Last Chapter Summary: Well, here you have it folks! A girl, now known as Juri, takes a short-cut one evening, only to run into none other than... Hatake Kakashi! But when she finds out later on that he is supposed to be dead, what is she to think? And what is going to happen when he shows up in her room that very same night?
In Love with a Ghost
… A Naruto fan fiction
In Love with a Ghost © SilverDragon
Naruto © Kishimoto Masashi
Chapter 2 –
“Facts and Annoyances”
When I finally woke up again, I found that I was tucked snugly into my bed. Blearily, I blinked at the alarm clock beside my bed. My alarm was turned off. I frowned. That was odd. I could've sworn that I had turned it on last night. I blinked some more sleep away from my eyes and sat up, but the fact remained the same. The alarm switch was marked to 'off' instead of 'on.'
And the clock numbers showed 12:21 p.m. to me.
I collapsed back into bed, only to bolt upright again.
"/%)&#!" I swore, "I'm -($^@(/\$# late!" (The translation: very intense swearing)
I dove into my closet, throwing several articles of clothing around and donning the first things that I saw, before running a brush quickly through my light brown hair and checking my appearance in the mirror.
My usual light brown eyes and peachy cheeks stared back at me.
I frowned, before running a hand down my face. My skin was really dry, and you could tell. Imagine what would happen if I wore make up? That would make my skin even worse! However, I didn't wear any. Never have, probably never will. Too much work.
"Crap," I muttered. After rubbing some lotion on my face, I bolted down the stairs and out the door. No time for breakfast now - had to get to work, fast.
I booked it down the street, dodging people and stands. Heck, I nearly ran down a dog! The poor thing; it let out a sharp yelp and I stopped momentarily to stroke its soft head, before making a sharp left down an alley.
I worked at a restaurant called the 'Jolt n' Bolt Coffee House.' Yes, clever name of course. I could see where it came from (well, my own theory anyway). You see, the manager had a body guard that was just huge. Humongous. Gigantic and overwhelming. Get on his bad side and well... you won't have any good times at that coffee house. Get a jolt from the caffeine... but if you piss off him - time for the bolting.
Or you could just say, get a jolt from the coffee and then bolt off to work! Clever name, really. Too bad you couldn't say the same thing about the manager.
I reached the door and the familiar brown sign of 'open' glared back at me, as if mocking me.
'Aww, crap.' I really didn't want to go in. Not only was the manager really strict and bossy... well... let's just say she was a might bit snobby as well. In other words; she’s bitchy.
Taking a deep breath, I pushed open the door, only to be met with silence. I hesitated. Usually this place was filled to the bone, but today... it was empty - except for the usual man who sat in the corner of the store, sipping his steaming coffee slowly while reading the daily newspaper.
Then I saw my manager; Saeko. Yes, name meaning 'daughter of Sae.' Maybe this Sae was a hell of a lot better person than his/her daughter. I won’t know. I don't know her last name either, nor will I ever want to know.
Okay, back to the topic at hand. I could now see why no one was here. Saeko, was sitting at the main counter by the kitchen door, nails tapping the counter impatiently. You could see the dark cloud that hung over her head and feel the malicious intent. Not good. Not good at all.
I hesitantly walked up. Maybe I wasn't fired... yet.
Once she caught a glance of me, she exploded, "WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MORNING?! HMM? YOU'VE BEEN LATE NEARLY EVERY SINGLE DAY THIS WEEK!"
I cringed as her 'bodyguard' showed up, standing behind her and glaring at me as well. Damn was that guy ever huge. Imagine a blockade of boulders in the place of a very, very tall man.
"Uh... well... you see... "
"I slept in..." I mumbled softly. She still heard me though.
By now she had quieted down and had a frighteningly sickening smile on her face.
"Slept in, hmm? And why is that? Alarm clock wasn't working? Slept late last night?" I opened my mouth to answer but shut it when she exploded again. "I DON'T CARE!! This is the last straw, Hatayama. You're fired." Saeko said, plastering a sweet smile on her face.
I was getting annoyed. What a way to lay off a worker.
"But, Saeko-sama... I -"
"I DON'T CARE! You're fired. Get out."
That was the last straw for me.
"You know what?” I stalked right up to her face, glaring at her. "You're just one little Miss. Priss that doesn't even know how to work her own restaurant. You only inherited this place from your father and you know what? I feel sorry for him."
