Disclaimer: Naruto and its characters belong to Masashi Kishimoto

"Please Mommy, please? Just one more time?" Boruto begs, hoping his puppy dog eyes will tip the scales in his favor.

As usual, those baby blues, so much like Naruto's, tug at Hinata's heartstrings, but one glance at the bedside clock prompts the mom in her to stand her ground.

"I'm sorry sweetie, it's way past your bedtime, so we'll have to put this book away for tonight."

A cute little pout appears as he crosses his little arms across his chest in protest, and she tries to hide her smile. He really is adorable when he's like this.

"Don't worry," Hinata assures, ruffling his hair. "We'll have time to read it again another time. For now, it's time for bed. Come now, Boruto, you must be tired after all that trick or treating you did. You need to get to sleep before your friends arrive early tomorrow morning."

"Wait. Friends?" he pauses. "Friends are coming over tomorrow? he perks. "Who?"

"Oh goodness, did I forget tell you? The day's been so busy it must have skipped my mind. Auntie Sakura asked me to babysit Sarada. Her grandparents are going to be out of town a few days, so she needs a place to stay while her mom works. Also, Auntie Ino, Auntie Karui, and Auntie Temari need to attend an Ino-Shika-Cho clan meeting so Inojin, Cho Cho, and Shikadai will be joining us as well. Everyone is coming just after breakfast, so you'd better get to sleep."

"This is great!" Boruto cheers. "I can't wait! Hey Mom. Do you think they'll be bringing over their candy?" he asks excitedly.

"Sorry, Boruto. I doubt that, but you collected more than you can possibly eat after going trick or treating with Sarada tonight. Surely you can share."

"Hmmmph!" he harrumphs, and Hinata tsks.

"Uh oh, Boruto. You sound tired. You don't even like candy and you're usually good at sharing."

"But Mommmmm!" he protests.

"Boruto," Hinata presses. "Time to sleep. Once you do, I'm sure you'll see things differently in the morning."

He scrunches his nose, clearly not agreeing, but there is no going against his mother when she's like this.

"Fine," he relents. "But let me do one more thing." Hopping off his bed, he peers behind the headboard. Grabbing the large plastic bag squeezed behind it, he opens the bottom drawer of his desk and plops it in.

"There," he says satisfied." My treats should be safe now."

Hinata smiles. Boruto's been copying his favorite character in the Halloween book they've been reading. The main character, Harriett, spends her day hiding her candy from her little brother, ensuring she hoards all the treats to herself. Only in the book, Harriett loves candy and Boruto does not. Boruto's been having fun being secretive and stashing his bag of goodies in different spots around the house. For now it seems her son's not interested in eating them, just counting them, and perhaps bragging to everyone with the number of treats he collected. (Tonight he's proud to know he has the most!) Pulling back the bed sheets, Hinata signals for him to crawl in.

"Okay, Boruto. Now that that's done, time for bed."

Yawning, her young son doesn't have the energy to disagree.

"Good night, Boruto," she says, delivering a kiss to him and tucking him.

"Good night Mom," he returns.

The next morning, Hinata rushes to get the house ready for their guests. Himawari is being extra fussy so she checks her diaper before seeing what Boruto is up to. Although he's quiet, she is happy to know it isn't because he's up to any mischief, he's just sitting on the floor in the toy room sorting his candy. First by size, then by color, and eventually by favorites.

"46, 47, 48, 49, 50!" Boruto says proudly. Rubbing his hands together he crows. "Look at all my candy, Mom!"

Hinata's amused. It's been nothing but fun to see him enjoying the treats from his trick or treating escapades.

"Wow, that's some collection you have there," she comments, and he beams.

"It is, isn't it, Mom?" he says with pride. "I bet you Sarada doesn't have nearly as many. She ended up missing a few houses when she stopped to talk to Cho Cho."

Hinata's happy for him but his last comment worries her. Boasting he's better than the young Uchiha isn't what she wants him to be doing all day, and fighting over candy will definitely not make it fun for either of them.

