Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. It belongs to its creator.

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Let's see… where did it start?

The clacking of the train drifted softly into the compartment as it sped down its track, aiming for its destination. It was undisturbed as it clank and clack through the country side, having long since left the city and its many magnificent buildings behind. Letting out a lout whistle, it continued to power through the trail without a care in the world.

I would probably say… right after my 16th birthday. Yeah, that sounds accurate.

It was sunny outside, with little no cloud dotting the sky as the train continued to speed down its track. The scenarios sped by, or rather it sped by the landscape, not bothering to slow down to take in the wonder that the world had to offer.

Now what does this have to do with anything you ask? Well… I think it has to do with everything. You see, to me that was where everything started. It was the starting point of how I becoming… well, me today. Besides, you wanted to know why I'm the way I am right?

Inside one of the three compartments that the train happily dragged alone, there sat two individuals, both dozing off from the smooth swaying of their ride. The warm morning sun definitely didn't help them fight against sleep as it caressed them. The two leaned against each other, their eyes closed and their breathing even. It made a peaceful picture, and should a wondering photographer wonder past them, he or she would take a picture immediately.

With the morning sun casting a halo around the duo, the photographer would be a fool should he or she abandon such an opportunity.

Eh, that aside, I should probably get on with the story? I mean, I'm sure it's rather boring hearing me rant, right?

Eh? You're not? Well… whatever.

Let's see… I think I will start at… ah, I have it. This is the start of my "search" for a normal life. Oh, what do you know? I even have the pictures to show you…

The train clacked and clanked down its trail, its only two occupants long since lured to sleep by its constant swaying and the warm morning sun.

It would be another hour before the trail will arrive at its destination…

…It's spring…

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"…-chan… Na…chan… Naru-chan? Wake up." A voice called as something shakes him with just enough force to make a bother. Groaning and lightly swatting the thing away, he mumbles incoherently as he prepared to fall once again into sleep's embrace. Of course, it was not easy, because the annoyance once more latched onto him, this time with harder shaking than before. "Naru-chan, it's time to wake up. We're here."

Ah, silly me. How can I forget my manner? I never introduce myself did I? Well, I'm Namikaze Uzumaki Naruto. Namikaze is my last name, and Uzumaki can probably be considered to be my middle name, but who in Japan has a middle name? Let's just call it an alias okay? No wait, actually that wouldn't work… Hmm, oh, I got it. Let's call it my pride. But that's probably redundant, seeing as you already know. Now stop calling me an idiot and listen.

"Umm? We are…?" A boy asked, his eyes blinking sleep out as he scratched his head in confusion. Dressed in a simple white t-shirt with a yellow smiley printed on it and orange slack with a pair of sandals, the boy would be the representation of a slob, and could easily pass as one for all who don't know him. One thing stood out about him though was the whisker-like marks on his face, three on each cheek, making it six in total. They were certainly eye catching if not his blonde hair, blue eyes, or the slightly taller than average height.

That would be me. The teen who is a lady killer and the most handsome man on Earth! …Yeah, right. I'm nothing special really; despite my 5"8' status (and still growing mind you), cerulean blue eyes, and spiky blonde hair that seem to mark me as a foreigner despite me being born on Japan, I am but an ordinary boy. One who seems to be able to growl like a beast (much to my relative's headache, my mother's defeated acceptance, and my aunt's amusement), but that's going off track. Where were we…?

The boy of 16 years old opened his sleepy blue eyes to blink up at a red haired woman who looked to be in her prime, but is actually nearing her forties. Eyes almost as blue as his stared back with amusement as their owner gave him another small shake just for measure and said, "Silly Naru-chan, of course we are." The woman isn't very tall, actually she would be considered petite, especially when put side to side against her son, whose wide shoulder is almost twice her owns length. Being in the possession of a heavenly figure that had many women's envy and many men's fantasy, the women seem conservative with the baggy jeans that hugged her hips and the loose, long-sleeved shirts that does nothing to hide her bust, which happened to be on the larger side of a C-cup. Her waist-length hair swayed a little as she leans forward even more and said, "Mou, wake up already. The train is almost leaving…"

"…Ha… Hahaoya…" The teen said before letting out a yawn and stretched his body as far as it allowed. Feeling several kinks popping out, the boy let loose a moan of satisfaction as the woman, proclaimed as his mother, straighten up and shook her head.