Saeko slowly turned red until steam seemed to be coming out of her ears. She was now scowling at me, opening and closing her mouth. Kind of like a goldfish. I grinned inwardly. Her impression of a fish was by far the best I've seen in a long time. Then she grinned and I felt my smile disappear as she lifted her hand, flicking a finger forwards, immediately causing her bodyguard to step forward.
Opps. Bad move.
I stepped back meekly. "Uh... gomen?" I tried.
Nope. Not working.
She only smirked at me. "Any last words?"
"Um... don't hurt me?" I squeaked.
"Itai..." I mumbled, rubbing my sore back end as I was thrown out of her shop. Well, it could be worse. He could have beaten me to smithereens'.
Stumbling warily to my feet and glancing back at the shop one last time, I trudged down the street, ignoring the sympathetic looks the other villagers shot at me; they knew how Saeko's temper could be. Heck, they lived on the same street, how could they not?
The good news was that she would definitely have a hard time finding another worker for her. The other workers in there included one other waitress and the cook. A small diner, yes. And those two at the moment just happened to be her relatives. I was the oddball.
Now I had to find another job... but first...
My stomach growled.
I was hungry.
A grin spread across my face when I spotted a ramen stand and I changed my course for it, avoiding the children who were running around and the early afternoon shoppers.
I saw that three others were already occupying the seats to the right, so I sat down on the furthest seat to the left, ordering a miso ramen and offering a bright smile to the old man who worked there. I didn't know his name, I mean, who really knew his name? Don’t most people just know him as the old ramen stand owner?
The old man offered me a kind smile, "Coming right up!"
"Oi! Oyaji! Give me another bowl!"
The old man broke out in a smile, "Hai!" It brought a smile to my lips; it wasn't often that you could see someone that cheered old people up with an order/request. Or maybe he was just happy because that meant more money for him.
Glancing over curiously, I saw 3 kids who looked to be about 15 or 16 years old each. The one, who had just called out was the shortest; with blonde spiky hair and whiskers on both cheeks. My eyes narrowed slightly as I recognized him.
He was the boy that the fourth had sealed the Kyuubi in. I knew for a fact that my parents hated him, but I wasn't so sure yet if I felt the same way. I mean sure, he had a demon inside of him - but from what I had seen from him so far, he wasn't all that much trouble. Not the life-endangering kind of trouble, anyway. Just the little pranks now and then. I still remember seeing him running away from a group of Jounins from my earlier years. All I had seen was one hyperactive blonde. And I could see why. Being provided with the amount of chakra that the Kyuubi had really had its advantages.
The other two sitting beside him both looked annoyed at the blonde. The girl had light pink hair and at the moment was wearing a red training outfit - for females, that is. A black apron was tied around her waist. The other kid was a boy with dark, raven colored hair and he was wearing a black t-shirt with white shorts. I stopped short, staring at the Uchiha crest on the back of his shirt.
Uchiha Sasuke. It had to be him. There weren’t any other Uchiha’s milling about, were there? He was the kid that was retrieved when that Genin team was sent out, wasn’t he? Ichi had mentioned something about Uchiha last night when she was drunk. That one mission that Hatake Kakashi had died on.
He seemed to be the 'brooding' one of the group, only sitting there resting his head on his hands, unmoving. However, he also seemed to be glaring at the blonde kid. Or maybe he just had a permanent scowl imbedded on his face and he just so happened to be looking in the blonde's direction. Who knows?
Offering a small smile when the owner placed a bowl of miso ramen in front of me, I unsnapped a pair of chopsticks and dug in hungrily. I hadn't had anything since last night, and it was already noon now. Now I knew that going out with Ichi on a work night (well, not anymore, I have no job) was not a good idea. I should’ve known that before hand, really.
"GAH! Iruka-sensei! What are you doing here?"
I peeked over, seeing the overly-ecstatic kid (the blonde one, of course) literally leap at an older looking man. I stared in amazement at his bowl. He was already done? He had just received the damn bowl!
"Naruto! Shouldn't you be out on your mission with Ibiki-sensei?" The man, 'Iruka' blinked at the remaining two kids, "How about you two as well?"
I stifled a laugh. Well, wasn't this interesting.
"But Iruka-sensei-! He said we could have the rest of the day off!" the blonde (Naruto) whined, "He said something... something..." Naruto blinked, "... I forgot..." he muttered.
This only caused the older man's eyebrow to twitch. "Mmm. You needn't call me 'sensei' anymore, Naruto. I haven't been your sensei for a while now."
