All that was stated in Chp. One remains true in Chp. 3
The boy certainly didn't look like a man-eating fox. There was dirt and snot on his chin and blood on his knees and a surly expression on his face, and all in all, he just looked like a lost little boy crying in an alleyway.
"What do I you /I want?" he demanded, seeming to grow in size even though he didn't uncurl from his tight huddle against the abandoned crate.
Iruka hesitated, fingers twitching against the handles of the plastic grocery bag he held over his shoulder. Of all the children in the village, this was the only one he avoided out of habit. It was just easier that way, to not have to face the questions the child presented simply by existing.
But that luxury would be going away soon, when he started teaching classes at the academy in the fall.
Bracing himself, Iruka stepped into the alley and crouched down in front of the boy. "I'm Iruka...Umino Iruka. One of the teachers at the ninja academy. You're Naruto, aren't you?"
The child's eyes lit up at the word ninja. "Ye-yes! Uzumaki Naruto!" His expression turned wary again, lower lip thrusting out into a brazen pout. "What about it?"
Iruka trusted his senses a great deal; they were what kept him alive in the chuunin exams and subsequent missions. And now his senses were telling him that the being before him was not the frightening nightmare-image of the monster that tore his world apart, but a harmless, somewhat bratty wild child that shouldn't be out on his own.
"Well, would you like me to walk you home? It's getting late."
Confusion crossed the dirty face. "I know the way home," he said.
"I'm sure you do," Iruka said, smiling cautiously, "But let me take you home anyway."
Wonder smoothed out the scrunched up nose and forehead. "O-okay," he stuttered, breathless with awe.
Iruka felt himself blushing at the strangely heart twisting adoration on the boy's face. "Well, come on then." He straightened up and shifted the grocery bag from one hand to the other.
"Yeah!" the boy chirped, bouncing to his feet in a flurry of energy and following adoringly at Iruka's heels.
9) ---but not like that---
Iruka sealed the scroll he'd been rolling up and smiled down at his young student. "What is it Moegi?"
The auburn haired girl came to a stop by his desk and blushed prettily. "Umm, Iruka-sensei," she said, shuffling her feet, "Here!" She brought her hands out from behind her back and thrust a folded up piece of yellow construction paper under his nose.
"Oh, what's this?" Iruka asked, playfully curious. Moegi giggled; they both knew that he knew what it was, but it was fun to pretend. He took the paper from her hand and unfolded it.
The page was decorated with a green, brown, and black construction of lopsided circles, squiggly lines, and uneven squares. He could tell from the cluster of brown lines coming out from the top circle that it was supposed to be a picture of him. Scrawled messily across the bottom, it said, "Moegi likes Iruka-sensei!"
His expression softened into a gentle smile. "It's wonderful, Moegi," he said, holding it to his chest, "I'll treasure it."
Her big eyes glittered like falling stars. "Really?!"
"Oh yes. And want to know a secret?"
She nodded eagerly, the short ponytails tied on either side of her head bobbing, so he motioned her forward and leaned over in his chair to whisper in her ear. "Iruka-sensei likes Moegi too," he said.
Clapping both hands to her scarlet cheeks and squeezing her eyes shut, Moegi let out a little "Eeee!" of delight. Without another word, she spun and ran back up the rows of desks to her two friends, both of whom gave her strange looks.
Iruka's heart fairly melted. He really did love his job. Tucking the picture inside his desk to be put on the refrigerator later, he went back to grading papers.
10) ---nor does this make him a whiny little girl---
The warning cry came over the comms seconds before the volley of arrows appeared. Iruka was barely able to leap out of their way and even then one left a cut along his shoulder. He was going to jump back, out of range and safely into the trees, when he realized that his teammate had been hit.
Information continued to be announced over the comms. "---twenty-eight long-bowmen along the walls---"
Yoshiki was on his side; two arrows in his thigh and third in his flank above the hip. The bottom of Iruka's stomach dropped out at the sight. He quickly checked the skies for oncoming attacks and then darted over to his friend.
