Should I show Ino's POV? I am debating making her a main character...
I am juggling two major ideas for this series... I just need someone to bounce the idea off of...
Rai left his and his brother's apartment early, a thought clear in his mind as he wandered the streets of The Leaf Village. It may have been silly for some, but it was a question that could and very well would devastate Naruto if he heard it. It was something that popped, innocently, enough, into his mind the moment he left the Hospital the night before...
And that question?
'Should I leave Team Seven to more permantly join the Hospital?' The question was so simple, the benefits so clear to him... 'I actually felt like my work meant something, no matter how menial it was... and I was learning something unlike with Kakashi. I bet in a year I could easily become a Level Three medic. I am smart and I am working hard and Kabuto is a great teacher... but what would Naruto think? How would he handle losing me as a teammate? Would he be lonely with only rough Sakura and rude Sasuke on his team? Would he see it as me abandoning him?'
The question was like a fifty pound weight on his chest...
He knew that if he joined the Hospital, but remained a Ninja, he would be working and training at the Hospital for three days a week while training on his own for the other three days. Much as he loved his brother, he would only really see him at home and during the days he had off when they could train together. He would be constantly busy and on call if anything majorly bad happened. It was not an easy choice...
And so he wandered, eventually stopping at a local dango shop to get some food with his cash from the Wave mission. He stayed there for almost an hour, only leaving when he felt cruel eyes staring at him. He knew that in order to prevent a fight or be forced to leave to make the place less toxic, he had to leave on his own and so he did.
He wandered for a little while longer before hurrying up to the bridge he was supposed to meet his team at.
Naruto, Sakura and Sasuke were all already there waiting. "Hello you three, how are you?" He asked, getting a rare smile from Sakura and a nod from Sasuke. Naruto beamed a happy smile at him.
"Hey Rai! Why'd you leave so early?"
"I needed some alone time, that's all Ru."
Sakura then opened her mouth. "I'm fine, how are you Rai? How was work in the Hospital?"
"Peachy, really. The work is meh, but the training is great. My teacher is wonderful, I've learned a lot already. I taught Naruto it yesterday, so now we can both walk on water."
Her eyes widened, and even Sasuke seemed impressed and jealous all at once. " Wow, really?"
"Yeah, you need a lot of control to be a Medic and more chakra. The exercise is great for both boosting your control and reserves... since Kakashi is going to be late, I could teach it you both right now if you'd like?"
Both nodded but Naruto seemed to ooze annoyance.
To Naruto's deep annoyance both Sakura and Sasuke easily mastered the technique he had worked so hard to master the night before on the bathwater. He frowned, seeing his brother explaining things to both of their teammates. "... Remember, you have to be careful of change in the water be it temperature or just movement. Anything can result in the dispelling or failure of your technique."
Frowning, Naruto hurried over to them, diving over the bridge rails to land easily on the water's surface. " Cool, right?" He hid his frown, having hoped to show off to the team what he had managed to learn. He had been so proud of himself really, it wasn't easy but he had managed it damn it. He deserved to be proud.
The others just looked at him, but it was his brother who spoke. "Hey Ru, and yeah it is cool. You actually learned it faster then Sasuke did, so good on you."
Naruto made a victory smirk, putting out two fingers as he watched Sasuke brood as per usual. "And that's not all I've learned, I picked up some Iado too. Not to brag but I think I'm making some serious progress. What do you think Sakura, want to date me now?"
The girl looked ready to vomit. "Not on your life."
"Enough Naruto, she made her interest or lack there of perfectly clear...besides, I thought you were over her." Rai frowned at him a little, annoying Naruto deeply.
Not that he got the chance to really focus on it as suddenly they all heard Kakashi's voice. "Hey, good morning everyone. Sorry I'm late, I got lost on the path of life." Naruto didn't even bother to call the man out, having learned and agreed with his brother it was pointless. "I know this sudden but I recommended you for the chunin exams... well three of you anyway. One of you has to stay back, for only three of you can join in the Chunin exams. These are the application forms."
"Application forms?" Sakura asked.
"Your repeating me Sakura." Kakashi mocked. "This is all voluntary. It is up to each of you. If you don't feel ready you can wait till next year."
Naruto didn't care for decorum and charged Kakashi, slamming into him with a hug. "Kakashi Sensei you rock!"
"Don't slobber on my vest. " He pulled off Naruto, looking kind of annoyed. "Whoever wants to take the exam sign the application and come to room 301 at the academy. It's a three A.M. five days from now."
Naruto was so excited he barely heard his brother sigh. "I can't take this... I... sigh... I am leaving Team Seven and I am joining the Hospital full time."
Pain exploded in Naruto's chest, but he withheld it all to look at his brother. "Why?"
Rai sighed. "I felt like what I was doing actually mattered Naruto. I can help people and excel there, but here I will always bee extra weight. Besides, I actually have a teacher that is willing to teach me things, unlike Kakashi."
"Hey!" Kakashi barked out.
"I will be going to the Hospital and telling them Today... but we will still be training together Naruto. I want to kick your ass daily, remember?"
Despite his pain, Naruto could not hold back his laugh. "Yeah, sure, or maybe I'll beat your ass instead."
Rai just smirked at him for a moment. "I'll ask if I can watch wherever possible... but I have to do this Naruto. This is the future I chose to make."
Naruto hugged his brother, his own pain fading away just enough to bare the loss. "I understand. Like I want to be Hokage, this is your path. Be the best at it."
"Of course... and I am sorry to you two, if you ever need a person to talk to or train with just find me on my day off. Just cause I am leaving the team doesn't mean I don't care, you know?"
