Disclaimer: Naruto and its characters belong to Masashi Kishimoto

Bounding through the front door, Boruto makes a beeline over to the couch.

"I'm finally home!" he booms. "No more investigating. Just time to have fun!"

Hinata smiles as he scrambles to pull out his candy bag from under the couch cushion. Lining them up, he sorts the candies by favorites. Slowly but surely, Himawari makes her way over to him, but he pushes her back when she gets too close.

"Go away, Himawari. I'm busy right now doing big boy stuff. I'll play with you later."

Innocently, she takes a seat and just watches him.

"Himawari, I know you're still a baby,'" he confides. "But maybe next year when you're a big girl, you can go trick or treating with me and we'll collect double the treats," he says. "You'd like that, right?"

"Um!" is all she says.

"40, 41, 42!" He announces. "Yep, I'm still the one with the most candies!" he announces proudly. Taking the wrapper off of one of his favorites, he pops it into his mouth. "Even after eating this one, I'm still way ahead of Inojin!" he announces.

Hinata smiles as she shakes her head and heads off to the kitchen.

Himawari makes her way over to him again, but Boruto lifts her up and carries her to her toy chest instead. She fusses in his arms, but once he takes out a few of her favorite toys from the toy chest and interacts with her, all is well again.

When dinnertime arrives, Boruto re-visits his question about the candy bandit while he finishes eating his vegetables and Himawari plays in the toy room.

"So who do you think stole my candy, Mom? Sarada or Cho Cho?"

"Boruto," she chides. "Why are you so positive it was one of the girls?"

"Because..." he reasons. "Well, who else could it be?" he shoots back.

"Boruto, you really can't place blame unless you catch someone red-handed …."

But no sooner than she says this, little Himawari comes toddling around the corner with sticky brown goop plastered around her little mouth, clutching onto a shiny little wrapper in her chubby hands.

Boruto's eyes grow wide and he stares at her in shock.

"Wait. Whaaaat?" he shouts as Hinata stares over at her in surprise.

The smell of chocolate permeates their nostrils and Boruto runs into the other room only to find his candy bag displaced from the couch and half his candies strewn on the floor. Hinata's already hot on his heels with a cute little Himawari perched on her hip with messy fingers and smeared chocolate on her cheeks.

"Oh my, little Princess, have YOU been the one getting into Boruto's treats?" she asks, as Boruto hurriedly puts the candies back into his bag.

"Um. Um," is all she says.

"Yum? Yum?" Hinata translates. "Oh my goodness, Boruto," she laughs, looking at the guilty party.
I think we just discovered your little candy bandit. Sweet Himawari, you may only have 4 teeth, but apparently with enough determination and sucking, you're able to get to the treats through the wrappers!"

"ARRGGGH! H-i-m-a-w-a-r-i! I can't believe it! YOU'RE the candy bandit?! Gads, you have no idea how much trouble I got in because of you!" he accuses.

Big, innocent eyes gaze up at him in completely unaware of what her escapades have led to.

"Mommmmm," he grumbles. "I was right! Girls ARE unpredictable and big trouble when they're around!" With that Boruto turns on his heel and runs back to his room with his treats.

Hinata can't help but giggle, all the while little Himawari claps her hands.

At bedtime, once things settle down, to soothe over Boruto's woes, Hinata pulls out his favorite book and reads it to him and Himawari.

In the book, the main character Harriett collects and counts her candy but doesn't share them with anyone. That is until she eats too much all at once and gets sick. Her little brother, Walt, who was hoping for some handouts, is at first denied, but soon becomes the beneficiary of her sudden decreased interest in eating anymore candy, and in the end, Harriett shares her candy with him.

"It's been a big day for you, Boruto," Hinata says. "But now that you're calm, did you learn anything from all of this?"

The blond scrunches his nose.

"Yeah. Never trust girls," he grouses.

Hinata gives him a stern look.

"What?" he shoots back in defense. He's knows what he's saying's not right. He's just sore about his missing treats.

"Boruto," she reprimands, half amused.

"All right. All right," he says.

"Now Boruto, come now, whose fault is this really? The girls were innocent, and we all know Himawari's just a baby. She didn't know any better but we certainly learned she was smart enough to get into your treats! I often catch you telling her she isn't big enough to do stuff but she certainly proved you wrong, wouldn't you say?"

Sheepishly he scratches the back of his head.

"Maybe," he says.

"Also how about learning to share better, so no one is unhappy?" his Mom (being her Mom self) suggests.

"Fine," he concedes.

"Um, um," Yum Yum, Himawari proclaims, and at that, the seriousness of the moment dissolves and a tinkle of laughter begins to bubble through.

"You know, Mom, I always knew Himawari was a good eater but it surprised me how much she loves chocolate," he says. "Who knew?"

"She definitely inherited that trait from Auntie Hanabi," Hinata laughs, "but she sure is starting early! It takes pure determination to suck through the wrapper to get to the goods when you only have 4 teeth!"

"That's for sure," Boruto agrees.

Silence settles over them while they're lost in their thoughts until Boruto speaks up again.

"Mom, she may be small but I can't believe how determined and sneaky Himawari can be. My friends and I are already going to the Pre-Academy but only my little sister managed to go behind our backs and get to the treats without anyone knowing."

"True," Hinata agrees. "She is pretty stealthy. Now that you mention it, perhaps there's another lesson in this. Maybe it's best you be good to your sister and watch out for her," she warns.

Boruto shakes his head.

"Nah," he brushes off. "Nice try Mom. She's still too little do any real damage, so for now, I've got nothing to worry about," he boasts.

Hmmm, she is little, Hinata's muses, but there's something in that twinkle in her eye that tells Hinata she's definitely a little ninja in the making.

The fact is, Himawari is small for now, and perhaps none the wiser, but in a few years, when a determined Boruto has a heated altercation with his little sister and tugs just a little too hard on her favorite bear, causing its appendage to rip off, perhaps he would have found it helpful to have already learned the little lesson of today instead of living to regret his words. (You guessed it! The hidden potential of a little sibling, really isn't something you should ignore!)

The end

Author's note:

The last bit of the story was referencing the episode, "Naruto Hokage for a day," if you haven't seen it.

How funny. I thought some of you would have guessed Sakura was the thief after "Guilty Pleasures," but I guess the hints about Himawari were obvious for many of you from the onset. Special props to wingedmercury for being the first to guess correctly. Thumbs up to Tuvstarr's lost hearts, and Yengirl for your spectacular deductions as well. I really like that suspicious light you spun on Sakura, Yengirl. Sadly I have to say, from personal experience, I wouldn't rule out parents as suspicious candy bandits this or any Halloween.

This was my first mystery story and I'm so happy you made it to the end. Thank you to: guest, NaruHina, Pixie07, Tuvstarr's Lost Heart, and Yengirl. Your reviews made the best treats, and I can't thank you enough for your support. It's October 31, 2018, and I'm putting this out as my treat to all of you. Here's wishing all of you a Spooktacular Halloween with minimal candy bandits lurking in the shadows! Take care, and if you made it this far, please take the time to review! Your feedback is always appreciated. Enjoy the night and if you have the time, share those candy bandit stories with me too! Thanks!