Just as the sun started to set I reached the gates of Konohagakure, my new home. In the distance against the haze of small shops and houses, I saw two figures approaching.
"A welcome party already?" I quipped smirking to myself.
Eventually they stopped, leaving a few meters between us. They were both men; One was tall and had silvery hair, but I had a hunch he hadn't even reached thirty. His face was covered by a mask and one eye was hidden purposefully by his headband. My opinion: secretive, purposeful and from what I could tell, handsome.
The other man had brown hair and a scar across his face, carved from one cheek the other. He seemed the more friendly and extroverted of the two. I stood there for a few more minutes observing them until finally the shorter man spoke.
"Hello, I'm Iruka Umino, and this is Kakashi Hatake." He pointed to the masked man. "You're Haley Kanaro, right?"
"That's right. I'm guessing Lady Tsunade sent you to escort me?" I looked at them both again then my gaze passed them to view the wide open city gates. Everything looked relaxed and happy.
'This will be a much better place to live.' I thought to myself. Kakashi spoke, pulling me back to reality.
"Yes, but since you are officially joining our ranks as an ANBU we need to give you one of these."
He rummaged in his vest pocket until he found what he was looking for. Holding out his hand I realised it was Leaf Village headband, his uncovered eye silently ushered me to take it. I untied my Kusa band from around my leg and placed it in his hand, taking the other. It was strange to see the metal so shiny and unscratched. It was like my future here; a clean slate to make a new life. I traced the leaf symbol with my finger slowly before putting it on. It felt strange. I could almost feel my relations to the Grass village slip away as easily as untying that knot.
"Thank you," I said to him. He nodded in reply.
"So, off to Lady Tsunade then?" I asked, waiting for them to show me the way.
After walking through the city we came to large, arched wooden doors. Kakashi went forward and knocked. They almost immediately opened away to reveal a pretty, pink haired kunoichi.
"Oh. Is this Haley Kanaro?" she asked. I opened my mouth to answer but Kakashi cut in.
"Yes and she's here to see Lady Tsunade." She looked sheepish and replied, "Yes Kakashi – sensei. Please come in."
She moved out of the doorway and motioned for us to come in. I went first and stood in the centre of the room. Sitting at the desk in front of me was a blonde haired woman, her head resting on one of her hands. I wasn't sure if she could look any more uninterested.
"Hello Haley. We spoke before about a transfer but first we have to wait for one more person to arrive before I give you details."
Lady Tsunade continued to stare at me, honestly making me quite nervous. The minutes went by in silence; it felt like hours. A knock on the door made us jump.
"Come in." Tsunade called. I turned around to see a young man enter, but his face was obscured. His coat had a stiff, tall collar that hid all but his eyes upon which he wore dark, round glasses. "What is it with people and covering their faces here?" I tried not to stare though it was difficult to stifle my curiosity, what exactly were these two hiding?
"Shino. Come up next to Haley please." Said Tsunade.
'Shino." I repeated his name in my head, wondering what he was like. Looking at him standing next to me I wasn't sure how to take him. So far he hadn't looked at me, nor made an attempt to acknowledge me.
"As I was saying to Haley about her transfer, I approved. She is one of the best from the Grass Village, and could rival anyone here in my own village." I could feel the stares from all those in the room, though as expected Shino kept his face forward and stood with hands in his pockets.
"Shino, you probably already know, but I want you to make Haley comfortable and show her around. You have spare bedrooms, don't you?" He nodded, only slightly, but Tsunade noticed" Good. Now, everybody out, I have work to do."
Shino's house was a fair distance from the Hokage's office, nearing the edge of the city. He unlocked the front door and stepped in, leaving the door open for me. I was hit immediately by the smell of fresh paint.
"I had to re-paint the walls and lay down new floorboards. The bugs that take refuge under my house had worn down the timber until it was only cracks and crevasses." It was like he knew what I was thinking,. Following Shino around a corner I looked around. He had led me to the kitchen.
"Are you hungry?" Shino asked.
"Only a little" I replied.
"There is food in the fridge. I need to get ready for a mission." Without further delay he walked up the hallway.
"How can he contain his excitement?" I thought dryly. I opened the fridge but there was nothing that caught my eye, quite literally there was nothing except old cheese but I wasn't eating that.
"How does anyone live here with no decent food?"
I walked back out into the main room and saw a note on the coffee table.
Here is a spare key for the house.
Your room is down the hall, the second on the left.
There are spare sheets in the cupboard.
I should be back in about two days.
Kakashi should be able to show you around the village while I'm away.
The straightforward message did not leave anything to the imagination. I realised I was dealing with the bluntest man I had ever known.
"Kakashi?". I read the note again, and decided I wanted to meet the silver haired ninja again. I couldnt help but contemplate what he was hiding under the mask. Had he been disfigured from a battle, or perhaps, he was too attractive. I smiled to myself, I shouldn't think about stuff like that, I had only just met the man.
Picking up the little silver key I left, locking the house behind me. I walked slowly down the road, taking in the sights and sounds of the village. I was so far into my own world that I bumped into someone - a boy with spiky blonde hair wearing a black and orange jumpsuit.
"Sorry. I wasn't watching where I was going." I apologized to the boy. He put his hand on the back of his head and waved my apology away.
"It's okay. I wasn't watching either. I was going to get something for breakfast". Just hearing the word breakfast made my stomache growl. I had been traveling for days without a proper meal and Shino's food levels were disappointing.
"Did ya wanna come with me?" He asked. "It's okay if you don't."
"No, no. I'll come. I don't really know anyone so I'd like a friend." He gave me a friendly laugh which made me feel comfortable.
"Well come on" he said as he ran ahead.
After following him in a blind chase we came to a halt in front of a small shop named Ichiraku Ramen. I took a seat and noticed the boy already had a bowl in front of him.
"This is the best ramen in Konoha!" He gasped between mouthfuls.
"I'll take your word for it." I looked at the menu on the back wall and decide on the pork miso ramen. The boy finished his first bowl and ordered another. As both meals were being prepared the blonde boy turned to me.
"So, Who are you anyway?" He squinted suspiciously.
"I'm Haley Kanaro. I'm transferring to Konoha from my home village, Kusa." I looked at him. He was thinking for a minute and then asked,
"The village hidden in the grass, Kusagakure."
"Oh. So, you're a ninja like me?" He gave a wide smile and pointed to his chest. "You're sitting with the future Hokage, Naruto Uzamaki." his confidence was surprising.
"The future Hokage." He nodded but before he could any more the smell of pork and miso turned our attention to the two steaming bowls of, what Naruto claims, is the best Ramen you'll ever eat.
"Please enjoy," said one of the staff members.
Naruto had not lied, the ramen was perfect. I savoured each mouthful and was disappointed as I drank the last of the soup. Not wanting to sit awkwardly with Naruto I got up to leave and paid for his meal. Before I could wish Naruto a good day I heard someone call my name. It was Kakashi.
"Hi Kakashi – sensei" Naruto said automatically. Kakashi nodded in acknowledgement.
"The Hokage wants to see you."
"Again!" I exclaimed "But I just saw her before!"
"She said she has a mission for you."
"A mission?" asked Naruto. "Why don't I get any missions?" he paused and looked around. "Haley? ... Kakashi – sensei?" Naruto was too late to ask because we had already left.
YOU ARE READING
The Nature of Love (Shino Fanfiction)Fanfiction
A transfer comes to Konoha in hopes of a better life. She has to stay with the quiet bug-lover, Shino. Haley, starts to have feelings for Kakashi, but getting to know Shino more tends to douse those flames. Parties, Missions, deception, and death fi...