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Boruto ducks the fist flying towards his face, and weaves under his opponent's arm with ease. At the last second, he turns his body inward and flips the other guy over his shoulder. His foe is prepared for that, however, and tucks into a roll as he hits the ground. The momentum brings him back up to his feet and lends force to the Rasengan that she shoves full-force towards Boruto's face.

He dodges it at the last second, falling flat on the ground and reaching for his kunai –


An unexpected yell from behind him causes Boruto and his shadow clone to stop sparring and turn toward the noise.

Right in time to see his father take the Rasengan to the chest and go flying backward into a tree. There's a splintering crack, as the tree collapsed under him.

"Dad?" he and the clone chorus, before he waves his doppelgänger away.

"... I'm okay..." he hears his father groan. "... it'll take... more than a... really painful blow... to keep me down..."

"Says the man who missed his own inauguration ceremony," Boruto points out, heading over to help his father up.

Dad glowers at that.

"Hey-hey-hey – remember the rule! No one gets to find out about that! Or else, all your friends find out that your little sister is the one that knocked you unconscious for a week, not a whatever you've been telling them."

"Hmph," Boruto scowls, mirroring his father's unimpressed expression. A moment later, however, it becomes a wide smirk. "But then, that's kind of not as embarrassing as getting knocked out by the technique you perfected. Why do I get the feeling Sasuke-sensei is gonna love hearing about this?"

A vein throbs on Dad's temple. "Why do I get the feeling that you're going to be spending the night out in the street?"

"You wouldn't do that to me!"

"How sure are you about that?"

"It's going to rain."


"I'm your son."

"And sleeping outside builds characters. Dads are supposed to make their kids build character, it says so in the parenting handbook."

Boruto concedes.

"I'm shutting up now."

"Heh." Dad grins down at him, rubbing his nose triumphantly. Which is about the time Boruto realises something that didn't occur to him until now.

"Wait – you're actually you. Not a clone."

"Noticed that did you? I figured the whole not-going-poof thing gave it away."

"What are you doing here? Don't you have a whole tonne of work to be doing?"

"I was extra awesome today and finished everything I needed to, so I decided to go home early for once – believe it!"

He strikes a pose, trying to look impressive. Boruto is distinctly less than impressed. "You persuaded Udon into doing all the paperwork again, didn't you?"

"Heh," Dad chuckles nervously, rubbing the back of his head. "It doesn't really count as persuading since he actually enjoys it. So..." He glances at the training ground, which shows several large gauges from Boruto's Rasengan. "You're sparring with shadow clones now?"

"It cuts in half the amount of time I need to train to improve," Boruto explains.

"And there's the added challenge that you both read exactly what the other's one's thinking. Cuts down the time you have to make your moves," his father remarks knowledgeably. "I didn't figure that one out until I was much older."

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