alright,” she says slowly, “I’ll stand by you whe- if you become Hokage. But what about Sakura and Gaara? How come they’re in your top five?”
“Sakura-chan is my best friend,” I inform the Hokage casually. I don’t mention my crush on the medical nin. “And as for Gaara… well, that’s complicated.” I pause as she stares at me intently, waiting for an answer. I scratch my cheek to help me think. “I mean, he’s my friend, too, and he’s an ally since he’s the Kazekage, but…” I feel my face scrunch up. I don’t know if I can explain that abnormal Jinchuuriki-related bond to Tsunade-baachan. It’s something special that can’t really be explained. Plus, I gave a huge chunk of my chakra to him to help bring him back to us, which is something else that binds him to me that’s complicated.
“I understand,” she says. But I doubt she truly does. “What about one more person, since Sasuke is also out of the question?” I notice that she wrote down the names on a piece of paper.
I shrug. “I guess Kakashi-sensei, since he’s always there for me… in a weird way.”
She chuckles slightly. “Even though he’s late when he’s ‘there’ for you.”
“Better late than never, as he would say, dattebayo,” I smile. “But he’s taught me a lot. Kakashi-sensei is important to me like the five I named first.”
“So true,” Tsunade remarks. “Well, I think that’s about it.” She folds her hands again, her old demeanor back. “You know, I thought it might harder for you to pick your most precious people. But it wasn’t that hard, was it?”
I shrug and avert my eyes. “Not when I break it down, no.”
“Break it down to what?”
“To who left an impact on me most,” I say, glancing up at her. I run my hands through my blonde spikes. “Heh, it’s funny, really… I found out through certain events that I can’t live without those people. Two of them – well, actually, three – I’ve lost already, and only one was I able to get back. But not on my own.” I stare at my lap as I drop my hand. I mumble, “Sometimes I wonder if I’m cut out to be Hokage.”
|11-23-2008, 09:56 AM||#2|
tale of galant jiraiya
Join Date: Oct 2008
Thanked 107 Times in 62 Posts
Re: Dear To Me
Suddenly Tsunade is next to me, her hand on my shoulder. “Now, Naruto,” she tells me in a soft voice, which is very different than her usual yelling or irritated tone. “If I wasn’t confident in your abilities, would I have given you that necklace? Or asked you what I did today in order to help you succeed in the future?”
The old lady has a point.
“Plus, I think you have the potential to lead a village if you train a little more and take a less reckless lead when you go on your next mission. Speaking of which…” She releases my shoulder with a final squeeze, and suddenly that spot feels really cold without her hand there. “I have one for Team Kakashi. Want to take a peek?”
“You know I do!”
The Hokage smirks, her pink lipstick glimmering as if she knew something else about me that I didn’t. I choose to shrug that feeling off and stand to look at the file she’s picking up. She describes the mission to me, and I grin broadly. It’s an A-rank. And Suna is part of it.
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