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Sunday, May 4, 2008

20th birthday chapter 2

A/N - As the others say Naruto is owned by Masashi Kishimoto. The only Naruto stuff I own at this time is the Manga books from 1 to 3 and then from 9 to 15 along with the first three uncut DVD box sets.

I originally thought this would be a one shot but I just couldn’t leave a funny story with Naruto and the Chief Toad go without adding more to get Jiraiya involved. I’m going to leave the story listed as complete since as with the first chapter I feel it can easily end with the second chapter. Although, I do have the very beginnings of a couple of more ideas that would fit with this story. So who knows, hahaha.

20th birthday Ch. 2
Author: TJchaos

Several weeks passed. Naruto had no real idea what was going on between himself and Hinata but was satisfied with the way things were going. Although they rarely saw each other since they were both very busy with missions, neither of them seemed to mind. They were able to hang out together at least once a week usually and enjoy a date together.

‘I guess that would definitely mean we are dating.’ He mused to himself as he thought about the few dates they had gone on so far. ‘I wonder if that makes us boyfriend and girlfriend.’

He had tried a few times to talk to Hinata about this and that only succeeded in flustering the poor girl. He wished he had someone to talk to about this, the only one he felt he could really trust on this particular subject was Iruka and somehow he couldn’t bring himself to ask. He actually had the day off and since his maybe/kinda/sorta girlfriend was out on a mission he had no real plans other than to wrestle with his thoughts about her for the day. He had tried to run through a light training session but thoughts of the girl with pale eyes kept intruding so he returned home to shower and change. He simply sat there on his bed chasing one thought after the other around in circles in his mind. Those thoughts were brought to an abrupt halt as someone began to pound furiously on his door. Shaking his head to help clear his thoughts he slowly got up off his bed, walked through the short hall where his bathroom was and into his kitchen area. The knocking got louder and louder and the door began to rattle ominously in its frame. Naruto suddenly began to feel a little uneasy from the pounding on his door so he picked up a couple of kunai from the small pile of his gear on the table. His eyes widened suddenly as he imagined that it could very well be Hinatas father on the other side, ready and willing to end the life of the now nervous blond shinobi.

“GOD DAMN IT NARUTO! GET YOUR SCRAWNY ASS OUT OF BED ALREADY AND OPEN THE DAMN DOOR!” A rather gravelly voice screamed out from the other side of the door.

Naruto was immediately confused as he began to realize the voice belonged to no other than his on and off master Jiraiya. He cautiously opened the door.

“Ero-sennin?” He asked with a confused look on his face as he looked out to see a very angry and red faced Jiraiya glaring at him.

“Don’t pull that cute little ‘ero-sennin’ crap on me now. I am in no mood for it.” Jiraiya huffed out, no longer screaming, much to Narutos relief.

“Uhh.” Naruto blinked a few times, unsure exactly how to respond. “O.k., I guess. What’s wrong?”

“WHAT’S WRONG!” Naruto flinched at the sudden increase in volume as Jiraiya’s scream washed over him. “You tell me kid! Just what have you done now?”

“Nothing!” Naruto suddenly felt a surge of panic. He and Hinata had a few quick kisses during the past few weeks and visions of Hiashi tearing his arms off suddenly popped into his mind. “It was only a couple of kisses! Nothing to freak out over!”

This time Jiraiya blinked.

“A couple of kisses?” Jiraiya studied the young man intently, his eyes narrowing before letting out a great sigh and continuing. “You have no idea what I’m talking about do you?”

“Obviously not! What kind of lunatic are you anyway banging on my door like that and screaming your fool head off at me?”

“Don’t you get uppity with me kiddo, I’ll smack you upside the head and knock you into next week quicker than you can blink.”

“Oh Yeah? You and what army? I oughtta kick your ass right here and now you old fool. Granny Tsunade would probably give me a medal or something for it!”

Jiraiya actually gritted his teeth and practically growled at the young man. Naruto smiled in a vicious snarl in return. His upper lip curled in such a way that his slightly oversize canine teeth became easier to see and he glared back even harsher at his old teacher.

“O.k. this isn’t going to get us anywhere, just tell me what you did to Gamabunta.” The white haired shinobi asked.

“Did to Gamabunta? You are kidding right?” Naruto was completely confused.

