Categories > Anime/Manga > Naruto > The Guardian

Chapter Five

by SGTBrowncoat 0 reviews

Category: Naruto - Rating: PG-13 - Genres:  - Published: 2014-07-24 - Updated: 2014-07-24 - 1429 words - Complete

Chapter Five

Itachi returned home that night and found Sasuke at the kitchen table working on the same homework he had just helped Naruto finish. He sat down across from him.

"Spelling, huh? Want some help?"

"Okay… Why do we even have to learn this stuff anyway?" Sasuke grumbled, "What does this have to do with being a ninja?"

"Everything you learn at the Academy is important. Being a ninja isn't all fighting. You'll have to know these things when you get older."

"…Fine. But I still wish they'd teach us some ninjutsu already."

"Other than that, how is school going? Have you made any friends?"

"I guess. But there are all these weird girls who keep following me around all the time."

Itachi smiled, "You might just have to get used to that." he said, "Listen, Sasuke… I heard something about you giving a hard time to a boy in your class."


"I heard you've been calling him names."

"Who? Naruto?" Sasuke asked with a scowl, "He's the dead-last. Everybody calls him names."

"That doesn't make it right for you to do it too."

"But he's so dumb!"

"Otouto… Don't talk about people like that. If you give this boy a chance, he might surprise you. I was made fun of when I first started the Academy, you know." Itachi pointed out.

"You? Why?"

"I was small for my age. They thought I was weak."

"You're different though." Sasuke said, dismissively.

"You don't know that. Naruto could end up being the best ninja in your class. And even if he is the dead last, that's no reason to treat him badly."

"You want me to be nice to him?"

"I want you to be nice to everyone, but yes, I'd like you to at least try to make friends with him."

"Do I have to?" Sasuke whined.

"I can't make you do anything, but if you try, you might find that you like having him for a friend. All those kids in your class are going to be your comrades, including Naruto. You never know, you might need him to save your life someday. Do you understand?"

"Yeah, I guess."

"Good. Back to spelling then."

Naruto was very excited after school the next afternoon. He ran over to Itachi as soon as school let out, a grin practically splitting his face in half.

"Guess what! Sasuke Uchiha ate lunch with me today, and then people started talking to me!"

Itachi had to marvel at the influence of the popular kid in school. He was proud of his brother for swallowing his pride and reaching out the outcast. He hoped this might be a step closer to acceptance for Naruto.

That evening when the night squad took over, Itachi decided to spend some time training at the clearing. His assignment on Naruto's PSD had not offered much in the way of combat. There had been once incident involving a falling crate that Itachi was fairly certain was not an accident, but no one had been foolish enough to attack Naruto directly. Itachi knew this assignment would not last forever, and he wanted to keep his skills sharp.

When he reached the clearing, Itachi was surprised to find that he was not alone. The sound of kunai striking wood was the first clue, followed by the pile of gray fur curled up beneath a tree.

"Hana? How did you get into the Compound?"

Hana tossed her last kunai before turning to face him, "Your guards suck. Couldn't even catch a Genin with three dogs sneaking over their wall."

"You went over the wall?! Do you have any idea how dangerous that was? If you'd timed it wrong, you could have been burnt to a crisp by a jumpy sentry!"

"Relax. I do it all the time."

"That is supposed to make me feel better? You know, there's a lot less risk of painful death at the training field."

"Maybe, but I like this spot." Hana replied, "Besides, I know you aren't going to be at the training field. We haven't had a chance to train together for a long time. I miss it."

"…So do I," Itachi admitted, "But you've just been training here by yourself?"

"Not always. Shisui's here sometimes, and he doesn't freak out so much over how I got here."

"Well, I'm here now. Do you want to spar?"

"Thought you'd never ask." Hana replied with a feral grin.

Hana had been Itachi's sparring partner for years. There was a huge gap in both rank and ability now, but only Shisui knew his fighting style better than she did. As long as Itachi was not allowed to use his Sharingan or genjutsu, Hana could usually keep up just fine. Soon they were both out of breath and sporting a few new bumps and bruises, but smiling none the less.

"See? This is why I come here instead of the training field." Hana said, flopping down on the grass, "You're way more fun to beat up than the other Genin."

"I don't recall anyone getting beat up but you." Itachi replied, lying down beside her.

"Yeah? Well, that nice welt under your eye says different."

Itachi smiled, "I did miss this. I wish we could do it more often."

"Is that assignment of yours still keeping you busy?"

"Very." Itachi replied with a smirk.

"Still keeping secrets?"

"Well… I guess I'll tell you I'm protecting a little boy."

Hana quirked an eyebrow, "Babysitting?"

Itachi laughed, "Not really. I wasn't real thrilled about it in the beginning, but he's a good kid. I don't mind the assignment."

"Careful, that big brother instinct of yours is showing. You might give away that you're not as tough and scary as you like to pretend."

"Speaking of brothers," Itachi said, trying to change the subject, "How is yours?"

Hana groaned, "Kiba is Kiba. Thinks he's too cool for things like homework and that he should be out saving the world already."

"Sounds like another Inuzuka I used to know."

"Mom will straighten him out. She did to me."

Itachi and Hana kept talking long past dark. Finally they realized how late it had gotten and reluctantly headed out of the woods.

"Want me to walk you home?" Itachi offered when they reached the Uchiha gate.

"Nah. Me and the Brothers can take care of ourselves. Right, boys?" Hana replied, scratching one of the dogs behind the ears, "Today was fun. Let's not wait another eternity to do it again."

Itachi was smiling when he returned home. That changed when he walked in the front door and found his father waiting with his arms crossed and a sour look on his face.

"Care to explain to me why that Inuzuka girl was on our land again? I thought I was clear about this last time."

"We were training." Itachi replied in a clipped tone.

"I've told you more than once to stay away from her. She and her clan are nothing but a pack of dirty mutts. There is no excuse for an Uchiha, least of all you, to be associating with one of them. She's below you."

Itachi had heard it all before, "Is that all?"

Fugaku scowled and turned away, "Don't let me catch her in the Compound again."

When Itachi continued on toward his room, he stumbled upon Sasuke hiding in the hallway.

"What are you doing back here?"

"…Listening." Sasuke admitted guiltily.

Itachi sighed, "Come on. Let's talk."

The brothers sat down on Itachi's bed, Sasuke fidgeting nervously.

"What do you think about what Dad said?" Itachi asked.

"…I don't know." Sasuke mumbled.

"Listen… Dad isn't always right, okay? I know you've always been taught that the Uchiha are superior, but… that isn't always true. Our Sharingan is powerful, and it helps us become great shinobi, but just being born and Uchiha doesn't make us better than anyone else. Does that make sense?"

"I guess…"

"People like Mom and Dad are going to tell you that there is nothing more important than the clan. That's not true either. The sole purpose of the clan is to support the village. The village is what's most important."

"…How do you know you're right and Dad's wrong?"

Itachi smiled sadly, "I guess you're going to have to decide that for yourself. Anyway," he said, "How was school?"

Sasuke shrugged, "Fine, I guess. I ate lunch with Naruto like you said. I still think he's annoying, but I guess he's not as bad as I thought."

"Well, I'm proud of you, Otouto."
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