Tales of a Narcoleptic Ninja

Chapter One

Yoshio darted through the trees outside of Konohanagakure, a kuni in his left hand. His scruffy blond hair pushed back as the rushing wind blew passed. "I can't believe this, I can't believe this, I cannot believe this!" he repeated to himself. All the while keeping half a mind to watch the tree limbs he was running across. "Why me?"

Two shuriken rushed passed either side of his head and he reflexively threw himself backwards, allowing his body to fall through the tree branches. "Ah, crude…" Throwing his hands up at his midsection, Yoshio combined his hands into the symbol for the ram and tried focusing his chakra into his feet. If he did it just right he could latch onto the underside and…

His chakra pulsed, and he pushed it towards the soles of his feet, but it was too late. The branches rushed by in an instant. The ground was coming up fast and he had to think of something. Otherwise he'd risk being late for the – no! That shouldn't be the reason why he was afraid to fall.

His chakra still flooding his feet, he tried for the trunk of the tree, but all it did was slow his fall. Not halt it. "Come, on!" he cried out and swung his left hand around, slamming his kuni into the trees face. While it was more effective than his feet, the side effect was that there was now a gnarly gash running down the tree's trunk. Not to mention the intense throbbing sensation that stung at his palms. "Sorry…" Yoshio stated regretfully as he inclined his head a little to pay respect.

Looking around he didn't see anyone. Of course not, you dolt, he's a Jounin. Not like you… Shaking himself from his dreary thoughts, Yoshio planted his feet on the tree and pushed off, back flipping and landing safely. At least you didn't lose a kuni, yet. Spreading his feet apart, Yoshio readied himself for anything. Where did he go?

His emerald eyes scanning the forest green, Yoshio tried to pay attention to everything at once. Like how the birds were chirping, the insects buzzing, the wind rushing by, and even the ground crumbling.

Wait a minute…

Looking down his eyes grew wide and he half opened his mouth. A hand suddenly popped out of the ground and grabbed his ankle. His weak cry was cut off as his body was dragged down until only his head remained above ground. "Great! Now look what I've gotten myself into!"

"That's right," a voice replied suddenly. Yoshio didn't bother to even look for the source. He already knew where it was coming from. Not two feet from where he was captured, the earth began to crack and crumble, and a slim, silver-gray haired man pulled himself free from the ground. A small smirk played on his lips as his emerald eyes set on the young boy. He pushed his thick silver rimmed glasses up the bridge of his nose and continued, "It's all because you allowed yourself to be distracted."

"How can I not be distracted when you're chasing me and I'm going to be late for the—" Yoshio's sentence was cut short as the man stopped him with a wave of his hand. Compressing his lips into a thin line, the boy withheld a sigh of contempt.

The man moved closer and kneeled down so that the boy's head was about halfway up to his shin. Taking his time he reached behind his back and retrieved a lengthy needle. Yoshio swallowed back the lump that kept him from squeaking. This was it…

Reaching over the man placed the needles tip against his forehead, "Now hold still." The statement, coming from his captor, seemed arrogant and boastful, but there was no hint of villainous intent. Yoshio closed his eyes and prepared for the worst. His body tensed and his body shook, or would have had it not been incased in earth. He felt the sudden prick of the needle as it was pressed into his skin and he let out a horrid cry of pain.

Gritting his teeth he opened water eyes and looked up at the man with disdain. "Oh don't give me that look boy," This man, this monster, was his enemy. "Like I said it's your own fault for getting distracted. Now dig yourself out and get on your way. I want you home before dark."

Scowling, Yoshio began to dig his way free. "Couldn't you have given me a pass on today of all days?"

"On such an important day?" his father looked skywards, thoughtfully, for a couple of moments before turning back to his son and stated, in a rather plain manner, "Nope." Twirling the needle he placed it back into its casing and folded his arms. "And let this serve as two lessons. The first is what can happen if you arrive late, the second being what could happen to you out during a mission."

"You mean being late in life means I'll be late for my cousin's birth, and that having my father bury me up to my neck, and poking me with a needled, signifies that there's no point to missions? Brilliant!" Yoshio declared sarcastically, and tossed both hands into the air, before returning to dig his right foot out. Finally free he stumbled backwards a few steps before his father caught his arm.

"This run was supposed to help you realized what could happen to you and your teammates should you fail them."

"Well it isn't my fault I fell asleep!" he snapped. His father sighed and shook his head.

"I know, Yoshi, I know. But either way you need to realize that. Aside from your sleeping problems you need to work on that sarcasm of yours. It'll end up putting you in a difficult position some day."

"And you need to stop calling me 'Yoshi'. That's not the name you and mom gave me, so why don't you use the one you did?"

"Yoshi's cuter." his father answered as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.

"… That's weak."

"That's truth."

"No, the reason, not the nickname itself." The boy corrected himself, guessing that his father thought he meant it was a sign of weakness.

