Chapter 1: Prince Gaara
Ch. 1 Prince Gaara
Gaara stood on the balcony in his room, he was staring out at the buildings below, it was a warm sunny day and the wind was blowing a light breeze his way. On days like this, he liked to stand out side and enjoy the weather. He was watching a few kids playing in front of a shop when someone knocked on his door, "come in," Gaara said. The door opened to reveal Tamari, his older sister, and sometimes his adviser when he doesn't want to ask his official councilors, she walked into his room and he turned to face her, "well...what is it?"
"It's the king, father, he has requested to see you," said Tamari with a blank face.
Gaara watched for a minute, he could tell that she was worried about something, even though she didn't show it on the surface, "did he say what for?" Tamari shook her head, "very well then, I'll head over there right now," he walked passed his sister to the door and stopped, "don't worry so much, you'll age quicker," he turned his head slightly so he could see her, "and it's not good for the baby."
Tamari gasped, but then smiled, "so...you knew," she turned to him, "that's just like you, Gaara."
Gaara turned away from her, "it wasn't hard to guess, but I suggest that you go on vacation as soon as possible... unless you want father to find out," he walked away from the door to start down the hallway.
"Sure thing..." she said even though she was alone.
Gaara walked down the hall and maid his way across the palace grounds to find the thrown room, the royal guards stood in front of large double doors, they saw him coming and stood at attention. Without a word, they opened the large doors for him to enter the room behind them, inside were more guards standing at attention on either side of a long blue carpet that led up to the thrown. The thrown was sitting atop a few steps, in that chair sat a man with brown hair and a deep frown, this was the king of Suna. The king looked down at Gaara as he made his way into the room, the two of them never had much of a relationship as father and son, but in the eyes of the people, they hid it well. Gaara stopped and stood a few feet away from the stares and looked up at his father, "you call for me?"
The king nodded, "yes."
"What do you want with me now?" Gaara sighed, he was really hoping not to see the man at all today if he could help it.
"Hold your tong boy, this wont take long, I've got other things to do as well," said the king just as annoyed as Gaara felt. Gaara looked up at the man, waiting for him to continue, the king sighed, "it wasn't my choice to call you in so early, on a day like today, but it can't be helped," the king stood up and slowly made his way down the steps. "As you know, you will be turning sixteen with in two months time, and with in that time, as far as traditions go, you need a wife..." he walked passed Gaara to walk over to one of the large windows that poured light into the room. Gaara watched him closely, "I know that we've never seen eye to eye, but this must be down, I would like to start looking immediately."
"So I am to be locked away into marriage without experiencing freedom first?" Gaara asked dryly, "why so soon?"
"It's tradition," the king turned to face him, "I know how you feel, but it can't be helped, trust me I know..." he sighed, "I had to do the same thing at your age."
Gaara thought to himself for a while, silence falling over the room like a thick blanket, he knew that there would be no way for him to get out of this. Even if he tried, he was bound by blood and all the rules, laws, and everything else that was drilled into him at a young age, to do this. However, just because it was his duties, doesn't mean he had to be stuck in a corner all of his life, did it? "Alright, I will go through with it, however, I do have two conditions that I would like done in order for me to fully accept this role."
The king wasn't surprised that his youngest son was taking this new so coolly, his oldest son, Konkuro, had freaked out about it for two day before calming down, and Tamari had run away for a week. Gaara was the only level headed one of the bunch, the king nodded, "what are your request?"
"The one to be my wife, they must have the brightest of blond hair, and ocean blue eyes, that is my first demand," Gaara said.
The king nodded, "and the second?"
"I would like a mistress, she doesn't have to have blond hair or blue eyes, but long hair and fair skin would be preferred over all," Gaara said evenly. The king seemed to be thinking about the request with some air of seriousness, "those are my request, I will not go back on them," the king nodded again after a few more moments.
"Seeing as though you have taken this with much thought in the short amount of time that I've given you the information, would you like to assist the match-maker in finding the two that you've mentioned?" Asked the king, Gaara nodded, "very well then, we shall start the search tomorrow after breakfast," the king turned back to the window, "you can also use this time to talk to your bother and sister for advice on the subject, that is all, you are dismissed."
Gaara nodded and walked out of the room without looking back, he found his way back to his room and onto his balcony, the children from before had already gone by the time he got there. He sighed as he looked up at the sky, the sun was already going starting to go down, "what a waste," he said to himself before walking back into his room. Deciding that a bath was needed before dinner, he called one of his servants to draw the bath so he could soak in it as he thought of the earlier conversation.
Gaara soaked in the bath until one of the servant knocked on the bathroom door to let him know that dinner was almost ready. He got out of the bath and let his attendants dress him, he found his way to the dinning hall when they were done, he was met by his older brother, Konkuro, half way there. "I heard the news," Konkuro was saying as he lend against a pillar, arms folded over his chest, he wasn't wearing his usual face make-up since it was the end of the day, "you're finally getting married, huh, little brother."
Gaara nodded, "yes, I am, though I don't see why it had to be now, I'm about to be sixteen," he said turning to face his brother, "I thought eight teen was the legal age for marriage." He stepped closer to Konkuro, "is that not the case anymore? If so, when did the law change?"
Konkuro shook his head, the smirk he was wearing was now gone, replaced with a firm frown, "no, it hasn't changed, little brother, it's the same as it always was."
"If that's so, why have you married at nine teen, and Tamari at eight teen?" Asked Gaara, "why must I be the one to be changed down at only six teen?"
Konkuro pushed off the wall, he put a hand on Gaara's shoulder, "I know how you feel, but truth be told, if it wasn't for my position in the guard, protecting the kingdom, I would have been married off at six teen too, if not sooner." He sighed and scratched the back of his dark brown hair, "as for Tamari... well, you know how she can be when it comes down to making tough decisions, if it's not life or death, then it's much of a priority, y'know? Father was just about at the end of his rope with her. He would have tried to force her down the ails with some random blue blood John Joe if she hadn't have fallen for that one guy in Fire County," the older boy chuckled at the memory, "yeah, she was real lucky too, he wasn't a commoner, but he wasn't rich either, that's for sure... you should have seen father's face when he saw the guy himself, I thought he would have exploded!"
"If it was that bad, then how are they still alive?" Asked Gaara, he knew his father was made at his sister's choice, and the man's temper could rival the flames of hell, but honestly, how?
Konkuro shrugged his shoulders, "don't ask me, I don't even know, but it is a metrical that they both survived that meeting. If not,we wouldn't have anyone to ask for advice on girls, am I right?" Gaara nodded his agreement, Konkuro then snapped his fingers as he remembered something, "come to think of it, didn't you have a crush on this one girl a little while back, what was her name again? It was some thing that started with an I, right?" Gaara turned away from his brother at the mention of his crush, "she really worked you over, didn't she?"
"Not only that, I thought she was the one. If it wasn't for what she did to me back then, I would have told father that I wanted to marry wit her, not some stranger who's only job was to make me look good in the public eye." Gaara said, his heart still ached at the memory, he sighed heavily before turning back to his brother, "but that's all in the past...come, we'll be late at this rate, you know how mother gets when anyone was late to dinner."
Konkuro shivered, "you don't need to tell me twice, that woman is almost as bad as father is," he said as they both picked up the pace.
They entered the dinning hall just before Tamari, so they knew that they were just on time, "ah, looks like you both made it just in time," she said turning to the two behind her.
"Uh yeah, we were talking about Gaara's pending marriage," Konkuro said as he walked over his usual spot at the table, Gaara sat next to him, Tamari sat across from them. Konkuro's wife, Kiba, sat next to him, and Tamari's husband, Shikamaru was sitting next to her, at the head of the table sat the king with his hands folded in front of his face as he watched veryone gather at the table. The seat next to him lay empty.
"where's mother? It's not like her to be so late, she's usually the first or second one to arrive," stated Konkuro.
"Your mother will be here shortly, be patient," said the king.
There was another door in the room that was on the far right wall behind the King, it opened to reveal his wife, the queen, followed by one of her attendants caring some scrolls. She walked over to the table with grace, taking her place next to her husband, "my apologies everyone, I was in my office and lost track of the time," she said then motioned to the airl that came in with her. The girl walked over to Gaara, "when I heard the news, I thought that I would lend a hand and help start your search off right, these scrolls contain the top three kingdoms know for romance and weddings, take a look at them whenever you have the time, wont you."
Gaara took the scrolls from the gril as his mother spoke, he looked at them for a few seconds before placing them to the side, "thank you for your consideration, mother, I will look at them after dinner."
The queen nodded her approval, "very good, now let us have dinner before the food gets cold," she said as she clapped her hands, signaling the servants to bring out the food.
Chapter 2: Poor Naruto
Ch. 2 Poor Naruto
Naruto sat in the ally way behind the two most famous restorations in the whole kingdom, Ichiraku's Ramen and Yamato's BBQ. His stomach grumbled as the smells from inside seeped out into the night air. He was wrapped up in an old blanket that some rich family didn't want anymore, he was lucky that they throw it away the day before trash day, or else he would never have found it, it was warm and still smell better than any other clothing he had owned. He sat in between the dumpsters smiling happily, it was almost time for the dinner rush to end, he could wait to see how much leftovers he could score this time. He heard a door open from his right, the time had finally come, he pulled the blanket over his head, thankfully it was a dark colored one so that when he pulled it over his head he blend in perfectly with the rest of the trash bags. Someone opened one of the dumpers that Naruto sat between and throw away a few bags of trash, when that person when back inside one of the two buildings, Naruto uncovered his head and stood in front of the two dumpsters. Since the door had opened on his right, he picked that dumpster climb into, once the lid closed on top of him, he got out the flashlight that he always brought with him out of his ratty out side bag. He flicked the switch and started to look through the identical bags of trash, when he was happy with what he got, he opened the lid just enough to see outside. There was rarely anyone in the back ally, even when there were someone, they didn't say long. Nodding to himself that no one was there, he quickly hopped out of one dumpster to climb into the next one, this dumpster was a little less smelly than the first, and it wasn't as full, but Naruto was able to find some good stuff in there. He climbed back out of the dumpsters when he was done and gathered his findings, he heard the sound of one of the restaurant doors opening up and got back into his hiding spot with the blanket over his head once again. When that person was gone, Naruto checked the dumpsters again before taking his leave.
On his way back home, Naruto stopped in the ally way of an old clothing store that people sometimes donate their old and unwanted clothes to. There were a few bins sitting next to the back door, one had shoes, another had hats, and all the others had clothes. Naruto unwrapped the blanket from around himself, he wore an old navy t-shirt that someone had thrown away, it had wholes in it, the bottom was frayed and it was dirty, he also wore a dark brown pants with rips and tears all over it. There was a blue patch over the right knee, the pants was also dirty with mud and grass stains, on his feet were blue boots that had also seen better days, a scrap of cloth tied onto each of the boots were the only things that were holding them together. Naruto sighed, he had liked the boots when he found them five years ago, he got them as a gift to himself from an old dumpster not too far from the big shopping center in the center of the kingdom, now he would need new shoes. He looked through all of the bins and grabbed whatever he knew would fit him, even if they hung on him in bags, clothes was clothes to him, as long as they kept him warm in the winter he didn't care.
Once his arms were full of stuff he would need, he headed in the direction of his current home, which happened to be an old abandoned building on the outskirts of town. He ducked under the KEEP OUT banners and slipped through a hole in the in the gate, he climbed up the steps until he found the room that he was using to live in. It was a fairly sized space, there were no furniture so it looked bigger than it actually was, there were no walls, just one big open open area. In one corner, there was a pile of clothes and old blankets that he used for a bed, in another corner, there was a small kitchen area that that he uses to cook whatever little food he managed to find. He dropped the new-ish clothes that he had picked up and went over to the kitchen area, he took off his side bag and started taking out he findings.
"Okay let's see what we've got this time; unused noodles, half eaten barbecue ribs, some hard boiled eggs, and some chicken bones with meat on it still. Hmm, I've hit the jackpot!" Naruto cheered as he gathered up the food items and put them on a empty bowl that was sitting on the counter, he opened the oven door that was next to the counter and looked inside. "looks like I need some more wood before I start dinner," he walked over to a spot next to his bed were a pile of cardboard , sticks, twigs and other burn-able things were kept. he picked up a hand full of these things and brought them back to the oven to place them inside. He found a match in his pocket and started a fire, the fire added to the light that was coming into the room from a window on the opposite side of the room from where his bed lay.
He pulled a bowl from under the sink, it had rice in it, he pulled out another bowl from under the sink, this one had some potatoes in it. He set the two bowls on the floor and walked over to the refrigerator, it just barely worked half of the time, but at least it kept things cool, inside he took out one of the buckets of water that he had gotten earlier that day. Placing the water next to the two bowls, he took out a blade that he also found earlier that day, and began to make his dinner. With the help of the fire and water, he turned the meat, and noodles into a stew, he boiled the rice, and cute the potatoes to add to the stew, he took out some carrots from he found behind the food store the day before to also add to the stew. While the food was cooking, Naruto gathered up all the new-ish clothes he got while he was out and went downstairs to find the one washing machine that still worked and washed his clothes in it. By the time he was done doing that, the food was ready to eat, he took the only other available in the kitchen and started taking out his food with a large pot spoon. It had only been a few hours since most of the food items had been thrown out, and the other food items could still go another day or two before they were truly rotten, so that meant that the stew was still safe to eat. Saving the now reheated eggs and boiled rice for desert, he clasped his hands together happily and said, "happy twelve birthday to me, lets eat!"
Chapter 3: Birthday get away
Ch. 3 Birthday Ball
Gaara sat behind a long table with his brother, Kankuro. They were looking over yet another list of possible brides for Gaara to marry, they hall had some shades of blond hair and blue eyes, just as the red head had requested, but bone of them stood to pare. It has been almost a month and a half since the new of Gaara's pending wedding, but still now bride was found.
"How about this one, Gaara? She's kind of a looker, you know if you can look past how fat she is," Kankuro said as he held up yet another picture of a possible bride.
"No, she's not even close to blond," Gaara said looking at the picture.
"Huh? She's not?" Kankuro asked, he thought the girl looked blond enough,
"No, she's not, you can see here roots right there," Gaara said pointing to the top of the girls forehead, "she was clearly born as a brunette by the looks of it."
Kankuro sighed and put the picture in the reject pile, he took up another one and smiled, "alright, this one, she's one hundred percent blond for sure," he said.
"I said I wanted blond hair and blue eyes, not blond hair and blue contacts, Kankuro," Gaara said leaning back in his chair. "This is tiresome, isn't there anyone out there that can meet my needs?"
Kankuro sighed and sat back in his chair as well, "you sure are a hard guy to please, Gaara, not even I had this hard a time finding Kiba."
"That's because you didn't care much about it back then," Gaara pointed out.
"True, but at least I found a someone and got it over with, why cant't you do that? Are you using this as a way to put it off so you can find love like Tamari?" Asked Kankuro, "she was lucky.... ths whole thing is arranged to just be like me and just pick one."
"I would be like you, but then again, you and your wife hardly sleep in the same bed together." Gaara pointed out."What I'm looking for a little different that what you have, someone that can stand to share a bed with me and I wont have to fuck them just to have a heir."
"Well that was kind of the whole reason that I picked Kiba in the first place, is clan came highly recommended for breeding," Kankuro said. "Sure they may not be all lookers, but hay, I think I got lucky with Kibe in the end, don't you think?"
"I supposed so," Gaara got up from his chair and walked around the table, he stood at one of the windows across the room and looked out side.
"By the way, what's with this blond hair and blue eyes hang up you've got? I get that you like that kind of thing and all, but there were a few really hot blonds in this reject pile that you flat out said no to." Kankuro asked looking through the stack again, "half of them were perfect for you, or at least I thought so, so what's up with you?"
"I want...." Gaara thought about his next words carefully, he new what he wanted, but couldn't place them into words that his brother would understand.
"You what....?" Kankuro prompted the red head.
"I want something, someone.... exotic, in a sense," Gaara finally said.
"Exotic? You want.... exotic?" Kankuro said as he thought to himself, "exotic how, exactly?"
Gaara looked back at the brunette for a moment, "well, think of it like this, when Tamari went on vacation and came back with Shikamaru, he was somewhat exotic,don't you think?"
"...Hold up, hold up, hold up... Gaara let me get this straight, are you telling me you want to go on vacation to find your wife?" Kankuro asked, Gaara nearly rolled his eyes at his brother.
"How Kiba puts up with you at all is amazing in itself," said Gaara.
"You've got that right," the two boys turned their heads to the new voice that had entered the conversation, it was kiba. He was leaning on the door of the library smiling at them, "hay, I could help but over hear your little convo and thought I could help out since my idiot husband clearly wasn't getting it."
"Watch that mouth bitch or..." Kankuro's threat was interrupted.
"Or what? You'll get me pregnant again after I've already given you two heirs to the thrown? Counting this one, that makes three all together... yeah, I'm so scared," Kiba said as he waddled over to the two brothers, he took up the chair that was next to Gaara's and rubbed his seven month pregnant belly. Kankuro stayed silent as he watched Kiba rubbing his belly, it was clear to Gaara that his brother loved younger boy, even though he rarely showed it. It made Gaara smile a little knowing that, even though his brother and his wive were told to marry, they weren't stuck in a loveless marriage.
"Yeah whatever," Kankuro said turning away from Kiba, he sighed and faced Gaara again, "so exotic, what do you mean?"
Kiba rolled his eyes, "he means he wants to marry someone outside of the Suna kingdom, am I right?"
Gaara nodded, "and how'd you guess that?" Asked Kankuro to his pregnant wife.
"Because exotic things aren't found at home, it's found outside the home," Kiba said leaning back in his chair. Kankuro was about to say something smart to Kiba that would have put him the dog house for weeks to come, but then he thought better of it and closed his mouth. "So it's settled then, we need to go outside of Suna for Gaara's bride, I'll let the King know you're dissension," Kiba said as he got up from his chair.
"Wait, you're gonna tell him? By yourself?" Kankuro said, a panicked look coming over his face.
Kiba stood with a hand on his lower back, "well duh, it's on my way to my birthing class, so why not?"
"Oh, uh no reason," Kankuro said getting up slowly.
Kiba noted his reaction, "if you're so worried about your dad having a fit or something, why don't you come with me?"
"Wha-what, I.... alright," Kankuro said giving up a losing battle, he walked over to Kibe casually and waited for the younger boy to start walking.
"Uh-huh, well we'll see you around Gaara," Kiba said turning and walking away. "You know you just agreed to go to my birthing class with me, right?"
"What, no I didn't," Kankuro said as he and his wife waked out of the library together.
Gaara turned back to the window and continued staring out at the courtyard, watching the royal guards run their drills.
Chapter 4: The meeting
Kiba told the king about Gaara's discussion with him and Kankuro, needless to say that the king didn't really like the idea of going to another kingdom to find a simple bride for his son, but it couldn't be helped. He agreed to let Gaara go to the next kingdom over, which happened to be the kingdom of Konoha, with the accompaniment of his brother, his sister and some advisers to help him make the right choice. Gaara didn't complain about how annoying his advisers were, even though he really wanted to, instead he focused on the task at hand. Which was finding a wife.
"So Gaara, did you see anyone that You might like?" Kankuro asked from his chair by the window, he had a bord expression on his face as he read his book.
Gaara walked over to where he was sitting and took up the chair across from him, he sighed, "yes... and no."
"And that means?" Kankuro lowered his book a little to see his brother's face.
Gaara leaned back in his chair, "it means that I have seen many that would be nice, but as far as marriage goes, that don't match up."
Temari walked into the room, her husband behind her, "any luck today, Gaara?" She asked walking over to the two boys in front of the window, Gaara shook his head, she sighed, "well that's a bit of a let down... what are we gonna do?"
"If I may make a suggestion," Shikamaru spoke up, all heads turned to him, "I know that you've got sights fixed on a blond hair, blue eyed beauty, but that's being a little too vague, don't you think?"
"What do you mean by that?" Gaara asked.
"Well, take me for example, if you where looking for me, would you describe me with just having dark brown hair and eyes?" Shikamaru stated, "no, because then you would find someone completely different from me with those features."
Gaara thought about this for a moment, he was so wrapped up with those two features that he forgot to think about that, "you think I should add more to the list?"
"Only to narrow down the search," Shikamaru said walking over to a near by couch to sit.
"He does make a good point," Kankuro said putting down his book, "even though it's kinda common to see at least one or two blondie with blue eyes, the individual wouldn't me an exact copy."
"I see, then I'll tell the council members that came with us to narrow down the search for the bride, meanwhile...." Temari said as she tapped some buttons on her cellphone before looking back up to he younger brother. "Have you found your mistress yet, or are you still looking?"
Gaara was looking out the window now, "no, I've found one, I'm meeting them later tonight for a confirmation hearing."
"What about that little dinner party we're supposed to go to with this land's King? Did you forget?" Asked Kankuro going back to his book.
"No, I should be done with my meeting by then, if not sooner," Gaara said still looking out the window.
"Alright, I'll be off, come on Shikamaru, let's go," Temari said walking back to the door she had came through.
"What, why me?" Shikamaru asked from the couch, Temari gave him a look and he got up with a heavy sigh, "I'm not even supposed to be here anyways, why'd you bring me?"
"Because I thought you could use a brake from the palace, now come on," Temari said as she walked out the door.
"Yes ma'am," Shikamaru sighed again as he followed her out, "man, what a drag."
Kankuro chuckled at his brother-in-laws pain, "I'm lucky I didn't marry someone like Temari or else I wouldn't me here right now."
There was a knock on the door, Naruto looked over to the door, his mind alert. He got up slowly and walked over to it, he opened the door slowly, a smile spread across his face when he saw who it was. Itachi and his son Sasuke, he opened the door wider for them.
"Hi Sasuke! Hi Mrs. Itachi! What brings you by?" Naruto said cheerfully.
"Hay, Naruto, my dad just wanted to make sure you had some food to eat this week," Sasuke said casually.
"That's right, I've got some sweet potatoes, along with some other things that I thought you might like," said Itachi holding up some shopping bags for the blond to see.
"Wow sweet potatoes are my favorite kind of potatoes," said Naruto happily, "please, come in."
"Thanks," Sasuke said walking into the bear apartment, he looked around it, taking everything in, "well this dump seems a whole lot better than the last place you were at."
Itachi sighed, "Sasuke, what have I told you about being rude?"
"is it rude if it's true?" Sasuke asked.
"Rudeness is rudeness, no matter if it's true or not, Sasuke," Itachi said before turning back to the other boy in the room. "So, Naruto, tell me, have you been eating well at all lately?"
"Hmmm, I guess so," Naruto shrugged, "oh, I was able to have a real dinner for my birthday." The blond licked his lips remembering the homemade stew he made himself a few months back, "it was really goodand I made it all by myself."
Itachi had made his way over to the kitchen area while he litened to Naruto talk, a look of pity in his eyes for the young blond, having to live all by himself all of his life. Sleeping in random places every few months or so, digging through trash for food, that was no way for a child to live, he wished he could take the boy in, but he knew his boyfriend wouldn't approve. He sighed and started to take out the contents of the bags he brought, "that's very impressive, Naruto," he said from the kitchen counter.
"Oh yeah? So when was your birthday?" Asked Sasuke in his usual casual tone.
"About a month a ago, I'm twelve now, one year younger than you, Sasuke," Naruto said after picking up a broom, he had been in the middle of cleaning the apartment before his visitors came.