“No I am deadly serious.” Jiraiya suddenly looked slightly embarrassed before he continued. “I, umm, well you see, I kind of got into a bit of a jam a couple of weeks ago and I wound up summoning Gamabunta. As soon as he saw me he started berating me. Calling me all sorts of vile names, mostly that I was a lousy henchman and a worthless good for nothing. He said at my best I wasn’t half the henchman you were. He must have insulted me for an hour about how much of a lousy henchman I was and how you were so much better. The worst part about all of it was that I didn’t use anywhere near enough chakra to summon him. It was like he was waiting for me to summon a toad, any toad. To top it all off that, the slimy bastard dumped me in the middle of some vast swamp in River country and left me there with virtually no chakra. It took me a week to pull myself out of that dank, dismal, muck filled hellhole and I’m sending the cleaning bill to you!” Jiraiya ‘hmmphed’ as he crossed his arms over his chest and glared at Naruto.

Naruto stood there staring at Jiraiya completely stunned for a moment. That didn’t last very long though and he started to snicker for another moment. As he looked up still snickering he saw Jiraiyas face flush with anger and he could no longer contain himself so he burst out laughing as visions of a muck covered Jiraiya crawling through a swamp danced in his head. He staggered back a few feet and nearly fell into a chair at the table. As he continued to laugh outrageously he proceed to bang his fist on the table. Tears started to stream down his cheeks as his body began to actually spasm with laughter.

“It’s not funny damn it!” Jiraiya exclaimed shaking his fist at Naruto. “You just wait until you get the bills! Cleaning all the mud and bugs out of my hair alone took an entire day and they charged me triple what an all day spa would because of the damn creepy crawlies.”

Several minutes passed before Naruto finally stopped laughing outrageously and after taking a few deep breaths he brought himself back under control with the exception of the occasional giggle.

“I guess it must have been the little get together we had for my birthday. Gamabunta and I shared some sake to ‘seal the deal’ of me being his henchman.” Naruto finally answered.

“That’s it?” Jiraiya looked at him incredulously, his eyes wide. “I did the same thing when I was first became one of his henchman. I even got an extra large 4 liter bottle of sake for the two of us.”

Naruto snorted at that as he began to turn purple while he valiantly tried to contain another barrage of laughter.

“One” Naruto paused as a another snort of laughter escaped. “One 4 liter bottle?” He finally squeaked out before the laughter took him again.

“Just what is so damn funny you twisted little idiot?” Jiraiya demanded as his face grew red with anger once again.

Naruto couldn’t stop laughing for nearly five minutes as Jiraiya fumed. Finally slowing and getting his breathing back under control the blond young man continued.

“Well, you see I was a little concerned about how much sake Gamabunta could drink so I started buying it about six months or so before my 20th birthday.”

“Just how did you manage to pull that off?” Jiraiya asked coldly, eyes narrow.

“Oh that was easy, I just annoyed Tsunade until she said it was o.k. The only real condition was that she had to hold onto the sake until my birthday. Actually she was one of the people who joined us.”

“You actually trusted Tsunade with holding sake for you? I always knew you were something of an idiot but that’s really going a bit far.”

“Nah, nothing to worry about, every time I bought another batch of sake I bought a bottle just for her, something like a storage fee you could say. The sake I bought for Gamabunta was sealed in a scroll. I’d simply drag Granny Tsunade off to the brewery every few missions when I could afford it and buy more.”

Jiraiya suddenly felt an unsettling chill. He knew that Naruto tended to over do things, especially when he wasn’t sure how something was supposed to work.”

“Kid, just how much sake did you buy anyway?” Jiraiya asked with a trace of worry.

“Well lets see, I was getting a bulk discount that was apparently a bit better than wholesale since I was buying such large quantities. I also think the guy running the brewery took a liking to me. Even though he runs the largest brewery in Konoha I guess it’s a little unusual when someone drags the Hokage into a business to buy stuff. Plus he was at the gathering too and he was quite impressed with Gamabunta.”

“DAMN IT NARUTO, JUST HOW MUCH SAKE DID YOU BUY ALREADY?” Jiraiya yelled out as the last of his small amount of patience vanished.

“Well…” Naruto smiled as he paused for a moment and changed the facts ever so slightly. “Don’t forget they were doing me a favor, so to cut costs we were using the barrels the rice came in.”