"Ah, well, such is life. Now come on. If you've learned your lesson, we need to hurry." Resting a hand on his son's shoulder, Yoshio's father began pushing him along, "Your aunt is very, very excited for this day."

"That doesn't sound 'happy', dad…" he commented. Worry lined the edges of his voice, and he sat next to his father's feet, wide eyed and scared.

"Yes, well, nothing in life is without its share of pain…"

The two of them were in the hallways of Konohanagakure's hospital, waiting for his aunt, uncle, and mother to come out of the delivery wing. Cries from women and infants dragged though the air as nurses and doctors rushed about in their pristine white coats and outfits. The young boy wrapped his arms around his knees and drew them closer to his chest. "She's going to be all right, isn't she?"

"Of course," his father replied nonchalantly and looked down at him. A comforting smile spread over his face. "Life is a wonder, isn't it?"

"Can we please not get into another discussion about life?" Yoshio pleaded. His eyes turned to his fathers and reflected what he had stated.

"All right, alright, but you know—" his dad was cut off as a nurse popped her head around the corner and called out their last name.

"Ishikawa? Any of the Ishikawa family here?" Without hesitation, the two of them rose and his father replied.

"Why yes there is. I'm the brother-in-law and this is my son. How is everything going?" A hint of concern crept into his father's voice. Something Yoshio didn't expect to hear out of his father. Then again, he was quite unpredictable.

The nurse's face lit up and a warm smile creased her smooth face, "Everything has gone wonderfully. I just wanted to let you know that Mrs. Misaki is fine and that her twin boys are healthy. Both are seven and half pounds."

"Wonderful!" his dad declared and threw his arms around the nurse for a hug. The nurse, however, didn't think so at first and shrieked in surprise. It was no wonder either. In all truth his dad did come off as 'creepy'. What with the way he constantly slouched, his self-assured grin, and his emerald eyes that seemed beady and always shifting. That wasn't even including his silvery-gray hair that was cropped just short of his shoulders. Yoshio was just glad he had retained more of his mother's appearances, rather than his dad's.

"So that's good news?" Yoshio asked, but his dad didn't appear to notice as he grabbed the boy by the collar of his drab green shirt. The nurse shouted to him that he should wait until the doctors cleared the room before going in, and his father thanked her from over his shoulder. Not letting up one long stride as he turned the corners leading to his aunt's delivery room.

Just as they reached her room, two doctors shut the door and walked away in the opposite direction. His father didn't wait to see if any more would come out. He walked straight to the door and turned the knob. No sooner had the door opened enough to show his ridiculously goofy smile then a bed pan flew through the air and smacked him straight in the face.

Yoshio cringed at what it must have felt like. Unlike a lot of people, the boy had a low tolerance of pain –so low that he hoped it would go away someday –, so any pain he witnessed almost immediately registered with him. Even if it wasn't his own.

The bed pan fell to the ground with a clatter, and he heard his mother speak up, "Damn it, Isamaru, don't smile like that! You're going to upset the twins."

"Nice to see you, too, dear." he replied lovingly, apparently un-phased by the bed pan. Yoshio's father stepped into the room, and the boy half expected it to become night of the flying objects. But thankfully nothing else was thrown. "Alkaid, you look lovely. Haseo, how are you?"

"Stop trying to be a suck up, Isamaru," Yoshio's uncle replied. The boy slid up against the wall near the door and peaked around the corner. "And I'm doing fine. How about yourself?" His uncle walked over to his father and the two of them clasped hands, sharing a brotherly smile with one another.

"I'm doing just fine. Sorry about being late. Yoshi and I had to—"

"Where is Yoshio? You didn't leave him alone did you?" Anger and fright drove his mother's words.

"Of course not, he's right –" his father turned around to see an unconscious Yoshio lying on the ground. With a sigh he walked over to his son, whose world had gone dark.

His eyes cracked open. The sound of rushing wind passed him as he slowly came to. The blurring world around him was a clash of browns, greens, and now and again blue. He struggled to gain a coherent thought, but it slowly faded away. He nearly closed his eyes again, but a sudden lurch and change in direction brought him around. Someone was carrying them on their back, and they were running pretty fast. The sun's light peaked through the canopy holes, and he sighed with relief.

"How long?" he asked, not bothering to guess at who was carrying him.

"Only for a few minutes." his father replied before adding, "I must say, Yoshi, this is your shortest time yet."

"I guess that says something." he replied and rested his head against his father's back. "Are you taking me home, or to the academy?"

"Well, I certainly can't have you late for your own graduation, now can I?"

Puffing one of his cheeks up, Yoshio nodded reluctantly. "Guess not… Thanks."

"What was that last bit? I couldn't hear you over the wind and your ego."

"I said 'guess not'. If you're hearing anything else, it's because you're going senile early."