Author's Note: I AM BACK! With a brand new fic! ...I can just see the eyes roll now. "Oh god, no! What about the other fics?! Changing Tune?! A Sensei's Duty?! NO!

Yes Yes I know, I'll get to those next chapters soon. Promise. I was struck by imagination and just started writing like crazy and this is what popped up. lol.

For those of you who don't know me, I am the one and only stilldeluded, I attend college/hell and yes it does suck, because then you don't get to update as often as you like and then you get strangled by fans awaiting your next chapter...but that's enough of that for now. Hopefully reading this fic will keep you intrigued and interested enough to read some of my other works. Hell for all I know you may have actually read some of my other works and never noticed it. I'm trying to build a reputation as one of what do you call them..."crack fics?" man's crack is another man's cannon...I like crack, don't ask me why. It just makes me feel good. lol.

THAT ASIDE...I'm just wasting your valuable reading time...because I like the attention I guess.

Ok I'm just going to be quiet now. Just read and review my fic. lol.


I had failed. Failed to bring Sasuke back…and now he belonged to Orochimaru…


It was true…without Kyuubi I could never have achieved anything. I would have been killed by Haku back in the land of the waves, or Orochimaru in the forest of death, or Gaara…and I definitely wouldn't have stood a chance against Sasuke…not alone…

All of my achievements belong to the fox. And I can't stand it…

But how can I make myself stronger…?


I could agree with that. That was the purpose of the training trip I am going to take with Ero-sannin.


Was that…sarcasm?


What would he teach that I would be so unwilling to learn?


That doesn't sound so bad…


Why? …Why does everything always have to come back to the Kyuubi? For once…I would just like…for everyone to trust in my own power!

Slowly, 13 year old, Naruto Uzumaki opened his eyes to the new day. The light reflecting from the sun hitting the window was the only thing his gaze met. He quenched his eyes groggily before throwing his bandaged hand to cover them. Another dream. It seemed as though these thoughts were frequenting his mind more and more these days. Whether it was from a feeling of lacking in his own abilities or not, the truth of the matter was that they were beginning to trouble him.

"Fuck! Another fucking high card!"

Naruto took a deep breath to calm himself as his roommate once again cursed the heavens at her extremely bad luck in whatever card game she was playing at the moment. Her name was Tayuya, and she is the sole survivor of Orochimaru's elite guard. Apparently, she was picked up by black ops barely alive and brought back to the village for questioning. Healed just enough to keep her alive, but not enough to mend the broken bones in her body, which Ibiki Morino used to his advantage every night during her "questioning."

To be honest, Naruto just thought it was unjust torture. I mean, he knew that she helped Sasuke escape and knew she held a lot of information about the Sound. But to re-break an already fractured ligament? To rip off her fingernails? Not even Naruto held enough of a grudge to say she deserved that.

Yet he was growing to admire her faith with each day that went by. Ibiki had yet to break Tayuya's resiliency. Night after night her painful screams shattered the room, but when it was all over Tayuya simply spat at his boots and gave him the bird.

"Oy dumbass! Get the fuck over here, I wanna play Blackjack!"

Not being one to back down from a challenge, Naruto obliged half-heartedly as thoughts of his training trip with Ero-sannin and of the dream continued to play through his mind. He wondered…what would Ero-sannin teach him? He needed to ask him when he got the chance. Tell him up front he didn't want anything to do with the damnable fox inside of him.

"Staying at Twenty. Just try to fucking beat that bitch!"

Naruto shrugged his shoulders before flipping over his later card and laughing as Tayuya stood guffawed at his hand.

"Blackjack," Naruto laughed.

"Fuck you."

After a quick checkup from Shizune, a signature on a medical release form, and a "Lucky Bastard" from Tayuya, Naruto Uzumaki was deemed a healthy boy ready to walk the streets of Konoha once again.

The streets, as usual, were bustling with hundreds of villagers going around the various marketplaces trading coin for food, appliances, etc. Naruto couldn't help the smile that came across his face. These were the people he wished to protect with every fiber of his being. He watched their smiling faces admiringly as they interacted with one another, making their necessary transactions with the local vendors.

The smile on Naruto's face only widened as he turned the corner and pulled back the flap to his favorite restaurant, Ichiraku Ramen. Oh, how he missed it. It had to have been at least two days since his last meal here. For Naruto, that was considered an unfaithful act! Teuchi Ichiraku submitted him to a small interrogation before finally deciding that Naruto had a legitimate excuse for his absence.