"Now Boruto, you shouldn't worry about how many Sarada has or doesn't have. Just be happy with your collection and be thankful Auntie Sakura took you along with them."

"I know. I know," he says to appease her, but he still hopes he's the one to have the most.

Not before long, the doorbell rings, and Sarada is ushered in. Hinata happily walks her over to Boruto then goes back to join Sakura.

"Hey Boruto," she greets.

"Hey, Sarada."

"I had a lot of fun trick or treating with you last night, but let's do something different today," she suggests.

"Sure. What do you feel like doing?" Boruto asks.

She shrugs. "I dunno. What about you?"

"Wanna to go outside?"

It's a nice day, not too hot, nor too cold, so with nothing better to do, she agrees. "Sure."

"Boruto," his mother's voice then calls from the other room. "I want to show Auntie Sakura something in the garden for a second. Watch Himawari for me. Okay?"

"Mommmm," he grumbles, then quickly corrects himself so he doesn't get into trouble. "All right, Mom!" he answers.

Himawari's in the corner pushing the buttons on her favorite light up toy and he pays her no mind, quickly moving his attention to Sarada to think of something else to do for the time being. Even if his friend doesn't seem overly interested, showing off his candies is foremost on his mind so he makes a swift decision.

"Hey Sarada. It looks like we're going to have to wait inside until my Mom comes back. We can head outside soon, but first, wait here. I want to show you something."

"What is it?" Sarada asks curiously.

"Just wait!" he insists, then stealthily runs into his room and comes running back.

"Lookie here," Boruto boasts. "It's my Halloween stash," he beams.

He's confident he has the most treats of everyone and just a wee bit proud. Sarada's eyes go wide when she peers inside the bag and seeing her surprise he instinctively pulls his bag back protectively and closes it.

"Sorry Sarada. You can't have any," he says abruptly.

"Geez Boruto. Don't worry. I'm not asking for any. Let me just see what you've got."

Boruto gives her the once over but eventually he caves. He's too excited to show off his collection and now that he has a captive audience, the young Uzumaki proudly opens the bag and begins lining up his candies by favorites, puffing out his chest a little bit and showing the entirety of his collection to his friend. Forty-two chocolates and eight other kinds of candies sprinkle the floor.

"How many do you have, Sarada?" he inquires.

"I started out with 30," she admits, "but Mama ate a few, so I probably have less than 20 now."

He's inwardly ecstatic, but just then her stomach growls.

"Sorry about that," she says embarrassed. "Mama woke me up early and there wasn't time to eat breakfast."

He pauses and for a moment, feeling a little guilty he's hoarding his huge candy stash all to himself when he knows she's hungry.

Sarada says nothing but when the grumbling happens again, guilt seeps further into his conscience. He knows if it weren't for Sakura and Sarada he wouldn't have been able to trick or treat last night. Internally he wars with himself then ultimately ends up deciding to offer one to her.

"Boruto," she scolds. "I thought you said I wasn't allowed to have any."

"Well, I changed my mind," he says, as if that explains everything.

Shrugging her shoulders, Sarada holds out her hand.

"Okay then."

"Just one," he reminds her, handing over one of his least favorites.

"Fine... And... Thank you," she says before ripping away the wrapper and popping it into her mouth. A brief moment passes and her eyes light up. "Wow," she says, surprise evident. "It's really good." What kind of candy is that? I'm not sure I got one of those."

"Here," Boruto says retrieving the wrapper. "Keep it, so you remember it for the future."

Sarada crinkles the wrapper and tucks it away in her pocket. Boruto then gathers his candies and dumps them all back into the bag. Running past his sister and shooing Sarada out of the room, he tells the young Uchiha to wait for him outside then scampers back to put his bag under a couch cushion for safe keeping.

Hightailing it back, he nearly runs into Sakura.

"In a rush?" she teases.

"Oh sorry, Uchiha-san" he apologizes.

"It's okay, Boruto. I know you're excited. Don't mind me. Head off to play."

"Thanks," he replies.

Right then, the doorbell rings and other friends arrive. Picking up his sister, he makes his way to the foyer to greet everyone.