Naruto pouted. "But you'll always be Iruka-sensei to me!" Out of the corner of my eye I saw Iruka turn away discreetly, a flush upon his cheeks as he absently rubbed the skin underneath his left eye. "Well..."
"He went out of town on a special mission the Hokage sent him on, dobe," the dark raven-haired boy interrupted, scoffing at his teammate. Naruto glared at him in retaliation.
I raised an eyebrow. That was a nice thing to hear. I felt myself grin inwardly. This was like watching a regular soap opera. Well, I wasn't really staring - it was more like listening. Eavesdropping, you could say.
Nevertheless, I was getting an afternoon show with my meal.
"Don't call Sasuke a baka!" the girl with pink hair slammed her fist onto the boy's head, causing me to cough lightly to cover up my laughter. “Really, Naruto! Can’t you grow up already? And you too, Sasuke! You should know better than to provoke him!” The Uchiha actually looked regretful. I managed to cough lightly, I could sit here all day and be entertained by this. I had almost choked on my ramen, but it was worth it.
There was silence and I was pretty sure that all four had their eyes on me. I could feel their burning gazes.
"Juri-chan? Is that you?" an incredulous voice suddenly asked. I turned my head sideways, only to be staring at the so called 'Iruka-sensei' that the Naruto kid had been talking to. He was a cute little guy, really.
I blinked again.
"And you are?" I asked finally. He stared at me in disbelief. I knew he was 'Iruka,' but I wasn't sure if I knew him at all. He kind of looked... erm...
"Juri? You don't remember me?!" Iruka laughed nervously, rubbing the back of his neck. I checked my memory quickly. Brown hair... brown eyes... Nothing recognizable... heck, half the town had brown hair and brown eyes! Wait... the scar caught my eye. There was a scar that ran across the bridge of his nose.
Childhood... friend? Maybe?
"Iruka... kun?" I asked hesitantly. To tell you the truth, I only added the ‘kun,’ I haven’t exactly recognized him yet. He looked sort of familiar, but not so much as for me to remember him right off the top of my head.
Iruka beamed. "That's right!" Okay. I only knew your name because the blonde kid was yelling it mere minutes ago.
"Oh..." I said, still a might bit confused. He seemed familiar, but yet... he also seemed not very familiar. Heck, all I did was add the 'kun' to the ending of the name I had learnt from my eavesdropping. I really didn't remember the guy at all. But hey, when a cute guy says you look familiar, you play along - you know what I mean?
"You don't remember too much, do you?" Iruka asked finally. He must have caught my 'lost' look. I nodded slightly, but he waved it off.
"It doesn't matter. It has been a while since we've last talked."
"Yeah," I agreed. "Hey, do any of you know the time?"
Iruka glanced quickly at a watch on his wrist, "It's almost 2 p.m.," he answered. I stood up, "I have to get going. I have to meet... Hatak..." I broke off, and cleared my throat quickly; correcting myself, "... meet someone..." I finished. Quickly counting up some change, I gave the correct amount of money to the ramen owner, who gave me a small smile in return.
Iruka gave me an odd look. "Don't you have work?"
I shrugged carelessly, "I got fired." I mumbled. I glared at the blonde, sensing that he wanted to say something. "And don't say anything,"
Naruto blanched, "Who me? I am Uzumaki Naruto! I know when I want to say something or not! And I know that I wasn’t going to say anything!" he crossed his arms in a huff, glaring at me. I shrugged. The kit had a temper.
Iruka offered me a thin smile, "I forgot to do introductions. Gomen. Juri, these three are Uzumaki Naruto, Haruno Sakura, and Uchiha Sasuke. Minna, this is Hatayama Juri."
I nodded a quick hello and good bye, before turning to go but a voice stopped me.
I turned back, confused. It was the old man that ran the ramen stand. "You do not have a job now, correct?" I nodded. "Well, I need another person to help around here, since Ayame can be quite busy sometimes; do you wish to take this opening?"
I guess it didn’t really process at first. But when it finally did, I gaped at him. It sounded waaaay too good to be true. Of course... it was just a waitress kind of job, again - but a job was a job! And it was good enough for me!
"Yes!" I cried happily. "When do I start?" I threw out my puppy dog eyes. Please let it be soon! I don’t need my parents finding out that I had gotten fired. Imagine the lecture I would get then.