Sakura nodded, looking almost weepy. "We'll miss you... thanks for teaching us to walk on water and all that."
"Not a problem... see you guys later."
And without hesitating, Rai turned on heel and marched away, leaving Team Seven forever.
Kakashi looked almost sad. "Well, that helps with that... I guess... anyway, don't be late you three. See you them, Ja Ne."
It almost hurt Rai to leave the team, they had been through a lot together but this was the right choice to make... for them all. Of that he was absolutely sure...
Taking his time, he walked to the hospital, quickly making his way to Preceptor Manji's office. Knocking on the door, he was received conformation to be let in. The man before him actually recoiled when he saw him.
"Leaving the Hospital already?"
"No, the opposite ... my team, one of four people, was signed up for the Chunin exams... I had been thinking of something, mainly if I should stay here full time but being told that only three can take the exams... I well... I made my choice. I would like to become a full time medic in training. Since my creation, I have felt without purpose or value. I thought I was just my brother's clone no matter what I did. It wasn't easy, but working here I felt... like I mattered, that what I did mattered. I would like to join full time. If that is alright with you, Preceptor Manji."
The man before him laughed hard and loud, before a warm smile crossed his face. " I would be honored, kid. I got a lot of good reports on you, especially from Kabuto."
"I am grateful to hear that... I worked hard, but if it is alright I have one request. I would like to watch what I can with the chunin exams. My brother and old team is apart of it... and I... um. I would like to support them."
Waving him off, the man nodded. " Granted, it would only be one or two days anyway, not a big deal. Now, I am going to need you to take a file up to the Hokage, to explain you choice and show that I approve. This will allow you to become a full Ninja Medic in training, excusing you from your team entirely. I would go up now and get it stamped. He should have some openings to talk to you now, if I remember his normal schedule properly." The man handed Rai a piece of paper, after signing it in a few places. " You'll need to sign it in front of the Hokage, to prove that you mean this. It also gives you some time to back out of this before you commit so much time to this... it isn't easy work kid. You will really struggle at times, see horrible things and suffer a lot. Do you really want this?"
"Yes... without reservation."
And he meant it, entirely.
"Wow..." Ino said, unable to hide her shock as she looked at her newest friend and the new badge in his hand. "Ninja Medic in training, full time. Seriously that is a huge responsibility. Are you up for it?"
Rai nodded, happily laying next to the pretty girl in a dry spot in her family gardens she had lead him too when he knocked on her door. After visiting and explaining things to the Hokage, who approved with happy smile, he had advised him to find some personal time to enjoy since as a medic he would so rarely get the chance. For some reason the only thing he wanted to do was visit Ino and so he did, popping by her home with a pep in his step.
The girl had been very, very eager to hang out with him, having just finished her missions for the day.
"I am... glad to find something that gives me purpose. It is nice to have my own thing, away from just being Naruto's clone or brother. Or being a part of team Seven, which was my brother's team... or just being a regular Ninja. I want to earn more then the memories I stole from Naruto. Don't mistake it, I love my brother and I am glad to be a part of his life but... it's it nice to be myself."
Ino nodded. " I can imagine... do you think you'll move out?"
"Maybe, but not for a while. I like living with him, he makes great company. As do you, Ino. " They shared a warm smile, one that left him feeling warm. "So, did you get elected to join in the Chunin exams?"
Ino's entire face lit up, her already remarkable beauty amplified a hundred times. "Yeah, my idiot teammates aren't so excited but I am. Really it's going to be amazing to show what I can do!"
"Well, I am happy to have more people to cheer on. I already have time off to watch you guys, it was the only thing I asked for."
"I can't wait for it, this is it... the next step in my goal to be a great Ninja..."
"And be noticed by Sasuke?" He felt something when he said that, as if the words were toxic and he had spit them out. He wasn't sure why though...
Ino looked at him and seemed to understand more then he did. " No... I would rather be noticed by you I think." And then she kissed him, softly and sweet on the lips. She pulled away, laughing a little at his stunned look. "Sasuke is handsome and all but you actually spend time with me, train with me, take me seriously... your definitely better then he is and just as handsome, especially with that cute braid."
Sputtering, unable to respond, he just lay there as she laughed at him.
"Minato, you would be so proud of you sons." Hiruzen sighed, looking at the picture of his late successor on his wall. " One is training with a blade like his mother and wants to be Hokage, the other is training to be a great medic and is already receiving shining reports... both are great in their own way. It is amazing to watch them grow, truly I am glad I trusted Inoichi and did not take Rai's life. He is not the risk I perceived him as... he is a valuable asset of the village and I am proud to have him as a part of it."
Smiling, he lay back in his chair.
"I wonder what Jiriaya is going to do about Rai, I know he is going to train Naruto eventually but will he accept Rai as well? He may not be his godson by some measures but he is still your son. I hope that ends up being what matters. Both boys could really benefit from it, that is clear to me."
He stood, walking towards the wall, getting closer to the picture. "What would you think of Rai, would you see him as your son or the product of a random accident? I hope it is the first one, the boy is as wonderful as Naruto is, he is even bringing out the best of Naruto's lingering potential. Pity I could not get the chance to see him in the Chunin exams this time, I feel he would excel... pity but I cannot fault him for the path he has chosen... it is a good one, strong, one that will lead him far.
Naruto will become Hokage one day and Rai will be the supports that lift that future up for all to see. That much is clear..."
Chapter end, tell me what you think in the reviews.
I am beyond proud of this chapter and story.
Love, your Ninja Overlord,