Chapter 7: Seeds

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Naruto stared at his reflection in the mirror long and hard, staring into his dull blue eyes that held no shine to them, no sparkle. Not like they used to. They reminded him of when Jiraiya died in his fight against Nagato. 

It was a terrible time. 

He knew these eyes were that of someone who lost a lot, who has lost too much. He was determined not to lose anyone again but he wasn't so sure that would be possible. He wasn't strong enough yet. 

And he definitely wasn't strong enough to stop Orochimaru right now, and that was about a month and a half away. Stepping out of the bathroom, his eyes glanced towards the Chunin Exam sign up papers lying on his bed, crumpled and wrinkled from him having squeezed it when he received it. 

Obito was sure faster than Kakashi was when it came to recommending teams for the Exams. He glanced at his calender and felt his head begin to pound on his skull. He's been getting frequent headaches and sometimes migraines since the Wave mission that had ended two weeks ago. 

The thought of it made him want to vomit. He had killed dozens of Gato's thugs after thinking that they were just a small army of Zetsu. He failed to save Haku and Zabuza as well. The former thought rose in his head again as his eyes narrowed in thought. 

Why had he seen Zetsu and not thugs? He shook his head. Perhaps he needed to visit a Yamanaka or any form of therapist. Seeing those things were not good for his mental nor physical health. 

Zipping up his orange jumpsuit, Naruto quickly exited his apartment in favor of walking down the streets of the village he loved. Ignoring the glares and sideways glances, he arrived at a wooden fence where he saw a square box painted as a rock behind him. 

Breaking away from his thoughts, he turned around to address those within the pour disguise. "First of all," He began. "Rocks aren't perfect cubes. Second of all, why would there be a random rock in the street? Finally, why are you following Konohamaru, Moegi, and Udon?" Black smoke erupted from the box as it surrounded a small radius around them as the small trio emerged.

"Ha! Knew you were the best of the best boss! Not even gramps could've detected my disguise!" Naruto fought the urge to hit the head of the arrogant boy who was just attending the academy.

"Konohamaru," Moegi began, coughing a little. "You used too much!" Udon, who had an eternally runny nose, decided to put his input as well.

"Yeah, you gotta calm down." Konohamaru rolled his eyes as he crossed his arms over his chest. 

"Whatever, you guys just ain't down with my style." He then looked at Naruto with pleading eyes. "Hey boss, can you play ninja with us?" Naruto fought the urge to roll his own eyes out of his skull.

"Why would I play ninja with you? I have more important things to do with my life than beat up a bunch of kids." He replied easily. Konohamaru frowned and pointed an accusing finger at the blonde. 

"Why are you being so cold?" He shouted, causing Naruto's eyes to widen momentarily. "Ever since you got back from your weird mission you've been acting all moody!" 

"Things happen that you wouldn't understand." Naruto answered carefully. "I'm just tired." 

"Liar! Play ninja with us and I'll leave you alone for two whole days!" This time Naruto did roll his eyes. 

"Two? C'mon you have to raise it to at least a week." Konohamaru wore a grin that spread ear to ear. 

"Deal! You count to thirty and we'll run! If we can stay away from you for ten minutes we win! If you catch us you win!" Naruto nodded as he leaned on the fence behind him. 

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