The old man smiled. "Tomorrow, if you would like to. We open at around noon, but you can come earlier for me to prep you on the equipment. Ayame’s off tomorrow so hopefully you’ll be able to catch on quickly. I won’t be able to be by your side the entire time.”
"Thank you!" I offered a bright smile. Two pluses! I got a job and this man wasn't like Saeko.
That's when I remembered that I had to meet with ‘Hatake Kakashi,’ as well as Shiranui at the memorial.
With a jolt I suddenly remembered last night.
He had showed up at my house...
I racked my brain for answers. What had happened? Something... about him being in my room... telling me his name... and then...
... I had fainted.
I froze. Holy shit. Why hadn't I remembered any of this until now? Wait... more memories were flooding in.
Red eye. Staring at me. Soft voice. Talking to me... did he put some sort of spell on me?
He... he hadn't done anything... had he? Oh god! He was... gah!
Ghost! I turned pale and suddenly felt unsteady on my feet. I jerked back to the real world when a hand landed on my shoulder. I whirled around. It was Iruka. To help steady me, I presume. I could only imagine how I looked at the moment – most definitely shaky.
"Juri? Are you all right?"
I shook his hand off gently. "I'm fine... I ... have to go now..." Without another glance at the other four people, I stumbled down the walk distractedly. I missed the suspicious look the Uchiha sent me and the annoyed look that Naruto shot at me.
He's a ghost...
But... how did... Maybe this was just a joke.
My head snapped up, determined.
Yes. This was just a joke. It was a stupid dumb joke that some guy decided to play on me. Confident, I turned and started to take determined steps to the memorial when a thought stopped me.
'What if he wants to hurt me?'
But wait... Shiranui was going to be there! Then we’re all good! With a small bounce in my step, I started to walk once again. I was going to give this guy a piece of my mind! There was no way he could be Hatake Kakashi, seeing how the Copy-nin was dead. And with Shiranui there I would be safe in case it was a ninja disguised in a henge jutsu.
A few minutes later, I found myself facing the memorial. Only... Shiranui and Hatake were nowhere to be seen. I glanced around cautiously - where was everyone? Maybe I was early. And it wasn’t as if I had a watch to check.
"Took you long enough," a voice commented behind me. I whipped around, staring wide-eyed at the silver ninja from the day before.
Oh shit. Where’s Shiranui?
"Juri-san!" I turned to the right to see Shiranui strolling up, "I'm sorry I'm a bit late, something came up."
Deciding to ignore the 'other' guy, I offered a forgiving smile to Ichi's older brother. "Konnichiwa Shiranui. It's okay. How's Ichi? Still in bed with a hangover?"
Shiranui flinched slightly, "And very hard to deal with. And you can call me Genma.”
I cocked my head slightly. “If that’s what you want… Genma-san.”
I laughed softly, "Figures," Grinning wryly, I added. “I’ve dealt with her before, so I know how you feel.”
"Are you ignoring me?" a voice spoke from beside me again. I froze when I realized that Genma hadn't shown any notion of seeing or even hearing the so called 'prankster'.
I bit my lip. What was going on?
"Now, you wanted to know about Hatake Kakashi, right?" Genma got straight to the point. Now that I liked in a guy.
I could feel the 'man' beside me give me a curious gaze. 'Man,' meaning a certain silver haired ninja.
Hesitantly, I answered. "Hai," I mumbled. I fidgeted with the hem of my shirt, trying not to stare at Hatake, who was standing innocently beside Genma.
"Why?" Genma asked, slipping his hand into his pocket and thoughtfully chewing on a senbon.
"Uh..." I hesitated. There was a small awkward pause. "You'll think I'm crazy," I finally said. I gave ‘Hatake’ a sideways look. He was reading some sort of book. Maybe it’s some sort of bingo book. He is a shinobi after all.
"Fine. Because I think he's standing beside you right now." I said bluntly.
At that, ‘Hatake’ looked up, eye curving as if he were offering me a small smile.
I saw Genma look curiously around himself. It was evident that he didn’t see anyone. "What are you talking about?" I pointed at his left. Genma glanced over and threw me another curious look.
I threw up my hands, "See what I mean? Even I think I'm going crazy myself!" Grumbling, I turned to leave, only for Genma to stop me.
"Wait..." Genma was now concentrating on a spot beside him - right where ‘Hatake’ was standing. "Nope, don't see anything," I sweat dropped. So much for that. Asshole. Way to get my hopes up. Maybe I’m going crazy after all.
