Snap Back To Reality 5
I take back everything I said about Gaku-sensei not being mean. He was goddamn Satan for all I cared. Now that I didn't have the Academy on, I had about 8 hours of assigned time with Gaku-sensei every goddamn day. The ﬁrst day was gruelling. Going to celebrate and eat dango with the kids was troublesome. I was basically a zombie after what Gaku-demon-sensei put me through. It got so bad that Guy had to hold me up as my soul left my body.
The sweet, sweet taste of dango, and the feel of my legs weightlessly off the ground was a reprieve sent by the gods themselves. Suﬃce to say only Guy was enthused about getting a sensei. Everyone else was freaked the fuck out like they should be.
And so I effortlessly fell into my routine with Gaku and Yama. Outside of training Gaku was actually a very chill, level-headed guy who happened to also have a cheeky side. I got along great with him. It was just meant to be. I'd been waiting to see Kakashi in that time, partially because I wanted to catch up, but mostly because I was worried. Prodigy or not his dad had died committing suicide. That wouldn't be easy on anyone. I'd never lost a parent before and so I didn't know the pain myself, but I imagined it would be a terrible feeling. As much as I disliked Yua, I couldn't imagine her dead. Even the thought of Hanami or Noritaka dead made me sick.
Thankfully the only ninja in my family was me. Hanami was in the hospital safe. There was Gaku, Shikaku and Kakashi out here and I would worry about them. It was inevitable. It wasn't easy to get me attached but once I did, I was going to worry.
"Tiger palm, fire style!"
Gaku-sensei's orders brought me to attention. My left foot twisted back, legs shoulder width apart, knees bent, torso twisted forward and palms out, ﬁngers curled forward. The style of taijutsu I had taken to learning was an off-branch Inuzuka style that wasn't kept a Clan secret. Tiger palm, Fire style. The second style was Circle Step, Wind style aerial taijutsu which was apparently common in Wind Country.
I felt like a goddamn Shaolin Monk and I loved it. Tiger palm reminded me of the Kung Fu from back home, heavily reliant on perfecting footing and solely focused on quick strikes to the throat, ribs and various other sensitive places. I got into this style relatively easily. It was like a more aggressive, deadlier version of Kung Fu. Circle Step was inﬁnitely cooler in my opinion, and that was just because I felt like an airbender. Apparently, this was a style from Suna, and I had absolutely no idea how Gaku came upon it, but I wasn't going to complain. It was exactly how Aang fought in Avatar and just seeing the diagrams of the katas on the scroll made me grin like a madman.
The basic idea was merging the two styles. Fire and Wind into something swift, deadly and elusive. I liked it. Also aerial manoeuvres were important to this style due to the very fact that I was currently a shorty. To get to that soft neck muscle I needed to be able to reach it. Thankfully I had impeccable chakra control and so the chakra slide that Gaku taught me for the Circle Step style was mastered quickly. The hard part wasn't getting a quick jump in the air. The hard part was maintaining my control mid-ﬂight.
That's how I found myself twisting my body as quickly as I could while Gaku-sensei threw chakra enhanced pebbles at me. I would jump high at a training dummy which he would stand behind, and I would dodge the pebbles while speeding at the dummy with either a kunai or my tiger palm. It felt like I was reliving my paintball experiences… it wasn't fun. It left me littered with bruises. A pebble shot into my face and I found myself losing control, spinning aimlessly in the air before hitting the ground painfully.
I picked myself up shakily, wiping the blood from the cut on my face. Kami, the ache felt good. I grinned before going back to the starting line and using the chakra slide on my feet, propelling me in the air again. This time I managed to dodge two pebbles twisting my body in the air. Yes! I was so close to the dummy. I had my palms out ready when suddenly the breath was knocked out of me by a weight to my side. I crashed into the ground with an 'oof' before groaning as the weight plopped down on me.
"Yama?" I groaned.
"Lesson number 3. Always expect the unexpected," Gaku smirked.
"That's sneaky," I muttered before grinning.
"You're the weirdest kid ever. Why are you smiling."