As he finished up his fifth bowl, the flap was opened yet again to reveal Ino Yamanaka walking into the ramen stand. This act of god alone made Naruto spit out half the ramen he was chewing.

"I-Ino?! When did you start eating here?!" Naruto asked in shock as ramen giblets showered all over Ayame Ichiraku, who made a disgusted look before going to wash her face off.

Ino looked around embarrassedly before replying with a slim layer of disgust, "Ugh, no. Chouji asked me to grab him some. Honestly, you'd think that he'd be full after the three helpings of hospital food."

"Chouji's awake?" Naruto asked again in a surprised tone.

Ino nodded, "Yeah, he asked that either me or Shikamaru go get him something, and you know how Shikamaru—"

Naruto toned her out and just kind of nodded while he formulated his own plan in his head. He had acquired a nice amount of money from his last mission (even if it did end in failure, they did manage to take out four people listed in the bingo book) after all, and he felt like he needed to do something nice for everybody.

"—and then I decided that ramen was probably the best thing to get, since it's cheaper than barbeque," Ino continued until she noticed Naruto's blank look. "Hey, are you listening to me?" She asked angrily.

Naruto upon hearing her finally found the ability to snap out of his reverie at this and decided a change in conversation was needed…fast! "Hey, I got an idea! Let's bring ramen to everyone we know that's still in the hospital!"

Ino looked at him like he was insane before a wicked scheme cooked up in her head. "Alright Naruto-kun, but only if you'll help me pay for Chouji's tab."

Naruto blinked before blushing, "Alright Ino, but only if you promise never to call me Naruto-kun again…that was just…anyway, sure."

Ino smiled happily. She liked it when she got her way.

The Konoha Secret Delivery Service was in effect! There was no way that Naruto and Ino could hide ten boxed lunches from all the nurses that worked in the hospital. The nurses were insanely strict about the proper diet for their patients. So in a very ninja-like fashion, Naruto and Ino found themselves jumping sneakily onto the hospital roof and taking the stairs down into the hospital corridors.

"Coast is clear on the third floor. Anybody we know down there?" Naruto asked as he carefully (but barely) balanced eight ramen boxes under his arms.

Ino had gone in earlier and worked her magic on a male nurse. While he was distracted, she secretly had stolen the hospital registry from under his nose. Naruto wouldn't admit it out loud…but Ino was a very manipulative girl.

"Doesn't look like it," Ino stated with two boxes held securely under her arm and against her hip while checking the registry that was held in her other hand. "Kiba and Neji are on the second floor and Chouji's on the first."

Naruto nodded and lead the way to the second floor. With the coast clear, the two shinobi made their way to Neji's room. Unfortunately, he was asleep so they were forced to set the box not too far away from the bed and leave. Checking once again that no nurse was roaming, they made their way to Kiba's room who was throwing a rubber ball against the opposite wall and catching it on the return bounce.

"Hey," Kiba said with a hint of boredom. Soon the loving smell of ramen introduced itself very merrily to his nose. His stomach churned with hunger.

"You hungry, fleabag?" Naruto laughed much to Kiba's annoyance.

"Oh come on," Kiba growled, "don't tell me you came to tempt me with food and then leave! Do you have any idea how inedible some of this crap is?" Kiba begged before asking.

As if to prove his point Kiba threw a bread roll at the wall. To Naruto's and Ino's surprise the roll put a dent in the wall before falling to the ground.

"Even Akamaru wouldn't touch it," Kiba went on attempting to prove his point further, but Ino seemed to already have enough of his complaining.

"Alright! We get it!" Ino yelled before setting down her pile for Kiba to eat. "Come on Naruto we still have seven more we have to get to Chouji."

"Hey Ino, do you mind giving me a—" It was too late as she had already stormed off back down the hall. "—hand…?"

"She totally left you out to dry," Kiba smirked. "But I've gotta say, you and her seem to be off to a nice start."

Naruto blushed out of embarrassment, "No! No! She's not—I don't even like her like that!" Naruto declared before rushing out of the room.

"Uh huh…" Kiba drawled before slipping some noodles into his mouth, "Whatever you say…"

"Stupid Kiba-teme going and saying a bunch of crap," Naruto vented as he closed in on Chouji's room.

Upon entering Chouji's room, Naruto's face went bug-eyed. Hundreds upon thousands of bowls of food were littering the ground by the second. A nurse that hurried in behind him would have knocked Naruto off balance if he hadn't sidestepped her at the last second. They were coming in back and forth trying to clean up the littered dishes, but for the most part it was in vein since there were two times as many nurses rushing in with food that Chouji was ordering through the intercom.