That would be my mother: Namikaze-Uzumaki Kushina. To say the least, our relationship is… strange I suppose. We love each other as parent and child, but from what other people told me, we have this tension between us. Now that I think about it that may be true. That aside, one thing you need to know about Kushina is that she is a prankster at heart… okay, two things. First, she's a prankster that can make your life miserable, so keep her occupied or bear witness to her destructive power. Second, her cooking is God's gif, but stay away from her experiments… I swear that fish winked at me the last time I agreed to test one of her… creation. Now don't give me that look. You would be horrified too if you see her cooking.

Err… we're going off topic again. Let's go back to the story.

"Ara, ara, what happen to Shina-baka?" Kushina teased, snapping the youth out of any more sleep as he glares weakly up at the woman. She laughed even more at the growl emitted from the teen's throat. The woman calmed herself down before reaching up and grabbed one of the two large travel cases down. Giving a grunt at the weight of it, she turned her attention back to the boy once more and said, "Oi, hurry it up. The train will leave soon."

"Hai…" Naruto groaned in slight exasperation before he reached up and grabbed the other, larger case down. The woman blinked a few time before chuckling at how little effort he spend upon it. "What?" The teen asked, his eyes narrowing onto the shorter woman and let out a growl. Kushina only chuckles harder then shook her head. Seeing this, the teen sighed as he made his way off the train. Kushina followed behind her son, dragging her case by the handle as they stepped down from the train just in time for it to close its door and sped away. The duo observed the train for a while as it drove into the horizon before as one they turned toward the station and exit it.

As they took a step out of the train station, Kushina paused as she set her case down and took in a large breath of fresh country air. Letting out a satisfied sigh while exhaling, the woman planted her hands on her hip and said, "Home sweet home… I can't believe I didn't think of coming back here sooner. Remind me again why I didn't drag you back here immediately?"

"Because you were busy flirting." Naruto jokingly answered immediately, and then yelped in pain at the fist that connected with his head. Cuddling his abused skull, he glared at his mother and asked, "What was that for you hag?" That earned him another fist to his skull. "I-Itai-yo!"

"Serve you right. I was never flirting, and you know it!" Kushina huffed a little angrily before her visage changed to another smile. Shrugging her shoulders in an exaggerating manner, the woman then said, "Oh well, what can we do? We're here now, so we might as well head for your jiji's ne?"

"Eh? We're staying at ero-jiji's place? I didn't know that."

"Of course you don't. You were busy flirting with what's her name, Fuuma Sasame I think?"

"Oi… Don't you dare turn that trick against me you freaking-."

"Che, it's always ero-jiji this, ero-jiji that. Why won't you ever just call me jiji instead? I much prefer if you can go without the ero part." A gruff voice asked, drawing the duo's attention and ending Naruto's sentence prematurely. Probably for the best too, seeing how Kushina has a vein throbbing on her forehead and her fist is half raised to deliver another divine punishment. Their face lid up in amusement as a giant of a man approached them, his face scrunched up in a pout with his arms crossed over his massive chest. With long white hair spiked and tied in a pony tail, the man stopped in front of them, his wooden getas clacking against the dirt as a breeze ruffled his loose pants and gi shirt. There were two red marking on his face that make him rather distinguishable, starting from the middle of his eyes all the way down to his jaw. It looked like a trail made from tears of blood. "Still, you've grown gaki."

This would be Namikaze Jiraiya, or as I fondly call him: ero-jiji. He is my uncle, thus making him my mom's brother-in-law. He is the way he is due to him practicing martial art, and even having his own dojo that focus on jujutsu. He is rather accomplished; having became a master at a rather young age and now being a 'grand elder' of the style. I respect him for it, but that respect sort of got diminished by his other… side interest. There is a reason why I call him ero-jiji you know? You'll know it eventually. Until then, we're going back to the main story.

"It's being a while onii-san." Kushina said with a wide grin and quickly walked over to embrace the large man. The man chuckled as he too returned the embrace before turning his attention to Naruto, raising an eyebrow while opening his arms wide. Kushina sniggered as she stepped to the side just as Naruto tilted his head to the side. The woman sniggered some more at the twitch that developed above Jiraiya's left eyebrow when Naruto refused to move from his spot and said, "It seems he doesn't want to be contaminated by the ero-ero-disease."