"What, I can't appreciate how sneaky you are?" I asked.
"Well normally kids would complain. Guess I should count myself lucky getting you huh, Little Miss Mature."
"I like to think I'm a Little Miss Take It In Stride," I shrugged.
"Doesn't have the same ring to it."
I groaned. It was only really halfway through the day and I still had about 5 more hours to go. 3 weeks of taijutsu training and I'd gotten down all the katas in Tiger Palm, but nothing with Circle Walk yet. I still needed to perfect chakra slide and aerial manoeuvrability before I could even try and do the insane twists and turns in the air that Circle Walk katas demanded.
"You've been practicing outside of our training sessions, haven't you?"
I froze before sending Gaku a guilty look. He just sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose, a tick we had in common. I decided to act like a child for a minute, folding my arms and pouting.
"Oh come on sensei, I had to! I'd suck if I never put the extra effort in and Guy is great to spar against. I beat him a lot now it helps boost my ego," I admitted with a shrug.
"You have no sense of shame do you," he laughed.
"I really don't," I agreed with a shrewd grin.
"Look kiddo, I can't have you overworking your body at this age. It might stunt your growth. You don't want to be a midget, forever do you?"
"I'm not a midget, I'm just 5. I can't help it!" I protested.
"Ok how about this. Limit your personal training time to doing something else. Like studying. You said you wanted to research chakra, right?"
I really, really wanted to just throw myself into research. I was so tempted, but the thought of being sent to war took precedence over my love of science. Understanding the mechanics behind chakra wouldn't help me stay alive out there. I could always work on it once I was capable enough to take care of myself out there. I decided it was unwise to keep these feelings from sensei. He needed to understand me if we were going to do this.
"Sensei," I began carefully, "I train a lot because it's war and I'm new to this. I know because of my inexperience that I'm the most at risk at dying, and I just... wow this is hard to say. I'm not ready to die yet."
His amiable expression turned grim and he nodded. I think he was slightly impressed, at least I hope that was why he was looking at me like that. His hand rested on my head again and he knelt down. It was a little irritating that he was still taller than me kneeling down but at least I didn't have to crane my neck. Yama, sensing Gaku's change in mood, brushed his head against my shoulder.
"You're really mature Hina," he said getting my full attention as he let out a sigh. "If I'm being honest, I'm also worried. When I expected a sole team member, I didn't expect someone who's barely even lived half a decade. You're smart enough to understand me Hina, so I'm going to give it to you straight. Your kind have about a 30% survival rate, and with me being a front-line hitter it's even lower. It's why I'm taking your training very seriously. In saying that, you have to listen to me. When I tell you that extra training is detrimental, it is. If you continue pushing yourself like this, in a week you'll deplete all your chakra reserves and you'll spend 2 weeks on mandatory leave. That will push your training back."
I felt my breath catch. Kami, that was some grim news. Gaku's serious expression lessened and the kindness came back to his eyes.
"So will you listen to your sensei kiddo?"
"I will," I relented with a grimace.
He pat my head, ruﬄing my hair. I grumbled. Kami, it was already a bird's nest! To make it worse Yama licked the side of my face leaving a large trail of a slobber. I let out a sound of disgust to which Gaku laughed at.
"Troublesome dog," I grumbled.
"Careful, your Nara's coming out," Gaku said in amusement.
Then as if remembering something Gaku pulled out a scroll and went through a few hand signs before unsealing it.
"What's this sensei?" I asked.
"It's chakra paper. I need to test your nature type. I can get you a jutsu to learn and you can spend your personal training time not doing more physical activity."
"Doesn't ninjutsu require chakra too?"
"It does, but you're going to be limited to just practicing moulding the chakra, not expelling it. I expect perfect hand seals by the end of next week kiddo."
"I'll get it done in 3 days," I said assuredly.
"Of course you would," he snorted shaking his head. "Now channel some chakra into this."