"No you're not, I'm fourteen now, so you're actually two years younger than me stupid," Sasuke said in a condescending way.
"Sasuke! What did I say about name-calling?" Itachi asked with a edge in his voice.
"But it's true mom! Naruto is stupid," Sasuke said crossing his arms, "everyone knows it, he doesn't go to school so he doesn't know anything. Anyone who doesn't know how to at least count is pretty stupid, even big brother Kabuto thinks so, and he's in high school now."
"I don't care what Kabuto says, name calling is not nice, apologize to Naruto right now," Itachi said with a hand on his hip.
"Why should I, mom? He probably wouldn't understand it anyways, why even bother?" Sasuke asked getting mad at Itachi.
"Because I said to, now apologize," Itachi wasn't liking his son's attitude towards Naruto at all. He didn't know why his son acted this way in front of Naruto in the first place, he knew that Sasuke actually liked the young bond a lot, so why was he so mean to him?
Sasuke looked at Naruto for a few minutes before turning his head away from him, "sorry," he said.
"It's okay Sasuke, don't worry about it," Naruto said with a big grin on his face, even though what Sasuke said did hurt him, he wasn't going to show it.
"Now that wasn't so bad now was it?" Itachi asked as he went back to unpacking the bags.
"Yeah whatever, I'll be waiting outside if you need me," Sasuke said before walking out of the room.
Naruto watched him leave, once he was gone, re-leaf filled him. He never really did like Sasuke after they met for the first time, he remembered that day clearly, it was the day that realized that he wasn't like the other kids in the Konoha. He knew that he was different from the start, he just didn't know why yet, until he met Sasuke that is. He was about four or five at the time, he was on his way to the market to get something to eat after someone had pitied him enough to give him money for food. He was just in front of the store about to go in when Itachi and Sasuke came out, Naruto was just thinking about all the stuff he could buy with the money when Sasuke walked up to him. Sasuke's family was one of the riches in the Kingdom, he wasn't a prince or anything, but everyone treated him like one, he had even been on tv a few times. Naruto recognized him right away and give the raven haired boy a big toothy grin as he said hello, thinking that they could probably become friends at that time, he held out his hand to Sasuke and introduced himself. Sasuke looked down at Naruto's out stretched hand then looked back up at Naruto's face, a look of disgust came across his face and he slapped the blond's hand away. Naruto was confused by this and looked at his hand, Sasuke then said, "why would I want to shake hands with a dirty, smelly, unwanted street rat like you?" That was when Itachi stepped in and scolded Sasuke for being so mean to the poor blond, Naruto was deeply hurt by Sasuke's words and ran away from the store as fast as he could. Even to this day, Naruto could never bring himself to like the raven haired boy, even when his mother made him apologize to him, that didn't make the hurt go away. Because there wasn't any warm emotions shown when he apologized anyways.
Itachi shook his head, he wished his son was nicer to Naruto, he guessed that that would be a tall order to fill. "Well that's everything," he said putting on a small smile to face the blond with, "since this place was pretty emty before I got here, I stocked up all the shelves with food." He moved away from the kitchen area to stand in front of Naruto, "I've put drinks in the refrigerator and there's some fresh fruit on the counter now...." he paused as he watched the younger boy's face. It was filled with sadness, Itachi put his hand Naruto's shoulders, making the boy wake from his thoughts, "if I can ever do anything to help you out, let me know, I know you don't have a phone in this place, but..." he took out a card and scribbled something on it before giving it to the blond. "This is my cellphone number, anytime you need to talk, I'll be willing to listen, alright?"
Naruto took the card and looked at it, it had Itachi's name and cellphone number on it just like he said, "thank you, I'll keep that in mind," he said with a bright smile.
Itachi nodded, "good, then I'll see you later, Naruto," he said walking over to the door.
"Okay, goodbye, Mrs. Itachi," Naruto said as the older man left. He closed the door and locked it, thankful that the locks still worked, he looked at the card Itachi gave him and put in his pocket for later, then he got back to cleaning.
Gaara walked into the Konoha palace and was escorted to the dinning hall soon after. There he was greeted by the king and his son, Prince Asuma, "welcome Prince Gaara, so nice of you to join us," said the king happily as the red head entered the room. Gaara's brother and sister was already there, along with his sister's husband, who looked board out of his mind. Gaara Nodded his thanks and took a seat next to Shikamaru, across from Kankuro, "now then, Prince Gaara, you siblings have told me about your situation and I thought that I might be of some help to, if you will allow it."
Curious to see what the king had to say, he nodded, "I will allow it."
"Wonderful, well, as you may or may not have heard, my son Asuma was also looking for a partner recently and I am happy to say that he has finally found one." The king said looking over at his son, Asuma tried to hide a blush that crept onto his face, "because of this, I have decided to throw a party in honor of the up coming wedding."
"I see, I give you my congratulations," Gaara said, "however, how does that help me?"
The King chuckled, "I'm glade you asked, you see here in Konoha, an event like this well bring together may people, but most importantly, it brings out single people. Since you know what type of person you are looking for, you can come to the party and take a good look around for that one special person that will spend the rest of their live with you. Of course, your siblings and their partners are welcome to came to the celebrations as well," the King said looking over to Kankuro and Temari.
"Thank you, that sounds wonderful, " Temari said as she looked over to her husband who nodded his agreement.
"Sure, I'm always down for a party," Kankuro said with a big smile, "but I'm not so sure my will be able to make."
"Oh is there something wrong with your wife?" Asuma asked
"Nah, no way, he'd never let himself get sick so easily," Kankuro said knowingly, "he's pregnant with our third child."
"Ah than I give you my congratulations," said Asuma.
Gaara smiled at the idea, "I will take you up on your offer, when will the party take place?"
"The preparations are already underway, the event itself it start in three days," said the king.
"I look forward to it," said Gaara.
Chapter 5: Blue eyed Cinderella
Ch. 5 Blue eyed Cinderella
Naruto was sitting on the side of the street, he couldn't go back to the apartment he had been staying at for the past three months. Having been found out, he couldn't go back to the apartment because it was going to be destroyed in a few hours, so now Naruto was sitting on the curb just outside the park looking up at the sky as the snow fell around him. it was now almost the dead of winter, he was cold and hungry with no place else to go, some people passed by him, stopping to give him money or something to bundle up. They were trying to be nice. Although they wouldn't dare take him home with them, no that would be too much trouble for any of the middle and upper class to willing deal with just because it would have been a good deed, they couldn't be bothered to do it. At this point, Naruto was beginning to hate the people of Konoha for their selfishness, if he was to die on the street without a single friend, then no one would cry too much over it. Naruto sighed and got up from the cold stone sidewalk, he wanted to gt something to eat, he had just enough money for a bowl of real, freshly made, ramen. he was walking down the side walk when he saw two guys put up a large poster on the side of a building not too far away. He walked over to it, despite what Sasuke had said, Naruto wasn't as stupid as most people believed him to be. He did his best to learn things on his own, even though it wasn't a first rate education, he did his best, he read the poster that he was now standing in front of, it was an invitation to the whole kingdom. It was to celebrate the upcoming wedding of the kings son, Prince Asuma, it said that the party will take place in just two more days and everyone was welcomed to celebrate with the royal family. Naruto started to perk up, he didn't know why they needed to have such a big party for one guy, but he was happy they they were. Naruto continued his walk over to the ramen shop to eat, after that was going to pay a little visit to the local craft store, another thing that he had taught himself over the years was to sew. He wasn't an expert on it, but with the help of Sakura, a girl that sometimes came to play with him at the park when he was younger, he wasn't half bad.
Gaara was sitting in his bath tube as he watched a slim figure with long brown hair take a shower a few feet away in front of him. He had just finished making the deal with his soon to be mistress, a handsome boy with odd eyes and porcelain skin, that went by the name Neji. When Gaara first saw him, he knew right away that he wanted him, a strong dicier came over him as he met Neji for the first time, the boy was one year older than him, but he didn't care. After the contract had been signed, Gaara didn't waist anytime taking Neji on a tour of his bed. They sent hours rolling around in the sheets until they could no longer move, by the time they had finished, they realized that a whole day had went by without them noticing, they fell asleep just like that. The next day they woke up around noon and was now in the bathroom together washing up after the eventful night they had, Gaara was still in the tube watching Neji when a knock came at the door.
"Who is it?" Gaara asked.
"I beg your pardon, my prince, but the preparations for tomorrow's celebrations have been made," said a man from the other side of the door.
The celebration, and the selection of his soon to be wife, Gaara had almost completely forgot, "very well, I will see to it at once." He said to the man, he heard reseeding footsteps on the other side of the door and sighed, he wish that he could find that one person he was looking for to be his wife. The only reason he had wanted someone with blond hair and blue eyes wasn't just because he was trying to stall on getting married, even though it kind of was. It was because of he lost love, he remembered when he met her, her sunflower blond hair and her sky blue eyes, Ino, she was an angel sent from heaven to him back then. The was two years his senior and quite the free spirit, he remembered when he confessed his feelings to Ino. He was so nervous he could barely speak the words, when the words finally did come out he looked up at her with a hint of fear in his eyes, sadly she turned him down saying that she was already promised to someone else, but they could still be friends. Gaara agreed at the time, but as time went on, they lost touch and and he never heard from her again, it broke his heart in two and he never spoke of the event with anyone other than his siblings.
"Are you alright, my prince?" It was Neji, he had finished his shower and had joined Gaara in the tube.
"Yes, I was lost in thought," Gaara said leaning back in the tube.
Neji came around to lean on Gaara's shoulder, his hair still wet from his shower hung like a silk blanket around him, covering him like a vale. Gaara put an arm around Neji's shoulders to hold him closer to him, he loved feeling Neji's smooth skin against his own. "Would you like to talk about?" Neji asked, braking the silence between them, "it may not be my place to ask, but since we are going to be with each other like this more in the future, I thought it would be nice if I could help you with your troubles in other ways. Rather than sex... we could try talking some times, is that wrong of me?"
"I see, yes... you are right," Gaara looked away from Neji and closed his eyes, "I know that you have been taught to stand by the head, waiting for orders, to be a doll. Yet you have shown me that you are your own person, you're not a doll to be controlled like the your family grubbed you to be over the years, and that was why I chose you to be my mistress."
"Thank you, I will do my best," Neji said as he leaned in more to rest on Gaara's chest.
Gaara smiled, "you are graceful, beautiful, and even though you are male, you play the part of the lady quite well."
A slight blush spread across Neji's face, "I'm already your mistress, you don't need to flatter me so much, my prince."
"Even so, every word I say is the truth," Gaara lifted a hand to tuck a strand of long hair behind Neji's ear, "if things were different, I might have ended up wanted to marry you instead of some stranger."
"You are too kind," Neji said, then leaned away from Gaara to looked him in the eyes, "now then, please tell me what's wrong."
"Why do you think something is wrong?" Gaara said.
Neji took in a deep breath and laid back down on Gaara's chest, "it's just a feeling I have, we haven't been together long but it feels like we have, Please tell me, wont you?"
Gaara sighed again as he looked down into Neji's eyes, "very well, it's this, my wife... I need to find her, I know what I want her to look like, I've thought about what quality she should have, I know she exist out there. Yet she eludes me every time I look, I know as a prince, if I were to marry, I shouldn't expect to fall in love at all with my wife at first sight, it's the fate of every prince. Those that challenge fate and does fall in love end up having many heirs, while those who aren't bring forth half breeds with their mistress, children who don't have any real right to the thrown when their parents are gone. It's a sad thing, true, but that is fate." Neji looked up at him then, "however, when I came to this kingdom I had a feeling that I would find you, and another."
"I am guessing that the other that you speak of will become your wife," Neji asked, Gaara nodded, "have you found her yet?"
"No, and that worries me, but not so much, now that I'm with you," Gaara said.
"Because of the Prince Asuma's celebration tomorrow, I feel that I will find the other one that I'm looking for. I can't explain it words, but I think I saw who I am to marry," Gaara leaned his head back to stare up at the ceiling.
"You have? Where? Have you told your advisers about this?" Neji questioned.
"No, not yet, although when I tell them, I must leave out a few things. Telling them the whole truth would make them wonder about my sanity," he joked. Neji had a confused look on his face so Gaara explained, "last night I had a dream of a person with the most blondest of hair and bluest of eyes that anyone has ever laid their eyes on. This person is in this kingdom, I know it because that was what I saw in my dream, yet this person wasn't a girl." He closed his eyes as he remembered his dream, "this person, this boy, I saw him in my dream... his blue eyes held a sadness that I've never know, he's been through something that I have yet to understand, but even so. I feel that this boy will bring new light to my eyes..." he opened his eyes and looked back at Neji, a small smile spayed across his face, "and your eyes as well.
Neji closed his eyes as he thought about the person that Gaara mentioned, "he must have been beautiful to have you talk like this."
"...Yes, he must have been..." Gaara said, more to himself than to Neji. He remembered the dream will, but the person themselves that was in the dream, they had become something of a faceless ghost when he woke up, only leaving behind an image of blond hair and blue eyes.
"Alright, Naruto, all done," Sakura said holding up the finished out fit.
Naruto looked up at her from here he was sitting on the floor, "really! Can I see?" He got up and looked out the clothes that Sakura had made for him to go to the celebration with. The clothes she made was long dark blue kimono with gent snow flakes printed on in a lighter blue, 'wow, it's pretty," Naruto said happily.
"Would you like to put it on now and come with us to the celebration in town, we still have about an hour or so before it starts, but I wanna get their early," said Sakura.
"Good timing because I'm done making the obi and the shoes to do with it," Hinata said walking into the room with said items. She set down the slip on flats in front of Naruto and opened the obi for him to see, "I made it so it would match the kimono and slippers, what do you think?"
The obi was a navy blue color with a lighter blue color in the middle, a solid whit line running between the lighter blue line. The shoes were light blue with with a single white snowflake on the toes of the shoes, "they're grate, I can't wait to put it on!" Said Naruto looking at the peaces that would make up his whole out fit.
"Alright, alright, Naruto go to the bathroom and wash up first, when you're done I'll give you the first layer to put under your kimono," Sakura explained.
"Is that's right, it has gotten pretty cold side since this evening, I'm glade that most of the celebration will be held indoors tonight," Hinata said.
"Yeah, me too," Sakura agreed, "hurry up and go Naruto, you don't wanna be late for the party do you?"
"What? No way," Naruto said and headed straight to the bathroom. When he was done in the bathroom, Sakura and Hinata helped him get dressed, they even worked their magic on his hair so that his usual spiky blond locks where held down by gravity, they left soon after that.
Chapter 6: Prince Charming?
Naruto, Sakura, and Hinata walked over to the train station and took a train to the kingdom's capital, as soon as they got off the train, fireworks flew up and started going off in the air above them. "Wow! Are these fireworks, I've never seen them so close up before!" Naruto said in awe as he looked up at the brightly lit night sky.
"Yep, these fireworks are especially made for events like these," Sakura said as she looked up at the sky.
Hinata had walked ahead of them to a booth not too far away, she turned back to face them, "hay, Naruto, would you like something to eat?"
"Oh yeah, food!... But wait, I don't have any money," Naruto said as he looked down at his pocket-less kimono.
"Don't worry Naruto, you don't have to pay as long as you have one of these wrist bands on," Sakura said holding up a golden colored bracelet with a silver crown and teara hanging from it like a charm. She took Naruto's right hand and slid the band on, "a long as the people running the booth see you wearing one of these, you won't have to pay for anything for the whole night, pretty cool right?"
"Whoa no way, so that means free food all night long?! Oh man, oh man, I wish the prince would get married every day if it means we can have parties like this!" Naruto cheered as looked up at the sky, he was so happy that he was skipping around and almost fell.
"Naruto watch out," Hinata said catching him just in time before he hit the ground, "you would have ruined your clothes and would be all dirty if you fell down here."
"Sorry, Hinata but I'm just so happy that I get to come to something like this, I feel like a princes!" Naruto exclaimed as he got back onto his own feet.
"Huh? Don't you mean you feel like a Prince?" Sakura asked as she walked over to where the two were standing by the exit.
Naruto shook his head, "no, a prince is nice and all, but a prince doesn't get to wear clothes like this, just robes and stiff uniforms. A Princess gets to wear all types of colorful clothes that have pretty pictures on them like this," he held up his arms to show them the long sleeves of his kimono. "If I was a prince, I wouldn't get to wear this, so tonight I'm gonna be a princess," he smiled brightly up at the two girls in front of him.
Hinata nodded, "you're right, I feel like a princes too," she said turning around to show off her own kimono. She wore a bright pink kimono with lavender butterfly's and a light blue obi, she giggled when she finished turning around, "I feel like a little kid again."
"Well I don't blame you, I feel like a kid again too," Sakura said as she tucked a strand of pink hair behind her ear. Her kimono was a sky blue and medium sized peach circles, her obi was red, it matched the headband that she wore in her hair, "alright, that's enough standing around you guys." She clapped her hands then took out a a small map from one of the folds in her kimono to look at it, "if we get going now, starting from the main street, we can be in front of the palace in time to hear the prince give the welcoming speech." She put the map away and walked over to the door, "on the way we can scoop out what kind of booths are set up along the road."
"Alright," Hinata and Naruto said together as they followed Sakura out onto the busy streets of the Konoha.
"Prince Gaara, would you like to sit next you brother an sister during the speech?" Asked one of the Konoha servant's from the palace.
Gaara nodded, "yes that will be fine," he said and watched the servant bow then leave.
"I've taken a look outside, it's quite a lot of people out there, it makes me wonder how you're going to find the one from your dream, my dear prince," Neji said as he came into the room. His usual long hair had been swept up into a long elegant ponytail, a green jade colored kimono with smooth read edges flowed around him to cover his body, while a white obi gift wrapped him at his center, he looked like the most beautiful doll that the world had ever seen.
"I have a feeling that the one I'm looking for will be coming to me, instead of me going to them," Gaara said as he looked out his window. He turned to face Neji and was starstruck by what he saw, he smiled as he recovered, "just as beautiful as always I see, Lady Neji."
"Lady, huh?" Neji walked over to Gaara to stand by him at the window, "I suppose since I've taken on the title of Mistress, being called 'Lady' shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, hmm?" He looked out the window at the crowd that was starting to gather in front of the palace, "still... how is one person going to find another with this many people?"
Gaara turned back to the window, "there is a secret technique that is pass down from generation to generation between prince's. It allows one to locate and lead two people towards one another."
Neji glanced at the red head in wonder, "does such a thing really exist?"
"Yes, I know because it was cast upon me when I was still only three," Gaara said, "it's another tradition that has passed through my family through out the ages, as well as many other families. It's called 'Spirit Finder', have you heard of it?" Neji shook his head, "it's a technique that is performed by the head of every family, when a child turns three, they are placed in a dream-like state for five days and four nights. While in that state, the child will go on a spiritual journey around the land, it is said that this journey will connect someone to the person that they were meant to be with... although I must admit one thing. I never believed in such things to start with, nor do I believe in them now, true love and soulmates are stories that are deemed only for children, to bring them comfort at nights when they feel alone." Gaara turned and walked over to the door that Neji had just come from, "I have no need for such silly ideas."
Neji's smile a loosen a bit as he listened to Gaara talk, "if I may ask..." he said slowly turning to the red head, Gaara stopped a few feet away from the door, "if it's so silly, why do it?... There may not be much truth behind this... fairy tail... after all, it's very rare to find actual true love in a marriage such as this... rare still to keep it, so why?"
Gaara chuckled in his throat, "it doesn't matter how it is done, or where it is found, as long as my duties to the kingdom can be carried out... I will give up love all together as long as this is the hand that I've been dealt."
"Yes, I see," Neji said turning his attention back out the window as Gaara left the room.
"Here, you want blue or pink?" Hinata asked holding up two bags of cotton candy.
"Blue please," Naruto said taking the cotton candy, "hmmm, this is the best," he said as he walked along the flow of crowd with his friends.
"I'm glad you like it," Hinata said opening her bag of cotton candy, she ripped off a peace and put it in his mouth, letting it melt there.
"So, where to now?" Naruto asked around a mouthful of sugar.
Sakura held her own cotton candy under her left arm while she took out the map with her right, "it says here that after we round this corner, we'll have to climb the steps in front of the palace before we reach our destination."
"Hay, Sakura, I have a question for ya... why do you need a map to tell you where you're gong, I thought you worked at the palace," Naruto stated.
"No, no, no Naruto, I don't work at I work with the people that who run things there," stated Sakura.
"Huh? I don't get it," Naruto said ripping off another peace of the candy.
Sakura sighed, "I figured as much, okay listen, my job in the capital is to coordinate with other people that work inside the palace. In other words, I'm one of many people that help the king tell other people what he would like them to do," she explain.
Naruto still seemed a little confused so Hinata spoke up, "basically it's like talking to someone on the phone when the person you wanted to speak to isn't there."
"Oh, okay, so you're a messenger then, huh, Sakura?" Naruto chuckled.
Sakura shrugged her shoulders, giving up the mini-fight for understanding, "in a way yes, I guess I might as well am."
The three rounded a corner and followed a small crowd up the stairs, when they reached the top, Prince Asuma was getting ready to stand before the crowd. The prince was standing on a balcony one level above the crowd. Naruto looked up at the prince, he had an olive colored tan with short black hair, next to the prince was his father the king, he looked like an older version of the prince. Behind the prince stood three more people, there was a red head that seemed to catch the blonds eyes as he stared up at them. Naruto looked directly at the red headed male standing behind the prince, he didn't look like a servant, not that he would know much of the difference between them since he doesn't come to the capital all that often in the first place. As Naruto continued to stare at the red head, the red head had turned his head as he scanned the crowd, their eyes meet and they were locked onto each other. A feeling came over him as he looked up at the red head before him, he felt like they were the only two standing there, the crowd and their noise seemed to fade away into nothing as the two continued to stare each other down.
Naruto shivered as he broke his gaze from the red head first and turned to Sakura, "hay, Sakura?" He said in a timid voice, "um... I um, well... uh," he glanced back up at the red head who was still watching him.
"Hm? What is it Naruto? Is something the matter?" Sakura asked, noticing the blond's timidness, apposed to his wild and loud nature.
"What's wrong, Naruto, are you not feeling well?" Hinata asked as she too noticed the change in the blond boy.
"I-I uh, t-th-that guy up th-there, w-with the red hair, d-do... do you know who he is?" Naruto asked Sakura, he wasn't looking up at the person in question as he could feel his eyes on him.
Sakura looked up to see the person who he was talking about, she spotted him right away since he was looking right at them, "who him, that's the prince of the Suna Kingdom." She said looking back at Naruto, "he's been here on vacation for a few weeks, I heard his name was Prince Gaara of the Sands, or something like that."
Hinata looked from Naruto to Prince Gaara, then back, "I heard that he had resently found a mistress here and is now looking for a wife," she said in a sad tone.
"Where'd you hear a thing like that from?" Asked Sakura.
"My brother Neji, he's become the prince's mistress just the other day, I heard it from father when I called home yesterday. He was so happy that Neji was able to become a proper mistress just like our uncle, he even threw a party..." Hinata explained, "however,when I called Neji to congratulate him, he told me that the prince was looking for a wife, a very pacific one at that."
"Wha-what kind of person is he looking for?" Naruto asked.
"Yeah, do you know? I'd hate to be that person," Sakura said.
"Why'd you s-say that, Sakura?" Naruto seemed to lose the color in his face.