“B-b-barrels?” Jiraiya stammered as his concern came flooding back.

“Yeah, it was about 200 liters per barrel or there about.” Naruto said with a wide grin at the sight of Jiraiya’s widening eyes.

“Just how many of these 200 liter barrels did you wind up buying anyway?” Jiraiya suddenly felt somewhat sick to his stomach.

“I think it was 15.” Naruto scrunched up his eyes and thought hard. “Yeah it was 15 barrels. Mostly honjōzō-shu but three of them were nigori.” Naruto smiled as Jiraiya’s mouth dropped open.

Several minutes passed and Naruto actually grew almost (but not really) concerned about Jiraiya. Just as he was thinking about finding a magic marker to start drawing on the older mans face Jiraiya snapped back into the conscious world, preventing what would have likely been one of Narutos more entertaining pranks.

“So you are telling me that not only did you buy about 3,000 liters of sake for that damnable toad but you also bought good sake as well?”

“That sounds about right.” Naruto beamed as Jiraiyas stomach sank.

“Damn kid you even out did the Yondaime. He only managed to come up with 1,000 liters.”

This time it was Narutos turn to have his mouth fall open.

“B-b-but Gamabunta said I might be as good a henchman as the Yondaime. If I got three times the sake the Fourth did, he should have told me I was better.” Naruto was confused.

“Maybe but the Yondaime did things properly by doing the drinking before officially becoming a henchman to the Chief Toad and don’t forget, you can be pretty damn annoying. I think you’re the only one foolish enough to have summoned the Chief Toad into salt water.” Jiraiya finally smiled at Narutos embarrassment. “Besides that slimy monster probably didn’t want you to get a swelled head.”

“I guess I’ll simply chalk it up to being one of the ways I’m surpassing the previous Hokages then.” Naruto suddenly smiled greatly.

“Now that’s funny kid.” Jiraiya finally laughed himself for a brief moment before he realized just how pathetic his 4 liter bottle was all those years ago. “Shit. That damn toad is going to give me grief over this for years.”

“I’ll tell you what old man, since I’m now of legal age, I’ll buy you a bottle.” Naruto beamed.

Jiraiya mumbled something but wasn’t one to turn down free sake so he nodded to Naruto. Naruto led him to the brewery and they were both greeted warmly by the salesman. Although Naruto was beginning to suspect that the man was actually the owner.

“Lord Jiraiya!” The man exclaimed giving Naruto a big smile.

Naruto was surprised, he still fully intended to become Hokage and earn the respect and recognition of everyone in the village. That surprise always happened whenever he got recognition from someone without that grand title he so desperately wanted.

“Hey old man I’m going to need a bottle for the Toad Sage here.” Naruto hid his mouth and whispered to the man. “He’s been having a rough time better make your strongest honjōzō-shu”

“You got it Naruto.” The turned and called out an order to the back room. “I’m glad you’re here Naruto, I’ve got a business idea I’d like to talk to you about.”

Naruto looked confused and Jiraiya suddenly looked slyly interested.

“Business idea?” The blond young man asked.

“Yeah check this out.” The man rummaged around under the counter and brought up a few empty bottles.

Each bottle had a label with a picture of Gamabunta on it with different sayings. Naruto read them all and they all said stuff along the lines of Konohas best honjōzō-shu, Gamabunta approved. Naruto laughed at one that had really small cartoon pictures of himself and Tsunade on one bottle with Gamabunta towering over them. That one was a good trick considering the size of the label he thought.

“I don’t know.” Naruto said quietly as he thought. “They look really good but I think we’d have to get the Chief Toads approval for something like this, I guess I should summon him.” Naruto headed outside.

“Of course! Of course!” The brewer was all smiles as he followed Naruto.

Jiraiya started to twitch ever so slightly as he also headed outside. Not enough for the brewer to notice but Naruto was all too familiar with the Toad Sage’s sudden but subtle change. Naruto quickly grabbed his wallet and gave a mental sigh of relief that it was still there. There were many things in life that he was still pretty clueless about but he had some especially harsh lessons regarding money due to Jiraiya over the years. If the perverted old man hadn’t fleeced Narutos wallet the blond young man was certain something else must be up that would somehow involve Jiraiya diverting some money to his own clutches. Naruto began to get irritated with the toad sage, the old freak had more than enough money from all those dirty books. Not knowing what was up though he simply kept a sharp eye on the white haired sage.

