Chapter 3: Hiding from the past
A big wolf stopped near three dead Cloud ninja. The owner of the wolf kneeled down to look at the three he had sent after his prey. They were useless, Rakuna, he said to the wolf. I told you so, but you wouldnt listen to me, the wolf growled. The man stood up. I thought the girl was weak, but seeing this
The girl didnt, the wolf said. The man looked at his partner, who sniffed at the dead bodies. There was a boy too. A strong one. How old? Same age as our prey I would say. The man looked from the wolf to his dead allies. He saw a kunai laying on the ground and picked it up. After looking at it closely, he searched for the kunai the ninja had left. Lets go after that boy, within five days. Let them first think everything is over. We dont want any more trouble. Right, the wolf said.
Naruto sat there, frozen. Looking at Hinata, who didnt realised she had just confessed to him. Naruto had all different kind of feelings and heard the fox laughing, but ignored that.
Did-did she just say that
O, yes she did, Kyubi answered, unable to stop laughing.
Naruto didnt know what to do and just looked at Hinata. Not long after that he heard footsteps in the hallway. He laid her down, fled into the garden and jumped over the wall that kept the road separated from the Hyuga residence. He sat down against the wall, looking at the ground and blushed.
That she said that out loud, he couldnt believe it. Since when? How come I never noticed?
Naruto tried to stand up so he could go home, but the effect of using too much chakra came. He couldnt move properly anymore and the world started to turn black.
Hours later Sakura walked with a little paper bag in her arms to Hinatas home. In the little bag was a medicine for the Hyuga girl, so all the poison would be gone by next morning. Sakura knocked on the door and waited. Something on her left fell down and she jumped in the air. Sakura? What is it? it was Neji, he had opened the door. Sakura looked at the thing that fell down and found out it was Naruto.
Sheesh Naruto, you scared me, she said feeling relieved. Looks like hes knocked out, Neji said. I knew he got reckless again, Sakura said, Anyway, Ive got some medicine for Hinata. Sakura handed the little paper bag over to Neji. I heard what happened. Good thing Naruto was around, he said. Sakura nodded and then said, Can you help me carrying him to his home. Hes too heavy for me alone. Neji nodded, but first brought the medicine to Hinata.
The chu-nin and jo-nin picked the ge-nin up and walked to his home. Sakura? What is it? What is that Wind release: Spiralling Sphere jutsu my uncle told about. Sakura let Naruto almost slip out of her hands. He used that? she asked astonished. Neji nodded. How come his arm isnt broken, she asked herself more than to Neji.
The next day Naruto woke up around ten oclock. He felt strange and light headed. Slowly he sat down on the edge of his bed.
How did I end up here? he asked himself.
He got up and walked to the kitchen to get breakfast. As he passed the mirror, his foot hung in the air and he abruptly turned his head to it. First he couldnt believe what he was seeing and pinched himself to be sure he was awake. But he was awake.
Whaaa, who was that? Whats going on, Tsunade yawned. Somebody outside, Shizune said, Did you fall asleep again, Tsunade? I was resting my eyes, she said slightly embarrassed, Now, where was I.
Somebody knocked at the door.
Come in, Tsunade said, trying to remember what she was doing before falling asleep. Did you hear that too, Tsunade-sama? it was Sakura. She looked concerned. That scream? It made Tsunade wake up, Shizune said with some anger in her voice. It sounded like Naruto, Sakura said. Tsunade looked at her student. You said you heard he used his new jutsu again? Tsunade asked. Sakura nodded. Youre sure he had nothing? I checked him again when he was unconscious, he seemed to have nothing. Lets check again.
Whats the meaning of this Fox!
What are you talking about, brat? Leave me alone, Im trying to sleep.
Naruto looked at himself in the mirror.
I am talking about those ears and-and the tail! Why do I have them?
I dont know what youre talking about
the Kyubi said and looked through Narutos eyes in the mirror. After that he started to laugh.
Whaha, kid what kind of prank are you gonna pull now.
This isnt a prank, I woke up with these-these
make them disappear Kyubi! Naruto shouted angrily to the nine tailed Fox.
But I cant. As you can see, the tail and ears arent made of chakra.
Then how the hell did I get them!
How should I know, brat!
Naruto heard footsteps in the hallway. Naruto? Everything all right? Crap, its Sakura. She may not see me like this, he whispered. As fast as he could he hid under the bed. He was just in time, the door was opening.