Sakura folded her arms over her chest, "because everyone knows that love is very rare between a prince and his wife. Some even go as far as to say that it's common for whoever marries into the royal family will feel forever trapped in a binding agreement with a cold heart-ed monster... or something like that."She noticed the lack of color in Naruto's face and quickly changed the subject, "uh, so anyways Hinata, what did you brother say? Who's the prince looking for?"
Hinata's eyes filled with sadness as she looked at Naruto, "a boy with blond hair and blue eyes," she said.
This time Naruto turned whiter than a ghost and fainted into Hinata's arms, "oh no, I think we better get him to a quite place to rest," she said.
Sakura nodded and led them out of the crowd, "don't worry, I know a place where we can go, follow me."
Gaara was looking out into the crowd as Prince Asuma started his speech, he wasn't really expecting it, but his eyes locked with someone. The person was too far away for him to see him correctly, there were too many people moving about, faces melted together into one grate big mass. Yet he felt the presence of that other person, he waited until Asuma had finished his speech so he could leave to find Neji about this, he wasn't a hundred percent sure about this but at the same time he was sure. It had to be him, the one he had been looking for, the one from his dream.... he found him.
Chapter 7: The Prince and the comminor
short chapter sorry
Ch. 7 The Prince and the comminor
He woke to the sound of busy streets and fireworks, the smell of freshly cooked food and the warm hug of someone that seemed to just care. He opened his ocean blue eyes to stare up into large lavender ones as he finally came back to himself. He blinked away the sleep from his eyes as he sat up, he wasn't too sure of what happened, or why, but whatever it was that made him faint a while back was gone now which made him feel relief.
"So the homeless idiot is finally away, huh?" Asked Sasuke walking over to where Naruto was sitting next to Hinata.
Naruto sighed, he really didn't feel like dealing with Sasuke's attitude right now, "yeah, I'm fine..." he said getting up, "what's it to you?"
"Wow, what's up with you all of a sudden?" Sasuke asked taken aback by the blonds irritated stated.
"Oh nothing, I'm just tired of you putting me down that's all," Naruto said as he stretched.
"Put- excuse me? I'll have you know..." Sasuke was cut off when Naruto turned around to face Sasuke, one he got a good look at the blond, his heart almost stopped. His bright blue ocean eyes seemed to seal the raven's breath away, it was true that he did have some feelings for the blond, but Naruto wasn't the sort of person he went for. His father, Orochimaru, was a smart high classed scientist who made tons of dollars every month, while Naruto didn't even have a penny to his name, that wasn't the type of person that Sasuke was into at all. Yet there was just something about the way the blond seemed to smile so effortlessly that drew the raven towards him more and more lately, it was something that he couldn't explain.
"So should we walk around some more before we go to palace?" Sakura asked, bringing Sasuke back to the here and now.
"Sure!" Naruto said getting to his feet, "what's happening at the palace?"
"In honor of Prince Asuma's marriage, the King is having a ball, anyone where wristbands like these are welcomed to join them inside," Hinata explained.
"Hmmm, okay, sounds fun!" Naruto said following Hinata and Sakura, Sasuke stalked along behind them mostly keeping to himself.
"Are you sure he's gonna be here at the ball tonight?" Konkuro asked after Gaara had explained to him how he had seen the person he wanted.
"Yes, i'm positive, our eyes meet for a few seconds, but I'm sure," Gaara said.
"What does this person look like?" Asked Tamari
"He's got short blond hair wearing a bright blue kimono that matched his eyes," Gaara said remembering the boy clearly in his mind, he only saw him for a moment, but that moment lasted a lifetime, "he also also has whiskers on his cheeks."
"Oh well that should make it simple enough, we just need to find a needle in a hay stack, am I right?" Shikamaru said in a mock joy voice.
"Yeah well, if this needle looks the way that Gaara describes, the whiskers maybe the only real identifier that we can really relay on," said Konkuro.
"You're right, but still, lets give this information to the guards to they can keep an eye out for this mysterious kid," said Tamari.
Gaara nodded his approval and let them do just that, he walked back over to his room since he needed to change his clothes for the midnight ball that was due to begin later. When he walked in he found Neji sitting on the window seat looking out at the fireworks, "it's a beautiful night for fireworks, don't you think?" Asked Neji when he heard the door close, he turned to see the red head walking over to him.
"I agree, the colors brighten up the sky in a way that having just stars couldn't," said Gaara as he sat across from Neji on the window seat. He looked at the brunette for a moment, taking in his lovely features, "is there something on your mind, Lady Neji?"
Neji smiled, "I'm still not used to that title just yet," his smile faded as he took in a deep breath then let it out slowly. "Gaara I've been wondering something, about this whole affair... but first I must ask you somethings."
Gaara nodded, "you may speak your mind."
"Firstly, I must ask why you choose me to be your mistress, I know it's not because of the way I look, there must a number of men and women out there that looks just as good, if not better than I." Stated Neji, "farther more, what is the point of having me, if I'm not going to be much help to your situation?"
Gaara thought about this for a moment, Neji did have a point, royalty in Suna didn't usually go out of their way to find a side chick. Then again, there also wasn't a whole lot of royal families out there that would let their kids pick out their husband or wife on their own at such a young age either, this was just one of the ways his father thought he could show him that he wasn't like most kings. His father played by the rules and traditions that had been passed down to him from long ago, yes, however, he does like to find as many loop holes as he can to give his kids some sense of freedom. He looked back at Neji who was awaiting his answer, "actually that's not true, my dear, you will play a fairly large part in my plans."
"Oh?" Neji lifted a skillfully plucked eye brow, "do tell."
"You see, when I find this person that I will marry, weather he wants to or not, the marriage will be held as cruel as that maybe. You and he will be taken back to Suna once a confirmation has been sent to my father back home, within the next few weeks a preparation, the wedding will be held and everything will be finalized. Once that is out of the way, I will no doubt ably be invited to very many boring and tedious events to obviously show off my new wife, that's were you come in, Neji." Explained Gaara, "secretly you are my mistress, but officially, you will be the person that will basically train my wife in the way a newly formed princess should act. Either it be in public or a simple family even, I cannot afford to be embarrassed by someone I choose to marry, so that will be the first phase of your job."
Neji took in this bit of information before asking, "and the second phase will be?"
"I assume that you know know that my brother and sister have already started making room for their respective heirs, yes?" He asked, Neji nodded, Gaara looked out the window, "I have no doubt that after my sixteenth birthday, my father will ask, or rather my mother will hint at my own heirs."
"But you're only fifteen going on sixteen, isn't that a bit young to be thinking about babies?" Neji asked worriedly.
Gaara chuckled, "try telling that to her," he looked back at Neji, "I must admit, even though you won't be my wife, I'm sure that mother will asked for grand kids from you too."
"Me?" Asked Neji confused, Gaara nodded, "but I.."
"You're sleeping with me, that's enough for her," Gaara said evenly, "to be honest, my mother is sort of a wicked woman."
"The fact that when she first heard Konkuro ask for a mistress when father told him that he was to be married didn't phase her in the least. Konkuro got his mistress because of her and is regretting it now," Neji was still confused. "To put it lightly, our mother just wants to have a lot of grand kids by the time she starts to get old a gray... that's why I came to your clan pacifically, since your clan was for told to hold the most beautiful members in all the land."
"I see, well... I suppose that, when my position became clear to me, I would have found myself surrounded by politics and secrets. Yet this was all that I can do from now on, what's done is done," Neji said as he rouse from his seat, "thank you for telling me this."
"Was there something else that you wished to asked?" Gaara asked remembering what the brunette had said earlier.
"Oh yes, there was," Neji said walking over to the coffee table in front of the couch, there was a pitcher of water on the table that he poured some into a grass and took a sip. He looked over at the red head in thought, "from what I gathered, you're the only one of your siblings who's getting married at sixteen... I heard from Shikamaru that he married your sister when she was eighteen. Then your brother was married at nineteen with his first kid at twenty, along with your sister who's now pregnant with her second child, I must wonder what the rush is all about. Even if the marriage was unavoidable, why have children so early?"
Gaara sighed as he sat back against the wall, "like I said, mother is a wicked woman, you will see why when we're done here."
Chapter 8: Welcome to the family
I am so so so so sorry that it took so long to get back but now that I am, let's get down to business shall we?
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
After waling around the center for a good hour or so, Sasuke, Sakura, Hinata, and Naruto all head over to the palace for the midnight ball. They showed their wrist bands to the door man and was let in without a problem. Inside the palace they followed ,ost of the crowd to where the food and dancing would take place. When they got there, the place was lit up with bright lights and the sound of violins as well as other string bast instruments could be heard playing from all over the room. There tables over flowing with food all over the room, some people stood by the tables just talking about stuff they find fitting of the nights events, while many others were out on the dance floor doing those slow dances that are usual found at a ball. When looking around the room, it is clear that most people there preferred to wear more western clothes than the traditional kimono and yukata, however, those styles still showed up here and there in the crowd. The windows were tall and wide, making it all seem as if most of the room was made of glass, the fireworks were still going on which added to the magic of the room.
Naruto looked around the room in awe, he had dreamed of being in places like this almost all of his life. Now he was in the place of his dreams tonight. He rushed to the table with food and started to taste all that he possibly could before he had to wake up from this dream come true, of course he did bring something that help him bring some of the food home with him. He didn't think that the King would mind, I mean they had a bunch of tables filled with food, it would be a wast to just throw it all away at the end of the night, right?
"I'll start with this table and work my way around," Naruto said to himself as he came up to the first table closest to the entrance. He looked around to make sure that no one was watching him, they weren't, then he took out a sealing scroll and began to seal some of the food he liked away. The scroll was a gift from Sakura, she gave it to him while they were on the train. Hinata had also brought a few sealing scrolls to help Naruto gather enough food for the up coming winter. Carefully Naruto made his way around the room sealing away as much food in his scroll as he could, when he made it about half way around the room, someone tapped him on the shoulder. Naruto jumped, he though he had been caught and would be thrown in prison for stealing so much food. Although he didn't see how he was caught, the servants kept bring out more and more food, it didn't even look like he took anything in the first place, so how?
Naruto turned around slowly to look behind him, he saw a woman with long, flowing brown hair, fair skin, lavender eyes that reminded him of Hinata, and a kind smile. Naruto blinked up at the woman, she was truly beautiful, her green kimono flowing around her like a silk waterfall of liquid jade crystals. "H-h-hello, w-wh-who are you, Miss Angel?" Naruto asked the woman he laughed lightly.
"You are too kind young one, but do pardon my manners, I am the new Lady of the visiting prince of Suna, Prince Caara. My name is Neji Hyuuga of the fertile Hyuuga clan, how do you do?"
Naruto was in awe at Neji's grace when he talked, it made him feel like he should try harder to talk more properly, even though he didn't know much about the way royal people speak. "Oh uh, um, hello, I'm- I mean my name is Naruto Uzumaki, I uh... I don't- I mean I do not have a clan to uh talk... about?" He tried his best to sound educated, but all his words seemed to come out wrong to him, Neji gave the blond a look of understanding. "S-s-so uh, so um.... is there something that I may help you with your Highness?"
"Your Highness?" Neji asked with a look of surprised face.
"I-I-I mean uh um, your Ladyness?" Naruto asked while rubbing the back of his head.
Neji chuckled, "it's quit alright, Naruto, you may call me Lady Neji, since that is my title."
"A-alright, sure," Naruto said feeling unsure.
"Now as for why I have come to you, I must ask that please follow me," Neji said waiting for the blond start following him.
"Okay," Naruto said as started to follow Neji out of the ball room.
Neji walked with grace, almost like he was literally walking on air, he led Naruto out of the large room and down a hall way that looked like it was made with red velvet. They walked for a while, passing doors that all looked the same, Naruto wondered how anyone found their room at night if everything looked the same.
Gaara waited in his room for Neji to return, he had sent the boy out to find the person that he had seen in his dreams. He didn't remember everything about him other than the blond hair and the blue eyes. However, he kept getting the feeling that there was something else that the boy had in his dream that would set him apart from all the rest. He couldn't figure it out and that didn't sit well wit him, ever since he came to Konoha, the feeling had gotten stronger. Yet he didn't know what else to look for. Then it hit him, that moment when he locked eyes with someone in the crowd during the opening speech, it hit him like a ton of bricks. Whiskers. Whiskers! How could he have not seen it before?! He thought he had finally gone mad after the long search and the lack of sleep, but now, he was sure. Whiskers, it had to be whiskers. When he told Neji of this, he saw the fair skinned boy look at him as if he truly had gone mad, but he knew, he KNEW, that that was what was missing. The whiskers were one of a kind, something that not even the craziest of people would get a tattoo of whiskers on their face, that's because most people would never, not ever, scar their face if they ever hoped to one day be married off to a higher class. No one marked their own, or their children's, faces unless they were apart of certain clans, like Kiba, or even some religions. This had to be it, and once he lay his eyes on the person that Neji brings to his room, he just knows that he will find the one.
sorry i'm a bit rusty after being away for so long, plus i'm working on two other stories at the same time so there's that too. Not to mention i've been up since like idk 5/6 in the morning this morning. anyways, let me know who i'm doing so far. if you want to see more of something in the story, just let me know.
Chapter 9: I didn't dream this
There you go, new update, enjoy
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Naruto walked into the room with Neji, what he saw was a surprise to him, it was like he had stepped into a whole other world! The walls, the floors, the furniture, it was all elegant and classy in some way. Nothing seemed to be out of place and everything seemed to cost a lot of money. By the window he found a man with dark red hair, til eyes, wearing a traditional kimono and hakama, pale skin and tall, but what made Naruto really notice the man in front of him was the way he looked. The feeling of authority rolled off of him in waves and he got the feeling that this man didn't take no for an answer. "He's the one," the man said in a smooth deep voice, it made Naruto shiver, the way this man looked at him made him feel uneasy, like the way e had felt at the speech. Naruto then took a real good look at this man, he realized that this person standing before him was the same one that made him feel so uneasy in the first place while he was in the crowd, all of a sudden Naruto felt light headed. His knees went weak and his eyes rolled back in his head, without warning, Naruto dropped to the floor and his whole world went black for a second time that night.
Gaara had waited for Neji to come back with the person that he had seen in something that felt so much like a dream, however, when Neji came back with said person, he looked upon the blond boy in front of him. Blond hair, deep blue eyes like the see, slightly tanned skin, and whiskered cheeks was what stood before him, the boy's blue kimono really brought out his eyes and the snowflake detail was only adding to his charm. But the thing that really caught Gaara's attention was how.... young this boy looked, the boy was so small and had tiny features to boot. It was almost like he was staring at some kind of life-size doll of some kind. The boy was a beauty, yes that much Gaara would admit too, but this... baby before him, because that was the only thing Gaara could find to sum up the boy as a whole, didn't look old enough to wonder the streets at night. Gaara looked at Neji in confusion, he was about to ask if there was a mistake or a mix-up of some kind, but before he could utter a single sound, the boy fainted. Gaara turned to the sound of body hitting the floor to see the blond boy on his floor, out could, he sighed, "lay him in my bed for now, I will question him when he wakes." Neji nodded and did as told, while Gaara left the room. He walked out into the hallway, moving quickly to head to the ball room where he was sure that the prince would be reading himself for yet another boring speech, he really hated these formalities, they were always so long and tedious to, sometime he wished that they would just push fast forward and get to the point of the events instead of wasting time talking. But that is what happens when you are born of royal blood, you had to sit and listen to people talk endlessly about the same thing over and over again, you would also hope that the tea they they sure you while they're talking has coffee in it. This night was going to be one of those longer nights that he's been dreading.
Naruto woke up feeling soft sheets and fluffy pillows surrounding him, at first he thought that he might have died and gone to heaven, but then how did he get there? He didn't remember dying, did he die? No, the last thing he remembered was this nice lady coming up to him and asking to follow her to this room when he saw this red headed guy staring at him as if he was disappointed or something. Now that he thought about it, that red headed guy looked a lot like that guy that was staring at him during the prince's speech outside during the festival thingy. Could it be the same person? Naruto wasn't sure about that guy, he still remembered feeling as if he was just caught in a trap of some kind when he saw the red head for the second time that night. Or could that have been a dream? Naruto was stating to get a headache from thing so hard about stuff like this, so he opened his eyes to see where he was and what this wonderful softness was that was surrounding him. He opened on eye to see, at first, what he thought to be could, like the ones you see on a cloudy day. He was about to wonder how in the world he had gotten up in the sky when his vision focused and he realized that he was just laying down on someones bed. He hummed, the bed felt so nice that he didn't want to get up, but a voice inside his head told him that he had to, so he did, after a few more minutes of taking in the softness.
He sat up on the bed and looked around the room he was in, everything was painted in red velvet and gold silk here and there, there were flowers and a chandelier hanging down from the ceiling in the center of the room. It was gold and shined brightly, there was a couch in the middle of the room sitting under the chandelier, he could see someone sitting on the couch, the person had long hair that was tied into a high pony tail. Their back was to him so he couldn't see anything beyond the pony tail, Naruto sat up fully on the bed, the movement seemed to reawaken his headache from when he fell on the floor before. He groan as he clutched his head, the same spot that got it on the floor, it almost felt like there was a small lump forming there. At the sound of Naruto's groaning, the person on the couch got up and quickly came over to his side, "are you alright, little one?" Asked the person.
"Uh, yeah, my head just hurts a lot, that's all," Naruto said as he rubbed his aching head.
The person next to him chuckled, "well that's to be expected, you did hit your head pretty hard on ground when you fell."
Naruto rolled his eyes before taking a good look at the person next to him, "it's you," he said surprised.
"Yes, it is me, how are you feeling, beside from your sore head?" Asked the person sweetly.
"I'll be alright, nothing that a little rest can't fix," Naruto said with a bright smile, the person chuckled again before walking away. Naruto watched this person for a moment before asking, "what am I doing here-uh, um, sorry, I forgot your name, what was it?"
The person had walked back over to the couch they were sitting on before and picked up something before coming back to Naruto's side, "that's alright. You did hit your head after all, though I don't know why, but in any case, my name is Neji." The person, Neji, said as he sat down next to the blond, he had an ice pack in his hand and held it out for Naruto to use, "here, this should help a little."
"Thank you, Neji," Naruto said taking the ice pack and putting it on his sore head, he looked around the room again, when he didn't see the red head from before, he sighed in relief.
Neji noticed this, "is something wrong?"
Naruto shook his head, "uh-uh, I was just looking for that guy that was here earlier, the one with red hair and scary eyes."
"Scary eyes?" Neji asked confused, "what makes his eyes seem scary?"
Naruto shrugged, "I don't know, it's like when I looked into 'em, he looked like he was bored with everything. Kinda like he didn't want to be doing something, but someone was, I don't know, forcing him to, or something like that." He looked up at Neji, "y'know what I mean?"
Neji looked at the boy next to him for a minute, a second ago he seemed to be talking as proper as any person, but then it some of his word... Neji had the feeling that this boy wasn't in any honor classes. This worried him a little because if this truly was the boy that Gaara saw in his vision thing, then he would have a hell of a time convincing others that this boy was meant to be with him. Neji could only imagine how Gaara would react to this news. There was also the boy's size to taken in account, when he had seen Naruto in the ball room gathering up food, he was going to go over to ask why he was doing that, but then he saw the whisker marks. He had thought it over as he walked over to Naruto, he thought that the blond was the one that he was looking for, but no something else was becoming an issue here. he sighed, "Naruto, if I may, may I ask your age?"
"Huh? Uh, sure, I'm almost twelve years old, why?" Naruto asked.
Neji hear almost just out of his chest, twelve years old was two years too soon for Naruto to marry Gaara, who would be turning fifteen in a matter of weeks! He gulped, "right, well how about we go back out to join the party? I'm sure that you must have a parent or a garden looking for you by now, so we shouldn't keep them waiting." Neji said calmly as he got off the bed again and started for the door, but inside he was slightly panicked.
Naruto shrugged his shoulders and followed Neji, he felt that the Neji was a little on edge after hearing his age, but he didn't know why. He followed Neji out of the room and down the same way they had came before they were back in the ball room once again. He had left the ice pack on a table in the room before leaving it, he didn't want to take anything that wasn't his from someone that wasn't just giving it away. So when he got back to the ball room, he said his goodbye's to Neji and left to find Sakura and Hinata, but Neji told him not to go too far. Neji knew that Gaara would want to talk to the blond himself, if there was a way for Gaara to know for sure that Naruto was truly his soul mate, then Gaara would find it.
After Gaara got back to the ball room to listen to Prince Asuma's second speech on love, soul mate, blah blah blah, Gaara decided to walk around a bit. He nodded to everyone that said hello to him, he accepted a few dances from some of the quest, and he sat down to have a few drink. While he was doing all that, he was searching the faces in the crowd, looking for the one that he was ment to be with, even though he still didn't believe in that kind of thing, it was his best shot and he was not going to marry some random no face that just barely met his standards. After his third dance, Gaara caught sight of Neji reentering the ball room with the same blond that fainted before, from a distance he watched the blond part ways with his mistress. He made sure to keep an eye on the blond from then on, the blond was quite small, however, and Gaara had lost sight of him a few times before finding him again. Towards the end of the night, the fireworks started up again, this time it could be seen on all around the room because of the open view the room had, the lights had also been dimmed to a romantic type setting. The music changed to that of slow songs, it was like being inside of a cheesey Disney romance movie where true love concurs all in the end, Gaara rolled his eyes, it wasn't his style to be so romantic, but then again, this wasn't his party. He was just about to walk back to his room to call it a night, maybe have some fun before falling asleep, that is until he bumped into small and fragile, "my apologizes, I wan't looking whe-" he started but then he stopped when he saw who he bumped into.
The person he bumped into was the blond from before, they stared at each other for what seemed like hours, but was only just a few second. Gaara straightened himself first, he was a prince after all. He couldn't stand just stand there gawking at the boy as if he was some untrained commoner, his mother, as well as his many tutors would kill him if he did. He cleared his throat, gaining the others attention,"would you care to dance?" He asked politely, using all his learned skills as a prince to be nice to the boy.
"Sure, okay," said the boy slowly as he took Gaara's offered hand, "but I should warn you, I have no idea how to dance."
Gaara looked at the boy for a moment, he had never met someone that couldn't dance at a ball, the idea was new to him. This was something that he had never experience before, deep down, he kind of like the idea, he placed a small smile on his face as he led the blond to the dance floor with the other couples. "I'm sure that you can learn a thing or two if you stick with me."
The boy stared up at the red head as they slowly started dancing, Gaara stared back at the boy just the same. It was as if they were caught up in their own little world, he liked the feeling of being with this boy, for some reason that he couldn't explain, Gaara found it easy to talk to this boy. They talked about random little things, from books to food, clothes, the fireworks, just anything that came across their minds at the moment it was thought of. When the song was almost over, Gaara didn't know what came over him, it could have been the way that the lights were dimmed low, or how the music was making him feel. It could ave even been the fireworks that were going off behind, on the side, up above and all found them, but what happened next just felt... right. He didn't know who leaned in first, or who started it, but as soon as their lips met, it didn't matter. When they finally pulled away, it was like they were the only ones left in the room, on earth even, but they didn't care, "so, you stole my first kiss, can I get a name to go with the face of my thief?" Asked the blond as they stood still in the middle of the dance floor.
Gaara nodded, "Gaara," he said, not wanting to give out his last name, "yours?"