I excitedly took the paper and held it in my hand. Kami, I hoped I would be wind natured. It would help so much with my taijutsu style. Gaku sent me an expectant look and Yama yipped in attention too. I felt oddly pressured. I pushed my chakra through, and the paper singed then turned to ash. Ugh ﬁre. I mean at least that would be my second choice. Gaku looked pleased though.
"Don't pout, I know you were expecting wind," he chuckled.
I wanted to be goddamn Avatar Aang! I guess I could settle for Zuko though. The Tiger Palm did kind of remind me of the ﬁrebending style. Before my mind turned to all the pop-culture shows I missed dearly, I snapped my attention back to the matter at hand.
"I was hoping it would help me with Circle Walk," I grumbled.
"This is a good thing kiddo. Fire style is common in well... the land of ﬁre, which we are in. That means you get access to a lot of jutsu and plenty of Shinobi here have this type so you can easily get someone to tutor you. I happen to also be Fire and Earth natured."
"I guess it's ok," I relented.
"This doesn't mean you won't be able to do other elemental manipulation, but it will be harder depending on how attuned to the other elements you are. For example I'm predominantly Earth natured, but Fire is my secondary element. Water jutsu is the impossible for me to learn and Wind is slightly easier to get used to but still quite hard."
"How do you know your secondary aﬃnity?" I asked curiously.
"Well usually a chakra sensor looks through your tenketsu for you for a reading. Most people just go about finding out through trial. It's usually done when you become a Chunin. That's around the time when Shinobi start looking into nature manipulation."
"Why are we starting early then?" I asked.
"Your chakra control is exceptional. It's probably the only thing you're a genius at kiddo, everything else is hard work, but your chakra control seems to be something your naturally attuned to. It takes a level of control and yin energy to control nature chakra."
"Huh, I guess being born with an excess of yin energy was actually a blessing," I mumbled with a grin.
Honestly being born with a problem that could kill me was the thing that propelled me into the Shinobi life. I knew then that I had no choice but to be a Shinobi, or I might have just become a mediocre baker or something. I just couldn't imagine myself baking. It was the unfortunate reality that if I had not shown an exceptional quality for a Shinobi to have, I would have been stuck with only the minimal of education, slotted into a life as a baker because it was impossible for a child of my standing to get any form of higher education. Really being a Shinobi was the only route. It started off as a way to not die by the age of ﬁve, then turned into a happy side accident so I could get higher clearance for research papers, and then turned into necessity for survival once the war hit.
"What's got you in thought kiddo?"
"I guess... I was just reminding myself why I'm doing this," I said, brows creasing into a frown. "Everything feels kind of urgent these days."
"Yeah, it is. Don't worry I'll make sure you're ready, and you're a strong kid. I'm sure you'll become great."
"Thanks Gaku-sensei. You know I'm really glad I got you," I grinned.
"You won't be tomorrow," he chuckled.
I tilted my head in confusion. "Tomorrow's Sunday?" We didn't train on Sunday's. Sunday was visiting Hanami day, eating dango with sensei day and visiting Guy and Dai day.
"I've signed you up for D ranks," he grinned evilly.
"Oh, that means money, right?" I asked in sudden excitement.
Gaku just smirked. I suddenly remembered how annoyed Naruto was during the early days when he was forced to do them. I guess maybe he was expecting me to quickly grow tired of them.
"Ok kiddo, we're going down to training ground 3."
"Why, are we doing something new?" I asked.
"I was planning to get you started on ninjutsu later but since you're ﬁre nature I thought it was time for a demonstration."
I jumped onto Yama's back and we made our way to the bigger ﬁeld that training ground 3 provided. We passed the clearing when I noticed a familiar ﬁgure and my smile brightened.
Said boy turned around and looked at me with mild shock before his eyes fell onto my hitaite. The man next to him, I suddenly realised, was the Namikaze Minato! Oh my god I was in the presence of a goddamn legend in the making. He looked, well to put it mildly, super-hot. His oval face was stupidly symmetrical, his blue eyes were crystal clear, and his yellow hair framed his face perfectly. A perfect mix of a bishounen hottie and a man to the boot. I had to stop myself from drooling for a minute.