If there was one thing he could learn by just looking, it was that you should never leave an Akimichi chakra depleted.

"Honestly Chouji! Restraint! Restraint! R-E-S-T-R-A-I-N-T! Ever heard of the word?!" Ino raved while Chouji downed two more meals.

"But Ino, I'm hungry and Shikamaru said the best way to get all my chakra back was to get a full stomach!" Chouji whined.

"Ugh!" Ino raged, "When I get my hands on Shikamaru I'll—Where is he anyway?!"

As if to answer the question, a hand shot out of a pile of bowls that were stacked up in the corner. This only seemed to add on to Ino's temper.

"Grr! Shikamaru! You were supposed to make sure he kept himself in check! That last nurse was crying with all the dishes she was carrying away! And what are you doing underneath all that garbage!?"

Shikamaru simply shrugged, "Chouji just kept eating and it was too troublesome to stop him."

"So why were you under the garbage?!" Ino exclaimed out of irritation.

"Too troublesome."

This response just seemed to invoke an even more irritated response from Ino, as now she was pulling on her hair while gritting her teeth. "I just can't take it! Why did I have to get such an annoying team!?" She screamed before storming out the door.

"Troublesome woman," Shikamaru sighed as Naruto handed four boxes to Chouji who took them greedily.

Naruto gave a hesitated laugh, hoping Ino wasn't right outside the door for the sake of the lazy chuunin. "Here. I saved you one."

Shikamaru gave a half nod of acknowledgement before Naruto decided to leave the room. He was relieved to be rid of most of the boxes he was carrying. The last two he had decided to reserve at the last second for another person, though he didn't really know whether or not she would want them.

As he made his way towards the last room, Ino called out to him, "Hey, I thought we were giving the rest to Chouji?" she questioned.

"Naruto smiled half-heartedly before replying, "…well there's one more person I want to make a delivery too…"

Despite her condition, Tayuya's room was under heavy guard by the ANBU Black Ops. Though an attempt was made to distract them, it, of course, was a failure. So after stating his reasons for being there and checking the contents of the boxes of ramen in question, the anbu nodded that it was safe and that nothing harmful was hidden in the box. Thus, Naruto and Ino were thankful for being given entry.

Though Naruto did have to admit that allowing a visitor to an enemy ninja was kind of…well he didn't really have the word for it, but he was sure it wasn't a normal everyday thing.

"What the hell do you want?" Tayuya asked upon seeing Naruto walk in to greet her and smirked as the blond-haired girl made her way in right behind him. "Who's the slut?"

Ino stood baffled at the term used to describe her, "Why you—!"

Naruto held up his hand to effectively silence Ino before looking back at Tayuya. "This is Yamanaka Ino, Ino this is Tayuya.

Ino just offered a fake smile but Tayuya didn't seem to notice.

"I'd shake your fucking hand if it weren't for the cast," Tayuya said while glaring at the evil confining mechanism attached to her right hand. "Fucking cast." She muttered.

"We brought you some food." Naruto stated ignoring her comment and getting down to the point of his visit. "Girls don't really seem to like it, but it's better than the chalky stuff they serve here." He continued with a smile on his face.

Tayuya didn't really know what to say. Naruto could tell she was grateful by the look she was giving him, however the words "Thank You" were probably not something that was regularly used in her rather colorful vocabulary.

"Whatever," Tayuya said before turning her face to where Naruto couldn't see it, "I need someone to feed me though. My left hand can't do shit."

This seemed to cause a rise out of Ino, "You know, you could be a little more grateful, we didn't have to—"

Naruto cooled Ino's temper again with a raise of his hand before smiling back at Tayuya again. "I think maybe I can handle that."

The room was swept over with silence as Naruto fed Tayuya. Spoonful by spoonful the first ramen bowl slowly but steadily emptied out. As Naruto went to grab the second box Tayuya stopped him. "That's enough." She stated quieter than usual.

Naruto would have protested had Ino not stopped him with her own question that had been bugging her. "You know, I've never seen you around before. Are you new to the village or something?"

Naruto wasn't going to lie to himself. The question scared him. How would Ino react knowing that Tayuya was one of the Sound Ninjas that helped Sasuke escape?

"Tch. I wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for those damned anbu bringing me in. I wish I would have just fucking died when that tree crushed me." Tayuya replied somberly. "Honest to god, your village is such a shithole, not as big a shithole as my shithole, but a shithole none the less."

