• Watching Kiba go off with Matsuo, I payed for my ramen, then hopped off the stool, to look underneath the table. Nothing was there now, must have been some sort of rodent I thought, seeming as the ramen bar, was on the streets. The sky had begun to change a pinkish color telling me that night was coming. I decided to just not go home fro a bit, and head to a training ground once again. Getting there it had darkened quite a bit, all the night creatures had began to come out. A twig snapped, and I couldn't really see anything into the distance maybe it was a bad idea to come out here so late? I thought. Walking backwards slowly the snapping of twigs continued to get closer, then it stopped suddenly, taking another step backward, I ran into something that felt very human.
    Looking behind me I saw something like a giant venus flytrap. I was about to scream till it through a hand over my mouth. A question came from me muffled, asking what he flytrap person was, then it began to speak to itself, like it had two different people in itself.
    "So this is Juro's sister?" The white half said.
    "Can we eat her?" The other one said which caused an alarm in my head that said this person was dangerous. I looked at his clothing to notice the same black and red clouded garment cloak my brother wore here.
    "No Juro joined on one condition, and that was not to kill his sister," The white half answered the black half.
    Wait this guy is in the same organization as Juro? Went through my head quickly before uhm................ I'll just call him an It turned his attention back to me.
    "I see why Juro doesn't want you harmed," The white half spoke again.
    "Can we just get rid of her now? If I can't eat her, just put her back," The black half spoke. After their quarreling about me. It struck the back of my neck, making me fall unconscious. Before I was fully out, I was slung over his shoulder, and then I felt myself on a bed.

    After a walk i barely remembered, I was sitting in the waiting room of the hospital, watching medical nin walk around, dilly-dallying, when my uncle was hurt and needed help. Kurenai set a hand on mine, squeezing it gently. "I'm sorry," she said, red eyes looking into mine earnestly. "Do you need something? Book? Magazine? Do you want a snack? Anything?"
    I shook my head numbly, before I remembered. "Would you mind going back to the house...? There's a photo album. On the bookshelf, third shelf."
    Kurenai squeezed my hand again. "Of course." She stood and walked away.
    There was quiet for a long few minutes. kakashi sat next to me, silent, maybe thinking of what to say. I turned to him.
    "You never told me what happened."
    The look on his face told me that he had. But he set a hand on my shoulder reassuringly anyway. "Kurenai were walking around, discussing your training, when we heard a disturbance in one of the houses. Admittedly, I was worried when I realized what house we were entering." he paused, eye softening. "We got in to see a man...perhaps a Grass Ninja, flee up the stairs . We were going to chase him until we realized that Iruka was unconcious, on the floor."
    Tears began to spill down my face. I didn't even try to wipe them away, biting my lower lip.
    "So we brought him here, before going back to find you. Matsuo, I'm sure he'll be fine," he added.
    I wiped my eyes quickly. "He...he said he had something to tell me. And..." kakashi patted my shoulder comfortingly, and i stopped talking, lest I break into tears. . Eventually a door creaked open and Kurenai had returned (about ten minutes later...we don't live that close to the hospital). She set the photo album on my lap, holding Momoko under her arm. I took him as well, holding them both.
    We waited for about twenty minutes, before a door opened and a medical nin stepped out. "Umino, Matsuo?"
    I opened my mouth to correct him, but instead I stood, holding the photo album tightly, and approached them. "I'm Matsuo Umino."
    The medic nin set a hand on my shoulder and started to lead me away. I glanced over my shoulder at Kakashi and Kurenai both raised their hands in a motionless wave. I turned back and held the photo album under my arm, clutching Momoko like a lifeline. He chittered anxiously, rubbing his face against my cheek. "It'll be okay," I whispered. Unconvinced.

    Waking up in the middle of the night, due to a headache that wouldn't go away I walked to my kitchen to get a glass of water. The facet turned on, letting the cool water pour into my glass. Taking a sip, I felt the coldness of it hit my face waking me up, to the memory that happened last night. The question of what It was still lingered in my head going over what the thing had wanted. It was talking about my brother so I thought it must know who Juro was. But what did this organization want with me? Contemplating this, I began to walk over to the couch, when I accidently stepped on something fuzzy, and heard a high pitched yowl. "Oh no! Miki I'm sorry I couldn't see you, since you're black, and it's dark!" I picked her up, and began to cradle her in my till she fell asleep again. Sitting her down on the coach I went back to my bed. I began thinking how much things have changed for me over the years. From living with my family, them disappearing, to moving to the Leaf Village, making new friends, and then discovering my parents to still be alive. Wow things could change a lot in a couple of years.