"Hina," Kakashi greeted in his usual lackadaisical way.
"You know her, Kakashi-kun?" Minato asked as I jumped off Yama.
"She was in the Academy with me. I didn't know you graduated," Kakashi said.
I frowned. His eyes were darker, his body language less open. He looked... well he looked different. It had been a long time since we'd seen each other, and it wasn't like I hadn't tried visiting his old house. He wasn't there anymore. His father who was shamed by the Village had killed himself, and Kakashi didn't look like he had taken that well.
"I graduated 2 weeks ago," I put in. "This is my sensei, Gaku-san."
"Nice to meet you," he supplied with a grin.
Minato and Gaku shook hands amiably. They were apparently both really chill dudes, so they took it in stride.
"I didn't want to intrude on your training, but seeing as our little brats know each other, how about a spar?" Gaku asked with a curious glint in his eyes.
Minato smiled back brightly too. "I like the way you think Gaku-san."
"What are the rules?" I asked, a grin of my own coming up.
Kakashi just sighed, giving his sensei a glare. I was competitive as fuck so good luck backing out now Kakashi!
"Anything goes. A kill strike or a surrender ends the match."
By kill strike I knew Gaku-sensei meant a feint, but it still sent a chill of excitement down my spine. Kami, was I fucked up or what? The idea of sparring just was a massive turn on at this stage, especially with someone my age, so I wasn't facing off against an impossible to win against Jounin.
"Ready?" Minato asked, as we took our positions away from each other.
We took a moment to bow, hands out in the sign of reconciliation before Gaku set us on each other. Kakashi didn't waste a moment to throw his shuriken at me. I used my chakra slide to thrust myself to the left, knowing he favoured his right side. He was caught momentarily off guard by my sudden speed, or was it the grin that was plastered on my face? Either way his moment of hesitation let me chakra slide to his direction. He threw two kunai at me which I barely managed to dodge. I spun in the air; Tiger Palm ready as I jabbed at his neck. He dodged easily, spinning my hands away with his before we got into a hand ﬁght. Every hit he put out I blocked and every hit I threw he parried with ease throwing me off balance. He was good.
"Lighting Style Lighting Release: Dengan no Jutsu!"
Oh shit. I barely managed to escape the 10-meter radius of the chaotic lightning bolts by using chakra slide to throw myself back. Kakashi didn't relent though, using my distraction to his advantage by using kawarimi of all things to switch with a kunai he had previous thrown. I grinned switching myself behind him before he got the drop on me. He spun quickly but I cut through him. Huh he didn't block. I was afraid for a second, I had killed my friend when he disappeared in a puff of smoke and I felt a blade on my neck. I looked behind and put my hands up in surrender, Kakashi pulled the kunai away from my throat and we both bowed to each other.
"That. Was. Awesome!"
A rather quick fight, but still awesome.
"Of course you'd be excited," he said with a hint of exasperated amusement.
"That was a spectacular match. Excellent job Hina-chan, and congratulations Kakashi-kun," Minato said ruﬄing Kakashi's hair. It just sprung back up in its usual gravity defying position. How unfair! Why did his hair get to look normal when mine looked like a bird's nest?!
"I expect a win next time kiddo," Gaku chided although his voice was light and not scolding at all.
"Of course! There's no way I wouldn't improve. Soon I'll be whipping his ass," I said confidently.
"Of course you will," Kakashi said sarcastically, rolling his eyes in disbelief.
Minato had an odd look on his face at our banter. He was probably scheming silently like the good ninja he was. Did I mention that he was stupidly hot?
"Well, we can leave you to your training," Gaku said.
"No, that's ok. In fact why don't we train together today?" Minato asked.
"I wouldn't mind that. I was just about to show my brat some ﬁre jutsu."
"You don't already know any elemental jutsu?" Kakashi snorted, as if he was unimpressed.
Well look who went and grew an ego. I snorted rolling my eyes. "Actually I'm aiming to be a taijutsu specialist, so we we're sticking to that for a while, but I'm sure I'll get down elemental jutsu quickly."