The blond smiled, "Naruto...," sat the newly named blond,Naruto bit his bottom lip for a moment. "I-i-it was nice, meeting you I mean, but-but I need to go," he said and before Gaara could say another word, Naruto ran from the dance floor. Leaving Gaara staring at his back as he went, he put a hand up to his lips, still able to feel the soft lips that had pressed against them not too long ago. He blinked as he realized that he was still in the middle of the dance floor, he took a step forward to leave the floor, but his foot tapped something, he looked down to see a bracelet, laying at his feet. He bent down and picked it up, he held it up to the light and could clearly see a name written on the inside of it: Naruto, this was a VIP bracelet if he remembered correctly. There were only a few of these that was sold and you had to have good connections to get just one, the name of the owner would be branded on the inside to make sure that one stole it. Even if it was, that person couldn't use it either way, only the person who's name was on the item could use it, and Naruto dropped his. This must have been a sigh, something to say that this meeting wasn't a dream.
I would like to say a big thank you everyone that still reads this story, you're awesome!!
Gaara paced the floors of his room, why? Because he was worried, it ad been almost two days since the ball had ended and he still couldn't find Naruto. He did have the bracelet, yes, that much was helpful....sort of, but he wasn't to see Naruto again. He really felt the connection with him that night, it was like they were lost inside of their own little world, but then his world left, and with it, took the moon and the stars away as well. Oh how he missed Naruto, how could he have lost something so precious so soon?! Gaara was in a panic, he was supposed to leave to head back to his kingdom, but yet he stayed in konoha to look for his sunny blond with the innocent ocean blue eyes. He knew that he was pushing his luck to stay in konoha for two extra days, even his advisers were starting to worry of what might happen if they don't leave soon. When a prince of a kingdom turns sixteen, everyone is invited, all the nobles from around the world would come to see if they could make an alliance through marriage with the prince or princess. His own birthday was not but a stones throw away from now and yet he was still there looking. Suddenly Gaara's thoughts were interrupted by his brother-in-law and his sister coming into the room, "Gaara, dear little brother, I think that it's all sweet and everything that you found someone at the ball. Really I do, but we have to move out by tonight, or else father will come and drag you back himself, I even got word that he was setting out to come here himself," said Temari in a sad tone.
"By tonight is the latest that he'[s willing to wait, after that, well..." Shikamaru trailed off, they already knew what Raza was like when he was angry.
Gaara nodded, "yes, I understand," he turned back to the window, it was already mid day. "However, I can not leave just yet, not without my princess besides me, I will not leave. This maybe my to find true happiness," he turned back to the duo, "let us wait until midnight and then we shall depart, since that is the latest that father will wait, then that will be my deadline." Temari and Shikamaru nodded as they left the room, once they were gone, Gaara turned back around to the window that he had been staring out of before they came in, he sighed deeply as he turned his gaze onto the bracelet in his hands, "where are you....Naruto?"
Naruto was looking around the back ally of the BBQ Hut he was currently behind, he was looking to see if there was anyone around before he ran across the ally to the next. He kept his pace steady, keeping his head low and his torn blankets tightly around him. He saw his destination up ahead and stopped at the edge of the ally, he watched for an opening in the busy streets, it was getting late and the street has been busy all day. For about two and a half days since the ball had ended, Naruto has noticed a spike in the number of officers walking the streets, he was curious as to what was the big deal anyways. Sakura had told him that the person he was dancing with at the ball was a prince, when he heard that, he thought he was in trouble, he was dancing with a freaken' prince! Plus all that food he.....borrowed? Took with out people knowing?....The food he took from the tables, was still sealed away from, he's been able to wake up to a good meal because of all that food, he's got a months worth of food left and four months of winter, so he needed more supplies. But not just food supplies, he need some place to live during the winder season, he couldn't think of a better place than an abandon house at the edge of the kingdom's center. He always those abandon houses that lined the edge of the capital, it was like saying you're close to royalty, but at the same time, you're not too poor, he thought it would be the perfect place to hid. Ever since he had officers started walking around, he's also noticed that they had a bracelet in their hand, they would always show it to someone and ask them something about it, but they never seem to get the answer they were looking for. Naruto was approached by one of those people the day after the ball, he looked at the bracelet they had and noticed that it was his, he was going to tell them just that, but then he thought better of it.
When he saw Sakura later on that day with Hinata, they told him that they saw him dancing with the prince, and that the prince was probably looking for him to return the bracelet. Naruto was puzzled as to why someone would go through so much trouble, it was just a bracelet, it's not like that little thing could get him anything for the up coming winter. So Naruto would away from those men that kept on looking for him, even thought they didn't seem to notice that it was him they were looking for. Since then he had ran into two more men with his bracelet, they seem to switch people every so often, but that doesn't matter now. He had to get to the other side of this road, luckily the light had just turned red, so now he just had to run acr-just as he was in the middle of the walk way hit by something going fast. He hit the ground, his head met the road with a hard smack and and he blacked out, the last thing he remembered seeing was a pair of expensive shoes running his way then nothing.
it's short, I know, sorry about that, I'm being attacked by noise over here so I can't focus. but it'll be longer next time.
Chapter 11: Love? or Love!
collage started and thank god for labor day because the first week has got me wiped out!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Surrounded in a calming quite that seemed to just fill him with a sense of being that he had never felt before. Nothing to worry about, no fear. And it was so warm, he's never been this warm before, it was like someone was giving him a hug that engulfed him in love and security. What was this new feeling that he was feeling, he's never felt it before, the feeling of actually getting to rest, to recharge fully after a long day, instead of keeping one eye open while he slept. He didn't know what it was, "could this be love?" He wondered to himself, "is this what love is supposed to feel like?" He wasn't sure if it was or not, but what he did know was that he liked this feeling and he wished that he could feel it all the time. "So peaceful...."
Gaara was not having a good day at all, so far, when he woke up, he had gotten yet another call from his mother about finding a bride. Then he went out personally to join the search for his mystery blond, only to come up empty handed. Then on the way back to Prince Asuma's palace, the driver had hit someone! This person, by no means, looked like anyone he had ever seen before. Maybe that was due to the fact that he was raised in a palace all of his life, surrounded by servants, maids, and butlers, wearing the most high end and expensive styles out there. Maybe it was the fact that all of his social interactions with other people were with other prince and/or princess's, people that also grew up wearing clothes that looked like art works made into material. Or maybe because the first he had seen a homeless person, was when his driver had run over one. Oh wait! That was what happened about an hour ago, oops. Anyway, after accidentally running over his first, and hopefully his last homeless person, an ambulance was called to take the person away. However, instead of just letting things go from there, Gaara made the decision to follow said homeless person to the hospital to make sure he was alright. Sure he could have had one of his aid's do the task for him while he went back to the palace to pack up his things so that he could return home, he wanted to know what was to become of the homeless person he hit. The fact that this person was homeless was screamed at him by the younger boy's clothes, but that's not just the reason why he wanted to follow the homeless person to the hospital. Aside from being apart of the party that had hit the poor boy, he wanted to know why this boy, who looked no more than ten or twelve, was homeless in the first. He didn't know that Konoha had a housing issue that there were children younger than himself that had no home or family to call their own. It was a sad thought, and it left a bad taste in his mouth. One other reason why he followed this young boy to the hospital was because he felt an attraction to the boy, and if that wasn't just the oddest thing that he's ever thought.
Why should he care about this boy? It's not like he knew him right? Right, so why was he still sitting next to the blond's bed side, waiting for him to wake up. Waiting to talk to him maybe? But why? Who was this boy to him? Who was this boy with long-ish blond hair that spiked up everywhere even when wrapped in bandages? Who was this whiskered cheek boy that had the face of a baby angel? Who was this boy that looked so thin and frail, but still somewhat healthy even in this state? Who was this boy that continued, from the time of the accident to the now, to remind him of the blond haired, blue eyed beauty that he shared a dance with at the ball a few days ago? Who was he? So many question, so little answers, but he would have to wait for them. He was willing to wait, he didn't know why, but he felt that he needed this boy in his life, there was something about him that just....sent sparks shooting up and down his spine. Something about this boy made him feel so nervous and excited all at the same time, just by sitting near his bed for five minutes. It was odd, what was this feeling? The feeling of...what was it? This odd sensation? It was warm, filling up his chest like like an overflowing well, but where did it come from and what is it? From what he knew from his talks with his siblings, he had to ask, "is this love?"
okay soooooo sorry but that's all I have for you today, I will try and write more, but I've started collage and I've got others things to focus on, so updates maybe slow again.
Chapter 12: Welcome to your new home
BOOM! I'm back! I just crashed landed back in to this story like a train, and man does it feel good to be back! Anyways, updates, it's slow coming, but it will be done! I'm trying to get all of my collage stuff done during the week so that my weekends are free to update stories for you all. I hope you guys are ready for some reading because I'[m spending a good three days getting back to updating my stories. It has been a little minute since I last updated, but I will get back on track, or try to anyways. so without further a due, here's the thing you've been waiting for.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Naruto awoke to the sound of beeping monitors and the whispered voices of strangers he did not know. He woke to the smell of clean floors and fresh cut flowers, floors he didn't like. The sent of roses filled the air, bring back bad memories of a time he would rather forget all together. Why was he smelling roses anyways? The last thing he remembered doing was trying to cross the street so that he could get to the center of Konoha, but now he felt as if he was trapped in a rose garden. If there was one thing that anyone should know about Naruto, is that he absolutely hates the scent and sight of roses. They made him feel something deep inside that he would rather not feel. A sense of loneliness, of longing, of sorrow even, lay deeply embedded into his contusion. Why did he hate roses? He himself had no idea, but he didn't care why, he just knew that he hated it such a smell. He has heard that most people would love the smell of roses, while some thought that they were a wast of time, and others thinking that it was a sign of love or something like that. Naruto had no time for those things, after all, love can't fill your belly and keep you worm in the middle of the cold winter nights. So what was the point of such a flower anyways? Was it just to take up space, to look god for those that actually liked and found use for these flowers? Naruto really didn't care to know right this moment, right now all he wanted to know was three things. One, why didn't he feel could? Usually when he woke up around this time of the year, he would feel like he was sleeping on ice, even though he would have on four or five layers of thrift store clothes or thrown away blankets. Two, why did his clothes feel so light? Again, around this time of the year, he would have on multiple clothing and blankets on and/or over him throughout the season, so why didn't he have them on now? Third, why didn't he recognize any of his surroundings? Sometimes when he woke up, he would find himself sleeping in an old abandon building somewhere out of the way, or at either Sakura or Hinata's house. They would sometimes come to find him passed out in the street whenever the construction workers found him still sleeping in the building that they were assigned to demolish that day.
Noting all of these things, Naruto then remembered the whispering voices that he had heard when he first regained contentiousness. They were soft and sweet, almost like the wind blowing through the trees on a worm summers day. When he first heard them, he thought that it was either Sakura or Hinata talking to someone just outside his field of vision, but then he really listened and found that assumption to be wrong. Who was that? Who was talking so quietly, and talking about him at that. Naruto took a chance and finally made himself known to the two that were talking about him. Just by clearing his throat, he got the desired effect that he wanted and was met the two unfamiliar faces walking into his view. The first person to enter his line of sight was a tall male with pail, almost milky white skin, pail lavender eyes, and long, silky brown hair that fell down his back. His face smooth with soft curves that he almost looked female, for some reason, Naruto felt that he knew this person, or at the very least, have meet him before, but couldn't place where from. Next to the feminine male was a girl with bright red hair and eyes that seemed to have sort of a rare exotic feature to them that Naruto knew he had seen before, but like the first mail, he couldn't place where from. The red eyed woman had soft curves, but also a slight masculine feel to her, almost as if to, "I can do things on my own, but I don't mind help every once in a while, not that I would ask", or something along those lines.
"How are you feeling, Mistress Naruto?" Asked the pail eyed guy.
Naruto blinked at him, "my name's not, 'Mistress Naruto', it's just Naruto." Said blond spoke and tried to sit up from his bed with some difficulty.
"You shouldn't get up so soon, kid, you might upset yourself," said the red haired woman with a frown.
"Huh?" Naruto said as he started to feel dizzy, "why can't I get up?" He asked and put a hand to his head, "why does my head feel so funny? And where am I?
"You are going to be feeling uneasy for a few days until you recover from that nasty fall you had a few days back." Said the red head, "it looks like the prince sure did a number on you with his car, we almost thought that you were dead. Kid, your lucky to be alive right now, y'know?"
"As for where you are, you are in the Suna Kingdom," said the pail eyed male.
"Suna? What do mean? I was in Konoha just a second ago, how'd I get here!" Naruto asked, now slightly panicked, he looked around the room and found that he was surrounded by everything that he considered royalty. Silk curtains, lavish bedding, polished floors, spotless walls, clear-as-day windows, he was sure that he had died and went to heaven at some point, maybe this was heaven. Maybe while he was crossing the road back then, he had gotten hit by something so hard that he died and went to this place, and the two before him were angels. Now, if only if it wasn't for the smell of those god forsaken smelly roses, he would feel truly at peace with this after life thing.
"No, this is Suna, and you've been asleep for almost more than a week now, kid," said the red head as she put a hand on her hip.
"Karen, be easy on him, he did just wake up from a head trauma," said the pail eyed male.
"Like hell I will, Lady Neji, this kid's got enough sense to know that Suna and Konoha are way too different to be the same, y'know? Konoha's all about bright colors and other stuff like that, while we in Suna are all about the elegant stuff. You can see it in the way that they do things too, they have balls and other parties until five in the morning, while we know when to turn off the lights and go to bed."
The one named Neji sighed, exhausted with the red head, "careful now Keran, you're common side is slipping out. You wouldn't want the princess, Tamari, to ship you back off to the farms, back with your step father and mother, would you?" He asked as he walked, more like glided in Naruto's opinion, over to a table in one corner of the room.
The one known as Karen covered her mouth and looked around the room, "you don't think she would really do that now, would she? I mean, she needs me, now that I'm-"
"Just because you're having their second child, does not mean that the Princess would not talk to the queen about you're behavior." Neji stated, cutting off Karen as he continued to do something at the table across the room, "you are only a few weeks, but the queen has the final say of who has a claim to her court. You should know this by now because you have been apart of it since before my arrival."
Karen frowned and put a hand over he flat stomach, which confused Naruto, there was nothing there from what he could see. Did she have a stomach ache or something? Why where they talking about anyways, princess's, prince's, queens, court's. What did all of this have to do with him? He wanted to speak up and ask them what they were talking about, but before he could, the red head spoke again, "don't you think I know this already? That damn queen, who does she think she is? Telling you how to act all the time. 'Sit still', 'don't wear those shoes to my dinner table', 'you need to start planing your future at five or else you're end us as an old maid in your twenties'. I'm really getting sick of this, the way that she talks to people makes me so mad that I could, I could, could just...ugh, y'know!"
Neji took a break from what he was doing at the table to turn around and listen to Karen speak, he couldn't say that he knew exactly what she was talking about, but he had a feeling. Before his contract to the prince, he had been through a similar situation with his own family. He was adopted when he was just one years old after his father was killed in the war and his mother was disowned after something that involved the head of the clan. From a young age he had been told what to do, how to say things, when to say things, and so much more self-restricting things that it was hard to remember what freedom felt like. He was hoping that when he signed the contract and left the clan, he would finally know freedom again, but after meeting the queen for the first time when he got to the castle, he knew. It would be the same thing all over again....but at least he had company this time.
"Uh, hay, can I ask you guys something?" Naruto asked, gaining their attention once more.
"Sure thing, what's on your mind kid?" Karen asked, turning back to Naruto
"Stop calling me kid, I have a name y'know." Naruto rolled his eyes, "anyways, I wanted to ask why I'm here? I mean, it's not every day I wake up in a nice place like this."
"What's that mean, I thought you would have woken up in places that was probably more luxurious than this simple room," Karen said.
"What would make you think that?" Naruto asked confused.
Neji finally finished what he was doing at the table and walked/glided back over to Naruto's bedside, "well, from the placement of your crown, you were born from royal blood. If I'm right, you must hail from the Neatherlands or the Fallen Place Kingdom, correct?" He set down a pitcher of water with lemon slices floating at the top, next to the pitcher were a few cups in a single stack and plate of what looked like colorful cooks sandwiching some frosting. "Would you like one, they were made fresh by the kitchen a few minute before you awoke."
Naruto, who had just realized how hungry he was, shrugged his shoulders and took one of the colorful looking cookies from the plate on the tray with the water. Taking a bite, he looked over all the assorted colors on the plate, some blue, some green, some pink, brown, yellow, they were a colorful sight to see. "What are these things, they don't look like any cookie that I've seen before."
"They're called Macoroons," Neji said, "they're one of Gaara's favorites."
Karen rolled her eyes and snatched a cookie from the tray, "well whatever you call them, they sure taste good." She said before dropping herself down at the edge of Naruto's bed, "you can tell auntie Kushina really knows how to make these things good. Before she came, all the food that was served was no good."
Naruto hummed as he finished his cookie, "so," he started, "when can I go home?"
Neji had sat down in a chair close to Naruto's bed side with a cup of the lemon water in his hand, "what do you mean? You are home."
Naruto reached for another one of those macaroon cookis, they were really good and he wanted to enjoy them for as long as he could before leaving. "I mean Konoha, when will I get to go back there? It's nice and all here, but I don't want to over stay my welcome, even though yo guys fixed me up after whatever happened, happened, but I need to get back. I can't stay here forever."
Karen and Neji shared a look, "oh, well uhm, it seems that you have it all wrong," Neji said looking back at Naruto.
Said blond finished his second cookie and reached for a third, "what do you mean by that?"
"Uhm, well, the thing is-"
"You ain't going back there kid, not anymore," Karan butted in, "you're homes here with us now."
Naruto almost chocked on his cookie, "what?" He exclaimed between coughing fits, "what, why, how can you even say that? I don't belong here, I'm not one of those rich kids who has lots of money from their parents. I don't even have parents!"
This caught the other two by surprise, "oh, I'm sorry kid, I didn't know. Did they, like, pass away when you were younger or something?" Asked Karen.
"Karen, please, that's no way to ask someone that sort of question," Neji scolded.
"Well the question had to be asked some how, Neji, there's no point in beating around the bush about it!" Karen shot back.
"Yes, well, it is still a rude way to ask someone something so sensitive," Neji retorted back.
"Hay guys, can we get back to me now?" Naruto asked, he was getting angry that they kept on having their own little conversation whenever they felt like it. Oddly enough, these two reminded him of an old married couple or two old maids alone in the park on a summer's eve. It was sort of refreshing, but at the same time, it was annoying as hell.
"My apologies, Naruto, as you were saying?" Neji said with a small dip of his head.
Naruto rolled his eyes, "listen, I'm not from around here, I don't know how you guys do things, but I'm pretty sure that you can't just kidnap people whenever you feel like it. I mean come on, why was I even brought here in the first place anyways?"
"Didn't you hear what I said before? You got hit by Prince Gaara's car and was out of it for almost a week! What didn't you get about that?" Karan asked.
"A whole lot apparently! I don't even remember getting hit by a car in the first place, and when I wake up in a nice room for the firs-no second time in my life, you tell me that I can't leave?! What even is that?" Naruto fumed.
"What do you mean by 'wake up in a nice room for the second time'?" Karan asked.
"Just like I said! What are you def or something?" Naruto asked a bit louder than he thought, crossing his arm over his chest as he glared into Karan's crimson eyes.
"Alright you two, calm down, there's no need to make so much no-" Neji was cut off once again, this time by the blond they were meant to look after.
"This is one of the reasons why I hate the rich, they feel like they are better than you just because they can afford the finer things in life. Things like worm clothes and soft pills, a roof over your head when it rains, and more food than they can eat. I bet that you even throw away most of your dinner because it's not to your liking huh?" Naruto's glare became even harder as he stared passed Kara's eyes and into the deepest parts of her soul, the red head was started to lose her edge and was now looking away from the blond's parsing blue eyes. Even Neji felt a sting in the blond's words, for he looked away too, Naruto started to get out of bed as he continued to speak, "your world his all happy, while you look at all those things that make you think, 'oh that thing is so nice, I want to buy it for myself and never use it or look at it ever again once I own it. And-and....there's things out the-there that's r-really..." after Naruto got to his feet and took a few steps away from the bed he was in, he felt sick. Almost as if he was standing upside down in a fun house of sort, "I don't feel so goo-" Before he could finish his statement, he blacked out, the last thing he heard before everything went dark, was the sound of Neji and Karan calling out his name as they ran towards him. "Hmm, they almost sound concerned for me....what a weird feeling to have, concern for a stranger."
Hope you liked what I brought to the table, it may not be my best work since I'm all rusty from not updating in a while, but I tired my best! Anyways, until the next time, ja ne :)
P.s. sorry it's so short, I had a long day and this was the best that I could do for now because I have a bunch of school work that I need to do. Also, I will try really hard to update as much and as soon as possible. until then, see you next time :)
Chapter 13: Meeting Mother
Slight plot twist warning!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Gaara was walking down the long hallways to the room located at the end of it. He was feeling anxious about going there after what he heard earlier, it seemed that he soon-to-be bride had finally woken up. He didn't bother listening to the rest of the message about his future wife because he was all too happy to hear that the blond had finally awaken from his two week sleep. He was making his way down the hallways as fast as he could without running, he was after all, and a prince should never run unless in the heat of battle or in a state of emergency. So he was forced to walk the whole way, hoping that nothing came up to distract him from his awaited goal, but, like always, something did come up. In fact, it was a person that came to slow him down from his fated reunion to his future wife. That person so happened to be his mother.
"Gaara, dear, how lovely it is to see you," cooed the Queen of Suna.
Gaara stopped his trek top the room to greet his Queen, and mother, as was expected of him. "Hello mother, it is good to see you in good health today," stated Gaara plainly. "How may I be of help to you today?"
The woman before him smiled brightly at her red haired son, "do not worry your head about me, son." She said finely, "what you should be worried about is that boy that you dragged home with you week ago, isn't it about time that he went home?"
Gaara internally sighed, "I would, but he already is home, mother."
"Oh?" She asked, her light brown eyes looking over her youngest child for moment, "you truly intend to take this boy's hand in marriage, do you, dear?"
Gaara nodded his head once, "that was my intention, yes." He said calmly, even though he was getting tired of their little back and forth, he had to keep up this act until he could see his blond angel once more. "Is there something wrong with my choice?"
The queen shook her head and let out a small breath of air from her mouth, "alright Gaara, isn't this enough?" She said after a while of staring at her son.
Gaara looked at her for a moment, "I am not sure what you mean, mother, please explain."
His mother set her smile into a frown that didn't match the usual mask that she wore on her face for the public eye. Not, this was not the same mask, because this was not the same queen that was known to the Suna crowd, outside the walls of the castle, everyone was oblivious of this side of the queen. They never knew of her mean streak. Her spiteful ways. Her controlling persona. No, no one knew, and that was the way she wasn't it to say. The way that she was staring at him, Gaara knew, he was going to have to fight to keep his future wife safe from her clutches. "Gaara, sweetheart," she finally said, "I can see that you are not going to let up easily, so tell me. What will I need to do to make sure that this....child does not embarrass us in front of the court?"
Gaara frowned deeply, "what makes you think that he would embarrass us at court? He is well breed and educated enough to know how to act around others. If not, I would not even dare to bring him to the main housing of the castle," he looked at her for a moment. "You talk of him as if you know all about him....what do you know?"
