Categories > Anime/Manga > Naruto > The Guardian

Chapter Twelve

by SGTBrowncoat 0 reviews

Category: Naruto - Rating: PG-13 - Genres:  - Published: 2014-07-24 - 1008 words - Complete

Chapter Twelve

It had been nearly a week since Itachi's strange conversation with Danzo Shimura. Shisui had still not returned from his mission, and Itachi was growing impatient to speak with him about what Danzo had said. He had yet to find anything worthwhile in the historical records regarding Madara Uchiha. All in all, he was feeling rather useless, and the fruitless hours in dimly lit archive rooms were not helping matters. He now looked forward to afternoons with Sasuke and Naruto. There at least, he felt as if he was doing some good while helping them train, even if he did end up spending a lot of time breaking up sparring matches that devolved into outright brawls.

"Hey, Nii-san! Watch this!" Sasuke called.

The seven-year-old made a quick set of hand seals, puffed out his chest, and expelled a large fireball. He had come dangerously close to igniting a nearby tree, but Itachi decided to ignore that in light of the huge step his brother had just taken. That particular jutsu was a sort of rite of passage in the Uchiha clan, and Sasuke had executed it almost perfectly.

Itachi smiled widely, "That was great, Otouto! I told you you could do it."

"I think I could have done it last night with Dad, but I wanted to show you first." Sasuke replied, grinning.

"I'm proud of you. You're-" Itachi stopped. His subordinate on overwatch was signaling an alert; someone was coming, "Sasuke, Naruto, hide." he instructed, pulling on his mask.

This kind of thing was a common enough occurrence that the boys knew the drill. They quickly concealed themselves while Itachi ran up to the trees to get a look at who had crossed the perimeter. The second operative indicated the eastern sector. There, Itachi saw a familiar face. He gave the signal for all clear and dropped down to meet the intruder.

"What are you doing here, Hana?"

Hana grinned, "Looking for you."

"This isn't really a good time. I'm on duty."

Right about then, Sasuke and Naruto wandered over.

"Oh, so this is your babysitting job, huh?" Hana asked.

"I told you, it's not babysitting."

"Hey, Itachi-niisan, is she your girlfriend?" Naruto asked.

Itachi and Hana both immediately and fervently denied it.

"I think she's his girlfriend." Naruto whispered much too loudly to Sasuke, who nodded in agreement.

"This is my friend Hana." Itachi emphasized, "Hana, this is Naruto Uzumaki, and you know Sasuke."

"Yeah, I met Naruto while you were in the hospital. Hey, guys." Hana greeted.

"Can we play with your dogs?" Naruto asked.

"Sure, if you want." Hana replied, then turned to the Haimaru Brothers, "Be nice." she ordered.

Soon the boys were happily chasing the dogs around, giving Itachi and Hana a chance to talk.

"You said you were looking for me?" Itachi asked.

"Yeah, I wanted to tell you something."

"Actually… There's something I need to talk to you about too. I hadn't really planned on doing it now, but… I should probably stop putting it off."

"You go first." Hana said.

Itachi sighed. He had told Naruto the truth, now he knew he needed to come clean with Hana, but he still had no idea how to approach it. He had hoped that time would make it easier, but it seemed to have done just the opposite. Now, any way he went about it, it seemed to be coming out of the blue. He decided to just get it over with.

"I'm engaged." he said bluntly.

Hana's expression was blank, "…Engaged? As in to be married?"


"To who? And when the hell did that happen?"

"It was arranged by my parents. I'm supposed to marry Mariko Uchiha when I turn eighteen. They told me on my birthday."

"That was almost a year ago! Why didn't you tell me?!"

"I knew you'd be upset."

"Damn right I'm upset! I'm upset that you didn't tell me! I'm your friend. You can tell me anything. I thought you knew that."

"I'm sorry."

Hana sighed, "Mariko, huh? Isn't that the girl who replaced my lunch with dog food that one time?"

"…Yeah, I think so."

Hana gave a half-hearted smirk, "Sucks to be you."

"I'm going to find a way out of it. I have time." Itachi replied, "So… what did you need to tell me?"

"Well, it feels kind of dumb following that, but I wanted to tell you that my team got nominated for the Chunin Exams. It's in Kumo this year. We're leaving tomorrow morning."

"That's great. How do you feel about it?"

"I'm kind of nervous, to be honest." Hana admitted.

"You have nothing to worry about. Most Genin aren't nearly as prepared as you are."

Hana rubbed the back of her neck, "Yeah, I know. It's just… people die at these things, you know?"

"Just stay focused and you'll be fine. You have good instincts; trust them."

"I'll try… I should probably go. I think your ANBU buddy up there is giving me dirty looks under his mask. I just wanted to let you know before I left."

"I'm glad you did. Sorry for messing it up."

"You didn't mess it up. I just wish you'd told me sooner, that's all. No more secrets next time. Deal?"

"Deal." Itachi agreed with a smile.

"Alright. I'll see you when I get back. Wish me luck."

Itachi shook his head, "You don't need it. Go show Kumo what a real ninja looks like."

Hana grinned, "I'll try not to scare 'em too bad."

"Be safe."

Hana hugged him, called the Haimaru Brothers, and departed with a wave to Sasuke and Naruto.

"I like your girlfriend." Naruto said as soon as Hana had left.

"I told you, she's not my girlfriend."

"That's not what Shisui said." argued Sasuke.

"You need to stop talking to Shisui." Itachi grumbled, "He's a bad influence."

"He also said you have a stick up your ass. What's an ass?"

"Ooh! I know that one!" Naruto volunteered excitedly.

"I'm going to kill him." Itachi muttered.
Sign up to rate and review this story