Naruto? Sakura stepped into Narutos home, but didnt see him anywhere. He isnt here? Tsunade said, First he screams all Konoha awake and then he disappears. You mean he screamed you awake, Shizune rectified.
Did I scream that loudly, Naruto wondered.
Sakura looked at the dining table, he is here. Why are you so sure? Shizune asked. Because theres no empty ramen bowl on the table. Its the same as last evening, when I brought him here with Neji.
So thats how I came home.
And knowing Naruto he wouldnt clean the table. And his clothes are still here, Sakura pointed to Narutos clothes on the ground. But where is he? Shizune asked. The basis of all shinobi arts is to become invisible. Kakashi! Dont ever do that again! Tsunade yelled. Kakashi had appeared on the window-sill.
Crap! Not him as well!
So where is he? Sakura asked her sensei. Kakashi pointed down to the bed, with one finger, while another was in front of his mask, to make sure they would be quiet. He walked to the kitchen and boiled some water.
What the hell are they doing? Naruto thought. He started to get cramp in his left foot.
Kakashi picked an instant ramen out of the fridge and put it together with some of the boiled water in a bowl. He placed the bowl on the floor and signed to the others to hide on the ceiling.
Are they gone? I dont see their feet anymore, but
A delicious smell came to Narutos nose. It made his stomach grumble. A few inches away was a bowl of ramen on the ground. Ramen, Naruto thought and started to crawl, but stopped just before the end of the bed.
No, wait, this is a trap. When I get the ramen, theyll grab me.
He crawled back.
But brat, you havent eaten yet, the Kyubi teased.
I just have to resist this. A human being can go without food for three days.
But you cant, the Kyubi laughed, enjoying the torture.
Yes I can! Naruto shouted at the Kyubi, but his stomach protested.
What flavour is it?
Naruto smelled. Miso-pork. He started drooling. Ramen, he thought. So close, but yet so far away.
Isnt Miso-pork one of your favourites, kid? Why dont you just get it? It would be a pity if it got cold.
Yeah, thats true. It would be pity if that delicious ramen gets cold, then you have to throw it away. No, Id better eat it. No wait, its a trap, idiot! Stop that Kyubi! I dont want them to see me like this!
They will eventually. Now get the ramen you idiot, they made it for you. Its miso-pork, remember.
Miso-pork... ramen. Naruto crawled out of his hiding place and jumped to the ramen. Just before he got it, Kakashi grabbed him and Tsunade grabbed the bowl of ramen.
Now, Naruto, tell us whats going on, Tsunade demanded. I knew it was a trap, Naruto sobbed. Kakashi let Naruto go and looked at him. Hmm, theres something different about you, but what. Dont be so mean sensei, now gimme the ramen o-baa-chan. Dont o-baa-chan me, Na
! She dropped the bowl when she finally saw Narutos ears. Naruto caught the bowl and started to eat, while swiping his tail.
What kind of prank is this?! Tsunade yelled furious. Naruto stopped eating and tried to hide under the bed again, but Sakura grabbed him by his tail. Naruto fell on the floor, still trying to flee. Whats this about? Stop that stupid transformation and tell us why you screamed so loudly. But Sakura-chan, this isnt a transformation, its the reason why I screamed, Naruto tried to explain. Stop it Naruto, its not funny, Sakura said and hit him on his head.
But its true, he whined, rubbing his head. The other ninja looked down at him. Naruto had two fluffy orange fox ears, with black at the end. His tail was orange too, but the end was white. Sakura felt how soft the tail was and let it go in surprise.
What do you mean? she asked slightly. I woke up with it, Naruto said, picking up the ramen. He started to eat. I thought it was some kind of joke from Kyubi, but he doesnt know why it happened either, he went on. Kakashi looked surprised and frightened. You-you talked to the nine tailed fox?! Yes, and currently hes laughing at me. Enjoying the fact that I got caught in that stupid trap of yours. The four ninja couldnt believe their ears.
Another question, why did you use your new jutsu again? Tsunade asked, still somewhat stunned. Huh? That one I forbade you to use, Tsunade said. I didnt use Fuuton: Rasen-Shuriken, but Fuuton: Rasengan. Who told you? Tsunade looked at Sakura. You mean
sorry I think I messed that up. Sakura looked somewhat embarrassed. How do you know about it anyway? Tsunade looked at Sakura. Neji told me, Sakura said. How does Neji know? He was told by Hiashi and Hinata told him. Naruto started coughing.