"Right…" Naruto replied immediately, nodding with such a resolution that Jiraiya went slack jawed at them. He then erupted into comical tears at they pour down his cheek and he mocking sobbed out, "They show me no respect. No respect at all I tell you."

Naruto snorted before he walked over and patted the larger man on the shoulder, saying, "Oi, oi, show some dignity will you? I refuse to acknowledge you as my uncle if you're this… wishy washy."

Looking back at it now… that was rather stupid to do… You see, he is a jujutsu master… and he also happens to be my master, meaning I'm his apprentice… Eh, it's pretty self-explanatory from here on out. But for your amusement's sake, I'll tell you anyway.

"Wishy washy? Baka…" Jiraiya said with a predatory grin, and Naruto can only widen his eyes as he understood his mistake before he was suddenly on the ground, eating dirt as his uncle grounded him into it further while binding him in an arm lock. It was a lock with Naruto's offending arm held in by Jiraiya's left arm over the shoulder for easier application of pressure should it be needed. His other hand was currently pressing Naruto's face into the dirt while one foot has found itself snuggling Naruto's lower back. It was painful if Naruto's grunting was any indication, and adding in Jiraiya's weight and size, then you switched painful into very painful. "I see you're still letting your guard down so easily. What have I been teaching you these past years?" As if to emphasize his point, Jiraiya tighten his hold even further, making Naruto grown, mentally swearing to get him back for it while praying his arm didn't dislocate by that stunt. The pressure eased up after a few more seconds, and Naruto breathed a sigh of relief before he was suddenly hosted onto his feet by his uncle. It was but a testament to how much strength the man has despite him being in his fifties. "Still, you'd improved some… Not enough to make a difference though." Jiraiya praised before shooting him down seeing the swelling head Naruto was getting.

Kushina was giggling in the background at this, and Naruto rewards her with a dark glare. The woman shrugged it off easily before she walked over to them and exclaimed, "Well, should we get going? I'm starving!"

The idea was entertained by everyone, and soon the duo-becoming-trio made their way toward Jiraiya's house. The trip was filled with laughter and mock dispute as they talked and bickered and laughed and shouted. As they passed the various shops and people, the bystanders gave them strange looks before their eyes widen in recognition, then came the greeting and the simple pleasantries. During those times, Naruto stood on the side line as he watched his mother interacted with her old friends and acquaintances. He only got involved if he was directly talked to. Otherwise, he kept himself clear of it all while Kushina made promises to visit later.

Sooner than they expected, the trio arrived at Jiraiya's place, a modest two-story house that wasn't too big, but not cramp either. It can, if Naruto's memory served right, fit six people easily and still have room to spare. Jiraiya once told him that it was an inheritance from their ancestor, though Naruto highly doubt that as he looked at the white paint that coated the outer wall. There wasn't a fence or wall like they do in the city, but simply a front yard seeing that it was rather off to the side; as in "it took a five minute walk off the main road to get to" off to the side. Of course, they all agreed silently that it was just perfect the way it was.

That was where I lived until I entered college. It's where I continue to stay during vacation. You simply can't help but want to return to the place you know? It has this feel to it that sooth the soul, and all my family jokingly dubbed it the "Calming Shack" seeing that all disputes were put down within it should it enter its front door. As for me… I called it my one true safe haven… well, not really. It's my first choice, sure, seeing that I much preferred my second choice, it hardly matter right?

Eh? You ask what that second choice is. …Ehehe, I'm not telling you. Besides, the story would be spoiled if I told you now. Though you probably have a pretty good guess…

As Jiraiya unlocked the front door to let them all in, Kushina surveyed her surrounding, her eyes softening with a far away look in them while Naruto casted at her a simple look. When she turned to him and shook her head with a smile, Naruto can only nod before entering the house with both cases, having "stolen" the other right under Kushina's nose. The red head protested for a bit before he shushed her by shooing her into the kitchen, demanding lunch with Jiraiya joining in soon after.

That left the two of them along on the front porch.