"Why do you say that?" Naruto asked while baring the insults to his village.

Tayuya paused at the question and looked Naruto straight in the eyes. Her eyes were empty of any life they may have once held, void of all emotion. This look she was giving was nothing but the honest truth. A bitter smile slowly formed on her lips as she began speaking.

"Feeble-minded fool. You really think this place is amazing, don't you? It's not. You aren't even allowed to leave this shithole unless you are on a mission. If you do you're automatically marked a traitor. Hell, I bet the only reason that shadow bastard was ordered to retrieve Sasuke was because he's the last of his precious little clan. Normally your village would just have fucking killed him on sight for such a betrayal.

Tayuya's words were replaying slowly inside Naruto's head. He couldn't think of any moment where a ninja had left the village outside of a mission. Nor did he have a proper rebuttal that could falsify Tayuya's opinions. What would have happened if he had brought back Sasuke? Naruto had never really thought about it, but he knew he would probably face some severe punishment.

"Also…this place is renowned for some of the most famous ninja, and yet they teach their students jack shit. Sharingan Kakashi probably knows over a thousand fucking jutsus, and yet how many has he actually taught you?"

Hardly any…if any at all…even Sasuke had noticed this…was this why he left…? Naruto's dream was slowly resurfacing to his mind…



All of his thoughts…all of his fears…they were being reassured once again with each breath Tayuya took. More words were spoken, and for the first time, Naruto began to realize something…

This village…wasn't perfect.

"But what really fucking pisses me off is your sense of justice," Tayuya drawled on. "You assume as though every little thing you do is the right thing and then piss on other countries for having different beliefs. Seriously have you ever fucking wondered how the great wars started? She asked. "It began with a grudge between two countries and then two political leaders from those countries ended up arguing over their religious outlooks. Then "boom," fucking war breaks out leaving families separated and lives destroyed. All because the shit hit the fan between two fat-assed politics."

Naruto didn't really know what to say to that, but judging by the loneliness that reflected within Tayuya's eyes…he could tell that part of her own life story was hidden within her words. The room was silent for quite a while. Even Ino didn't really seem to know what to say to any of the things being said. Naruto had never really looked at the world as a whole. It was a whole new experience for him…

"So if Konoha is so corrupt, why are we considered the greatest nation?" Ino asked genuinely confused.

"Tch." Tayuya rolled her eyes, "Is that what they teach you in your fucking academies? How great you are? Big fucking deal! So you've won all the wars you've ever been in and killed the greatest demon in the whole fucking land. I'll admit you've got a pretty tight army of elite ninjas with bloodlines and shit, but the truth is it's made you arrogant and cocky. The whole fucking world is just begging to see Konoha get blown to hell after their cockiness makes them bite off a little more than they can chew."

Ino couldn't hold the scoff back from the vulgarity of Tayuya's vocabulary. But Tayuya didn't seem to notice (or maybe care) and continued with her little lecture.

"I mean seriously, come on, why the hell do you think the Sand betrayed their alliance with the Leaf in the first place." She asked sarcastically. "You're too fucking arrogant for your own good. Thinking you're above everyone else. Thinking you can just sadistically do whatever the fuck you want to get what you want. Like gods or some shit...It just fucking sickens me…"

Naruto wasn't the brightest guy around the block, but he knew the difference between being aggravated and upset. Whether she wanted to believe it or not, she was reaching her breaking point. Ibiki was getting closer to attaining the information he needed. The only feeling Naruto had left over Tayuya's predicament was disgust. He wished that he could help her, but for now he felt that he needed to leave. Tayuya needed some time to herself.

"Stay strong." Naruto nodded while motioning Ino to follow him. Ino nodded respectfully as well before turning and leaving behind Naruto.

The two walked in silence out of the hospital and further down the streets of Konoha together. During their time within the hospital the evening had begun to sink in. The sunset was dimly keeping the world alight from the passed down narrow alleys taking shortcuts until finally they found themselves outside of Ino's residence. By that time the world had now finally faded to black. Naruto managed a half-smile and a nod of acknowledgement to Ino in the darkness before turning in the direction of his own home.

"Naruto!" Ino called chasing him down. "Listen…about what Tayuya said—"

It was dark but Naruto could tell that Ino didn't want to be talking about this anywhere out in the open. For that matter…neither did Naruto…

"Let's take this ramen back to my place and heat it up. Then we can talk about everything afterward." Naruto said kindly while indicating the box of ramen under his arm that was left undelivered.