Hinata. How can I forget something like that!
He got a light blush on his face and hoped they didnt recognize it.
How-how is Hinata? he managed to say, still coughing. Shes alright, dont worry about her, Sakura said. Anyhow, you cant get out like this, Tsunade said, The villagers will think
You dont have to end that sentence, I know what you mean. Naruto looked miserable to the almost empty bowl of ramen.
Let me check you, Tsunade said.
An hour past, but she didnt find the reason he was foxy like. Naruto sighed, Now what? Sakura looked at her team-mate and couldnt help feeling sorry for him. You have to stay inside, until I found something about this, Tsunade said. How long will that take? Naruto asked. I dont know. Sakura and Shizune you two will help me. The two kunoichi nodded. Kakashi, Sakura, Tsunade and Shizune left Naruto alone.
He let himself fall on the floor and stared at the ceiling.
Now Im stuck for who knows how long.
Kyubi are you sure you dont know why I have those ears and the tail?
I am absolutely sure about it, kid.
Great, just great. What do I have to do to kill the time? he said out loud. The blond haired closed his eyes and fell asleep.
Hinata woke up, but didnt open her eyes. She felt fine after that medicine Sakura brought. She thought about what happened yesterday and the shock made her sit up straight. Naruto had sat beside her and hugged her! He also said he finds her amazing.
Stars were dancing before her eyes, because she got up so quick. She fell in her pillow again. What time is it? Hinata turned her head to the clock on the wall. Half past eleven.
I slept until half past eleven? She thought amazed.
She got up, this time slowly, and changed clothes. After that she walked to the kitchen. As she past the living room she heard her name and stopped. How do you feel Hinata? Kiba-kun? Shino-kun? What are you doing here? She walked up to her friends. We heard from the Hokage that you were attacked by Cloud, so we decided to visit you. Well, how do you feel? I feel fine, but hungry. Let me first get a breakfast. Lunch, you mean, Kiba laughed.
Sakura climbed up the ladder, trying to find a book with a solution about Narutos problem. Tsunade was reading a big book, while drinking sake. I dont get it. How can he change into a fox? Is it because of the Kyubi sealed in him? Sakura asked and picked a book from the bookshelf. I dont think so, Tsunade replied. Why? First of all, Naruto said the Kyubi didnt know why it happened. Second of all, Jiraiya and Kakashi told me what a Kyubi Naruto looks like; his ears and tail were made of chakra. The things he has now are fluffy, soft and not made of chakra. Sakura laid the book on the table and remembered when she saw Naruto in Kyubi style. It was awful.
Three days later Hinata walked through Konoha. Because of the attack she wasnt allowed to leave it in any condition and she also wasnt allowed to be alone. On her way she met Sakura, holding a bag in one hand, walking in the direction of Narutos home. Hinata hadnt seen him for days and wondered if he was alright.
Sakura-chan, she said in a soft voice. Sakura turned her head. Hinata, Sakura replied shocked. They stopped walking. Where are you going? Hinata asked. Naruto, I have to bring him this and
she stopped and looked a bit sad. Is-is he alright? Hinata asked worried. Sakura nodded. But I havent seen him for days, not even at Ichiraku. Thats because he isnt allowed to leave his room. Hinata looked terrified. Is
it that bad? She almost started to cry.
Its my fault, she thought.
Hinata, it has nothing to do with what happened that day. Its something else, but dont worry. Tsunade, Shizune and I are working on a cure. Hes going to be fine. Believe me. O-ok, Hinata nodded and watched Sakura walking to Narutos home.
Poor Hinata, Sakura thought, but she will get in a shock, if she sees Naruto like this.
Sakura opened the door of Narutos home. Naruto, I have some food for you. Sakura looked around, but didnt see him. He wasnt under his bed also.
Naruto jumped down and closed the door. What were you doing up there? Sakura said, dazed about his sudden appearance. Killing some time, Naruto replied en threw a duster on the table. Sakura looked staggered to it. You were CLEANING your ceiling?! Im bored okay. Be stuck in your room for more than two days and find out what you feel like. What did you bring?
Naruto grabbed the bag out of Sakuras hand and looked inside. You know, I dont like vegetables, he whined. Too bad for you, you have to eat them, Sakura shouted irritated, if youre so bored; learn how to cook a proper meal!