"You sure are conﬁdent Hina-chan," Minato smiled, a very charming smile.
"You bet she is, and a hard worker to the boot," Gaku said proudly, going into his dad mode.
"Yup, not everyone here has Kakashi's unfair natural talent," I said poking my friend on his shoulder.
He shot me a look saying he didn't quite believe I wasn't on his level. I snorted. I was a reincarnated adult, so it was a little disheartening that a kid was stronger than me, but I wasn't going to take it to heart. Comparing yourself to the outlier wasn't going to help.
So that's how Minato and Gaku started showing us up with their A rank jutsu. Kakashi was taught another jutsu and I was put to chakra moulding practices, using leaves of all things again. I was trying to burn it as slowly as I could to gain some control over it. Oddly enough sitting down and concentrating for hours was just as tiring as running laps around Konoha on just your hands.
"Are you doing ok?"
He gave me an odd look and shrugged. I sighed. Talking to people and doing heart to hearts weren't my thing. I vaguely knew it was pathetic of me to not push this issue and make sure he had someone to lean on right now, but I was—well I wasn't the best person to come to with serious issues. I'd probably mess it up more.
"Well everyone's been worried about you," I said, even though really, I wanted to say I've been worried about you.
"Hn, they don't need to be. I'm doing ﬁne."
"Yeah, I guess you are. You got a cool sensei," I said idly, changing the subject in the least awkward way I could think of as I continued my exercise. "Not as cool as mine though."
He snorted at that. "Minato-sensei is way cooler than yours."
I snorted back. So he could be a little brat huh?
"Well we can agree to disagree."
Then the day ended, and I said bye to the blond man and his angsty little student. I sent Kakashi one last worried look but decided against pressing him to make sure he was ok. Gaku pulled me away from my stupor and Yama let me ride on his back again as we made our way back to the Village.
"Take care kiddo, and remember no training, just practice your hand signs," Gaku said handing me a few scrolls.
"Ok," I relented.
Yama licked my face before barking a goodbye and following after his partner. I wiped the slobber of with a smile and then walked back into the civilian district. Having become a usual face there, people thought I was odd, and for a Shinobi I still was, but for them I was baﬄing. I entered the Bakery and greeted Taichi as usual who was usually shutting down the store around this time.
Hopefully tomorrow's D rank would be a good start to becoming ﬁnancially stable. And with that uplifting thought I got myself ready for bath time.
Huh, gardening was a surprisingly calm and very nice D rank mission. Of course I ﬁgured maintaining the training grounds had to be someone's job, so it made sense to shirk it off to Genins. It was hard work of course, and I could do with teammates to keep me company, but it was a good challenge to get it done on my own... that was until another Genin team came. They were a bunch of 11-year-olds who looked like they could barely tolerate each other. Their sensei, who looked like an Aburame, was having a nice chat with Gaku, ignoring his squabbling children. Ugh, not even a modicum of professionalism. This was a job, not playtime, and so I continued doing my work diligently and silently.
"How'd a baby like you become a Genin anyway?"
I looked up to the Uchiha boy in their team. He was snooty like the rest of his clan. Obito was the only outlier I had met so far. I pulled out a weed with a lot more intensity than usual before sending him an irritated look.
"How about doing your mission instead of chatting?" I asked.
"Don't talk to Katsuo-kun like that!" a female teammate shouted at me.
"Troublesome," I muttered, going back to my work.
"Tsk," the Uchiha grumbled before going to do his work.
His fangirl sent me a glare for the rest of the mission. God their team dynamic reminded me of team seven to a fault. Also something about Uchiha's rubbed me the wrong way. Was it the attitude or just the fact that they attracted irritating fangirls? This was work, not the goddamn playground.
Their presence made the D rank suddenly go from therapeutic to migraine inducing. It didn't help that the civilian boy from their team kept talking non-stop. I agreed with the Uchiha for once when he got the kid to shut up. To get out of this torture quickly I began my work using chakra to make my movements quicker.
"Gaku-sensei, I'm done," I said wiping the sweat of my face.
