Categories > Anime/Manga > Naruto > The Guardian

Chapter Seven

by SGTBrowncoat 0 reviews

Category: Naruto - Rating: PG-13 - Genres:  - Published: 2014-07-24 - 1016 words - Complete

Chapter Seven

It was the last day of the school year for Academy students before their month-long break. That meant that Itachi's work days were about to get much longer trying to keep up with Naruto all day. When school let out, Naruto was even more hyper than usual, clearly excited for his time off. Itachi decided to take him to the training field to let him burn off some energy. He taught him a few of the basic taijutsu techniques his class would be learning in their second year, then let him go to town on a training dummy. Finally it seemed he had done the impossible and worn the boy out. The two sat down against one of the three large wooden posts at the edge of the field.

"I'm starving." Naruto complained.

As had become their routine, Itachi handed him some of his field rations, which today consisted of a packet of beef jerky. Naruto eagerly dug in.

"Don't you want some, Weasel-niisan?" he asked, waving a piece in front of Itachi.

"Is this another attempt at getting me to take my mask off?" Itachi asked, knowingly.

"Come on! You're my only friend in the whole world, and I don't even know what you look like!" the seven-year-old exclaimed.

Itachi felt a pang of guilt. He knew that Naruto had grown attached to him, and felt terrible having to lie to him.

"I'm sorry, Naruto. I can't disobey my orders."

"I figured." Naruto sighed dejectedly.

After being relieved that evening, Itachi went to the Hokage's office instead of going straight home.

"It's good to see you, Itachi." the Third greeted cheerfully, "What can I do for you?"

"I need to make a request, Hokage-sama. I want permission to tell Naruto who I am."

"I see." Sarutobi said, stroking his beard, "I thought this might happen eventually."

"If I'm going to protect him, it's important that he trusts me. Hiding something from him as simple as my name and face seems… counterproductive."

The old man smiled, "I agree. Permission granted."

Itachi bowed, "Thank you, Hokage-sama."

"Thank you for taking this mission as seriously as you have."

It was true that when Itachi had first been given this assignment he had been less than enthusiastic. He had been concerned that it was indicative of his superiors' lack of faith in his combat abilities. However, as he came to understand Naruto's importance to the village, he began to understand the significance of his mission as well. Beyond that, Naruto was not the only one who had grown attached.

The next day, Naruto did not emerge from his apartment until just before noon, apparently taking full advantage of his opportunity to sleep in. Itachi was waiting.

"You're still here, Nii-san?" Naruto asked, surprised.

"Of course. Some of usdon't get a summer break." Itachi teased.

"Does that mean you can hang out with me all day?"

Itachi chuckled, "If you want."


"Come with me. I have a surprise for you."

"Really? What kind of surprise?"

"You'll see."

Itachi led Naruto to the wooded area near the village's south wall where he usually helped him with his homework. He set down the backpack he had brought with him and pulled out two bento boxes.

"Lunch!" Naruto exclaimed, eying the food hungrily.

"Listen, Naruto; do you remember what we talked about yesterday?"

Naruto looked sheepish, "Um… Not really."

"You wanted me to take my mask off."

"Oh! Yeah, I remember."

"Well, I talked to the Hokage last night. He decided to let me tell you who I am."

"No way! Really?!"

Itachi held up a placating hand, "Yes, but it is very important that you promise you will never tell anyone."

"I promise!" Naruto replied, looking as if he would explode from excitement.

Itachi gave a nod, and slipped off his mask.

Naruto tilted his head, "Whoa… You're way younger than I thought."

Itachi chuckled, "I'm thirteen."

"You're thirteen and you're already in ANBU? That's so cool! You're just like Sasuke's brother!"

"I am Sasuke's brother. My real name is Itachi Uchiha."

Naruto was silent for a long moment then suddenly burst into laughter, "Sasuke talks about you all the time! He'd never believe that I've been hanging out with you!"

Itachi got an idea, "What if I brought him with me tomorrow? Would that be alright?"

"Yeah! Then he'd have to believe me!"

"Then it's a plan. Now let's eat."

That night, Itachi spoke to Sasuke. He was not certain how he would feel about his older brother spending so much time with one of his classmates, even if he no longer detested Naruto quite so much.

"I have something to tell you, Otouto." Itachi began, "You know I've had an assignment in the village for a long time now."

Sasuke nodded.

"My mission is to protect someone very important to the village; someone you know."


"Naruto Uzumaki."

"Naruto?" Sasuke asked, puzzled, "Why's he important to the village?"

"That's a secret only the Hokage is allowed to tell. I'm going to be with Naruto most days during your break because it's my job to protect him. The thing is, I thought that you might want to come with me sometimes. That way we could spend more time together, and you could play with Naruto. Is that something you would want to do?"

"I'd get to go with you during your mission, Aniki?!"

"Yes, but you couldn't tell anyone else that."

"I won't! I wanna go!"

Over the course of the month, Sasuke accompanied Itachi nearly every day. He and Naruto butted heads often, but it was clear that they were quickly becoming best friends, regardless of how much they denied it. Itachi often helped them train, showing them a few basic ninjutsu and teaching them the fundamentals of shuriken marksmanship. He found that they worked much harder and learned faster when they were competing against each other. It seemed that a little healthy rivalry was good for them. Itachi looked forward to their instructor's reactions when the boys returned to school so far ahead of their classmates.
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