Luckily the brewery was at the edge of the village near one of the training ground preferred by many of the senior shinobi of the leaf. Whether or not that preference was because of the location of the brewery was often speculated by many of the younger shinobi. Naruto didn’t care he only wanted enough space for the Chief Toad so nothing would be damaged by his appearance. Naruto suddenly noticed that Jiraiyas demeanor had shifted slightly and now he actually was starting to look rather nervous. Naruto smiled, judging by the story he got earlier things just might get interesting once the Chief Toad sees Jiraiya.

It took only a moment for Naruto to summon the massive amount of chakra needed and go through the motions. With the characteristic smoke and noise of a summons the Chief Toad appeared, calmly smoking his pipe. The massive toad immediately scowled at the sight of Jiraiya but his expression softened somewhat at the sight of Naruto.

“So Naruto, two summons in a row and nothing for me to fight?” The giant toads voice echoed throughout the surrounding countryside. “Unless you’d like me to squish Jiraiya here.” The chief toad laughed while Jiraiya paled.

“Tempting Boss, very tempting but I don’t think I’m allowed to do the old pervert any real harm unless Granny Tsunade is around to witness or help. Actually the sake brewer has a business proposal for you.”

“Really, now that’s interesting.” The Chief Toad looked down thoughtfully.

“Ah yes, Mr. Chief Toad Sir.” The brewer stepped forward and bowed deeply. “We would like to use your name and likeness on a couple of our lines of sake.”

“Hmmm, and what would you be offering me in return?”

“Well sir, since you enjoyed our sake so much I figured a percentage of each batch could be delivered to you somehow.”

“That sounds reasonable and fair.” The Chief Toad thought for a moment. “How much sake do you brew up for each batch?”

“Generally about ten thousand liters Sir.”

“Ten thousand eh? Tell you what I’ll take two of those barrels we had at Narutos birthday from each batch for myself. We’ll have Naruto be my agent in Konoha for an additional one percent cut of the profit from each batch and he will handle the delivery to me.”

“That sounds more than fair Mr. Chief Toad Sir.” The brewer positively beamed.

“I trust that any of your sake that is labeled with my likeness will be of the same excellent quality as the examples we enjoyed during Narutos birthday.”

“Of course Mr. Chief Toad Sir! We have our own reputation to worry about as well you know.”

“Of course.” The massive toad smiled for a moment before glancing to the nervous Jiraiya. “You there, perverted worm! Write us up a contract for this deal and don’t even think about adding yourself to the deal somehow. Make three copies while you’re at it!”

Naruto smiled, he had just known that somehow money would be involved and he got a kick out of the fact that Jiraiya wasn’t getting any of it. Then it hit him. He was going to be getting a cut of every bottle of sake sold that had the Chief Toads likeness on it.

“Um, just how long will you continue to use the Chief Toads likeness?” Naruto asked the brewer as Jiraiya quickly wrote out the contract onto some blank scrolls.

“For as long as people buy it Uzumaki-san, for as long as people buy it.” The man positively beamed.

Once Jiraiya finished the contracts Gamabunta had the brewer and Naruto sign their names in their own blood before he had Naruto nick the tip of one of the toad massive digits in one of his front flippers and add a drop of his own toad blood to each contract. Naruto thought that was a little over the top for a mere business contract but he certainly wasn’t going to question the Chief Toad, especially when he was making out very well on the deal for doing very little. Naruto, the brewer and the Chief Toad each kept a copy of the scroll and all three scrolls disappeared from sight in short order.

Hearing something of a murmur behind him Naruto turned to look back towards the village. He was stunned that a small crowd had gathered and was watching the small gathering with the Chief Toad. Granted they kept a respective distance but it was rare that anyone in the village got a chance to see the Chief Toad and the fact that there wasn’t a major battle going on was a very big plus in every ones book. The growing crowd was also noticed by Gamabunta as well and the large amphibian smiled at this golden opportunity.

“Thank you for summoning me for this Naruto!” The Chief Toads voice boomed out a bit louder than it should have been. “You may very well be a better henchman than the Yondaime Hokage. Don’t you go slinking off there Jiraiya you pervert, you could learn a thing or two from Naruto here.”