His mother raised an eye brow and turned away from him, her gaze turning to the room down the hall. "What makes you think that I know anything about the child? The boy has not been here for very long, and none of that time has been spent outside of that room." She turned her eyes back onto Gaara, "what makes you think that I know anything about someone that have yet to see?"
Gaara lifted an eye brow then, "we both know that you have your ways of finding tings out," he said coolly. He continued on when he saw her unbothered by his comment, "I know this the same way that I know you didn't stay in the castle when father went off to a business meeting three months ago."
"Your point is?" She asked in a tone that was aching to boredom
"The time matches up perfectly to your recent visits to the doctor," Gaara folded his arms.
His mother narrowed her eyes at him for a few seconds before turning her body towards the direction of the room down the hall. "Very clever of you, if it was another time, I would have been proud, but for now it is just annoying." She sighed tiredly, "alas, you are my son, you were bound to pick up on my skills sooner or later," she started walking down the hall then. "Come along Gaara, I am just dying to meet my future son-in-law.
Gaara was quick to catch up to her, matching her step for step as they walked down the long hallway, "what do you know?" He asked her after a few more steps.
"On what, dear? I am the queen of this palace, that means I know a lot of things that other people usually would not thing a woman in my position would or should ever know. You simply must be more-"
Gaara cut her off, "you know what I mean, mother, what do you know about him?"
"Him who?" His mother asked, she glanced at him with a sly smile, hoping to get a rise out of him.
Gaara sped up his step and managed to step in front of his mother, blocking her path, "ever since I became of age, I have been though meeting after meeting. I have been signing papers to either turn down replacement weddings, or to hold of on getting a second wife so soon before marrying my first. I have enough had to lessen my sleeping hours to get ready for the wedding that is still only two months away. I. Don't. Like. Playing. Games. Now, please tell me what you know, or else I can, and will, make you wait until I see fit to see your next son-in-law. Is this clear?"
Gaara's mother stared her son down, he did the same, the hallways was left in a heavy silence until suddenly, "very well then. I will tell you everything I know after we check on the boy." She tried to step around Gaara, but he stepped in front of her again, "are you not pleased wit my answer, son?"
She nodded, "very well, don't think that you've won, however, for right now all I will tell you is that you little baby doll laying in that room is not who you think he is."
Gaara gave her a puzzled look, "what do you mean."
A small smile came over her face, it was very close to being smug, "you will find that out very soon. I have a reliable source that told me everything that I needed to know about that boy. I can promise you right not, you might not have chosen him if you knew then, what I do now."
Gaara had a deep frown on his face now, not liking the cryptic message that his mother just dropped on him, she side stepped him again, but this time he let her go. They continued their walk to the room and made it to he room not a minute later, he knocked on the door a few times before a voice was herd from the other side of the door. He told them who it was and they quickly opened the door, he recognized the child bearer that his mother talked his sister in getting when she was only twelve. Karen was her name, if he remembered correctly, she came to the castle when she was still only ten years old, or at least that was the official story anyways. The truth was that on her way back from holiday, his mother saw her beautiful and rare red hair and eyes, which gave the girl a sort of exotic look, made her desirable to his mother. She liked exotic things, people included, and not for the first time did he stop to wonder if he and his siblings had the same father or not, but put it out of his mind. It wouldn't do to bring up such things now, those thoughts only lead to trouble, beside, his father was a cautious man. He would never let his wife cheat on him. If she did, he had the choice to disown her and go to his second wife, but his father, unlike most kings, did not marry his second wife, yet. Even though his council keeps pestering about it. But he was sure that would change soon enough, now that his youngest was finally getting married.
"Prince Gaara, my Queen, Tanzy." Karen said with a slight now, "it is good to see you in good health today, please come in."
Gaara and his mother, Tanzy, stepped into the room, the sight that greeted them was of Gaara's mistress tending to his future wife. Gaara couldn't help but think that this was an odd scene, but ever since he turned ten, he head been seeing things like this for as long as he could remember. But he was only able to understand it when he turned ten. To any civilian, this fact that his mistress was taking care of his future wife would strike them as odd, as if it should never be. He has found that to someone that was not born into royalty and had to live by so many rules and what not, that they would think a mistress should come after the wife, and the two should never meet so casually like this. But since that was the civilian point of view, he could see why it was so odd for them. It wasn't like they were encouraged to do palimony when they turned sixteen. Anyways, Gaara pushed those thoughts out of his head as he made his way closer to the bed where his future wife, "how is he?" He asked his mistress, Neji.
Without turning around, Neji spoke, "when he woke up, he was still quite weak. With that in mind, when he tried to stand up and walk at once, adding with his high emotions at the time, the medicine that was prescribed, and his previous health before he came here..." Neji shook his head. He turned to his prince, "he was lucky that someone was there to catch him before he hit the ground, I have a feeling that he would not have healed as quickly if his body did, indead, meet the ground."
Gaara nodded, saddened that his blond angel had fainted before he got to the room, he sighed. "Thank you for telling me, when will he wake up again?"
"Not too long now, prince Gaara," Karan cut in, coming to stand next to Neji by the bed.
His mother came to stand with him, she looked down at the sleeping blond in the bed, "goodness, he's so small." She half whispered, she turned to Gaara then, "dear, are you sure he's of age to marry?"
Gaara was a little annoyed by his mother's constant doubt, but as he looked at the blond laying in the bed, he thought about this question. Was this blond beauty old enough to get married to him? Yes he did look quite young, but he couldn't have been no more than a year or two younger, right? The boy in the bed was small and looked quite frail, his arms thin, his hair grown out long, his face smooth and round, and his inter being was just so...small. He was confused, sure when he meet the blond in the ball room that night, he did look small, younger, that himself, but not too young that he couldn't marry. The youngest age to marry was at lest fourteen, sometimes thirteen years of age, but how old was Naruto? Where in Konoha did he live? Where was his parents when he went to the ball? Was he there by himself? If so, how could his parents just let such a beautiful child roam the streets alone, at night no less. Gaara had so many questions running around inside of his head that he couldn't focus on anything else other than the blond laying in the bed. At some point he managed to find a seat to sit in close to the bed, making sure that he was in the line of sight of his blond angel. He wanted him to be the first thing that the Naruto saw when he woke up.,
A field of golden flowers lay at his feet. A soft breeze blow on his face. A small whisper on the wind drew him in, and he was taken by it. It was smooth and sweet, and ever so close. A heart warming thing that was transformed into something dreamy, but was was that sound? This smell. The feeling that he had. Had I been here before? What is this place? Questions ran though his head a mile a minute as the soft sound came closer. He looked around, "where am I?" He asked himself, he expected an answer, but never got one. He looked around and found that he was lost in the field of golden flowers, looking down at his feet he found that they were roses. He hated roses. He kicked a few petals this way and that, but he couldn't clear a path for himself to get through because every flower that he seemed to destroy, two new ones popped up in their place. "What even is this place?" He asked himself as he took another look around, he gazed up at the sky, expecting to see a sun up there shining down on him, blinding him with it's brightness. However, instead of seeing what he expected, one sun, he saw two moons hanging in it's place. "Huh?" Sure that he was seeing things, he closed his eyes and rubbed them, he opened his eyes, expecting to see a sun once and for all, but was met with the pair of moons again. "What is going on here?" He asked himself, again, he expected an answer, but no one gave one, he took his eyes from the moon and looked around the field. Another puzzled look came across his face, all around him was the color of the and brightness of the sun, but when he looked back up at the sky, it was surely night. "What a strange thing to see."
"Is it not what is usual for this place?" Came a voice from behind him, startling Naruto.
The young blond turned around fast and stared at the person who had spoke. They had hair of fire and eyes of a grassy field, a wind blew her dress this way and that he was able to see a small thing huddled behind here leg. "Hello?" He asked the woman before him, "do you know where I am?" He asked, not sure if he would get an answer twice in a row, but it was worth a try.
"Is it not obvious, child? You are home, here with the stars and the moons that light the way. You are home, here to fill the world with light once again." Said the woman in a cheerful, mystical voice, as the woman spoke, the small thing crowded by her feet poked it's head out to see him, it was a child no older than him with just as red hair as the woman, but his eyes were deeper than the sea itself.
"So beautiful," he thought to himself, out loud he said, "what do you mean by that lady? I don't remember living here a day in my life."
The woman laughed, "no, not in your lifetime, but 'ts true that it was one of your lifetimes. Many, many, many years ago, before things went wrong and you had to leave us," said the woman as she turned away. She looked back at Naruto, "come, I will tell the story that was long forgotten."
The woman walked away from him, followed closely by the blue eyed, red haired boy that seemed to cling to her for dear life. Naruto debated with himself on whether he should go with the woman that didn't make sense, or stay where he was and wonder where he was some more. In the end, he decided to follow her after all, it wasn't like he had anything else to do. Plus, even if he did get to go back to Konoha now or later, he still had no home or family waiting for him, so why not?
To Be Continued....
Wow, this story just took a turn, was this too much or no?
Chapter 14: Walking on clouds
I just got a new computer yesterday, to I'm gonna post a longer chapter today =D your welcome.
Naruto followed the strange woman out of the flowers and into tall golden grass, not wheat, grass. Naruto's never seen golden grass before, he's seen brown grass that kind of looked like gold, but never the actual color. He followed the woman and the boy, who he had guessed was either her son or brother, he noticed that the boy would look back at him every few minutes. It was almost as if he was checking to see if he was still being followed by the blue-eyed blond, but he never said anything. No one did, they didn't talk, they didn't do anything but walk, and that was starting to get old. Naruto was getting bored of all this silence, when he was still in Konoha, people would still stop and try to talk to him, anything that they thought would be good they brought it up. The weather, the events that would be coming up in the coming sessions. Anything except how Naruto still didn't have anyone to take care of him or how no one seemed to want to take him in, which made him a little mad sometimes when he thought about it. However, when he thought more on the subject, he comes to the conclusion that since he's been alone for all of his life, and didn't die just yet, then that meant that he didn't need any one to take care of him. He was better on his own anyways. But still, it would have been nice to have a place of his own that didn't get torn down every few months and would have to find another place to stay all over again, or just live out on the streets or in the alley ways until another place became available to him. But all the places that would ever be available to him would always be torn down in a few months anyways, so then the cycle repeated itself over and over. The changing of housing actually felt normal to him now, since he's been doing it for so long, he knows what to expect, what to look for it, when to look. Naruto could proudly say that all he knows was thanks to his never-ending time on the streets.
As they neared another field, this time greener and less gold, Naruto could just make out the outlines of buildings. Homes with chimes and fire places, which meant that there would be people there, people with families, loved ones. All the good things in life that Naruto's gone without for a very big part of his life now, suddenly being in this new place made him feel that much lonelier. "Uh, hay, excuse me Miss, but where is it that you're taking me?" Naruto finally spoke up.
The woman that was leading the way turned back to him, smiling a smile that seemed to out shine the sun itself. "Why, we're going home, my prince," she said before turning back to the path she was on before. With her back still to him, she said, "long, long ago, before I was even born, a story was told."
Naruto looked at her funny, "prince? Story? Lady, you're not making any sense, what are you talking about? And what home? I don't live around here," Naruto looked around him, "I don't even know where here is!"
The red headed woman in front of him giggled lightly, "no, no you wouldn't know this place, its been far too long," she said and started walking again.
"Huh?" Naruto folded his arms and pouted, "I'm not going anywhere else with you until you tell me where I am, and how I got here." He thought for a moment, "and how I can get back to where I came from too, I need to get home, there's ‘out to be somebody worrying about me by now." He paused, he looked down at the ground with sad eyes, that's right, there should be someone worrying about me by now, right? There's Hinata and Sakura, I guess Sasuke would be wondering why I haven't been seen eating out of the dumpsters in a awhile. And Itachi, he's probably looking for me to make sure that I've got enough to eat for the winter. Hm...and I guess there's also that red headed dude I meet at that ball thingy a few days back, I wonder if he misses me too?" Lost in thought, Naruto didn't notice when the red headed boy walked over to him, or when he touched his hand, Naruto looked up into bright blue eyes that matched his own. The boy looked back at him shyly, "wha-"
But before Naruto could finish what he was going to say, the boy spoke, "brother," he said in a soft voice.
"What?" Naruto asked confused.
"B-brother, mine," the boy said again.
Naruto was very confused by now, "brother, your brother?" Naruto looked around the field again, not seeing any one else except him, the boy, and the woman, he looked back at the boy, "where's your brother? Is he over where those houses are? "
The boy shook his head, "no."
"Then....is he somewhere else? Is he lost or something?" Naruto tried, he panicked when the boy looked down at his own feet, "oh jeez, hay kid, don't cry. We'll find your brother for you, uh, I'll even help too, okay? so don't cry." Naruto held the boy's hand tight in his own and tried to comfort him the best he could. he knew what it was like to be without family, but to have that family go missing, he could only image how bad that must have made the boy in front of him feel. He looked up at the woman who had turned around and was smiling at the scene before her, "do you know where his brother is?"
The woman nodded, "yes, he's been away for so long, our other prince refused to change until he came back. But now that you're back, you can both change into the beings that you were meant to be."
Naruto puffed up his cheeks, "okay lady, that's enough! I don't know who this "prince" is that you keep going on about, but could you, for once, talk normal?"
"My apologies, it seems that the time away from home has made our first prince lose him memories. I have no idea how they speak where they took you, but I will try my best to make sense from here forward." The woman said as she took a step towards the two boys, "please, come with me," she said holding out her hand towards Naruto.
"Why should I?" Naruto asked as he took a step back, he pulled the other boy behind him, which surprised the young red head, but he kept quite as he got behind Naruto, "where are you going to take us?"
"To the truth," the woman stated simply as she took another step towards Naruto, Naruto took another step back and so did the boy behind him.
"What truth?" Naruto asked, trying to keep far away as possible from the woman as he could.
"Yours, my prince," the woman stated as she took another step again, Naruto took another one back, followed by the boy. They stayed in that position for a while, every time the woman took a step forward, Naruto and the boy would take another step back.
"What are you even talking about?" Naruto asked.
The woman sighed, "it seems that they have corrupted all of you and your memories, my dear prince," she said sadly as she looked at the two in front of her.
"What does that even me-" Naruto started, but before he could finish, the woman started to transform into a being that was both beautiful and scary at the same time. She gre tall and long wings that seemed to go on forever, a beak that looked sharp as knives, and feathers that seemed to burn the brightest orange and red that he's ever witness in his life. He looked on the transformation with awe, the woman's eyes went from a field of green, to a burning inferno of red and bits of yellow. "What is she?" Naruto whispered so softly that he wasn't sure if he had said it or thought it, but with the little boy's reply, he knew that he spoke it out loud.
"She's the guard that keep the land from Ash and sorrow," said the little red head boy.
Naruto turned around to the boy as he backed away, "you spoke," Naruto said, almost saying it like a question. But when he looked at the boy who stood behind him, he realized that he hadn't spoken at all.
"So you are my brother after all? Funny, you look just the same as the day they took you away," the red head said, but this time Naruto didn't see him move his lips like he thought the last time.
"What?" Naruto asked as he backed away from the boy, "you spoke, you spoke, but yo-your lips didn't move. How is that possible?"
The boy placed a small smile on his lips, "you know that we have had this connection for many years, but then it was broken. By who, I know not, but now that you're so close that I touched you, it seems that we're together once more."
Naruto was filled with so many feelings at this point, confusion being the most obvious one of them of, but still there were others. Here was a boy, speaking to him, but without his mouth moving. He turned around and saw the thing that used to be a woman, turned to flaming bird, and he wondered. What's going on here? Is this a dream?"
"Wish it what you will, brother, but the truth is, you are awake, you are here." Naruto looked at the boy as if he was crazy," I know that this is all so sudden for you, but if you could just give us a chance to explain to you what happened all that time ago. If we could convince you that what we say is true, then will you believe?" The red head looked hopefully at the blond, "now that you've made your own way back to us, I wish not to lose you again. Not to them."
Naruto looked at the boy for a moment, he wasn't sure what to believe, or who, but when he looked back, he could feel the heat coming off of the fire bird. It all seemed to be so real, could he really trust them?"
Gaara sat by Naruto's bed side, just staring at his sleeping face. What was he dreaming about, something good maybe? He wished Naruto would wake up and tell him all about it, about him, about his life before coming to the castle. What life must have been like for him, what were his likes, his dislikes, he wanted to know them all, but he had to wait. "Why did he faint?" Gaara finally asked after a while of silence, he mother had been silently talking to that girl, Karin, when he spoke up.
"What was that dear?" His mother cooed to him, he was the baby and she enjoyed spoiling him in every way that she could. However, since he was the baby of the family, he didn't want to be babied, it was one of the things that she didn't like. She wanted to baby here baby, but he wanted to be a grown up now, what's a mother to do?
Gaara turned to face the rest of the people in the room, "I asked why he fainted? When I received word that he was awake, I find that he has fallen asleep once more. Now I ask," he got up from his chair, standing in an authoritative manner that was just about hammered into him long ago. "What is the reason that caused him to faint?"
"I believe that I can answer that, my prince," Neji said, standing up from his spot at the foot of the bed, he made sure that he stood tall and spoke clear. His uncle would not be pleased if he didn't, and his father would be even more displeased if he ever embarrassed himself in front of noblemen. "Earlier, when princess Naruto awoke, I could see that he still wasn't at a hundred percent, his skin was a ghostly pail and he looked much thinner than before. However, he was strong enough to sit up on his own and hold his self together, for a time. Although, it was when he tried to get out of bed and walk on his own as well, that was when he fainted again, even though I t-advised him that he should rest more."
"Where you about to say, "you told him", before?" Gaara's mother asked, catching onto the way Neji had changed his wording mid speech.
"I-" Neji began, but was stopped when Gaara held up his hand.
"That is enough Neji, thank you, you do not need to explain yourself to mother. A simple wording mishap is nothing to fret about, not now anyways," Gaara explained.
Neji bowed, "thank you for your forgiveness, my prince."
Gaara nodded at him before turning to his mother once more, "I believe that you have more to say to me, mother."
The queen of Suna blinked her perfectly primped eye lashes, "whatever do you mean, my child?" She asked sweetly.
Gaara narrowed his eyes, "you know what I mean, mother, or shall I revise the naming rights for my first born?"
The queen narrowed her own eyes, "you wouldn't dare."
"Wouldn't I?" Gaara shot back, they stared each other down for a few seconds, the most intense few seconds that either Neji or Karin had ever witnessed.
"Very well then," said the queen as she stood to her feet and walked closer to the bed that he blond was laying, sleeping, in. "This boy, is an impossibility," she simply said as she gazed down at him."
Gaara looked from Naruto to his mother then back again, "what do this man?" He asked, not sure of what his mother was trying to say, he took a closer look at the blond, "I know that blond hair and blue eyes are rare her. However, it's-"
"No, no, the state of his hair and his eye color is not the problem here, Gaara," his mother cut in as she turned to him.
"Then what is?" Gaara asked, he was starting to get tired of his mother's cryptic way of answering him.
Letting out a small breath out of air, which could have been a sigh, but a queen should never sigh, or so he was told, she said, "it's him." When she didn't go on from there, Gaara gave her a pointed look, she frowned, "this boy," she turned back to the blond in the bed, "he looks so young. He must not be that old, but he is, he's older than the both of us combined."
"Go on," Gaara prompted.
Turning back to him she said, "have you ever heard of the story of "the man who wished on a falling star"?" She asked him.
"How could I not? It was the famed story of a dying man that wished on a falling star to save his own life as a joke to his grandson, but when the star fell to the earth from the heavens, the man became sad."
"And do you know why he became sad?" His mother asked.
Gaara thought for a moment, "if I remember correctly, the old man had lived to be at least ninety years old before he wished on the star, the story described him as sickly and weak. While the man was happy that he got to live, he became sad because the star fell to earth and had to stay there in order for the man to keep living. I remember that the man lived a few more years after his wish was granted, living well into his hundreds or so, all the while, the star was looking for a way to go back home itself. But I don't get what that story has to do with Naruto or why he fainted now." He looked at his mother, watching her carefully to see if she gave away any clues to the riddle that she left him to solve. He looked back to Naruto, trying to see what his mother was seeing, but couldn’t put the pieces together. I wasn’t all too sure what it was about Naruto that made his mother bring up a story that was meant for little children to enjoy while they were young enough to wonder about such thing. If you were born into a royal family, then that childhood would last until you were about seven or eight at the very least, once you turn nine, that’s when you had to grow up.
“You can’t see what I see, because I’ve been around much longer than you have,” his mother said sounded older than she looked. Gaara looked over to her, she smiled at him, “but that’s alright. You are young, you don’t know what happened so long ago, but this is not the case for everyone.” She nodded, almost to herself, “right then,” she said firmly as if she was just coming out of a faraway memory, “all of you, come with me, you might as well know the secrets that I know, if not just some of them.” The queen turned on her heels and walked to the door, with her hand on the knob, she turned back to the blond on the bed, “I will send a watcher and a nurse to check on him,” then she left the room.
Gaara looked from the open door to the bed then back to the door, he turned to Neji, who nodded to him. He looked to Karin, she nodded to him, “very well, let’s head out,” he said as all three headed for the door, he paused at the threshold to look back at the blond in the bed once more. He looked so comfortable, so peaceful, he almost didn’t want to leave his side, but he had to know what needed to be known. “I’ll be back soon,” he said more to himself than to anyone else before he finally closed the door.
Naruto looked between the fire bird and the red-haired boy, what should he do? Who could he trust? He was alone in a place where he had no idea where he was, was this a dream? Was this reality? Who could say, but one thing was for sure, he wasn’t getting answers by just standing there. Turning to the red head, he said, “alright, I will go with you, but you must give me your word that you will not lie to me, I hate lairs!”
The red-head nodded, “I understand, you told me this once before. Before you were taken away, we knew everything about each other, but it seems that you’ve forgotten everything that we shared, so I must show you the way now, brother.” He held out his hand towards Naruto, “come with me and we will follow the path of truth back home, where we belong.”
Naruto was still unsure about all that was happening, but he wanted to know this truth, his truth, that they spoke of. Stepping forward, he took the boy’s hand, “I’ll trust you, for now,” he said, he looked back at the fire bird who had not moved from the spot that it transformed in, “what about her?” He asked turning back to the boy.
“She will follow us, like always,” he said as he tightened his hand around Naruto’s own, “now, close your eyes and clear your mind. Trust me, this is the best way, I will hold on to you until you get the hang of it, just like you once did for me. Though, it all feels like a dream now,” he said the last part in a small voice, a voice so small that Naruto almost couldn’t hear it, but he did.
Naruto, still skeptical about all of this, but had nothing better to do, closed his eyes and tried to clear his mind. He wasn’t sure what was supposed to happen, but what did happen next was a bit of a surprise to him. He felt like he was starting to float off of the ground, started, Naruto wanted to open his eyes to see what that feeling was, but the boy told him to keep them closed, he obeyed but still couldn’t shake the uneasy feeling he had of his feet leaving the ground. It was odd, yet, comforting in some way, but why? It almost, just almost, felt familiar to him, but why? He’s never been on a plain before, mostly buses and trains, and he’s never gotten his feet higher of the ground other how high he could jump. After a while of this feeling plaguing his mind, he risked a peek at his feet and came to find that they, in fact, had come off the ground. But how? He looked up and expected to see the red-headed boy in front of him, but in his place floated a being of pure light, glowing beautifully. He looked like a star, wonderous and amazing, brilliantly astounding like nothing he’s ever seen before in his life. “Wow,” was all he could say as his eyes widened at the sight before him, “beautiful,” he took in every inch of the being that floated in front of him. “How?”