"Heh," ‘Hatake’ beside me muttered. "He can't see me. No one can. That's why I was so surprised that you could see me yesterday," Hatake gave me a calculating look. “Perhaps there’s something about you…”
"Who said that?" Genma asked, alarmed. I stared at ‘Hatake’ and Genma, before promptly giving ‘Hatake’ another inch of space.
"Ah, so you can hear me, Genma, my old friend," Hatake said slyly. "Now, would you care to tell little Juri-chan here that I am not going to hurt her? She looks like a deer caught in lights right now."
I scowled at Hatake, my alarm fading - only a bit. Stupid... - catching a glimpse of his book - pervert... Wait. I stared at his book. So much for my bingo book idea. I thought he was reading up on the latest ninjas!
Genma was wide-eyed. "Kakashi?"
"Hai, hai." I stared at the silver haired man. So he was Hatake Kakashi! Holy shit! A ghost!
I backed up again.
"I repeat, Genma. Tell Juri that I'm not going to hurt her. It looks like she might run into town and do something stupid."
Still confused, Genma turned to me, "If it is Kakashi, he will not harm you, Juri-san."
Rustling in the bushes... My ears perked up and I visibly saw the two ninjas stiffen. The noise continued. I scanned the area briefly. Where was that coming from? The rustling grew louder I jumped when it was followed by 3 voices.
"Gah! It's Kakashi-sensei's voice!!!"
"SHUT UP!! You're giving us away!!"
Yelping I jumped nearly 2 feet into the air, staring wide-eyed at three bushes to our left. I found myself clutching the sleeve of someone's arm, burrowing my face into a jacket, and feeling scared for my life. For the second time this week. Well, if it happens again, the third time's a charm, I guess. I never did understand that concept...
Peeking out from behind the arm I was hiding behind, my eyes opened slowly and I saw Genma disappear into the bushes, only to come out again to produce the three kids I had seen earlier.
Wait... if Genma was there... then who was I hanging on to?
I slowly looked up, only to see Hatake looking at me as well, an amused look in his eye.
"AHHHH!" I screamed, jumping back and hiding behind the memorial. I was getting hysterical. Soon, Genma was by my side, comforting me.
"Shhhh, Juri-san. It's okay." he said softly.
"Kakashi-sensei! Where ARREE YOOOOOUUUU?" Naruto cried out. I heard a small sigh come from Hatake.
"Loud, as always." Hatake muttered.
The three kids froze.
"Kakashi-sensei?" Sakura called hesitantly.
Sasuke had a wide-eyed look and was looking around, hand twitching near a pouch on his hip.
"AH! I hear you!!" Naruto whipped his head around wildly, doing a poor impression of a spy off of SpyNet.
"You three, go somewhere else." Hatake commanded sternly. "I need to talk to Juri-chan here."
"Ehh?! I want to stay, Kakashi-sensei!" Naruto whined. Hatake growled and suddenly the wind picked up, throwing leaves around furiously. "NOW!" Hatake snapped.
With a small shriek, Sakura disappeared back through the trees, with Sasuke behind her, dragging a kicking and yelling Naruto.
"SASUKE-BASTARD!! LET GO OF MEE!! ARGG!"
Cautiously, I took a step closer to Hatake as Genma urged me forwards, causing Hatake’s attention to rivet to me, his earlier behavior to his students fading. He grinned slightly. “I’ve always wanted to do that.”
After that display there... this Hatake... didn't seem like he was going to harm me or anything.
"You aren't going to hurt me?" I asked hesitantly, tucking my brown hair behind my ear.
He shook his head.
Impatiently, "No, I am not! I will... I will... swear on this book in my left hand!" He proudly presented the book up and I scrunched up my nose in disgust.
"How the hell can I trust you with you just swearing on some book?"
Genma chuckled softly behind me. "What book is it, Juri-san?"
I glanced at him, confused, "What do you mean? Can't you see him, too?" Genma shook his head.
"It seems like only you can so far. His own team wasn't able to see him, by the looks of it,"
"He's holding a Come Come Paradise book." I grumbled softly, only to hear Genma laugh.
"Oh yea, you can trust him,"
"Those books are sacred to him."
Feeling slightly disturbed I nodded hesitantly, before stepping forwards as Hatake motioned to a bench to the side.
"Now then, we need to have a little talk, don't we?"
To Be Continued…
Wow, it's rly good and you write so well! Lookin forward to the next one
catchin up with anime
this is cool! keep up the good work!
I'll try to be active here for a while :)