Narutos ears went down, like dog that know he did something bad and Sakura started to laugh. Whats so funny? Naruto asked, he didnt realise what he just did with his ears. Your ears, Sakura smirked. Theyre not funny, Naruto shouted.
With his hands on his ears Naruto sat down on his bed. Sakura sighed and left. Naruto looked to the floor. There was only one good thing about this all. He didnt have to see Hinata. After he heard her saying she loves him, he didnt know how to respond to her. Ever since that day, he remembers his dreams when he wakes up. They all had one thing in common, Hinata. He still didnt know how he really felt about her.
But the dreams, they drove him crazy. That made him decide to sleep less and do more. So he started to sort things out, cleaned up better than the last time, which was only a less than a week ago. He even recycled his trash!
What the hell is going on with me!
Naruto stood up and walked to the bag with vegetables, eggs, fruit and bread. He stared to it.
I want ramen, he sighed.
Two days later they still hadnt found a cure. Naruto was starting to get crazy and wanted to go out. The only reason he didnt was the reaction of the villagers. He was scared about what they might do.
He stared out of the window, but in a way the people outside couldnt see him. He started to get hungry again and jumped off his bed to make him a lunch. First he was to obstinate to even touch the stuff Sakura gave him, but Kyubi was right. He cant live one day without food, so he had made himself a dinner that night. It was burnt, but he didnt care.
Naruto made himself a sandwich with an egg and ate it within three minutes. After doing the dishes, that was only one plate and a pan, he fell down on his bed.
Somebody knocked at the door. Sakura you know the door is open! The door opened and somebody entered the room. This is him, master. Naruto got on guard immediately and jumped of his bed.
A man entered Narutos home. Well, look what weve got here. A boy in his boxers with cute foxy ears and a tail. Naruto looked from the man to the wolf. Who were they? Youre sure this is the one, Rakuna? The man asked wolf. Yes, I can smell it.
Who are you? Naruto demanded, And what do you want? He already had an idea of what he want, the Kyubi inside him. You are the one who helped my prey, so I first have to deal with you, before I can go after her again.
Hinata? Hes after Hinata?
I wont allow you to get her! Naruto shouted angrily. The man laughed, Get him, he said to his wolf. The wolf jumped to Naruto and bit him in his arm. Your blood is tasty, it growled. Naruto grabbed the wolf by his nose and pushed its muzzle open. After that he kicked the wolf, which hit the wall at the other side of the room. As quick as he could, Naruto stood up and saw one escape and that was through the window. He stepped on his bed and looked over his shoulder for a second. The wolf was standing up.
Naruto held his arms in front of his face and jumped through the window. Glass scattered around and made several wound on him. The wolf had followed him and Naruto turned around in midair. He planted his hand on the snout of the animal, so it couldnt bite him anymore. But when he hit the ground, he wasnt able to hold it.
Rakuna graved her claws in the shoulders of the boy. She drooled and licked her lips. This one would be tasty, only his blood made her longing for the rest. She noticed a crowd was watching them, but ignored it. She looked in the boys eyes. He was afraid. It was good when her prey was afraid. Preys have to be afraid of her, it wasnt fun without it. But then she saw, the blond haired boy wasnt looking to her. He wasnt afraid of her, but for the crowd around them.
Naruto saw people pointing to him. Looking afraid, angry, surprised. They didnt help, just watched. They didnt warn anybody. Even shinobi just looked at him, with disgust in their eyes.
Not those eyes again. Not this again. Why? Why dont they do anything? Im not the Kyubi.
Some tears rolled over the cheeks from the boy. Rakuna hesitated. The prey has to fear her, not the villagers. She looked around and saw eyes of them leaking hatred. Why do they hate the boy? She got of guard.
Naruto kicked the wolf of him and jumped a few meters back. The wolf looked surprised at him. Some people jumped back from fear.
Because of the tail and ears they think I am tuning into Kyubi.
He looked from the crowd to the wolf and than ran off. He ran to the gate. The gate was his only way out and he wont return anymore.
While Naruto dashed to the gates, people were watching him. Some with fear, others who saw him in missions and knew him, with disbelieve.
The stones were hurting his feet, but Naruto didnt stop running. Tears were running down and the wind carried them to the village.
Hinata was outside when something wet touched her cheek. She laid her fingers on it. Naruto-kun, she whispered.