“Simply because we are the stars,” said the light being in front of him, it looked so much like a human being that Naruto was sure that this was a dream of some sort. How could a thing made up of sure light and energy be a person? It didn’t make sense, and he voiced these questions to the light person, “like I said, we are light, we are energy, we are the beings that was given the name Stars longer ago than anyone dare to remember. Back then we were so young, so joyful, so carefree that we did not know how much power we were granted from such words. He flew to close to planet like Zthora and Mars, back when we had little idea of what things would be affected by our sway. We ran amuck, and we suffered because of our actions, so here we stay, far from those that can make us suffer and we can hurt.” Naruto was in awe at the story that the light person had just told because as it was speaking, the world around then turned dark and shooting stars fell all around them. Planets appeared and changed when a star fell upon it, was this the truth that they were talking about? Naruto looked around at the scene that played around him, it was amazing, beautiful, but at the same time, sad and even scary. It frightened him to think that this person, even though he was made of light, could have hurt someone and in turn, was hurt as well.
“What did you do to get hurt or hurt others? What happened?” Naruto askd, curious about the tail that this being would tell.
The light took a more human form other than just looking like it had the normal human form. It had an outline of hair and some facial features that reminded him very much of the boy with red hair. As the person took shape before him, he found that it was the boy with red hair, “we didn’t mean anything by it, we just wanted to explore the night. The sky was so dark, the deep, we wanted to see how far it went, it was big enough for everyone so we split up. Some were far, others went further than that, but most of them stayed behind, here, so we know our way home.” A smile broke out on the boy’s face, “you went the furthest out of everyone, you were so far away and everyone wanted to be just like you back then.” He frowned, “but then you went away to another place. Too far for anyone to follow, but we tried, we watched you get swallowed up by rocks." The scene around Naruto changed to show a cluster of rocks and a shooting star heading for it, followed by a second star. "There were too many to follow, so I went alone," the red-head turned back to Naruto, "I followed and you fell, landing on Zithora, you where lost to us."
Naruto watched as a star fell to onto a planet, "wait, that's earth!" Naruto said remembering the science book that Itachi had given him about planets a few years ago, "that's my planet," he turned back to the boy, "it's called Earth, not Zithora though."
The boy looked at him confused, "no, this is Zithora, it means "soul stealing" in our language."
"My prince, you must remember that your brother has not been with us for a very long time, so he knows not our ways." Naruto turned to the source of the voice and found the fire bird flying around them in a round circle, "he has been away for so long that he's forgotten how to fly like he used to so long ago."
The boy nodded with a frown, "I know that, but...it's not fair, why is it that they had to take him?"
"We know not how the inhabitants of that world thinks, why they stole our prince, or not even how they did it. However, what we should focus on now, is to fill him in on all that he must now and all that changed in his absents."
The boy nodded, "very well," he turned to Naruto.
"What are you guys talking about, I still don't see how I'm your brother. All I see are shooting stars, planets, and a bunch of those space rocks." Naruto said as he gestured to the image around them, "I thought that I was going to be getting "my truth" or something, not a fancy picture so about stars?"
The bird flew closer to the two boys, "come, I will show you what you need to know, follow me." The bird took off in a seemingly random direction, the boy held Naruto's hand and they flew along side it.
Gaara followed his mother until they reached the library, a hug room that was filled with books that just about anyone could read with the right amount of access. He followed her up to the third level of the library and watched her take down an old copy of "The Man Who Wished on a Falling Star". She walked over to the trio and held up the book for them to see, " this story was written by my grandfather a long time ago," she said handing the book to Gaara.
Gaara took the book in his hand and opened it to the first page, "the author of this book was grate grandfather?"
"Yes, he was the man in the story that wished on the star," his mother stated.
Chapter 15: Star light, Star shine
Naruto looked around him, the tunnels were large and and grand, but also dusty, it looked like they hadn't been used in ages. He turned back to Kurama, "what is this place? Where are we?" He asked.
The fire bird lady next to him in a swirl of flames, "this is not a place so sadden by loss many nights ago, but now it is a shell of what was once lost to us," she said in a voice that sounded more like wind-chimes than the high pitched voice that Naruto thought she would have in this form. In another swirl of fire, the flaming bird was changed from a ball of flames with wings, into a red headed woman once more, "this is you home, where you grew and learned. Welcome home, my prince," she said with a bright smile and bowed deeply to Naruto.
Still seeing the confusion on Naruto's face, Kurama said, "perhaps you would like to know more about what was left behind and what was forgotten." He said, Naruto turned to him and nodded, to tell the truth, these two were starting to frighten him, Kurama could sense that and felt an ache in his heart for the blond boy. "Who the things that were lost, to you and I both, was truly grate," He turned away from Naruto to walk down a seemingly random hallway, "please, follow me."
Naruto watched the boy go down the hallway for a few minutes, he started to follow, but hesitated.
He turned from the hallway to see the woman still bowing to him, "please stop that, it makes me feel uncomfortable." Naruto said as the woman lifted her head.
"My apologies, my prince, I did not mean to upset you," she said.
"No, don't call me that either," he said turning around fully to face her. The woman seemed to be confused by this, "listen, I don't know who you think I am, but I'm no prince, I'm just me. I'm Naruto, just Naruto, that's who I've always been, that's who I always will be, okay?"
The woman thought about his answer for a moment before nodding again, "I understand."
"Good," Naruto nodded to her before turning away to follow Kurama, who had waited for him in the hallway.
The woman stood there for a while after they two boys left, a ache in her heart almost as pain filled as Kurama's. "So, he really doesn't remember us, does he?" Came a voice from behind the woman, she didn't have to turn around to know who spoke. Out from the shadow of another hallway came a man, a man with bright golden blond hair that spiked up in many places wildly, his eyes were big and bright, and blue, the brightest blue that you could ever imagine. He walked out from the hallway, opposite the one that Naruto and Kurama had disappeared in, he stood next to the woman, "How did he get here? Do you know?"
The woman looked at the blond man next to her, he was wearing royal robes that matched the man's eyes, it flowed around his body like silk and velvet. It matched the woman's clothing, which was the same as the mans, but her robes were red and tided around her waist. Both of their robes went down to their feet, just an inch away from the ground, the woman sighed, "that is still unknown," she said sadly. "From what I sensed before I found him, he was without his original spark, his light has gone out, Minato, what should we do, now that winter is upon is, he will surely be entering his thirteenth year soon. Without his spark, he will be empty until the end of his days."
The man, now named Minato, took the woman's arms into his own, "fear not, dear sister, we will find a way to reawaken his his spark, his light will shine again.. This I swear."
The woman looked deep within his eyes, seeing them shine a brighter blue, she nodded her head once and turned back to the tunnels before her. "My hope is with you, brother."
Gaara sat in the far side of the library, the light of a window shinning on the pages of the book he was reading, "the man who wished on a falling star". It was an old story, forgotten by most when they reach the age of eight or nine, it was a tradition of those that children to learn from their childhood stories so that they know what to do when they grow up. Or at lest when they turned nine. Like most stories told fin the Suna kingdom, "the man who wished on a falling star" was meant to have skills for a king or queen to know when they were ready to take the throne. This story, however, was said to be more of a historical type of story, it was once said that the man in the story was actually his mother's grate, grate, grate grandfather, and the star was meant to be metaphor for "Cinderella". Gaara never understood the concept of a prince marrying a princess, who wasn't a princess to begin with. Maybe that was because he was raised to only seek out and marry princess's and have many wives after that from lower families of other kingdom. Like everything else, it was a tradition, but as far as traditions went, his father only broke one or two of those traditions. Where tradition stated that a king should have one queen and at least three other wives after his first child was born, he had yet to marry his second wife. Where tradition states that a king should retire when his first born marries their first wife or husband, his father remains king still. And where it says that a king should never allow his queen to dictate his offspring, his father let his mother raise them how she saw fit, after all, they were still at war and his father was busy. It only seemed natural that that would be the way to go. Sighing at the memory of his childhood, Gaara closed his book and stood up, he faced the only other person that was with him. "Neji, let us retire to my room, I have a few meetings to go to tonight and I would list to rest before then," he said as he watched Neji get to his feet.
"Understood, would you like a massage to help you relax, my prince?" Neji asked as he closed the book that he was reading, "Calling to the Moon", another childhood classic.
"That wont be necessary," Gaara said as he looked down at the book in his hand, "however....." he paused as he gathered his thoughts. Naji waited for him to speak, "however, I would like you to do something for me."
"Yes, of cause, would you like me to check on Princess Naruto while you are resting?" Neji asked, guessing that this would be the request that Gaara would as of him, but that didn't seemed to be the case.
"No, when you've done what needs to be done, then you may go to the garden at exactly three this evening. Take this book with you," Gaara handed Neji the book that he was reading just now, "and wait for the Day-flowers to bloom. Once they do, I want you to tell me the color that was shown to you when they bloom, and also the scent."
"The scent?" Neji asked, confused.
"Yes, this is very important, please do this for me," Gaara said as he looked at the book in Neji's pale, soft hands.
"I understand, will that be all that you wish me do?" Neji asked.
Gaara thought for a moment, a motion out side turned his eyes to the window and he returned to it once more, "yes." He said, "bring me one of the roses from the North garden, the finest one you can, I want you to bring one red one, if there are any left. If not, then I would like a yellow one."
Neji nodded as he listened, "are these flowers for the princess?" He asked, "if you don't mind me asking."
Gaara stared out the window for a while before answering, "no....it's for something else," he said. He then turned from the window and walked away, "come with me."
Naruto followed Kurama through the tunnels until they came upon a door as big as the walls were tall. It came with silver arches and ruby embedded into a golden door with swirl designs, there were jewels of many colors that dotted the top of the door and the imprint of lions on both sides of the door faced each other in an eternal stare down. In a word, the door was magnificent. "What's behind this door?" Naruto asked.
Kurama smiled at him, "this is our room," he said as he took hold of one of the large handles and pushed the two large doors open with ease. Inside the room were two beds that looked to be both king sized beds. One bed was a bronze color with golden sheets and blue pillows with a golden border. The other bed was also a bronze color, but instead of gold, it had silver sheets and red pillows with silver borders. In the cent of the room was a red and gold rug with blue tassels going around it, on the rug was a large chest that was black with gold trim and locks. Behind the chest was a smallish round table set with two chairs on either side, on the table sat a tea set and a vase of freshly picked flowers. Walking closer to the table, Naruto could see little fox designs on the cups going around the rim, on the tea pot was a picture of two foxes leaning on each other in front of a tall tree, Naruto guessed that they were sleeping. He turned back around to Kurama when he started to speak again, "this was one of our favorite places to play back then, the guardian kept it clean and ready for your return."
"What about you?" Naruto asked as he went closer to the table so he could get a good look at the tea set's design, "this is your room too, wasn't it? Didn't the guardian keep your side clean and stuff too?"
Kurama walked over to his side of the room, the side with the silver and red bed, "yes, but we were all waiting for you, so we kept it clean, all of us."
Naruto tilted his head to the side, "all of who? I've only seen you and the guardian person, who else is there?"
"He means us!" Came three high pitched voices from the door, Naruto turned around to see three kids standing in the open door. "It's good to see you're finally back, boss, we've missed you!"
Naruto blinked, not knowing what to say, "what's up with these people, first they go from calling me 'prince' to calling me 'brother'. Now these kids are calling me 'boss'? What the hell is up with that? I gotta get myself outta here before they give me other name of power." Out loud he said, "okay, so I guess you guys haven't heard, but, I'm not a prince, and I'm sure not a boss of anyone, so you should really stop calling me those things."
The kids looked at each other, then to Naruto, then to Kurama who was still sitting on his bed of silver and red. "Oi, big brother Kurama, what's wrong with boss? Did he forget everything or what?"
"Well at least kids talk normal," Naruto thought to himself.
"I'm afraid so guy, looks like little brother's memories are long gone," Kurama stated.
"And now he's talking normal too? What's up with that?" Naruto sweat dropped. While Kurama was talking to the kids, Naruto wondered around the room, in addition to the beds, table and chairs, and the chest on the floor, there was also bookcases and shelves overflowing with toys and and pictures. Naruto spied a shelf that was at eye level and went over to it, this shelf only held three things: a two stuffed foxes, one orange and one red, and in the middle was framed photo of what looked like Kurama and him, or a bay that just looked like him, in the arms of the red haired woman and a blond boy. Only, the woman didn't look like a woman in the photo, she looked to be in her early teens. She wore a white long sleeved gown that seemed to flow around her like the sea, next to her stood a boy with spiky blond hair and blue eyes, he also wore long sleeved clothes of pure white. Behind these two were a group of children of different ages, starting from two or three and ending around twelve or thirteen, all wearing white. Behind the children was a wall with what looked like a crest of some sort, the photo seemed to have been able to just barely stand the test of time, so Naruto couldn't really make out what crest was on the wall. However, from what he could see from the aged picture, the crest involved a lion and maybe a snake? Naruto couldn't believe he was seeing this right, he wanted to ask, but from what he could tell of the other photo's in the room, that crest may not even exist anymore, that or it may have some bad memories attched to it. Naruto didn't like thinking about bad things, even though bad things happen to him a lot, he didn't like thinking about it none the less. After looking at the picture for a few moment longer, Naruto turned around to see Kurama and the three kids were looking at him, not used to the attention, Naruto blushed under their gaze, "what?" He asked, trying to the awkward silence that fell upon the room.
Out of the three kids, there was only one girl in the bunch, she giggled at the blond's expense, "sorry, sorry, it's just the first time I've seen you blush is all," she said sweetly.
Naruto pouted, "I still don't know what you guys are talking about, but I'll play along until it's time for me to go back."
"Go?" Asked one of the boys that came with the girl, "why would you go back? You just got back?"
"Yeah!" Chirped the other boy that came with the boy, he was different from the first boy for the fact that he wore glasses and the other had on a long scarf. "You can't just leave us when you only just got back, it's not fair."
"Yeah, and besides, why would you want to go back to that stinky planet anyways? They're nothing but a bunch of selfish, good for nothing robbers and thieves!" Pipped up, he folded his arms and rearranged his face into a frown that was kind of cute on his childishly face.
Before Naruto could reply to the little boy's comment, a strange feeling came over him. It was almost like someone was pulling him towards something, but he couldn't see who it was or where he was being pulled to. "What's going on?" He asked, feeling panicked.
"He's being pulled back!" Yelled the girl, also panicked by the realization.
"We have to stop him," said the boy with glasses.
The boy with the scarf turned to Kurama, "isn't there something that we could do?"
Kurama quickly walked over to Naruto, "relax, I'll take care of you," he said in a calm voice. He lifted his hand up to Naruto's forehead, letting his index finger rest there for a second, "do you trust me?" He asked.
Naruto wanted to say no, but right, with no other options to chose from, he could only nod his head, "yes."
"Alright, close your eyes and listen to my voice, I'll help you through this," he said, Naruto nodded again and closed his eyes. He tried to calm down, but the pulling feeling only got stronger and his fears were ridding high, what if this feeling brings him to another strange place? What if he had to go through all this again and again, like a drifter through time? He didn't want that, he wanted to go home, back to the place he's lived for so many years, back to the place where he knows people and they help him when he needs it. "Naruto, calm yourself, I told you before, I will protect you, no relax and focus on my voice, only my voice."
"I'm trying but it's hard, I don't know what's going on, I don't know where I am, and-and I just want to go home!" Naruto said close to tears, suddenly, he felt warm arms surround him, he opened his eyes to see Kurama was the one that was hugging him. "K-Kurama?"
"I don't want you to go, but you must. Even though it pains me to see you leave again. It hurts to hear you say that you want to go back to a place that's not your true home, but, it hurts me when you say that you don't know where you are or who I am. Or how this room doesn't bring back old memories to you, even though you and I used to spend almost all our lives here before we learned how to use our spark to fly. It hurts that you don't know that this is your home and you belong here, but that's alright." Kurama said as he bared his head into the crook of Naruto's neck.
"Kurama?" Asked the boy with glasses, "is this really alright?"
Kurama nodded as he hugged Naruto closer, "yes, but cause now I know that my brother is still alive out there," he pulled back so that he could see Naruto face. He had tears in his eyes, they both did, he smiled at that, "I'll miss you, but this time it wont be for long."
"What yo-" but before Naruto could finish that sentence, the pulling feeling took over without warning and Naruto faded away as if he was only there in a dream.
The boy with the long scarf looked at the spot that Naruto once stood, he eyes slowly drifted over to Kurama's back, "are you sure about this?" He asked worriedly.
"Yes," Kurama said with a sigh, he turned around to the trio behind him, "listen to your big brother, we'll find him again soon." The three kids nodded and small smiles broke out over all three of their faces, "the prince will be coming home soon enough."
Naruto awoke to the sound of a soft humming, it sounded oddly familiar to him, almost as if he had heard it long, long ago, in a lullaby maybe? He opened his eyes to see that he was still in the room he woke up in before. He tried to sit up again, but this time a pare of hands stopped him, he looked up into a pare of green eyes, although it was a boy this time, they still had a striking resemblance of the woman that he met before with some miner differences. This boy had the greenest eyes that he had ever seen on a guy, his hair was a dark brown that flowed down to his shoulder in waves, "careful, princess, we don't want you to collapse again," the boy said in a voice a sweet at honey.
Naruto looked at the boy, who looked to be a just a few years older than him, "oh, right, sorry," he said as he lay still on the bed.
The boy nodded, "thank you," the older boy sighed and tucked a strand of silky brown hair behind his ears, "well, it seems that you are doing much better now than before." The boy said as he checked Naruto's pulse with two fingers on the smaller boy's wrist, after a minute, he nodded his head, "I believe that you will be back to your full strength later on tonight. How do you feel right now, are you hungry?"
Naruto tried getting up again, but the older boy rested a firm hand on him so that he couldn't get up again, Naruto, getting the point, laid back down with a huffy sigh. "When can I sit up on my own?" He wondered as he folded his arm, which felt stiff and slightly heavy because of not moving for so long, "and why do I feel like I've been laying here forever?"
"Well," the boy started as he hugged his arms over his chest as he moved across the room, his olive skin became more exotic looking when the sunlight shun on him. "You have been asleep for about two weeks now, none of the healers could figure out what was wrong with you," he explained as he fixed something on a tray When he turned back to Naruto, the blond noticed that it was a small bowl of what smelled like soup with a cup and a pitcher of water on the tray, "I'm sure you must be hungry right about now."
Naruto watched as the boy brought the tray over to the small table that was next the bed he was laying on, "can I at least sit up to eat or what?" He asked watching the boy set up is food.
"Oh, right, yes, my apologies, princess," the boy said and helped him sit up," would you like my help with your food?"
Naruto readjusted himself on his seat and shook his head, "no, I can do it myself, I'm not broken or anything."
The older male paused and turned back to the blond, "broken?" He asked.
"Uh, yeah, broken, like when you need help with everything?" Naruto said, although he said that as if it was a question, since he wasn't sure for himself, he asked, "right?"
The boy shook his head, "not quite, I think the word that you are looking for is disable," he stated as he set up a small bed table over Naruto's lap. He carefully placed the soup onto the tray, "be careful, it's still pretty hot," he then started to poor some water in the cup that he brought over with the soup. Naruto reached for his soup spoon, but his arms felt heavy and still, so it was hard not to spill any of the soup on the bed or his self, but it was proven to be a struggle within itself.
"Would you like some help?" The male asked once he saw that Naruto had spilled some of his soup on his cloths three times before it even reached his mouth.
Naruto frowned, giving up the fight since he was very hungry right now, "fine, you can help me." The older boy nodded and brought over a chair so that he could sit next to Naruto's side of the bed, Naruto watched the other boy feed him the soup, the room was silent as they he ate. "What's your name?" He asked after some time went by.
"My apologies, princess, my name is Iruka Umino, I am the one that the queen put in charge of your health until you got back to full health." The now named Iruka said as she continued to feed his charge.
"The queen did that?" Naruto asked, Iruka nodded, "why?"
Iruka looked at him, puzzled, "what do you mean why, princess? The queen asked me to take care of the wife of her youngest son, why would she ask this of me?"
"Because," Naruto looked down into his soup, "because no one has ever down something like that for me before, not for so long anyways."
Iruka was now very confused, he was under the impression that Naruto was a princess from a far away land. No one had yet to find out the truth about the young blond, however, Iruka Umino might be the first of a few to find out. "I assume that this is the first time that this type of thing has happen to you?" He asked, "even though at first I thought it was just a case of nerves, but now I think it might be more."
"What do you mean by nerves?" Naruto asked not understanding what the older boy meant, "is there something wrong with me? Am I sick or something?"
Iruka shook his head with a small smile on his face, he chuckled lightly at the panicked face the blond was making, "no, no, there's nothing really wrong with you, princess." He said as he put a spoonful of soup to Naruto's lips, "what I mean is, you were probably so nervous about the upcoming wedding that your nerves overwhelmed you."
Naruto was puzzled by this, but he let it go, he didn't want to think about it any more. "Why does everyone keep calling me 'princess?" He asked again for what felt like the hundredth time, "and why does everyone keeps talking about a wedding? Who's getting married?"
Iruka chuckled at the innocent way Naruto asked the question, "you are the princess silly, and you are going to be married to the youngest son of the King and Queen of Suna. You should be honored, Prince Gaara had not shown much interest in marriage since he became of age."
"Why should I be honored to marry someone that I've never met before?" Naruto asked as he folded his hands over his chest and looked away from the tan boy next to him, "this doesn't make sense, how can someone be happy like that?"
Iruka gave the blond a sympathetic look, "oh, I understand that you are not happy with this decision, but this will bring honor to both kingdoms, both yours and this one." He placed a hand on Naruto's knee to comfort him, "I'm not sure how you were taught back in your kingdom, but the rules for marriages are generally the same everywhere."
Naruto turned back to Iruka, "really? And rules are those?" He asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Well, if the prince becomes of age and had yet to marry to someone in their own kingdom, then they are allowed to go abroad to find the one that they desire the most." Iruka explained, "usually, at a young age, the prince or the princess of the kingdom undergo a ritual that will take them on a journey that will bring them to their true love." Naruto seemed to become interested in the subject of the 'ritual' that seemed to have sparked a memory in him. Iruka smiled at the fact that the young blond seemed to be interested in something about the kingdom he would soon call home, so he continued to explain, "this ritual is said to be done on a spiritual level. If a prince or the princess that have gone through with the ritual were not able to find the love of their life, then they are arranged to marry someone else from another kingdom. Their mates would mostly come from a different kingdom or land-"Just as Naruto was starting to get really interested in what Iruka was saying, there was a knock on the door.
The room door opened to reveal Shikamaru, he leaned in the door way casually, "Iruka, the queen is calling for you."
Naruto noticed the unhappy look that crossed Iruka's face before it disappeared, "what does she want?" He asked with an exhausted sighed.
Shikamaru pushed himself off the door frame and walked into the room before closing the door, "there's a situation going on between the king and his council. I think she might be planing to make a move to keep her spot in the court," he said as he walked over to stand next to the tan boy. He placed his hands in his pocket and nodded to Naruto, "hay kid, glade to see you've finally rejoined the land of the living, what's your name?"
"Oh, um, I'm Naruto, who are you?" Naruto said as he sat up straighter in the bed.
