A Naruto Fan-Fiction
By Ookami Kasumi
Summery: During his two and a half year training mission with Master Jiraiya the toad sage, Naruto learns a bittersweet lesson in love. (N x OC)
Note: You do not have to be familiar with the series to follow the story.
Warning: Mature (NC-17) - Hard yaoi content, adult language
‘Naruto’ characters, terms, and locations property of Masashi Kishimoto. Original characters and locations property of Ookami Kasumi.
Naruto stepped out of the shower in the tiny bathroom, steam rising from his tanned skin. He grabbed one of the nubby white towels from the bar over the toilet and scrubbed at his rather overlong sun-bleached blond hair. With Jiraiya’s hair being almost to his butt, his master hadn’t seen the need for Naruto to cut his, so it had grown into a somewhat shaggy mop that hung well past his shoulders.
After scrubbing the water from his body, he glanced in the mirror over the sink. His eyes were their usual bright blue. There was no trace of red from the demon that lived within him. Good.
One less thing to worry about.
He tilted his head from side to side, eyeing the three scars on either side of his face that went across his cheeks to his jaw. They had turned bright red from the heat of the shower. He brushed a finger across the puffy lines and wondered if he should use some of that greasepaint Jiraiya had given him to hide them. He shook his head briefly. I’ll worry about that when the pervert comes back.
He turned to look down at the pile of clothes he’d left on the floor. He’d grown so fast over the past year that his orange jumpsuit was little more than rags held together by badly stitched patches. Unfortunately, it was all he had left to wear, and it was filthy.
Rather than put his dirty clothes back on, he simply knotted the towel around his hips and gathered up the small pile with a sigh. I hope Jiraiya remembers that he’s supposed to come back with clothes for me.
Though the gods only knew what Jiraiya would come back with. Hopefully something heavy-duty.
Winter was around the corner.
With their finances being rather low, they’d come to the small town of Flute, nestled in the pine forested mountains of Timber Country with the hopes of finding work. However, the town was so small he somehow doubted they’d need the services of two wandering ninjas. That meant they’d be stuck doing a mundane job again. Naruto didn’t quite groan in disappointment. Boring as mundane work was, it did make it easier to hide from the dangerous ninja group that was hunting him.
Carrying his small pile of clothes, he stepped out of the small bathroom and onto the dark gray, plush wool carpet that was spread across the entire floor of the slant-roofed, attic room they’d rented for their stay. Directly before him, a narrow table framed by two ladder back chairs sat under the room’s only window. The white-washed left wall had a narrow counter with an electric hotplate and an electric kettle. The stained wood right wall was steeply sloped with two rolled up futons nestled in the crevice at the bottom. Their packs and Juraiya’s heavy scrolls occupied the far right corner nearest the window.
The room wasn’t large by anyone’s standards but it was practically luxurious compared to some of the places they’d stayed. Naruto snorted. It beats camping
Naruto strode over to the left side of the table and set his clothes on the chair, then peeked out the window at the small town of Flute. Nestled among the towering pines that covered nearly all of Timber Country, the town was quaint, semi modern, and crammed with tall wooden houses with tile roofs. The town was also riddled with creeks, brooks, and rivers. Just about every road and foot path had an arching red bridge. Above the town loomed the stark crags of Sleeping Troll Mountain wreathed in clouds that were streaked with the fiery red and orange of sunset.
Naruto looked down. The narrow street below glowed with thousands of red and yellow paper lanterns and was crammed with people. Brightly painted booths and carts lined the entire road. His brows lifted. “A festival?”
Behind him, the room’s door slammed open. “Happy birthday!”
Naruto turned to stare at the tall white haired man dressed in gray and white whose head nearly brushed the low ceiling. “Huh?”
Jiraiya lifted a brow and snorted, but his smile lifted the red streaks that ran from each eye down each cheek like tears of blood. “When was the last time you looked at a calendar kid?” He kicked off his sandals at the door and strode into the room, his feet soundless on the carpet. Under each arm was a paper-wrapped bundle.
Naruto looked away frowning. The autumn equinox was
a few weeks ago… “Is it, really my birthday?”
“Yup!” Jiraiya dropped both bundles on the table. “Congratulations! You’ve finally reached the legal age to get drunk and get laid!”
Naruto flinched back. “You are not
dragging me into a brothel for my birthday!”
Jiraiya rolled his black eyes. “As if
we could afford that?” He pushed one of the bundles across the table toward Naruto. “Naaa…” He tugged off his horned forehead protector marked with the symbol for oil, and scrubbed a hand through his matted hair. “I figured we’d go just down to the festival, get some decent food, drink some good sake, and watch the fireworks.”
Naruto felt a grin tugging at the corner of his mouth. “You’re gonna get me drunk, is that it?”