"I can see that you're already eager to be done with D ranks, eh?" Gaku chuckled.
I shrugged. I didn't mind D ranks. I just wanted nothing to do with the team that was here, but it would probably be rude to say that in front of them and their sensei. Thankfully we didn't have to stay for much longer. We went back to the Hokage's oﬃce and dropped our ﬁnished mission scroll down with one of his many assistants.
"Gaku-sensei, this isn't the usual route we take? Are we going somewhere?" I asked.
"Yeah, my wife wanted to meet you," he said surprising me.
I never really asked about family. I mean I knew he was an Inuzuka, and there was a war going on, so I had no idea if he had lost someone or if family was a sour spot for him. I liked avoiding emotionally vulnerable moments like the plague, so I didn't ask despite being curious. It helped that he never asked about my family either.
"You talk about me a lot sensei?" I opted to ask cheekily.
"I talk about a lot of things," he said roughly. Yama barked at him playfully and he turned red slightly, scratching his nose. "Ugh ﬁne, I do kind of talk about her don't I? Can you blame me, she's my ﬁrst student."
I chuckled. It was always a sight to see when the man and his dog talked to each other. I was a 100% certain now that dogs had their own language. It was either that or Gaku was just so in tune with his partner that he understood him on an instinctual level. I liked to think that dogs had a language. Yup, that just seemed like a more fun head canon.
The Inuzuka Compound smelt of dogs. The chakra here was wild and wonderful and the architecture despite being traditional like the rest of the Clan Compounds, had a lot of integrated technology. It was interesting to see how the power lines cluttered this area far more than it did the Nara Compound. The place was full of life though, with Inuzuka bounding around with their canine companions and several families with outside Clan members. It seemed the Inuzuka wasn't as stringent on marrying within the Clan and was happy for outsiders to be married in. It was kind of like the Nara Clan in that regard. Maybe it was just the doujutsu holders that married in their own circles. Blood purity and all that.
We reached the inner compound, Gaku getting a few 'hellos' from everyone, and a few Inuzuka's introducing themselves to me, before we reached his house. It was bigger than mine for sure and much nicer. I entered the home to see age old scratch marks on the wooden beams. Then all of a sudden, a dozen large dogs pounced on me, all tongues out and tails wagging as I was literally dog piled on. Being used to this treatment, I let out a few chuckles pushing the dogs away from licking my face as I stood back up. I noticed a woman walk by, dark hair, spiky with pale skin and dark chocolate eyes. A Nara? Huh, could Clans marry within each other?
"Oh your student's so cute!"
I was surprised when the woman picked me up and squeezed me in a tight hug. I felt the breath leave my body as I turned blue.
"Umm Nami, I don't think she's meant to be that colour," Gaku said worriedly.
"Oh, I'm so sorry dear. You see I was so excited to hear that my husband ﬁnally got a student, especially one as cute as you," she said pinching my cheeks.
"I-I'm not cute," I stuttered, cheeks red with embarrassment.
Nami just squealed before hugging me again. I gave Gaku-sensei a look that begged for him to save me. He cleared his throat like the good sensei he was, and distracted Nami enough to let me go.
"Oh my bad, did you want anything Hina-chan?"
What I really wanted was some scotch on the rocks, but I wasn't so sure she had any, or if she would offer it to a 5-year-old. She nodded happily before rushing away. That's when Gaku introduced me to all the dogs. Apparently, these were all Yama's pups. Since there was about 6 of them, I couldn't even begin to remember all their names. They had the same golden-brown fur coat as Yama did, except with brown or white patches in odd places. They all had that same Inuzuka breed look, with the long furry coat that ended in spikes but was actually soft to the touch. And by kami, they had the biggest cutest brown eyes.
I loved them all so much, but I didn't think I'd ever want to take one to battle. I just couldn't imagine myself rushing into enemy lines with my dog besides me. I would probably be too protective of it and get myself distracted, because dogs were simply amazing.
