"Your parents at it again, huh?" the blond asked before taking another bite out of his hamburger, then immediately following with a sip of his drink.
"Mhm," the boy responded, his dark hair tied back in a ponytail, letting out a frustrated sigh before lying down onto the surface of the train, his hands cushioning the back of his head. "Dad's work has been overwhelming him lately. I don't even get to see him that often anymore."
"Weird. My dad's actually coming home more recently. In fact, he might even be at home right now," said Boruto, lowering his head to take another sip of his drink. "He's been training me a little bit while Uncle Sasuke's away from the village. You think maybe that has something to do with it?"
"It's likely. When we do get to see him, he's usually in a pretty bad mood. Mom eventually had enough and called him out on it, and they ended up having a huge argument. I've never seen him raise his voice at her like that. It even caught Mom off guard." Shikadai stiffened suddenly; a pained look crept onto his face at the thought of the incident earlier.
"Shikamaru! Look at me!"
"Tch. I'm listening woman, what d'you want?" he said with a furrowed brow, turning his head around just enough to see her eyes.
"What do I want? What do I want? I want a damn husband who'd come home and kiss his wife and ask her how her day was. Then he'd go and check up on his son and see if he's working hard or needs help with anything in training, or maybe show him a new jutsu. Then he'd have a nice dinner with his family, have fun and actually smile for once. But no, what do I have instead? A husband who spends an absurd amount of time at work, is utterly miserable by the time he gets home, doesn't even glance up at his wife and son let alone acknowledge them, before resting on his ass again on the couch or bed." Temari was almost breathless after having finally vented out her pent-up frustration.
"Yeah well this husband has been working his ass off to provide for both his family and his village and would hope that maybe his wife would be a little more considerate of the fact that there's currently a shortage of staff, and that someone still has to do the paperwork; perhaps not a wife that'll nag at him after a difficult day's work."
"There it is again, trying to make me out to be the bad guy here. God forbid I want a husband that isn't a moody git, Shikamaru!" She let out a long, relieving sigh. "Look; I get it, Shikamaru. It isn't easy. I've done my fair share of paperwork for Gaara too, remember? And I understand Naruto's spending less time at the office to be there more for his family, but this has to stop. It's been going on for too long now; three weeks, almost. You're more concerned with helping out his family that you're now neglecting your own."
"Temari, please drop it already. I just really don't want to deal with this right now."
"I give up. You see, Shikadai?" she placed both hands on her hips and looked back at the boy. "Don't say I didn't try. As always, your father is more concerned with shouldering other people's burdens that he fails to recognise the effect it has on him and others around him." She directed her focus back onto Shikamaru. "Fine. I won't continue any further. If you want to spend all of your time being miserable at that damn office doing paperwork all day then so be i-"
"You think I like suffocating myself with a bunch of paperwork?! Huh?!" Both Temari and Shikadai were so thoroughly startled at the sudden raised voice that they had taken a step back without conscious thought. Shikamaru losing his temper was such a foreign and rare sight that it was somewhat… terrifying.
"You think I don't notice how overworked I am?! How much time I spend at the office?! How little sleep I get?! How awful I look?! How little time I spend with you guys?! How much it kills me?! But someone has to do it, Temari. They're confidential paperwork which could cause detrimental effects to our village if in the wrong hands; someone has to do it! And if you'd listen for once in your life you'd know that I already told you we're short on staff who can deal with this sort of stuff. But you don't ever listen, do you?" Shikamaru now stood up and was completely facing her, fury in his eyes Shikadai hadn't ever seen from him in his life. "Because you always have to take the opportunity to be confrontational and unreasonable, don't you?!"
For once, Temari was at a complete loss for word. She was still in a state of recovery at the fact that Shikamaru had raised his voice at her in such a manner that she hadn't even fully registered what he'd said yet. "I… I didn't leave Suna and my brothers for this!"
"Then go back to Suna! Go back to your brothers! If it ends your insufferable nagging then pack your bags and just leave already!" yelled Shikamaru breathlessly, before gripping the door tightly and sliding it shut as hard as he could.
"F-fine then." Temari managed to blurt out before her throat failed her, her tears now desperately trying to escape. "I-if that's what you want then maybe I will." She abruptly turned around and stormed towards the door on the opposite end, a single tear managing to break free and slide down her cheek.
"Mom?" Shikadai asked, concern laced in his words. Temari also shut the door as hard as she could, leaving the boy alone and at a loss for words.
She didn't really mean it when she said she'd leave... did she? Surely Dad doesn't actually want her to go back, does he? If she'd actually meant it and leaves, will I stay here in Konoha or move to Suna and live with her and Uncle Gaara and Uncle Kankurō? Will I never get to see Dad again? Or Boruto, Inojin, Chōchō and the others? Will I have to start over? Shikadai sighed in frustration. Troublesome.
"Oi!" Boruto yelled out, disrupting Shikadai's thoughts. "Relax, will ya? I'm sure they'll kiss and make up soon and things will go back to normal in no time. Don't stress over it too much." He let out a toothy smile, crumbs and grease from his meal still stained on his mouth, prompting Shikadai to respond with a smile of his own, the twinge of pain he felt slowly diminishing.
No, I can't start again. I can't leave my village behind. I can't leave my friends behind. Somehow, I'm gonna fix this. There was a solid look of determination in his eyes.