Jiraiya grinned. “Yep!” He set the forehead protector on the table, then turned away to shrug out of his tattered white sleeveless juban
over-robe. The emblems marking the shoulders, back, and hem were almost completely obscured by rips and grime. “And seeing as you’re not used to drinking, a bottle or two of sake
at the most, it shouldn’t be too hard on our finances.” He tossed the robe toward their packs by the rolled up futons.
Naruto rolled his gaze heavenward. “Great, I’m a cheap date.” He eyed the bundle on the table, then eyed his master. “So what’s this?” He poked the paper-wrapped package.
Jiraiya looked over his shoulder and glanced down at the package. “That is what you’re wearing to the festival.” He turned away, unbuckled his arm bracers, then started unwinding the cloth wrapped around his arms and shirt sleeves. “The other is what you’ll be wearing to work tomorrow.”
Naruto felt some of his worry evaporate and grinned widely. “You got us a job?”
“Yep!” Jiraiya tossed a grin over his shoulder, then turned back to yank off his gray cross-tied shirt, and the fish-net woven wire shirt he wore beneath it, showing off his heavily muscled and heavily scarred torso. “This is logging country. We’re going to be cutting trees starting the day after tomorrow.” He turned to toss his shirt and arm wraps in the general direction of their packs. “It’ll give you a chance to build up some muscle.” He turned back to stare pointedly at Naruto. “Though I doubt you need much help with that.”
Naruto glanced down at his whipcord lean body. He winced. His muscles didn’t look like muscles; they looked like wires. “I could use some bulk.”
Jiraiya choked out a laugh. “Sure you do kid.” He waved toward the package. “Put that on and right after my shower, we’ll go down and get something to eat.” Wearing only his loose gray pants and shin wraps, he strode for the bathroom and closed the door behind him. Moments later, the water went on in the shower.
Naruto tore the paper on the package open and pulled out a double fistful of deep blue heavy satin embroidered with bamboo branches in gold thread. It looked like a really fancy…bathrobe. A blue and gold sash slid free. He frowned at the empty paper then yelled toward the bathroom. “Hey, where are the pants for this?”
Jiraiya laughed loudly from behind the closed bathroom door. “You don’t wear pants with that! Oh! And brush your hair too!”
Naruto scowled at the bathroom door! “You’re one to talk about brushing hair, Shaggy! I’ve watched you tease that mop of yours until it stands straight up!”
“Not this time. I’ll be brushing mine too! Don’t want to scare the ladies.”
Naruto rolled his eyes and huffed softly. “Pervert.”
“I heard that!”
~ * * * ~
Standing in the doorway of the inn, Naruto looked up. Above the swaying pines, the sky was the rich deep blue of twilight. It was almost the same color as his ankle-length robe. It wasn’t a bad color, as colors went, but he preferred brighter colors, sunset colors, the colors of fire and flames.
The evening breeze teased at his hair, encouraging his overlong golden bangs to brush against his cheeks. He ran his fingers through his hair, scraping it back from his face. He’d brushed it as asked, but the stuff was thick though silky. It didn’t exactly bush up the way it normally did when it was shorter, but it didn’t want to sit perfectly flat either.
A shimmer against his senses warned him that he was being approached from behind. He turned around.
His tall white-haired master was coming down the narrow inn stairs wearing a similar ankle-length robe, but of storm-cloud gray satin with white cranes embroidered on it. As usual, his footfalls were perfectly silent. He’d left his distinctive forehead protector back in the room, as had Naruto to keep up the appearance that they were merely civilians, and for once, his long white hair wasn’t a matted white mess bound back into a ratty tail. He actually had
taken the time to brush it all out until it flowed sleek, fine, and unbound over his shoulders and down his back.
Naruto tugged at the robe’s collar. “What did you call these again?”
Jiraiya, stepped past Naruto and out onto the cobblestone road. “They’re called yukata
. They’re tradition wear for these kinds of festivals.” He waved his hand and stepped forward. “This way. I found the perfect place to get some reasonably good food and decent sake
while I was out shopping.”
Naruto fell into step beside him, trying very hard not to take too long a stride. His yukata
was only held together with two ties at his hips and a narrow sash knotted at his back. The bottom half had a tendency to gape open. He didn’t want to flash too much thigh, or worse. He looked over at his master. “Are you sure you’re not supposed to wear anything under this?” He tugged at his robe.
Jiraiya shook his head. “Only a fundoshi
Naruto blinked. “What’s a fundoshi
Jiraiya stopped cold and turned to stare wide-eyed at Naruto. “You’re not wearing a fundoshi
Naruto sighed and rolled his eyes. “Kind of hard to wear something when I don’t even know what it is, don’t you think?” He frowned up at his master. “Is it important?”
Jiraiya pursed his lips and tilted his head, his gaze drifting to stare at nothing in particular. Suddenly he turned and smiled down at Naruto. “Naaa… It’s not important.” He leaned down to speak softly. “Might even make your night a little more interesting!” He patted Naruto’s shoulder.