"Hey guys, Sarada's already out back. C'mon, are you ready? Let's join her!" And that's all it takes for everyone to rush outside with him.

Games ensue and everyone laughs while playing on the jungle gym. Himawari is content watching everyone from her swing, so Hinata busies herself in the kitchen.

After lunch, the youngest Uzumaki takes her daily nap and the gang gathers around to see what's in the Uzumaki toy chest. The girls opt to play with dolls while the boys play with darts. When the girls ask to trade games, Boruto flat out says, 'no,' upsetting Cho Cho.

"Gosh, why do you have to be so mean?" she complains.

"I'm not mean," Boruto says plainly. "I just don't want to play with dolls. You can understand that, right?"

It's not fair, but Sarada pulls her aside and after whispering something to her friend, the girls march away without another word.

A little while later, when the girls are playing with a now awake Himawari, Boruto catches Cho Cho and Sarada pulling Inojin over and laughing about something funny. He quickly calls Inojin back and his friend resumes playing with him, so Boruto pays it no mind. It's been great having everyone over and he's having the time of his life.

Fun piles on top of more fun and at the end of the day they all get together and play tag, running and laughing the hours away until Sakura comes to get Sarada, and the boys and Cho Cho are ready to leave with Ino.

"Aw, does everyone have to go home already?" Boruto asks.

"Boruto," Ino chides. "The kids have been here the entire day. It's getting late and I'm sure your mom must be very tired."

"Actually," Hinata mentions, "the kids have played very well together. And for once I've been able to get more things done around the house. Everyone kept themselves busy and Himawari was entertained. It was almost like they babysat themselves."

"I'm glad," Ino says. "Thanks again, Hinata. We all appreciate it."

"Anytime," the byagukan user smiles, bidding them a farewell.

That night, Naruto surprises the entire family and comes home for dinner early, spending the evening chasing after the kids and playing with them. It's no wonder, after an hour of fun, Boruto is tuckered out.

Just before Himawari's bedtime, as per the usual, Naruto is called away, so he bids them all a good night. Hinata is then able to get Boruto to bathe and put away his toys while she gets Himawari off to bed. Before finally laying to rest, her son insists she read his favorite book again, and she agrees. He's glued to each page, and once the end of the story arrives, he springs out of bed to recover his hidden candies and lays them out on the floor once more to count them before going to sleep.

"44, 45, 46, 47, 48. Wait a minute." He frowns. "I thought I had 50!" he exclaims.

"Boruto, are you sure you didn't eat any?" Hinata asks.

"I didn't," he says adamantly, then thinks about it. "Oh wait, I remember I gave one to Sarada this morning. But only one," he insists.

"Okay then, that explains why there are less."

"But I only shared one," he whines. "I had 50 earlier Mom. There should be 49!"

"Come now Boruto, are you really that sure?" Hinata asks. "You just now forgot you gave one to Sarada. Perhaps you ate one while she had hers or you shared one with somebody else."

Boruto thinks hard but doesn't remember any such thing.

"Hmm. I'm pretty sure I'd remember that," he pouts, but soon a wave of exhaustion hits him and he yawns. Since all of his favorites are intact he decides to shrug it off and hides away the remaining goods in his drawer.

"Anyway, I have 48 now," he says to her. "That's still a lot."

"It definitely is," she agrees. "Now time to sleep," Hinata tells him.

Willingly, he slides inside his sheets.

"Good night, Boruto," his mother says with a kiss. "Sweet dreams."

"Sweet dreams, Mom."

For a moment Boruto wonders about the missing treat, but before he knows it, exhaustion claims his little body and he quickly drifts out of consciousness.

Okay, the mystery has begun. Is there a candy thief or is it just a case of miscounting? Take a guess if you think there's a culprit. Or just review. I'd love to hear from you. I've decided to put this chapter out as a test. If the reception is positive, expect an update soon.

For those interested, the book being referred to here is: Harriet's Halloween Candy by Nancy Carlson, a longtime kiddie favorite in the US.