I walked past a room with a crib inside and was about to ask if Nami was pregnant when I noticed her incredibly ﬂat stomach. Not even a bump... I was so glad I didn't ask. It dawned on me that maybe they had somehow lost a child, and I didn't even want to ask how. Unfortunately Gaku sensei caught my look and probably ﬁgured out what I concluded on. Thankfully he didn't touch on the topic, instead he moved to raiding the kitchen for cookies.
I dunked said cookies in my milk and remembered just how tasty sweets were. In war time sweets and frivolities like this were expensive. Only the rich, or Shinobi who went often on missions really could afford them.
Nami struck up conversation and I kept it going, enjoying the way they didn't hold back or dumb things down for me. Honestly adult company was the best. I loved Guy, and I did enjoy chatting with the other kids and Kakashi too, but I was an adult and children were fundamentally different socially, prodigy or not.
It was only when I started helping around the house, moving the plates into the sink and helping Nami and Gaku cut up the vegetables that I realised I had seamlessly inserted myself into their family dynamic. It caught me off guard. I did this at home too, but there was always a level of tip toeing around chatter, trying to ignore this invisible barrier between me and my family, and in general walking around on eggshells that I did. It was weird how easily I ﬁt into this equation with Gaku and Nami, the same way I ﬁt in with Hanami and Shikaku.
It was only when I realised that we were cooking ramen that I paled. I looked at the buk-choi with a glare and put it away.
"Can we make something other than ramen?" I asked.
"You don't like ramen Hina-chan?" Nami asked.
I shook my head with a grimace. It brought back memories of my embarrassing death, which in turn reminded me of the life I left behind, and then to my parents I didn't say goodbye to, who with every day was beginning to become a distant memory, a concept rather than a person. Yeah safe to say I had a phobia of ramen, especially one with vegetables in it.
"That's ok, we can make something else," Nami said dismissively.
"Thanks," I replied with a genuinely relieved look. Gaku quirked a brow at me and I shrugged.
Then after feeding the dogs we all sat down at the table for lunch. I dug into the food hungrily, a little excited at how big this serving was. I normally got a much smaller serving. It barely got me through the day and hunger had become an afterthought. I didn't complain though. It was the same size serving that Taichi and my parents got. It was what we could afford.
"Oh dear, your skin and bones. Honey, put some more meat in her plate."
Gaku didn't complain as he scooped in more of the curry onto my plate which I ate with a smile.
"So Hina-chan, what do you do as a hobby?" Nami asked.
"I um... I like to run and train."
"Training isn't a hobby dear," Nami chuckled.
"Oh, I guess not. I like playing shogi, I guess, and I like anything that makes me think a lot, like sudoku or word puzzles but I really do enjoy running and training," I said with a smile. "Actually it's not that I like it but more that I love the feeling of accomplishing something after a lot of hard work."
"Oh my gosh, Gaku you scored yourself the most precious Genin ever!"
I ducked my head blushing. Oh Kami, adults could be so embarrassing to children. I couldn't imagine anyone saying this to me if I was older. I just focused on my curry as Gaku laughed. It was embarrassing but it oddly made me feel warm and happy. Stupid baby emotions. Despite my internal grumbling I was smiling. I decided, I really liked Nami.
A/N Oh wowie, this was a loooong chapter, like 6 thousand words long. I wrote 20 chapters in advance and she's still a kid, so when I say this is a slow burn, it mean it. I wonder if I should make the story go along faster, but I also enjoy reading stories where people slowly progress from being a nobody to having a rich history and character development. Give me your thoughts on that, although I've already written 15 chapters you haven't read, so keep that in mind XD
Cwrywn- Thanks so much for your review! Yeah, I did wonder if I should make Minato her sensei, but that would ruin some story elements I had planned for the future. Gaku is always a joy to write. Also yeah, I can't wait for you to see Kushina in the future XD
Deathfire23- Hehehehehe well let's see~
JM of hell- Good guess on Yua! Also thanks, I'm so honoured that you like her character
PepperonyOwl- The Nara's are definitely my favourite Clan too. So chill and boy do I aspire to be that XD