"…How are you two holding up? And don't give me any of those bull craps you give the others." Jiraiya whispered then sternly added on. His black eyes burning into Naruto's own, who then dropped his head with a soft smile and replied, "Eh… not bad I suppose. It still needs time…"

Jiraiya only nodded in acceptance before his grin returned with extra force and asked, "So… tell me about the city girls. Actually, tell me any and all girls that managed to catch your eyes. I want details brat, details! This is for the sake of my research!"

The teen deadpanned at his uncle before he picked up the cases, one in each hand, and marched up stairs and disposed of them into two empty rooms with the first (his and the smaller case) right beside the stairs and his mother's near the bathroom, right across the master bedroom. Ignoring Jiraiya's indignant shouting at being ignored and then Kushina's laughter as she teased him mercilessly about something, Naruto returned to his room before he closed the door. Pausing a little, the teen sighed as he started to unpack, pulling out clothes and other necessity, their other items having been scheduled to arrive a week later by delivery.

At the bottom of the case, Naruto reached inside and pull out a photo frame. Brushing his thumb against the glass, the blonde's eyes dulled to a dark blue as he stared into it, mumbling, "Otou-san…"

It depicted a family of three: him, Kushina, and another blonde who looked a lot like him. All of them are wearing big grins and holding up peace signs, and Naruto can't help but smiled proudly at the police uniform his dad worn upon his tall frame. Of course, that smile dropped as his eyes scanned the slender arm that looped around his father's neck in a mock headlock. Following it, the arm ended in a part of the picture that was torn out purposely, leaving behind jagged edges and almost a third of the original picture missing. It clearly hinted at a fourth member within the picture… but…

"Naru-chan! Lunch is ready!"

Oro…

Naruto blinked, coming out of his trance as he blinked some more at the picture. Looking at his hand, he found that his knuckles were white from the force of his grip, and not wanting to damage the frame, he carefully let loose. Sighing, Naruto placed the picture down next to the nearly empty case before standing up. Offering a small prayer, he opened his door and headed down stairs.

Back in his room, the picture stood proudly, but almost hauntingly as it faced the open doorway. Naruto's finger print can still be seen at where his thumb pressed against the glass, all but forgotten as if it was trying to cover some shameful secret but failing miserably to do so…

Well, you may wonder just who that fourth person is right? I mean really, having the person torn out of the picture is a big deal. You only do that to someone if you're really angry at them or hate them a lot right? You are definitely wondering just what made me so angry that I torn out the picture huh?

Hmm… well, you can obviously guess that it has something to do with the fact that I never once mentioned my father until the end. It isn't hard to figure out why, so I rather not talk about it if I can help it you know? Sure they say time heals all wound, but it leave ugly scars that will never go away…

Eh, just keep in mind that while the scars never go away, it doesn't mean it can't create something wonderful.

Oh, what am I doing? I'm going off topic. I'll answer your question about who that fourth person is. That would be my aunt; my most favorite aunt and my mother's only sister…It's ironic eh? But until the story progress further, that is all you're getting out of me.

Now shoo, leave me along. We're done for the day. Come back tomorrow if you want more. Other wise, leave my sanctuary and be gone foul demon! …I'm joking haha. But seriously, it's getting late… Oh! I should show you a picture of my aunt… where is it, where is it… Ah! Here is a… Hey, this is the piece that was ripped out!

I wonder how it got there.

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Author's Corner:

Eh… what can I say about this? Well, I want to try something, and until I actually give it a try, I can't for the life of me get it out of my head. A new writing style I think, and so far, it looks rather amusing. I might stick with it, or I might do a few more chapters and then try to pawn it off to someone, but then that would be rather rude to it huh? Hmm… we'll see how this goes.

As for the first person third person switching, it's intentional. If it's confusing, then I'm sorry, but I'm not going to change it for this story. That will probably be how it goes for the rest of this fiction.

Again, if it confuses you somehow, I'm sorry, but it will stay that way most likely. This is my way of trying a new writing style as a sort of practice for Jailor: Awakening, seeing that I feel like spicing it up a little. Hmm, other than that, I suppose to leave a review to tell me what you think. Hopefully, it's not horrible.

Oh, before you decide to start reviewing, I will ask you to not do this: DO NOT ASK ME FOR PAIRING! IT WILL BE REVEALED EVENTUALLY! Though sadly for you NaruHina fans out there, that is not it… That much I can guarantee you.

Well, until the next time. APH, signing out!