The train halted momentarily, and the sound of footsteps that were once drowned out by the noise of the moving vehicle were now audible, and slowly approaching the two ninjas. Upon noticing, Boruto turned his head back; his eyes slightly widened before gripping Shikadai's shoulders to garner his attention. It was unusual to have someone else join the two at the top of the train, or rather, it was a first.
The figure looked sinister, draped in entirely black attire, the only signs of color being the slight tear on his sleeve exposing his pale skin as well as the lower half of his face, completely devoid of any facial hair; his eyes were concealed by the hood of his cloak. Both Boruto and Shikadai immediately stood up and adjusted into a fighting stance, preparing for any potential attack. Both consciously agreed to wait for the unusual man, who had already stopped approaching them and stood completely still, to make his intentions clear first.
"The son of The Seventh and the son of his advisor, huh?" the dark figure said in a strained, gravelly voice. "I need a couple guinea pigs…" Boruto, now slowly reaching towards his kunai pouch, turned to Shikadai and gave him a questioning glance. The mysterious being then briskly turned around, startling the two young ninjas, before placing a scroll down and turning back around to face the two again, "…and you two will suffice."
In that instant, the scroll behind him violently combusted; aggressive green flames now present, and had started rotating in a circular motion. He then directed their attention to another scroll balanced vertically on his hand, and threw it into the circulating flames, the scroll dissipating on contact. With a single hand sign, the figure disappeared completely, leaving behind only a trail of smoke. Almost immediately after his departure, the green flames exhibited strong gravitational effects, so strong that Shikadai's feet were lifted off the ground completely, the boy now being forcefully dragged towards the flames, until a hand securely gripped his own.
"Shikadai!" Boruto yelled in distress, as he penetrated the surface of the train with a kunai, anchoring him in position. "Hold on!"
But it was no use, the gravitational pull was far too immense, his grip weakening more and more until the two hands were disconnected.
"Shikadai!" Boruto screamed, his face now mirroring the look of horror that was also on Shikadai's, as he watched the green flames devour his close companion. Dread, fear, disappointment, confusion and anger all overwhelmed Boruto, now desperately trying to calm his heart rate and reason that his close friend was still alive. He's alive. He's alive. He has to be. Dad! I need to get to Dad right now! Boruto drew out another kunai from his pouch with his free arm and began continuously piercing, removing and re-piercing the kunais at a further distance away, distancing himself further and further from the flames, the gravitational effects weakening as he continued doing so.
Who was the hell was that man? What did he want with us? What are his intentions? His train of thought however was interrupted by a loud horn signalling that the train had resumed moving again. The resistance of the air due to the now moving train, along with the strong attractive forces of the green flames proved to be too overwhelming for Boruto, as his hands could no longer remain attached to the two kunais. In an instant, Boruto was completely engulfed by the flames, too fast to even respond with any sort of emotion. The flames abruptly stopped rotating, then immediately condensed into a small ball of light before letting out a large blast of energy, leaving behind absolutely nothing.
Clouds blocking the pale blue skies was the first thing he saw when he opened his eyes. I never really was into cloud watching like Dad was. Shikadai gripping his head. The thought of his father and mother had sent his mind into a frenzy.
No, that wasn't the reason why his head was hurting. He had landed, hard, on the ground beneath him. Boruto, the mysterious man, the scroll, it was all coming back to him. He lifted himself off the ground and glanced around at the familiar setting. Outside of Konoha? How'd I end up here? In that moment, Shikadai felt another presence.
He was not alone.
Just behind him, a girl, no more than 19-years-old. She wore four pigtails and an attire dominated by the color black, and on her back was a large block of iron; a tessen. With a raised eyebrow, slightly crooked lips and a hand on her hip, she stared at him with bright teal eyes.
"Oi, crybaby! What the hell are y-" she paused, focusing on the bright teal eyes that were now staring back at her. "Wait, you're not…"
Boruto, however, wasn't as fortunate to have been greeted with a delightful view of the sky. No, instead he was greeted by a dog, an oddly familiar dog that was caressing his face with it's tongue, somewhat too enthusiastically. You're one of Uncle Kiba's, aren't you? The dog let out a loud bark, making Boruto wince slightly.
"It isn't Naruto, Hinata, you can stop hiding already."
Boruto sat up after the dog had taken off and stared ahead. In front of him, a figure slowly crept out from behind the tree; this figure a girl, shy and timid, and had looked like she had just completely lost her composure, her cheeks donning a burning red color. She possessed long, dark, violet hair and distinct white eyes that belong to a clan he was all too familiar with.
"N-no Kiba! I-I just, h-he just c-came out of nowhere, a-and I-"
"Yeah yeah whatever, save it."
Boruto stared at the girl with wide blue eyes, which were also distinct to a certain loud, hyperactive ninja; this action caused the girl to take a step back behind the tree and fix her gaze elsewhere.
Simultaneously, both Boruto and Shikadai yelled out in sheer and utter confusion:
My first fanfiction! Hope you enjoy. :)
Some things I should probably mention. This occurs after the events of the Chūnin Exams for Boruto's year, so Boruto and Naruto are on good terms. For the old cast, the story takes place before the Kakuzu and Hidan arc, so Asuma's still around. The story will mainly focus on the interactions between Boruto and Shikadai and the old cast.