Naruto tilted his head to the side in confusion. “Huh?”
Jiraiya waved his hand. “Never mind!” He pointed down the street toward the bright lights and the music. “Food’s that-a-way!” He marched on, leading Naruto into the heart of the town’s autumn festival
Everywhere there was hauntingly beautiful music with heavy drums, costumed performers dancing, and antique marionette performances. Glowing lanterns gleamed on processions of monstrous gold and lacquer hand-carried floats. Troop after troop of musicians marched by in black satin caps and wide-sleeved, ground-sweeping robes of shimmering bright colored silks belted over flowing white hakima pants. The hand-carried wooden floats and laughing singing carolers moved along the bright red bridges crossing the many small rivers, the colors reflecting on the water.
Naruto stared openly. Just about everyone wore robes similar to his and Juraiya’s. For once, he actually felt like he sort of fit in, except for one glaring difference. Not one person there was blond or blue-eyed. Just about every person he saw had dark hair and deep black eyes. He frowned. They all look like Sasuke.
His heart clenched in sudden sorrow. He hadn’t seen his best friend in almost three years, not since the day Sasuke had left -- after very nearly killing him.
Naruto took a deep breath and pushed his feelings down. This was not the time to be thinking such dark and depressing things. He lifted his chin and pasted a smile on his lips. It was his birthday, and Jiraiya was taking him out to celebrate!
After a bit of a walk in the cool night air, Jiraiya led Naruto to a long tented booth with stools. He waved to the man behind the counter in the tall white hat wearing a flowing white apron. “Hey! This is the young man I was telling you about!” He pointed at Naruto.
The booth’s owner blinked down at Naruto. “Oh, so you’re the birthday boy?”
Jiraiya dropped onto a stool and nodded. “He’s finally reached majority!”
Naruto smiled at the booth owner. “That’s me!” He climbed very carefully into the stool. He was still more than a little uncomfortable with the way the robe liked to flap open at unexpected moments.
Jiraiya patted Naruto’s shoulder. “So, we’ll have two house specials and two bottles of decent sake!”
The booth owner lifted one dark brow. “You’re sure he’s old enough? He looks a little…small.”
Naruto threw a pout at the booth owner. “I am not small
Jiraiya nodded. “He’s old enough.” He leaned across the counter and whispered loudly. “Mature enough is a different question entirely!”
“Hey!” Naruto turned to punch Jiraiya lightly in the arm. “Look who’s talking, you porn author!” He knew better than to use his usual title of ero-sennin
for the perverted sage ninja when he was playing civilian. However, using Jiraiya’s notoriety as being the author of the erotic Kiss-Kiss Paradise
books was perfectly acceptable, as surprisingly few ninja knew.
The booth owner lifted his head from his bubbling pots and stared at Jiraiya. “Porn author?”
Jiraiya shot a sour look at Naruto. “Erotica
author.” He leaned toward the booth owner and grinned. “Would you happen to be familiar with the Kiss-Kiss Paradise
“Eh?” The booth owner looked sharply left then right. He leaned toward Jiraiya and whispered. “I might be.”
Jiraiya nodded and winked. “That’s me!”
The booth owner’s eyes widened. “Really?”
Naruto rolled his eyes and propped his chin on his upraised fist. “And how
The booth owner and Jiraiya immediately jumped into a deep and philosophical conversation about several characters and scenarios in the series.
A bowl of steaming fish and vegetables in a brown sauce was plopped in front of Naruto. He snapped apart the wooden chopsticks and set to with gusto. It wasn’t raman, his all time favorite food, but it was still damned good, and a whole lot better than what they’d been eating while trekking through the wilderness.
Somewhere around Naruto’s third helping, Jiraiya set a shallow white porcelain cup beside Naruto. “Here you go.” He lifted a small white bottle and poured steaming golden liquid into the shallow cup. “Your first sake
.” He lifted a finger. “Sip it, don’t guzzle it.” He set the bottle by Naruto’s cup then lifted his own full cup. “Drink up!”
Naruto lifted the small cup carefully and sipped. It was almost hot and slightly bitter on his tongue, but not completely unpleasant. He swallowed. Warmth bloomed all the way down. He shivered hard in reaction. “Oh!”
Jiraiya nodded. “Take another sip. The second mouthful is always better.”
Naruto took another sip, emptying the small cup. The taste was smoother, with no bite at all. He swallowed. Once again, warmth spilled down his throat to settle in his belly. “Oh…!”
Jiraiya raised his brow. “You like?”
Naruto eyed his empty cup. “Yeah. It’s…warm.”
Jiraiya nodded firmly. “Yep. Warm sake
is perfect for a cool night like this one.” He reached over and refilled Naruto’s cup. “Happy birthday!” He grinned.
~ * ~