Ino managed a nod and a thankful smile.

"So…this is my house," Naruto stated uneasily as he allowed Ino to walk inside and have a look around.

Ino looked around the place. Since it was Naruto she knew better that to think it was anything close to clean but was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't messier. The apartment was small but cozy in her opinion, though the furniture was nothing short of secondhand. Upon entering she found herself standing in a study/kitchen with two doorways on the other side leading most likely to the bathroom and bedroom respectively. The floor was littered with a few ramen cups and a few important papers scattered the floor, but overall it was a pretty up kept house.

"I'm impressed, Naruto, it's not near as messy as I thought it would be." Ino attempted to compliment.

"Thanks…I think," Naruto said while muttering the last bit to himself. Ino took a seat on the couch while he busied himself in re-preparing the cold, boxed ramen. The minutes ticked by and neither said a word to the other. Eventually the ramen was at an acceptable temperature to re-serve the hungry ninja. Naruto grabbed two clean bowls from the cabinet and split the ramen equally between the bowls. Naruto then brought the warm ramen over to the table and served them, setting each bowl on opposite sides of the table. Upon seeing that the meal was done, Ino sighed and sauntered over to the table and sat down.

The two faced each other for a second before turning their attention to their respected bowls of ramen. Neither knew where to begin. It was obvious that Tayuya's speech had led both of them questioning their beliefs. They finished their meals and lay them aside before finally looking back at each other.

"Well…what did you want to talk about?" Naruto sighed deciding that was the best place to start even though he already knew the answer to the question.

"…Tayuya-san…she's an enemy ninja…isn't she," Ino asked cautiously. Naruto simply nodded. "Then how do we know that she wasn't just trying to manipulate us?" she asked.

"You tell me. You're the mind reader after all…" Naruto stated as Ino looked down quietly trying to sort her head out. "I haven't known her long, but Tayuya isn't a bad person. She's grown up like me. Alone. I think she acts tough so that she doesn't show others that it hurts. I think you know that too…"

"But…she can't be right can she?!" Ino asked laying her whole dilemma out on the table. "The village is our home! These thoughts, this mindset…it just doesn't seem right for a leaf ninja to be thinking these things!"

The two of them had been shown Konoha from a worldly perspective, and now faced with that perspective they found themselves questioning their faith in the country they had so sworn to protect with their lives.

"Well…let's just try to forget about it for now." Naruto decided causing Ino to raise her head to look up at him. "Well…maybe not forget, but just stop thinking about it until we get our heads straight. I think Tayuya's right about one thing though, and that is the jounin aren't teaching us properly."

Ino nodded in agreement, "No kidding. Every time I try to ask Asuma-sensei to train us we always end up at either the barbecue place or on the shougi board. It's so annoying."

"Troublesome?" Naruto grinned which caused Ino to lean over the table and smack the back of his head.

"Don't you dare pull a Shikamaru on me right now," Ino glared before softly smiling at the knuckleheaded ninja.

"Alright, alright! Jeez why do girls always have to get violent around me." Naruto questioned to the heavens, which somehow caused Ino to laugh.

"It's because you're a baka, baka!" She smirked before sticking her tongue out.

The rest of the night was filled with playful teasing and an old board game and playing cards that Naruto managed to drag out from his cupboards. Naruto was under the suspicion that Ino was cheating by looking at the answers inside his head, but when he called her on it…well it just didn't ever get either of them anywhere.

"Well," Ino sighed, "It's getting pretty late and I bet my parents are worried sick by now."

Naruto nodded as he walked her to the door of his apartment, "You want me to walk you home or anything?" he asked kindly.

This caused Ino to blush innocently before replying, "No that's okay. I can take care of myself."

Naruto nodded as goodbyes were exchanged and Ino walked away into the night silently. An instant thought came to Naruto's mind, however, which caused him to have to chase her down.

"Ino!" Naruto yelled calling her attention back to him. "Hey, since we both have lazy sensei's I was wondering if you'd like to train with me sometime."

Ino seemed to perk up, "Hey that's a great idea! Just be ready, because I'm not holding anything back!"

With a quick smile and a wink she turned around and took off down the path towards her house leaving Naruto to bask in the glory of Ino's cuteness. Naruto had never really paid attention to Ino before today, but he knew one thing for sure about her…she sure was fun to be around.