Shikamaru scratched the back of his neck, "Naruto huh? Got a last name?"
Naruto shook his head, "no, should I?"
Shikamaru frowned, "usually a person would have at least two names, three at the most if they were a regular person. I would get into the whole thing about royal names and regular names, but that would be a drag." He held out his hand to the blond, "name's Shikamaru Nara,first husband to Princess Tamari, the first and only current daughter to the king and queen of the Suna Kingdom. Nice to meet you."
Naruto was mesmerized by Shikamaru's title, but he was also wonder why it was so long, "why did you have to say so much? You could have just said you name," he said as he shook Shikamaru's hand.
"Eh, yeah, well I've been introducing myself that way since I had to marry Tamari," Shikamaru plopped himself down on the edge of Naruto's bed next to the blond's feet.
"It's not that bad," Iruka commented as he took up the soup and cleaned Naruto's face before taking the tray back over to the table across the room.
"Not so bad? Are you kidding me? This marriage between is is such a drag, I wished that my mother had never signed that contract in the first, then I wouldn't be in this mess." Shikamaru huffed and threw himself backward on the bed, looking like the human version of a throw blanket, "I wish that the summer would come sooner so that I can go back home to visit my siblings already." He yawned and stretched, "I also want to know how the rest of the clan is doing since I left."
Iruka placed the tray down on the table slowly but didn't turn back to face the others in the room, "at least you can leave, I wish that I could do the same," he said sadly.
Shikamaru looked over at the tanner boy, "then why don't you come back with me?" He asked, causing Iruka to spin around quickly, almost asking if the Nara was serious with wide eye, "I mean, we do have a history together, so why not?"
"Really?" Iruka asked
Again, Naruto was left out of the loop, he was starting to get tired of it happening, "why can't you leave?" He asked out of no where, his curiosity was usually known for getting him into trouble and would end up being the cause of something to happen that was not in favor of the bright young blond. However, this time, Naruto had a feeling that things may not be so bad....for now. The two other boys in the room turned to stair at the blond, Shikamaru sat up to stare at the blond, while Iruka looked surpirsed that he even suggested something like that. "What?" Naruto asked, wondering if he had something wrong, "is it wrong to want to leave this place and go somewhere else for a while? What's with you guys, you'd think that it was...I don't know, illegal for you two to leave this castle for a little while, which I think is grate idea. Don't you?" At this point Shikamaru curiosity was peeked, he leaned in closer to the blond and narrowed his eyes as if he was trying to see something that was far away, but was getting closer. For a second, Naruto thought that he could have heard Shikamaru's gears turning inside his head, "what? Why are you staring at me like that, did I say something bad or something?" He asked, starting to feel a sense of panic rise within him.
After a few moments, Shikamaru leaned back and shook his head, "nah, its just that you don't strike me as the stuck up type, you know?"
Naruto tilted his head slightly in question, "what's that mean?"
"Oh nothing," Shikamaru said as he laid back down across the bed again.
"No seriously, what do you mean man? C'mon, tell me," Naruto said, he wasn't sure he like how laid back Shikamaru was acting. He had honestly never seen anyone so laid back in his life, not even in the Konoha kingdom. Even though there were some that seemed as if they didn't have a care in the world, those people were usually the most stressed out.
Iruka stepped in then, "that's enough Shikamaru, please don't upset the princess right now, he just woke up after so long."
Shikamaru shrugged, "fine, I've seen all that I need to see," he said before sitting back up on the bed and standing. "I need to get going now. I don-can't leave the Miss waiting," he yawned lazily as he walked over to the.
"Wait, that's it, you're just going to leave?" Naruto asked
"Yep, I've got stuff to do, people to see....." he turned back to look Naruto in the eyes, "secrets to keep." He gave a smug grin as he saw Naruto's confused face match Iruka's own, but then Iruka's confusion turned to realization as he turned to stare at Naruto. "Like I said, I gotta go, see you," he then opened the door and left the room without another word.
Naruto was still confused about what Shikamaru said, who's secret did he need to keep? Why did he look at him like that? But the more important question would be, what did any of this have to do with him? He shook his head, "this doesn't make sense," he said to himself as he looked do at his palms. His hands were a little shaky, he felt weak, his body still felt stiff from just laying down most of the time, but why? Why dd he faint the first time? How did he get here? Why did everyone keep thinking that he was a princess and was going to marry the prince of this kingdom? It was all so strange to him, it made his head spin. On top of all that, there was that dream he head just woken up from a few minutes ago, what was that? It felt so real. He felt when the other boy touched him back then, he felt when he was floating in midair, he felt when the boy hugged him, even though it was a dream, it was so real. The images kept replaying themselves in the back of his mind over and over again, like a broken record player that kept playing the same word over and over again. What was that dream? Was it even a dream to begin with? Suddenly Naruto started to feel like he was having a hard time breathing and his head started hurting, he felt as if there was something locked up in his head that was trying to get out, but it couldn't.
"Princess?" Iruka's voice broke through Naruto's internal turmoil, "are you alright?"
Naruto looked up at Iruka, his breathing were coming in gasps, the room seemed to be too bright, the walls felt as if they were starting to close in on him. He didn't like this room anymore, what with it fancy decor, and it's pretty colors, it was blinding him. A gentle hand touched his shoulders, the blond's deep blue eyes met deep green ones, "take me outside."
"Excuse me?" Iruka asked, Naruto had spoken in a whisper so soft that he could barely hear what he said.
"I said take me out side, I want to go out side, I don't want to be in here anymore," Naruto said gently.
"Princess, I don't think that's such a good id-"Iruka started, but Naruto interrupted him when he tried to get out of bed and almost fell to the ground.
"I want to go out side, I need fresh air," Naruto looked up at Iruka, "please, I need to go outside."
"But," Iruka debated with himself on either taking the young blond out side and run the risk of having him getting sick outside. Or to keep him in the room and call a another healer to see what was the matter with him, however, the former choice won because there was just something about Naruto's eyes that made him want to protect him. Naruto's eyes were pleading with him to be free of this room, it reminded him to much of him younger self when he came to the castle for the first time and....Iruka shook his head to get rid of those memories. "Fine, but we need to cover you up, it's getting close to the cold season and I can't let you get sick if I can help it," Iruka looked around the room for something before quickly moving to the wardrobe in the far corner of the room. He shuffled through it's contents before returning to the blond's side, "here, put this on, it will keep you warm while we're outside." Iruka handed Naruto a sweater and a pare of gloves, once those were on, Iruka helped the younger boy put on a jacket, wrapped a scarf around his neck, and put a hat on him as the final touche, "there's that ought to do it," he said smiling at his work.
Naruto looked down at all the layers he had on, over the sleeping gown that he woke up in were clothes that actually kept him warm. In fact, if he were to be honest, this may have been the warmest he had felt during winter, and he hadn't even gone outside yet, it sent a warm feeling surging through him. It was nice, "can we go now?"
Iruka nodded and grabbed his own jacket, scarf and hat, "I'll help you walk if you need me to," he said as he helped Naruto out of bed.
"Thanks, but I'll be fine until we get outside," Naruto said as he got to his feet again, this time, he didn't feel as dizzy as he had last time. When he felt his legs give out on him, he didn't fell to the ground like he expected, he was surprised that Iruka had caught him before he even reached the floor, "thanks." They continued on to the door making slow progress as they went, Iruka opened the door and they started their trek down the hallway to the outdoors.
Sitting in his study under a small mountain of paperwork sat Gaara, the youngest prince of the Suna king, Raza. In front of him stood his brother, Konkuro, holding his own son in his arms. The boy was only two, the youngest of Konkuro's three, very soon to be four, children/heirs, this boy was the spitting image of Kiba but with Konkuro's hair color. Konkuro sighed deeply as he stared at his little brother, "Gaara....father needs to remarry or else he will lose some of his power of the thrown to the council and maybe even lose face," Konkuro stated.
Gaara leaned back in his chair, "I know this, yes, however, it is up to father to decide if he wishes to take a second wife now, after all these years of being with only his first." Konkuro nodded, he knew the rules, they all did, if not, they wouldn't be able to call themselves the royal heirs of Suna. He put his son down so that he could run off to play with his toys while they talked, "what do you propose we should do?" Gaara asked as he watched Konkuro's son, Asher, playing with puppets in the corner of his study, it made him chuckle inside at seeing that the puppets his nephew was playing with were modeled after dogs.
"Nothing else to do," Konkuro said as he turned back to face Gaara, "I propose that we should get father to remarry."
Gaara looked at his bother for a while, not believing what he was hearing, "this decision will affect us all, not just father and the power he holds now."
Konkuro nodded his head once and folded his arms over his chest, "this new marriage will be nothing more than politics and and democracy, there's no way of doing this."
Gaara nodded, "I see."
Konkuro took a seat in one of the visitors chairs in front of Gaara's desk and watched his son play with the dog shaped puppets, "so tell, what the deal with that little blond you brought back from the leaf kingdom?"
Gaara stole a glance at his brother before turning his attention back to Asher and his puppets, "the last I heard, he was still asleep."
"Do the healers know what made his this way?" Konkuro asked leaning back in his chair.
Gaara shook his head, "no, there's nothing that they could find that would cause his fainting spell to last so long." Konkuro pursed his lips as he placed a hand into the inner lining of his over coat, pulling out a a thin folder, he placed it on Gaara's desk. Gaara looked down at the folder then a his brother who seemed to have a serious look on his face, "what's this?"
"I didn't wasn't to be the one to tell you this, but it seems that I am the only one who knew about this, or at least suspected something," Konkuro stated. Gaara gave his brother an odd look, "open it."
"What is it?" Gaara asked as he pulled the folder closer to him as he looked at his brother for clues, but Konkuro was a war general for nothing, he let nothing slip. Curious on what his brother found, Gaara opened the folder and looked into it, "what is this?" He asked after reading through the single page that was in the folder, he looked up at Konkuro dumbfounded, "Konkuro? Who's results are these?"
Konkuro turned sharp eyes on his little brother," I checked the facts three times with my own healer and doubled that just make sure. He got up to his feet and placed both his hands on Gaara's desk, looking at him head on. Gaara, even though he wasn't afraid of his brother, he was afraid of the look that Konkuro was giving him right now, that look was dangerous, something not to be messed with, but who was it for? Because he could that Konkuro wasn't angry, not at him at least, so then who?"
"Who's results are these?" Gaara asked again, calmly.
Konkuro narrowed his eyes, "you know who they belong to."
Gaara shook his head, "no, that's impossible," he tossed the holder on the desk, "there's no way tha-"
"What?" Konkuro interrupted him, "there's no way he could be pregnant, no? Well guess what, it's all true, they both are."
Gaara slammed his hands on the table and growled, "no!" Which startled Asher, Konkuro made a hand sign and a caretaker took Asher out of the room to play somewhere else.
Konkuro didn't even flinch when Gaara growled, he was used to his brother's small anger outburst, it showed that he could still crack when the right trigger was brought to his attention. He watched his brother's every move as he spoke, "are you calling me a lair?"
"You know that there's no way that he could be, we both now it, father wouldn't allow it! Mother-" Gaara clenched his fist into a ball, "does she know about this?"
Konkuro straightened up, "not yet, but it's only a matter of time before she finds out, and the council will be right on her heels."
Gaara sat down heavily on the chair, "I can't believe this is happening," he shook his head as he looked at the results again.
Konkuro sighed, "the worst part of this whole thing is that Shikamaru's involved in this deeply, there's no way that we wont catch hell about this if the clan finds out."
Gaara glared at his brother, "don't joke about that, you know how they get."
Konkuro chuckled, "we've got one in the family, how could I not? He makes up at least more than half the brain power on the team, that's why....we can't let Tamari find out about this-"
"Now you've just asking for a death wish," Gaara said as he rubbed his temple.
"Hay, hay, she doesn't have do know now," Konkuro said putting his hands up in defeat, "we'll still tell her, we just need to wait a while, that's all."
Gaara shook his head, he knew that his sister would freak out about something like this, but to have them both keep it from her? Well lets just say that the sun would burn out and the world would end tragically before she forgave either of them for not telling her. As apposed to just straight out telling her right now, the they would be risking a lot, he hate to admit it but it would be best to keep this secret for now. "Alright, I wont say a word," he looked over at Konkuro, "but, we need to handle this carefully, understand?"
Konkuro held out his hand to Gaara, "understood," Gaara stood and they shook hands, soon after, Knonkuro headed for the door. He turned his head so that he could see Gaara, "by the way, the alpha team is ready for the call, sound the whistle at dawn tomorrow, I'll handle the rest." The red head nodded, understanding the message, and Konkuro left the room, clothing the door with a light click behind him.
Walking down the hallway, Konkuro made his way to the communication center, "everyone, out, I have a Code: Star." The room quickly cleared, no questions asked, once alone, Konkuro walked over to one of the abandon computer monitors and typed in a few keys. He then pulled out a small device that he used to plug into the computer, the room went completely dark for a few seconds before it was lit up in an array of colors that bounced off the walls. In the center of the room stood a see-through woman and an equally see-through man next to her, "it's good to see you both well," he said to the see-through people.
The man looked at him neutrally, "did he make it back safely?" She asked worriedly.
Konkuro nodded, "yes, he's here, I've assigned a guard to watch him at all times."
"Who is this guard you speak of?" Asked the male standing next to the woman.
"It is the same one that you have sent me a few years back, I believe his name was, 'Sharingon Itachi'." Konkuro said earning him a slightly relived look from the male, but the woman was unimpressed. "I also have Sharingon Kakashi and the angel Iruka watching over him at all times."
This new pleased the woman, "right, Itachi and Kakashi are the best guard for the prince, and Iruka is the best healer I know. I trained them all myself, well done human, you chose wisely," she bowed at the end.
Konkuro waved her off, "no, it is my honor to protect the prince, even if he doesn't remember who he was, he will know he will be soon enough."
The male nodded, "thank you again for protecting our kind when we could not, it has taken many generations, but I believe that it is time for the prince to come home now. For the good of our people, the prince must return at all cost."
Konkuro bowed a little to the male, "understood, I will do everything in my power to make sure that he is returned safely."
"Young human, your blood line have done so much to protect the prince for so many generations, is there anything that we can do to repay your kindness?" The male asked, the woman gave him a side ways look, but said nothing to the male, instead she turned her eyes to the male before them, waiting to hear his answer.
Konkuro shook his head, "there's nothing that I could ask of you. You two and you kin have been effected enough by a mistake that was made on the part of a very old man. A man that was sick and dying, this mistake has gone on for long enough, but thank you." He bowed to them again and the woman gave him a small smile, liking his answer.
The male nodded, "very well, if you ever need anything, please, do not hesitate to call upon us."
"Understood, my lord," Konkuro gave them both a soldier's salute before the room went dark once more for a few seconds and everything was back to normal. He unplugged the device from the computer and put it back into his pocket before turning back to the door and leaving, allowing the workings to resume their work.
Wow, did that not blow your minds? Until next time ^^
Chapter 17: Will I fall in love from this?
Walking out into the field of flowers, Naruto watched as the gardeners prepare the grounds for the winter season. It seems that the Suna kingdom's winter season came a little later than the Konoha's winter season, the same went for the summer seasons. Both lands seemed so different, but also the same all at once. The cool air blew some of his exposed hair out of his face and reddened his cheeks from the frosty feel of the wind. Looking around the large space, it was amazing, he had never been to a garden before, especially not during winter. Everything looked so....bare, cold even, like there wasn't much life to be had in this part of the kingdom, and it made him wonder if this was how things would look for the rest of his time here. Even though it was winter, Naruto still found the place beautiful. Not because of the flowers that was covered to protect them from the wind, or the wrapped up trees and tall plants, no, it wasn't because of that, it was the architecture of the space that did it for him. Tall arches, large ponds soon to be frozen over, a stone bridge modeled after lions, and a waterfront with stone angels place here and there. As he walked further into the garden, he noticed that something white was starting to come down from the sky, he looked up to see the white frosty thing that he's seen every year around this time, he turned to Iruka who was watching him from a few feet away. "What's this?" He asked curiously.
Iruka looked around the area, "this garden?" He asked the blond, trying to understand the question, but when Naruto shook his head, he knew what he meant. "Oh, have you not seen snow before in Konoha?"
Naruto tilted his head to the side, "what is...snow?"
Iruka looked at the blond for a moment before chuckling, "this snow," he said walking over to Naruto. He rested his hands on the blond's shoulders and smiled, "this stuff falling from the sky is called snow, it come from the clouds in the sky when it starts to get really cold during winter."
"What's snow made out of?" Naruto asked.
"Snow is made of frozen water," Iruka explained as he looked up at the snowflakes as they fell to earth, he took in a deep breath and let it out. Winter may not have been his favorite season, but it was a nice time of the year, to see the season change and the ground get covered in a blanket of white was once his most favorite sight in the world. He sighed looked back at Naruto, who seemed to have been watching him, "is there something wrong princess?"
Naruto shook his head, "you called me princess again," he said, "why? I'm not a princess, I'm not even a girl! Isn't a princess a girl that is really rich or something?"
"Uuh, well, yes, yes it is, but I was told to call you that-" Iruka started.
"By who? Because I don't know what in the world would make anyone think I'm a girl," Naruto said matter-a-factly, "I'm a boy, I may be small now, but just you wait. One day I'm gonna get big with lots of muscles, I'll be strong and then no one will be able to call me a princess ever again." He folded his arms in front of him, giving him a childish look, "from now on, don't call me princess, I'm Naruto, a boy, not a girl, got it?"
Iruka chuckled as he nodded, "understood, my prince, I promise to never call you princess unless you wish me to, this I swear." He said as he held up his right hand and placed his left over his heart as if he was making a plague to the young blond, "will that be all that you wish of me, prince?"
Naruto frowned at being called prince, "why did you call me prince?" Iruka opened his mouth to explain that Naruto told him to, but the blond stopped him, "I know that I told you not to call me princess anymore, but why did you change it to prince?"
Iruka gave the blond a puzzled look, "well you see, prince, since you don't want to be called a princess anymore, then the opposite of a princess, is a prince. Besides, I cannot walk around the castle just calling you by your name, now can I?" He asked, Naruto was about to say that it would be fine with him, but Iruka continued on, "the answer is no, no I can not, it would be unsightly of a servant to go around calling their lords and ladies by their actual names. This would be a violation on my part and I would be a greatly punished for it."
Naruto's frown grew deeper as he thought about Iruka's situation, if he was called anything other than a prince or a princess, then Iruka would get blamed for doing something wrong? That didn't make sense to him, for one, Naruto didn't grow up in a castle and therefore, had no idea on what their rules and traditions where. He didn't know what was right and what was wrong, he didn't know what was the right way to do things so that he didn't embarrass himself in front of the people that brought him here, against his will or not, he didn't want them to thing less of him. Naruto's shoulders slumped down in defeat, "Iruka, I don't know why I'm here," he said honestly.
"What do you mean, princes-prince, you are here to marry the Prince Gaara, the Queen's youngest son," Iruka stated.
Naruto resisted the urge to roll his eyes, "I know, you and everyone else have told me that over and over ever since I got here. It's the only thing I've been hearing about since I first woke up!" Naruto turned away from Iruka and walked over to a bench blanketed in snow, he dusted off some of the snow before sitting down on it, he looked down at his feet as he continued, "I don't get it. How could I go from living out of abandoned buildings and off of trash can leftovers, to living in a castle that cost more than I'm worth." He looked up at the confused look in Iruka's eyes that changed into a fearful one, "what?" He asked, "what's that look for?"
"N-nothing, prince, it's just that-it's just that um...." Iruka looked for the right words to say as he took a few steps closer to the little blond. He looked around the area they wear in to see if there was anyone else there with them, "um, when I was told to take care of you, I was told that you came from a far away land and you had went to the Konoha ball during the same time as the prince. He told me that while he was at the ball, he was there to acquire a wife before his sixteenth birthday and found you wandering the dance floor, he said it was love at first sight." Iruka watched the blond's reaction and could see that he had a confused look on his face, "um, when Prince Gaara was at the ball, he meet a beautiful blond with stunning blue eyes and whisker marks on his cheeks, which must have been you. You danced for a while and then you left without a trace, the prince then spent the next few days trying to find you."
Naruto digested this new information, "so, you're saying that just because I danced with this guy at the ball, he wasn't to marry me?" He asked, Iruka nodded, they stayed silent for a few moments before the blond started to giggle, "no way, that's silly! Who would want to marry someone that they just met? Isn't he pushing it a little with this, I mean, we just met that one time, how could he think that I would want to marry his after just that one time?"
Iruka watched as Naruto pushed himself of the bench and walk away, he followed after him, "but it is true, my prince, the prince does expect a marriage from you, in fact, the whole kingdom is expecting it."
"Then they're going to have to unexpect it because I'm not doing it," Naruto said as he walked further away from Iruka.
Iruka kept up his pace to keep the blond in his sights as they made their way around the snow filled garden, "that is not how this works, my prince. The wedding was already announced, the invitations have already been sent out, and the guest will be on their way when the time calls for it. There is no way to cancel what has already been set into motion, my prince."
"I'm sure that there's a way, you can fine it," Naruto said as he speed up his pace.
Iruka speed up his pace as well, "I'm sorry, my prince, there is no other way to do this."
Naruto suddenly stopped walking and spun around to face Iruka, "yes there is, I heard that 'if there's a way will, there's a way', now we just need to find a way. There's always a way out of things like this, there has to be!"
Iruka was startled when Naruto turned around so quickly that he almost ran into him, he thought for a second, "um, actually, there is one way to get out of this situation, however, I don't think you would like it too much."
"Ha! See? I told you that there was a way to get out of things like this!" Naruto said with a fist pump in the air, a bright smile on his face, "so, so, what is it? You can tell me, I'll do it."
"Ah, you see," Iruka scratched his cheek and looked up at the snowflakes that filled the sky, "the only way to actually 'get out of' a marriage between a prince and a princess, is if one or both of you were to die." He looked back at Naruto, "but I don't think that you're willing to go that far to get out of this thing...are you?"
Naruto shook his head, "no," his smile was gone, he turned away from Iruka and dashed away from the older boy before he could say another word.
Startled by Naruto's sudden speed, Iruka called out to the blond, "hay wait, wait for me!" He said and ran after the blond, "man he's fast, how can that be? He's still recovering from waking up from a semi-coma not even an hour ago!" Iruka chased Naruto all around the garden until he lost site of him and the time, he looked around the covered bushes and under the lion bridge, around the ponds and even under the covering of the flower beds. Naruto was no where to be found, it was almost as if he had disappeared somehow, "prince? Prince?" Iruka called out to him, but there was no answer, looking up at the sunset in the sky, he knew that it would get much colder when darknes fell over the kingdom, he had to find Naruto soon or else the queen would have his head on a wooden spike! Hoping for a better result, Iruka called out to the blond again, this time using his real name, like he wanted, "Naruto! Naruto, please come out, it's going to get much colder soon and I would like to get you back inside before you freeze to death out here.
"It's okay, I'm used to the cold," came a soft voice from behind Iruka.
Turning around, the tanned boy found himself staring at a set of covered shrubs with orange boots poking out from under the covering, Iruka walked over to the the boots and pulled back the covers. There he found Naruto, huddled up tightly in a little ball between two shrubs, he breath in a sigh of relief, "Naruto, thank goodness I found you," he said happily as he held out his hand to the blond. "Come on now, we should get you inside so you can warm up properly, take my hand." Naruto shook his head, "why not?"
