Disclaimer: Naruto and its characters belong to Masashi Kishimoto

"Hurry, Mom. Let's get going!" Boruto strongly suggests the next morning.

"It's a bit early, don't you think?" Hinata questions.

"Yeah, but I have a candy bandit to find," he tells her.

"Hold on a minute. Let me get Himawari ready, and then we'll leave, but Boruto, please be careful with your blame. No one is a thief or bandit unless proven guilty," she adds.

"Fine," he grumbles.

While she's busy changing and dressing Himawari, Boruto starts thinking about the potential suspects and stops his dad just before he heads out.

"Hey Dad," he hollers. "Which of my candies did you eat?" He blurts, just to test him.

"Your what?" Naruto asks, puzzled, walking toward him.

"My candies," Boruto clarifies, holding out his treat sack to further cue him in.

"Huh? Candy? I didn't even know you had a treat sack," Naruto admits. "Sorry, Boruto, I didn't try one yet, but would you like to share one with me now?" Naruto asks brightly.

Boruto crosses his arms. "Dad," he complains. "I'm short a few treats."

"Well, in that case, don't worry about sharing. Go ahead and keep your treasures safe and I hope you find the missing ones," Naruto says, ruffling his hair and heading out the door.

Boruto had hoped his dad was the culprit, but unfortunately with the response he just received, it seems unlikely. Consequently, this only makes the young Uzumaki more suspicious of his friends. Which of you is the candy bandit? he thinks to himself. As he moves his stash of goodies from his clothes drawer to a spot under a sofa cushion, he waits for his Mom, and mulls over the facts.

Enjoying the early afternoon now that Boruto is at school and Himawari's down for a nap, leisurely, Hinata cleans around the house, and to her surprise, just as she sweeps behind the living room curtain, she discovers a few stray candy wrappers.

"That's strange," she says, eyeing her find. "Maybe one of the kids did get into his bag after all," she muses.

After school, Boruto rushes over to greet his Mom. The moment Hinata's in earshot he practically bubbles over to tell her about his day.

"Hey, Mom. No one admitted to taking my candies, but I just know someone's guilty. Will you help me?"

"I'm not sure, Boruto. What sort of help do you need?"

"How about I'll share what each of my friends said, then you to tell me whether or not you think they're the candy bandit."

"Sounds fair," Hinata agrees.

He brightens, and their walk home is then filled with excited chatter over Boruto's discoveries.

"This morning I asked Shikadai about his candy collection. Just to compare," he clarifies, remembering his Mom's warning about bragging about having the most candies. "But he said he had no idea. Can you believe it? No idea! I asked him why that was, and it turns out Shikadai went to the dentist before Halloween and had to have his teeth drilled. He said it hurt A LOT, but since he's still lazy about brushing his teeth, he's decided it's best just to give candy up. He'll eat it if it's around, but said he's trying to cut down. I went on to tell him about my missing candy and asked him if he knew who took them, but he said he didn't. Neither of us said much after that, but just before the bell rang, he surprised me by offering some of his own candy to me if I needed more. Of course I said, 'no,' but I thought that was nice of him. "

At that she nods.

"Mom, Shikadai's a good buddy, and I know he wouldn't lie, so after our talk, I believe I can rule him out."

Hinata hums in agreement.

"Next, during the first recess, I went to play with Sarada and asked her how many Halloween treats she still had. I was shocked! Can you believe she has none? It's crazy! I can't believe Auntie Sakura ate them all! More than that, I can't understand why Sarada's not even mad. Anyway, it's possible she stole an extra piece from me. I noticed she frowned when I asked her if she took any of my candies, and now that I think about it, she didn't really give me an answer. Basically she was quiet while I asked my question, then out of nowhere she yelled back that she couldn't believe I would suspect her of doing something that and ran away. Sheesh!"

Hinata bites her lip with her retort, and lets him continue.

"At lunchtime, I offered Cho Cho my bag of chips if she could tell me the names of the extra candies that were eaten from my collection or admit to being the thief herself. I knew she wanted my chips badly, but even after three tries, she couldn't give me the right answer, so I walked away. Soon after, she started following me around, demanding I share my bag anyway for her efforts. When I said 'no,' out of nowhere, she got really mad!"

"Shikadai, saved me by sharing his snack with her, but I have to say, she was scary!"

Hinata only shakes her head.

"Then, after school, just before you came, I asked Inojin about his Halloween stash. He bragged he currently has 30 candies but when I asked about my missing treats, he looked me straight in the eye and told me he didn't take any extras. Now, Inojin can do many things, but one thing is for sure, he's a terrible liar. There were no fake smiles plastered his face, so I guess I believe him."

"Geez, Mom. Which of my friends is the candy bandit? Do you think it was one of the girls?"

"Oh Boruto, I'm sure if we look hard enough, there's an explanation."

"Yeah, yeah" he says, defeated. "I'm not happy this is all still a mystery, but let's hurry home, 'cause there's still one thing good left about this day," he tells her.

"What's that?"

"Of all my friends, I found out I still have the most candies," he says proudly. "42!"

So did this chapter change your mind? Who do you think is the candy bandit? Come back and visit soon. The reveal will be posted on Halloween!

Secondly, I'm super tempted to ask, have any of you ever had a candy bandit in your house? If so, who was it? And how did you manage to catch them? I'd love to hear about your own personal candy bandit story.

Remember, reviews are like treats. Please spread them around and show your Halloween spirit!