"---at three-o'clock, the rest at twelve. Teams eight and five around the---"
Kneeling on the ground, Iruka applied pressure to the wound on Yoshiki's side, trying to staunch the blood flow. There was no way to remove the arrow without doing further damage. The other chuunin's face was pale, his lips pressed so tightly together they were turning white.
"Don't worry, we'll get you taken care of," Iruka said seriously, "Just hold on." Yoshiki nodded shakily and Iruka stood, sliding his hands under Yoshiki's armpits. He began to drag the larger man to safety.
"---aiming! Take cover!---"
He moved faster, feet skidding on dirt and gravel, snapping the arrows stuck in the ground around them. Yoshiki pushed along with his uninjured leg, trying to propel them out of range. It wasn't fast enough.
Iruka didn't have time to react before Yoshiki tripped him up, both of them hitting the soil in a tangle. Iruka had a wild thought----how the fucking hell was being on the ground supposed to protect them from----
---and then he was staring into Yoshiki's pain widened eyes as his friend shielded him with his own body. One arrow struck Iruka's hand, another opened a slice from his cheekbone to his ear, but Yoshiki took the rest, jerking with the shock of the hits.
"No, no!" Iruka gasped as the volley ended, franticly crawling out from under his teammate to help, heedless of his own wounds. The effort was useless; Yoshiki's back was like a porcupines and he died with a bloody gurgle even as Iruka grabbed one arm and continued pulling him into the trees.
Iruka checked for his pulse anyways, not accepting it when he felt nothing. He ripped the arrow out of his own hand without thinking and was staggered by the sudden wave of agony. Clutching his wrist, he breathed through it, and began yanking the arrows out of Yoshiki's back. If he could lay him flat...begin CPR...
"It's alright, Yoshiki-kun, its alright," he said rapidly, "Just hold on, I'll..."
"---retreat and regroup! All cells, retreat---"
Iruka froze at the order, staring at the blood on his hands, the blood on Yoshiki. Wiping the blur from his eyes so he could see the way, he lifted Yoshiki's arm over his shoulders and hauled him back to the gathering point, so as not to leave his body behind for the enemy.
11) ---and people really need to stop implying that girls act that way.
Shikamaru shifted slightly against the dirty straw as the thick wood-and-metal door swung open with a bang. He didn't bother to stand or even sit up. If they wanted to slap him around again, they were going to have to move him themselves.
Besides, he would probably throw up if he did.
Heavy boots clunked over the stone floor and keys jangled as the iron bars were unlocked. "Well, well, look at this slug," said the deep, gravelly voice of one of his guards. The one that liked to punch him in the stomach.
Shikamaru's eyebrow twitched.
"I think you need to be punished more," the guard continued, steps crackling over the straw now, "In fact, I think its time for the ribbons and lace treatment. You'd look fetching in a dress."
"Ino?" he asked, grimacing at the scratchiness of his voice, and finally opened his eyes. The...profoundly unfortunate looking guard grinned down at him with teeth like a falling down fence. "You've gained weight."
"Looking very nice yourself, thanks," she said dryly, crouching down next to him, "What an idiot, I still can't believe you got caught. Can you sit up?"
Shikamaru considered it. "I'll vomit."
"Nice," she grunted, putting her massive hand under his neck and levering him up, "Aim thataway."
He did while she supported him. Spots were dancing in front of his eyes when he finished and Ino wasted no time in unlocking the shackles around his ankles.
"Lets get going; I don't want to spend any more time in ugly here than I have too. I bet this monster hasn't bathed in I years /I ," she complained, hoisting him up into her arms.
Shikamaru flinched as he was settled on his sore stomach over her shoulder. "Tell me about it," he said, the smell not doing much to help his nausea or the spinning in his head.
She carried him to the door and down the long corridor beyond it, heading to where presumably; Chouji was waiting with her body.
After several minutes, Shikamaru asked, "You're never going to let me forget this, are you?"
The guard had a very nasty laugh.
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