    The medic nin stopped in front of a white door and pushed it open, letting me enter alone. he didn't even try to take Momoko away, thank god. I probably would have broken down. Steeling myself, I stepped inside and closed the door quietly behind me. The room was well lit, and the only sound were the quiet beeps of medical equipment. Iruka was laying in the hospital bed, asleep, but sitting up. There was a cut over his right eye and a large, blotchy bruise on his left cheek. More bruises showed all along his right arm. Grimacing at the sight, I stepped over to the nearby chair, set Momoko in it and sat down on the bed, which creaked slightly under my weight. Iruka's eyes fluttered open, and focused on me. He smiled weakly. "Hey, Matsuo. Fancy meeting you here."
    I let out a quiet laugh, and turned to see that there was a window where people could peer in. Kakashi and Kurenai were talking quietly there, maybe about my training, maybe about the weather. I didn't know they had followed me.
    "Matsuo? Everything alright?"
    "How can you ask me that?" I snapped, turning to him. Seeing his pained look, I faltered. "I mean...you're in the hospital...what happened, anyways? Who would do this?"
    He shrugged slightly. "Mizuki came to visit. You know, my friend from the academy. He was an instructor, too." Iruka paused. "He wanted something with your inheritance. Which of course, I wouldn't give." he shook his head slightly. "And he attacked me. I would have been able to fight him off, but he had an ally."
    I gaped. "Mizuki?" I pursed my lips, thinking. "I'll beat him up."
    "I'll have Kakashi beat him up, too. and Kurenai. I'll bring my whole team."
    "Easy there, green eyed avenger." Iruka said, smiling slightly.. "Relax. Can we just...take it easy for a while? Just for today?"
    I smiled. "I guess we can." Reaching out for Momoko, I set him on Iruka's lap and shifted so that I was sitting aside of him. He draped one arm over my shoulders as I opened up the photo album. It was nice...not that he was in the hospital...that part I could live without. But we hadn't been this close since...well, a long time. Flipping to the middle of the album, I pointed at a picture of him standing in the park, in front of a beautiful cherry tree, with a little me riding on his shoulders and pulling at his hair. "Hey, Uncle Iruka, do you remember that day?"
    "Yeah, you nearly gave me a heart attack. You almost fell in the river right after that picture was taken."
    "Well, I was always a problem child."
    "Especially when you decided you wanted to go explore the forest at nightfall."
    "Yeah, well..."
    The stories continued well into the nighttime, until I finally fell asleep on the hospital bed, head on his chest, with him holding me close. As I fell asleep I thought...everything's going to be okay now.

    A faint pecking sound woke me up. Looking at the window it was a little bird trying to get into the house, which soon flew away to a different spot. Sighing I just lied on my bed for a while thinking what I should do about my brother who was surely going to appear again, out of the blue. I rolled over on my bed, thinking I would still have room instead, there was the swift moving of air moving past me. I hit the ground, jolting me out of my thoughts. "I should really go find my team," I thought allowed getting dressed in the usual mesh top, red zip up vest, and black shorts. Gathering some of my ninja gear I headed out the door, to find the rest of my team. It was time I finally started socializing with them anyways.
    Now where to look first? I headed towards the trainings ground since Lee said he wanted to become the best tai jutsu ninja ever. Walking there I found Guy, and Lee fighting each other, so I sat down on the ground tom enjoy watching their enthused brawl till one of them notice me sitting here. They were quite strong in tai jutsu I had to give them that, it was pretty fun watching them fight. That's what I thought till Lee threw Guy in my direction, and I was squashed underneath him.
    "Can't breath Guy sensei," I was able to get out since my breath was going away.

    It was early morning when there was a tap on the door. Iruka stirred and i looked up to see Kakashi standing outside, peering through the window as he knocked. When I looked up he gestured for me to come into the hallway.
    "I'll be right back, Uncle Iruka."
    Sliding off of the bed, I hurried out to where he waited. he leaned against the wall, hands in pockets. "Are you going to train today? Or should I tell Kurenai you're going to stay here with Iruka?"
    "I'll stay here," I said. "Let me just go ask if he needs anything. Could you wait here a minute?"
    "Of course."
    I ducked back into the room. Iruka looked over, and Momoko's head shot up from where he was still curled up in my uncle's lap. "What did Kakashi want?"
    "to know if I was going to train with my team today. I told him I would stay here. Do you need anything?"
    Iruka shook his head quickly. "No, go train. You'll be bored out of your mind here, and you need to go train - the Chunin Exams are going to be here before you know it."
    "Really?" I asked. "Not the exams. But you want me to go?"
    "Yeah. Have fun." He smiled. "And when you're done, bring me ice cream. And a board game."
    Smiling, I went over to him and kissed him on the temple. "Do you want Momoko to keep you company?" he shook his head, and so I scooped up the tanuki. "Okay then. I'll see you later, Uncle Iruka." He nodded, and smiled, and I left the room to go to where Kakashi waited. He raised an eyebrow.
    "I'm going to go train today." I said quietly. "Can we stop by my house?"
    "Sure. Not a problem." He set a hand on my back and began leading me down the hall aside of him. "I'll even write you up a late pass."
    "I hope I'm not picking up that trait from you," I joked. "Being late all the time."
    He shoved me slightly. I laughed as we left the hospital.