With that the Chief Toad leaped high into the air before vanishing in a very large puff of smoke. Naruto scratched the back of his head as he tried to puzzle out the giant toads odd behavior just now and his dramatic exit. As he turned to walk back to the brewery with the jubilant brewer and the subdued Jiraiya he over heard some of villagers from the crowd.

‘…better than the Yondaime…’

‘…could teach Lord Jiraiya…’

‘…was that really Naruto Uzumaki?…’

‘…Naruto summoned the Chief Toad…’

Naruto blinked, a lot, as he began to realize some of the implications those words coming from all those people meant. He began to smile as he re-entered the brewery sales office. He would definitely have to thank Gamabunta for this later.

“…all that sake and money, just slipped through my fingers.” Jiraiya whispered to himself as Naruto walked past the tearful toad sage.

One of the brewers workers was waiting for them with that bottle of honjōzō-shu that Naruto had asked for earlier. Naruto reached for his wallet but the brewer waved him off.

“It’s on the house Naruto.” The brewer smiled at the sight of the crestfallen Jiraiya.

Naruto chuckled as he picked up the bottle and walked over to hand it to Jiraiya. Before he could actually hand the bottle over though the door suddenly burst open and a very agitated Sakura confronted him.

“Naruto! What’s going on? We heard the Chief Toad say something about squishing Jiraiya all the way to the Hokage’s tower so she sent me over here immediately to find out what was going on.” The pink haired kunoichi looked like she was angry with Naruto, causing him to flinch.

“It was just a business deal Sakura, nothing to get excited about.” Naruto sighed as he pulled out his wallet. “You’d better get me another bottle of that honjōzō-shu.”

In short order Naruto was heading back to the Hokage tower along with Sakura. He actually had two bottles with him. The full bottle of honjōzō-shu that he felt would be a good thing to have for facing Tsunade, which he insisted on paying for. Although he knew she wouldn’t be angry with any of this, he thought buying that bottle for her was a very inexpensive form of insurance. In fact the more Naruto thought about things he felt that she was going to greatly enjoy this whole story, especially the part about Jiraiya being dumped in a swamp. The other bottle was actually empty, it was one of the ‘Gamabunta approved’ sample bottles. The brewer told him that the one with the likeness of him and Tsunade wasn’t going to be used so he gave that one to Naruto. His thoughts turned to Hinata and he smiled softly, she would certainly enjoy hearing this story.

Sakura frowned as they walked. She wasn’t sure what was going on lately but something was definitely up. Naruto hadn’t even hinted at asking her out in weeks and weeks. Now he was making business deals with the largest brewer in Konoha that involved the Chief Toad. Even Jiraiya was acting strange. She had been relieved when the freaky old pervert had slinked off practically whimpering something about lost money but the fact that he didn’t even come close to drooling over her was oddly unsettling. Sure she didn’t have the ‘assets’ of Tsunade but she had been the only woman in the room and Jiraiya didn’t even glance at her. That had never happened before. She suddenly stumbled and had to resist the urge to smack herself in the head, her forehead was big enough and it certainly didn’t need any swelling from smacking herself she thought as she realized she had completely forgotten Narutos birthday weeks ago. Maybe that was it she thought. Although all the other times she had forgotten his birthday it didn’t take long for him to annoy her about it and try to use her forgetting in an attempt to wheedle a date from her. Three days was his record and this year several weeks has passed. As they walked down the street together Sakura was even more unsettled at the obvious happiness practically leaking out of Naruto. She was definitely going to have to look deeper into this.

For once in his life Naruto barely noticed that Sakura was walking next to him. He was still somewhat stunned by the little bits and pieces of conversations he had over heard a short time ago. He was actually doing it. He was earning respect and acknowledgement from the villagers and he wasn’t even Hokage yet. The feeling of satisfaction was even better than he thought it was. He was even looking forward to meeting with Tsunade. This whole sake idea was looking more and more like the best thing he had ever thought up. The list of good things happening to him because he went a little overboard fulfilling an old obligation just kept getting longer and longer. His thoughts bounced around, often turning back to a certain pale-eyed girl with dark hair but he had plenty of other stuff on his mind as well. He patted the scroll tucked into an inside pocket of his jacket.

Life just keeps getting better and better.’ He thought as he walked.

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