As these thoughts drifted in and out of his head he made his way up the stairs to his apartment once again. A sudden chill crawled down his spine as a sudden breeze bristled by him. Upon opening the door to his apartment, a sight befell his eyes that sent him into a stupor.

"What the?! Ero-sennin?!" Naruto yelled.

Indeed the pervy toad sage was lying on his couch mumbling to himself in a drunken stupor about his latest escapades that would help in bringing about the sequel in his Icha Icha Series.

"Oy hey Naruto! Bring me your finest sake! You'll never believe what happened to me." Jiraiya slurred. For some strange reason his drunkenness seemed to make him forget the fact that there was no way that Naruto would even get a hold of a bottle of sake. But then again…It was the pervy sage speaking…

"And she was like, 'I'm gonna kill you' and she brought me close to her chest and hugged me. I was so taken by her compassion that all the air left my body," Jiraiya laughed heartily at recounting the tale. Naruto just sat their looking at him dumbly.

"…Ero-sennin…I think she was probably strangling you…" Naruto commented at the sage's moment of mental retardation.

Jiraiya looked at Naruto for a second before he started laughing heartily. "Of course! Genius Naruto! That's the exact kind of eroticism I need in my book at the moment." He yipped happily as he took out a pocket notebook to write down this new idea. "I knew you wouldn't let me down. Our training trip is going to be a blast. I'll show you all the arts of seduction and—"

Jiraiya continued his ramblings as a guilty look began adorning Naruto's features. Tayuya's word about the sensei's not teaching properly. His dream about Jiraiya training him in a way he didn't want to be trained. His promise to start training with Ino…

"Hey…Jiraiya…I was wondering…can we hold off on the training trip for a little while longer?" Naruto asked cautiously.

Jiraiya seemed to sober up fairly quickly from the question (or maybe he was never actually drunk at all), "Why not?" He asked curiously. "Is there something you're worried about?"

"Well a lot's been going on," Naruto said quietly as he tried to find the words that could properly express his emotions. "I just need some time to think about everything…"

"And you can't do this during the trip?" Jiraiya inquired.

Naruto didn't really have an answer to that question that wouldn't get him into hot water, so instead decided on a half-truth, "Well I promised somebody that I'd train with her for a little while and—"

"With Her?" Jiraiya grinned wide like a Cheshire cat. "Well why didn't you say so sooner?! Who's the girl? When are you getting married? Have you done the dirty yet? When's the baby due?"

All these questions were coming straight from out of nowhere and each one was a little more embarrassing than the next…though he couldn't say for sure he knew what 'doing the dirty' was yet, it had to be embarassing if it came from Ero-sennin's mouth.

"Alright Ero-sennin, shut up," Naruto said with aggravation, "It's not even like that, we're just friends with lazy or in your case pervy teachers and thought we'd do a little training to get stronger!"

Jiraiya just nodded in a way that told Naruto that he was still thinking something perverted. "Okay if you say so, anyway I gotta go. I don't even know how I got here!" He laughed.

Naruto sweatdropped, "With any luck hopefully you'll have completely forgotten this crap by morning.

"Bah, that crap about not remembering stuff after being drunk is crap. Don't let somebody preach you that stuff," Jiraiya slurred happily.

"Whatever you say, Ero-sennin," Naruto sighed as he watched him walk out the door. "Whatever you say…"

The day had been a taxing one filled with lots of things to think about, and as Naruto lay on his bed he let all the ordeals of the day wash over him. Checked out of the hospital, bought ramen for all my friends, discussed worldly views of the village, became friends with Ino, and had a conversation with a drunken Jiraiya…all in all a pretty productive day.

With those thoughts crossing his mind his eyes swayed shut as the sandman (not Gaara) slowly ushered him into a deep sleep…

From outside Naruto's apartment, Jiraiya watched the boy carefully while making every observation possible about Naruto's demeanor.

"I think you take me for granted, kid," Jiraiya sighed. "I don't know what would make you want to cancel your own training trip, but I will make sure to find out."

With that said, Jiraiya left the young blonde to pleasant dreams.

Author's Note: Well it's a start. And I've always liked beginnings, and hopefully you've enjoyed this beginning. I apologize to my other readers if you are following my other novels, I'll get to them eventually. I'm just one of those annoying writers that writes when he feels inspired to write for that fic. After all, according to this book I've been reading it isn't a crime to take on a bunch of different stories at once...though it may hurt you guys. lol. Anyway, if you like where this is going...REVIEW THIS STORY! I like reviews if only because I like feedback. It almost makes me feel popular. ha ha.