"It's like I said, the cold doesn't bother me, I've slept in worse weather before in Konoha, this place wouldn't be that different," Naruto said as he hugged his knees tighter.
Iruka got down to eye level with Naruto, "Naruto, please come in side," he started, but the blond looked away from him. "Listen, Naruto, I don't know what you went through back in your own land, but, if you're willing...I will be happy to hear whatever it is that you have to say. I have had my share of tough times too, I was all alone from when I was very young, but now I don't have to be alone anymore....and neither do you." He held out his hand again, "please come inside, I'll make you something worm to eat and we'll talk about it, okay?"
Naruto hesitated for a moment, he watched Iruka curiously, there was something in his eyes that made him feel like he could trust the older boy. He didn't know what this feeling was, but he knew that he could trust it, that feeling was what made him take Iruka's hand and leave the garden that evening. As they walked back to the castle, Naruto looked up at the sky just in time to see a shooting star fly across the sky.
It has been one week since Gaara had last sen Naruto, he had been busy working in his office ever since. He sighed as he finished the last of his paper work, he put it on the top of the stack and allowed his assistant to take them away, just as she was about to walk out of the office, there was a knock on the door. She opened it to find Neji standing there, "oh, hello Lady Neji, how do you do today?"
Neji nodded to the assistant, "I am well, thank you for asking," he said, "is the prince busy right now?"
Before the assistant could answer him, Gaara spoke, "it's alright Neji, you may enter." He said, to his assistant, he said, "you may leave us now, Hana."
The assistant, the newly named Hana, bowed to the prince, "very well, my prince, good day," she said and left the room, leaving the two alone.
Neji walked up to Gaara and bowed to Gaara, "hello my prince, I have some good news for you."
"Good news, on what?" Gaara asked as he stood up, stretching out his limbs, "you may sit."
"I was recently told that Princess Naruto has awaken earlier this evening," Neji said with a smile. He watched Gaara's face light up a little at news, "would you like to go see him?"
Gaara nodded and straightened out his clothes, "that sounds good," he said and rounded the corners of his desk. He held out his hand for Neji to take and left the office, as they walked down the hallway, he noticed that Neji seemed to have something else that he wanted to say, but seemed to be hesitant about it. "Neji? Is there something that you wish to tell me?"
Neji paused for a moment before turning to Gaara, "well, I don't know how to say this, but I have recently found out that I am pregnant."
Gaara watched Neji for a moment, "that is also good news, how far along are you?"
"Since the night of the ball," Neji said slowly, he looked into Gaara's jade eyes, "what should we do?"
Gaara watched Gaara for a moment as he thought, it was only natural that Neji would become pregnant, they had been going at it like rabbits recently, however this was not the right time. It was traditional for the prince's mistress to have his child, but it should only be after the prince marries his first wife. Since Naruto had had only just woken up, it would be unlikely that he would have his baby so soon, plus the wedding preparations were yet to be completed. If Neji were to have his baby now, the child would not have an entitlement to the thrown. "We'll have to move things along sooner than what we planned," he said, even though he didn't want to rush things, he wanted his heirs to have all the things that they deserved. "Who else knows?"
"Only the servants and my aid, Kushina, Knows about it so far," Neji said.
Gaara nodded, "very well, let us keep it that way for now."
"Understood," Neji said, he wasn't sure why, but he had a feeling that this was only the calm before the storm.
Chapter 18: Children
The blond woman sat on the bench in front of her window staring out at the sun as it sunk deeper and deeper behind the hills in the distance, she waited there, silently. A knock on her door startled her and she got to her feet as quickly as she could just before the door opened. She saw a glimpse of something dark come through the door and she ran towards it, not realizing who it was, "where have you been, I have been waiting here for ages," she wined. She looked up at the figure that she was clinging to and her smile fell, "oh, sorry, I thought you were someone else," she said sadly as she stepped away from the person.
"Ah jeez, Tamari, you're getting all worked up over little old me, hehe, maybe you do care about you little brother after all, hehe." Konkuro said as he scratched the back of his head and chuckled at his sister's embarrassment.
Tamari, embarrassed and not liking the way her brother was making fun of her, decided to teach him a lesson, by smacking his head into the nearest wall. "You idiot, I told you that I thought you were someone else! Sheesh, what's the matter with you, did having all those kids with that mutt deafen you or something? Or are you just that stupid?"
"Ah, okay, sorry, I was just messing with you, can't a guy make a little joke now a days?" Konkuro managed to pull his head out of the small hole that his dear sister had forced his head to make, man, why was she so moody all of a sudden. He knew that she was pregnant and all, but to have her be so violent that she made his head go through the wall is taking it a bit far, don't you think? She's never been this angry before, unless, "hay, you're not having twins are you?" He asked, he remembered when Kiba got pregnant the second time and was having twins, it was a down right nightmare to keep the guy happy, and when he was happy, Konkuro usually wasn't, he shivered at the thought of Tamari becoming that way She may be his sister, but he could only take so much of her abuse.
Tamari huffed and folded her arms in front of herself, "no, I checked, it's only one this time, thank God," she said relieved. Tamari was the kind of girl that love kids, she played with Konkuro's kids all the time, she would always spoil them by buying them gifts and allowing them to get away with things that Konkuro, nor Kiba, ever would. However, when it came to her own soon to be born kid, she wasn't sure what to do. She thought that the experience would be great, a walk in the park even, she's seen how Kiba went through the whole thing and he's done it about four times now. How hard could it be if the mutt could do it? Well it turns out that Kiba's clan was actually raised to make babies, he was taught everything about the process when he was only eight years old, and he was trained in birthing techniques when he was just six. All in all, Kiba knew ever thing imaginable to both having and caring for a small child, which was why the their other made him the midwife of the castle, an honor among his clansmen who have went on to do the same for different kingdoms. Kiba was also the one that told Tamari that she was pregnant to begin with, he clan was masters of sensing pregnancies from a mile away.
Konkuro stared at his sister curiously, "what's the matter, Tamari?"
"Huh? What?" She said as she was shaken from her thoughts, then she remembered that her brother was in the room, "oh, nothings wrongs, I was just thinking, that's all." Tamari walked away from him and went back to sitting by the window, the sun was almost gone by now. "Hay, can I ask you something, Konkuro?"
Konkuro closed the door and walked over to stand by the window, he shrugged his shoulders, "sure, I guess," he said nonchalantly.
"How do you do it?" Tamari asked.
"How do I do what?" asked a confused Konkuro.
Tamari gestured around them, "this," she held up her hand with her wedding ring on it, "this," she then placed a hand on her stomach, which was still flat at the moment, "and this. How are you able to get up every day next to some one that you don't love, with a child you had to have according to tradition, how do you do it?"
Konkuro thought about the question, giving his sister a blank stair as he did so, after a minute went by of him thinking, he sighed and turned towards the window to watch the moon start to rise. "It's no a question how I do it every day, but it's how I feel when I'm going it. The thing is, the union between me and Kiba is way different from the union you and Shikamaru share, it's way too different. But, you two still made it seem like it was working up until now, so I guess you're the better actors of this kingdom to let it play out for so long-"
"What are you implying, Konkuro?" Tamari asked, a small bit of edge in her tone.
Konkuro turned his head back to her for a second before turning back to the stars and moon, "there's no need to lie to me, because I already know." He heard Tamari's small gasp, but continued, "Gaara knows too, I wouldn't be all too surprised if some of our aids and servants know too. It's really an obvious little lie that you've got going on with Shikamaru, I'd hate see what mother would do when she found out about it."
"What, mother? What about father? What would father do if-"
Konkuro cut her off, "he already knows."
"....What?" Tamari stared holes into Konkuro's back, "that's impossible, if he knew, then why didn't he stop the wedding before now?"
Konkuro chuckled, "what? And ruin mother's chance of having even more grandchildren that was blood related to her? If you think that, then I don't think that you know father as well as you thought," he turned away from the window and leaned on the wall next to it. "Face the facts, Father was the first person to see through you little act with Shikamaru when you brought him home, and he would never be the last to know anything that happens in his own kingdom. You know this, right?"
Tamari's shoulders fell, she nodded her head, "yes, I do."
"Then why did you lie to him? If at all, you should have told him all that he need to know," Konkuro said folding his arms. "You may not believe me when I say this, but, if father knew that you were doing this, and you went to him for help, then he might have found an out for yo-"
"How long," Tamari interrupted.
"How long for what?" Konkuro asked.
"Don't play dumb with me now, Konkuro, how long have you known about this?" Tamari, "and when did you find out?"
He thought back to the time that Tamari brought Shikamaru home, he was a skinny kid, he looked to be a few years younger than Tamari. His skin was pale, maybe even paler back then than now, and there was something about him that made Konkuro think that Tamari just brought back a show dog from a pageant or something. The kid was well dressed, he'll give him that, smart too, but there was just something about him...Konkuro let his train of thought roll off the tracks as he turned back to his sister, "since he started living with us, I've noticed things."
"Things like what?" Tamari asked.
Konkuro was just about ready to let his eyes roll right out of his head, "oh c'mon, what do you think? He's not your type, he's smart, yes, but he's also a very laid back kind of guy. He'll only get off his ass if he needs to and he's, well, you know.." he shrugged.
Tamari frowned at her brother, "know what?" She was starting to get tired of all the questioning that he was doing.
"Really, Tamari, look me in my eyes and tell me that you didn't know that he's from the Nara clan," Konkuro pushed himself off the wall. He walked up to Tamari, "you know how they are."
Tamari deflated, "yes, I know, but-but he's different from the rest of them, I just know it."
Konkuro sighed again and pinched the bridge of his nose, "how so?"
"Because, um..." Tamari hesitated to say the next part, but she knew her brother would not let her get away from the subject now that it was up in the air. "Well, um, it's because he's the first and only son of the Nara clan head, Lord Shikaku," she said the man's name slowly, she waited for her brother's reaction.
Konkuro said nothing for a very long time, his train of thought running about a mile a minute, "Lord Shikaku, as in, the same man that helped stop the war between the five kingdoms, that Lord Shikaku? Or am I thinking of someone else?"
Tamari chuckled nervously, "uh, uh, y-yeah, that's the one."
Konkuro looked at his sister in disbelieve, "you can't be serious," Tamari looked away from him, "my God, you are serious." He shook his head and started for the door, "I need to go."
Tamari got up and ran after him, just as he was about to grab the door knob, she grab his arm, "what are you about to do?"
Konkuro pulled his arm out of her arm, "I am about to see if I can prevent another war from happening."
"What, a war? Why would there be another war?"
"Do you honestly think that Lord Shikaku would just sit idol while his one and only son is being used as a front in a royal afar? No, sooner or later, he will find out what is going on, and I can guarantee he would be all to happy to bring us hell to get his son back to his rightful place." Konkuro turned back to the door, he opened it and stepped out into the hall, "come to me tomorrow at noon, I want to hear everything that happened before Shikamaru came to Suna," he looked back at her, "no details spared, got it?"
"Yes, understood," Tamari said in a low voice.
Konkuro felt a little bad for yelling, but he wasn't happy about the situation, "listen, I didn't mean to get so angry, but I have to look out for the kingdom." He faced her once more, he placed his hands on her shoulders, "I am on your side, but this problem is not meant to drag out for so long," he lifted her chin with his hand. She looked at him with sad eyes, "you maybe my big sister, but you're going to be a mom soon, and you're going to need help with that, I just want to let you know that I'm here for you. We are all here," he smiled at her, she smiled back, "I have to go now, see you at dinner," she nodded and he left her room.
Tamari watched the door close before she turned back to her room, it was big and modestly made, not like a real princess's room. A simple bed, basic furniture: a couch, dresser, wardrobe, and a book shelve, nothing special about the room really. The view outside her window was nice, it looked down at south side of the garden were the largest pond stood, bare and lifeless now. She wished it was summer again so that she could look upon the blooming flowers and the children, both royal and none, playing together while they still had the freedom to do so. She frowned at the thought of another cold winter night at the castle, there was hardly anything fun to do other than stay inside and work all day, Tamari would have rather been outside doing anything other than paper work. Without another word, Tamari reached for the door and left her room as well, she wanted to find something to do before her aid comes to deliver the paper work that she was meant to do earlier that evening. Walking down the hallway, she thought of all the things that she could do, keeping in mind that she was pregnant now and that meant that her pranks would have to be less...extravagant than all her other pranks of her earlier years. She wondered about all the people that she could hang out with during this time, usually Gaara and Konkuro would get way more paper work than her this time of the year because their jobs were said to be "more important". She rolled her eyes at that, her job was just as important as theirs, she had to take care of the women and children of the kingdom, she had been doing a good job too, if she said so herself, since everyone thought that women were weak, she offered personal self defense classes for woman. She also helps build orphanages and other things to help out, there was all sorts of things that she had done in the past, yet they say her job isn't as important as planning attacks and battle strategies. "I need a drink," she stopped walking as she remembered her condition, "oh, that's right," she sighed, "well, I guess some ice cream couldn't hurt.
Iruka brought Naruto back to his room and helped him get out of his jacket before leaving to get him something warm to eat. He served him a steaming hot bowl of soup with mint tea, after the blond was finished, Iruka took him on a walk around the castle, "where are we going now, Iruka?" Naruto asked, thanks to the soup and tea he just had, he was feeling so much better than he ever had in a very long time, he felt like he actually had energy again, unlike the past few months, he didn't feel weak and tired all the time.
Iruka loved how energetic Naruto was now, it made him feel as if he did his job well, "we're going to take a bath, Naruto."
"A bath?" Naruto asked, he lifted his arm up and took a whiff, he smelled a little sweaty, which was an improvement on how he usually smelt. Since he jumped through dumpsters, dug in the trash, and slept in broken down buildings with other homeless people at times, he smelt like a field of fresh flowers compared to back then. "I don't smell that bad, do I? I think it's better than how I used to smell," he exclaimed with a bright smile.
Iruka leaned over Naruto and took a sniff for himself, he pulled back with a shake of his head, "no, no, you need a bath." He took a sniff of his own self, "I could you a little freshening up to, so I'll take one with you, okay?"
Naruto looked at Iruka curiously, "do people always take baths together in this place, or is that just your thing?" He asked with a suggestive look.
Iruka blushed, "w-what, no, w-what are you implying? I could never do anything like that to the bride of the prince."
Naruto giggled, "relax man, you don't look like the guy who would do that to me," he giggled some more. Iruka looked away from Naruto, still embarrassed that a boy as young as Naruto would know of such things, then again, he didn't know all that the blond knew. He didn't where he came from, what his life was like for coming her, or even if he was actually a prince like the queen had told him when she assigned him to aid him. In fact, the queen herself didn't seem to know much about the blond either, she just told him his name and what to do, she gave no last name or health information. Iruka was flying blind while he was taking care of the little whisker cheeked boy, it was a good thing that the guardian had told him everything that he needed to know before he left for Zethora with the others. Iruka took a glance at Naruto when he wasn't looking, he was so small from what he remember of him, he's paler too. What had happened to him after he was lost to them all those years ago? "Hay, Iruka, is that the bath place up there? There's a lot of smoke coming from the top of it," he looked up at Iruka, "it the place on fire of something?"
Iruka blinked at the blond before chuckling at his innocence. "Don't worry, the bath house is not on fire, Naruto, it's just that the water in the baths are nice and hot and cool from out side is making the air around it steam up. Come, let's get in there and find a good spot to bath."
"Alight," Naruto followed Iruka's lead and entered the bath house, he was told to take off his shoes and was given a towel and a small bucket with little bottle in it. He picked up one of the bottles and read it, "s-s-so-oa-p, hm? Iruka, what's soap supposed to do?"
Iruka almost tripped over his own feet, he turned back to Naruto, "um, Naruto? Do you really not know what soap is?" Naruto nodded his head, no, seriously, you've never heard, or even used it before?"
"Well, I have heard of it, but I didn't know that it came in a fancy bottle like this," Naruto held up the little bottle of liquid soap from his bucket so the older boy could see. "This is the first time I've seen it like this, how are you supposed to use it?"
Iruka was truly startled by the lack of knowledge seemed to possess, Iruka took Naruto by the hand, "um, I'll show you," he said. Naruto let the tanned boy lead him into the bath area and showed him how to take use the liquid soap, Iruka made sure to wash Naruto's hair and back for him. He was a little shocked by how much brighter Naruto's hair looked when he rinsed him off the first time, but the second time, the blond's hair looked like essences of the sun was flowing from his scalp. It made him realize how much neglect Naruto had went through alone. He was also disgusted that a little boy could get so dirty, especially when Naruto was his old self, he hated being dirty and took baths every day, this boy before him was much too different from the Naruto that he once knew as a child. Once he was finished washing off the dirt from Naruto, he guided him to the bath so he could so in the water, "this water is filled with lots of herbs and vitamins, it will make you relaxed while you soak," he turned away to go back to get his own bucket.
"Where are you going, Iruka?" Naruto asked.
"I'm just going to wash up a little bit before I join you," he said before walking over to the showering station.
Naruto watched Iruka walk away until he was swallowed up in the steam floating around the large room. Now that Iruka was gone, he felt alone again, he gave a long sigh, he was starting to get too used to this feeling. He didn't like the feeling of being on his own, he sunk down into the water until it covered his head.
Neji entered the bath water slowly, sinking down until only his head was showing, he sighed happily. He knew that he couldn't stay in the water for too long, but the heat of the water relaxing his muscles was greatly appreciated. He tilted his head back on the edge of the wall to relax even further, he was starting to the point where he felt that he could let his guard down when he felt something brush against his leg. Neji jumped up and looked around the bath area, it was mostly empty since everyone was still busy working for the night, the servants usually used the bath later, so who else could be in the bath with him? He looked around again, thinking that had imagined the touch, he went back to relaxing. He was on the verge of letting down his guard again, but then something brushed against his leg again, this time on the other side, "who's there?" He called out, there was no answer for a moment and that worried Neji, he was about to get up and look around when something brushed his foot this time. Neji stood up quickly, "that's it, I demand that you show yourself this instant, or...." he didn't get to finish his sentence when all of a sudden, something shot itself from the water. He got into a fighting stance just in case while he waited for the steam to clear, he wasn't sure what to expect to see, but a drenched Naruto was not one of them. "Princess Naruto?" Neji asked slowly as he dropped his stance, "what are you doing in the water by yourself? Are you well enough to be away from your bed?"
Naruto was coughing so he didn't hear much of what Neji had said, "man, this water's really hot, I could barely see anything down there."
"What? Did you lose something, princess?" Neji asked as he got back into the water in front of Naruto.
"Nan, I don't have nothin' to lose," Naruto rubbed his eyes for a second before taking a look at who he was talking to. He stared at Neji for a long while, mostly because hewas trying to remember who he was, "um, who-oh wait, I know you! You're that lady from that night at the ball, right?" He exclaimed.
"Um, yes, I am the one from the ball, however I am not a la-" Neji started, but was cut off.
"Oh that's so grate, you why?" Neji shook his head, "I've been lookin' for ya, you see, I have this problem, ya know? I woke up in this place a few days ago, or at least I think it's been a few days, anyways, I woke up in this place and then there were a whole bunch of people that telling me that I needed to marry a prince. I don't know why though, because I'm not a princess, and I always hear those stories that say that a prince needs to marry a princess, but here's the thing, they keep calling me the princess. Crazy huh?" He asked with a laugh, "anyways, just when I was about to get out of there and go back home, I fainted and I had this crazy dream about being on a different planet and stuff, but then I guess I woke up again because I ended up back here. Isn't that funny?"
Neji wasn't sure of what the blond was talking about, he was talking so fast that he couldn't really understand a word he said. However, he got the feeling that he was talking about what happened to him in the past few weeks, so he just nodded his head slowly. "So what were you looking for me for?" He asked politely.
"Oh right, right," Naruto nodded, he took a deep breath and calmed down, "I wanted to find you because there was something that I wanted to ask you."
Neji nodded, "yes, and that would be?"
"I want to go home," Naruto stated seriously, Neji couldn't say that he was all to surprised by the answer.
"Why?" He asked curiously, "is there something wrong with you being here? I'm sure that once we get in contact with you father or mother, then we could work out a deal to in sure your safety while you're still here."
Naruto shook his head, "no, I want to go home, you guys keep talking about a wedding for the prince, and call me a princess when I'm really a boy. I want to go home where everything's somewhat normal," he gave Neji a serious look as he spoke. "And besides, you won;t get in contact with my mother or father."
Neji was confused, "I am not sure if I understand, why would that not be, are they away?"
"No," Naruto shook his head, allowing some of the water from his hair to splash everywhere, even on Neji. "You won't get in contact with them, because I don't have any, I don't have a mom or a dad."
Neji gasped, "I'm so sorry, princess."
"Sorry? Sorry for what? Did you do something wrong?" Naruto asked, "I've never had parent's to begin with, so you should feel sorry about anything now."
Neji felt bad for the blond, he grew up without parents, while he grew up in a house where the only thing they care about is how well you can please someone in power.He was glad that his cousin, Hinata, didn't have to go through all that, he made sure of that. Turning his attentions back to Naruto, he noticed that blond was staring at him, "is there something on my face?"
Naruto shook his head, "no, you just seems like you've got your own troubles, too." He moved closer to Neji and placed a hand on his shoulder, "hay, stop feeling down, okay? I'll be your friend, so if you ever want to start smiling again, just come to me, 'kay?" He winked his eye at Neji and the taller boy couldn't help the blush that spread across his face, "you know what, why don't you come with me?"
"Go with you where?" Neji asked.
"Home, I'll take you home with me, I have a friend there that's got the same eyes as you." Naruto gave a bright smile, "maybe we'll take a trip on the way there, see everything there is to see, and then I'll show you my world." Neji smiled a little, he let the blond have his dream, it was always nice to have on dark days when everything seems to be going wrong with the world.
"Naruto! Naruto! Where did you go, Naruto?" Iruka's voice could be heard in the distance, they heard the swish, swish of someone walking through the bath water, the two turned to the sound in time to see the steam clear enough for them to see Iruka walking towards them with a towel around his wast. Iruka spotted Naruto and Neji, "there's you are, I turn my back for a minute and you run off, you could have gotten lost, or worse, you could have drowned!" He lightly scolded Naruto.
Naruto rolled his eyes, "I know, but I know how to swim so it's fine, I've been swimming since I was two." He took that moment to dive into the water and swimaround them like a dolphin, "see, I'm fine as long as there's no sharks or rip tides," he stated proudly.
Iruka frowned, "that maybe so, but you still shouldn't go running of on your own, especially when you don't know the lay out of the place. Plus, you are still unwell, you should take it easy or else you will faint again," he said as he sat down next to the blond, Naruto rolled his eyes at Iruka's worrying,. Iruka shook his head and turned to Neji, "my apologies, Lady Neji, I hope that he wasn't a bother to you while I was away," he did a semi-bow to the Hyuuga since they were in water and he couldn't do it properly.
Neji waved his hand, "no worries, Iruka, the princess is only expressing himself, let him have his moments."
Iruka nodded, "yes, of course."
"Hay, why are you guys so polite?" Naruto asked as he did the back stroke, he stopped in front of them and turned to Neji, "you can call me Naruto too, you don't need to call me 'princess anymore since I'm a boy and all."
Neji giggled, he didn't know why he did it, but the way that the blond spoke, let alone acted, made him feel as if he wasn't a mistress anymore. "Alright, Naruto, I will call you this from now on," he smiled at him and Naruto nodded, then he went back to swimming around them again.