|Naruto FanFictions - Sugarplum
Name - Sugarplum
Author - Amaya Zorifuki
Holly and tinsel with lights being put up everywhere in Konoha could only mean one thing. Christmas was upon them all once more, and not only did that mean new stories for a certain author, but it also meant that the ninja of Konoha were hard at work getting gifts for their loved ones.
One holiday loving kunoichi was doing just that with some of her friends. Tenten had liked Christmas a very long time, so naturally she was the one to suggest it. She had invited Ino, Sakura and Hinata to get some gifts and decorations.
“Hey Ten?” Sakura asked her, “What do you want for Christmas this year?”
“Last year you got a sword and a kiss,” Ino said with a grin, “You and Neji gonna go a step further?”
“INO!” Poor Hinata turned crimson.
Tenten blushed as well as she addressed her friend, “I’ll have you know Neji and I don’t believe in that sort of thing.”
With that, she began to glance and browse among the isles at the many items behind the glass cases. There were lots of things to choose from, angel toys, Santa trinkets, reindeer figurines, but one thing above all else caught the weapons mistresses eye.
“What an adorable nutcracker doll.”
The other girls gathered around the glass display where the doll stood. In contrast to most nutcrackers, it had a younger looking face with no facial hair. It’s hair was dark and it’s eyes were an extremely light blue, and he wore a red outfit with a sword at his hip. Squinting at it, Ino cocked her head.
“It looks kind of like Neji.”
They laughed at the thought. And Sakura glanced around at the other toys nearby.
“I’m more inclined with these fairies, what’s so special about that nutcracker?” She asked.
Tenten smiled, “It looks almost exactly like the one my auntie would bring to my house every year before she died. I haven’t seen it since.”
“Oh, how sad.” Hinata said softly.
“It’s fine.” Tenten assured her, “I still love the holidays.”
Sakura was busy looking at the fairy dolls that Ino had mentioned, “Hmm, those fairies do look nice, but what about that dancing princess? I think she’s the best, despite the fact that she only has one shoe.”
The doll in question had a sparking white dress and brown hair tied in an elegant bun with a crown adorning her head. Just as Sakura said, she was missing her left shoe.
“She kinda looks like Tenten.” Sakura said with a smile. “Although we may never know for sure, because Tenten would never wear a dress like that.”
Ino laughed, “Yeah, hey I need to take care of something, okay you guys?”
They nodded okay, and she sprinted of into the cold winter weather. As the blonde departed, Hinata glanced around at the dolls again. She thought she saw the princess turn her head to the nutcracker, but as she stared at it, it remained motionless. It must have been her imagination.
Eventually, the three of them left the store and headed off to get some piping hot ramen to warm them up. They were greeted by Naruto, Sasuke, and Lee. They greeted them happily and ordered.
“Where’s Neji?” Tenten asked Lee.
The green beast shrugged, “He didn’t say, but I heard him mumble something about gifts, so I figured he would be Christmas shopping.”
“Oh,” that was a surprise, Neji wasn’t usually into the holidays, Tenten usually had to pull him into the spirit. “Well,” she said at last, “at least we know he’s doing something productive.”
After a few more minutes of talking and laughing, they finally decided to head home. They said their goodbyes as they split up. Tenten walked home cheerily, still thinking of that nutcracker. She had liked it, but it was far too expensive.
She finally made it to her apartment, changed into her pajamas and collapsed on the bed. The day had worn her out, she had been decorating all morning and shopping all afternoon. Her head swam with gifts she had purchased, gifts she had yet to buy, and that little nutcracker as she drifted of to sleep.
She snoozed in her bed and the night wore on, until a light shone on her from her open window as what appeared to be snow fell gently onto her sleeping face, and chimes began to ring. Eventually, the sound of the chiming grew to loud for her and she woke up grumbling.
“What is that? Carolers?”
She pulled a robe on and looked around, it was still her bedroom just like it always was. Although it was darker then normal, save for the one light outside her window. She leaned out it but saw nothing. Meanwhile the chimes kept on ringing. At last, she moved over to her front door, gripped the handle, and pulled it opened.
She did not expect to see what she saw.
Instead of the concrete floor just outside her apartment, she found herself standing on the top of an immense oak table. And instead of the cold winter air, she was greeted with a warm friendly environment. All around her, toys were scattered, pull string dolls, wind ups and little wheeled animals that had to be pulled by a string.
Looking behind her, Tenten saw that what used to be her apartment had somehow become a little blue dollhouse sitting on the table. How could she tell it was a dollhouse? Because near her she could see a Christmas tree looming near a crackling fireplace, and normal sized furniture placed around it.
She had shrunk to a dolls size.
“Wha? How? Ooh holy freak.”
Poor Tenten hadn’t a single idea how she had wound up in such a scenario. She turned swiftly back to her apartment-turned-dollhouse when something jumped down in front of her. Not a good time to get caught without her weapons.
A large and rather unsightly rat was blocking her way back to the little house. Unlike most rats however, this one was a bit larger then it should have been and that wasn’t just because Tenten was now smaller. It leapt at her with a snarling roar, and she jumped away as quickly as she could.
A little known fact about Tenten, she was not very fond of rats. After she had been bitten by one and gotten sick from it as a girl, she had often found herself doing her best to avoid them. So it was natural for even her to freak out just a little when she saw one that had the opportunity to eat her.
“Oh, man. What a time to get caught unarmed.” She moaned to herself, as she rushed to the far end of the table. The rat scampered after her, bearing ugly yellow teeth. As she continued to jump out of it’s path, she sincerely hoped that whoever lived there would hear them.
With nothing else to do, she tried to form some hand signs in any possible hope of salvation. Sadly, any jutsu she tried refused to work.
“Okay, I am the size of a doll and unarmed with my jutsu unable to work with a huge rat that is possibly carrying disease bearing down on me.” She mused to herself, “Not the best way to spend a day.”
She skidded to a halt at the door to the little house, and the rat slid in front of her with what looked like a grin that said ‘now you’re mine’ as it slowly stepped closer to her. Tenten frantically tried to open it, only to find that it had somehow locked itself on the inside. She banged on it hard and tried to kick it in, but nothing worked.
“Come on, come on, come on, come on, come on, come on, come on, come on.” She plead to the door. “Open, open, please open.”
The rat crouched down to pounce, and leapt in the air. She closed her eyes and waited for impact. Nothing came, instead behind her she heard a swishing noise and the sound of the rat in pain. She turned to face the unknown and was once again met with a peculiar sight.
The back of a familiar looking teammate of hers had leapt in between her and the rat and stabbed it fiercely in stomach with a rapier like sword. Long brown hair tied firmly as usual, but the outfit was a bit…off.
That’s right, Neji Hyuuga had come to her rescue, dressed as a soldier and with a rapier, and for some reason, a lever sticking out of his back. He glanced back at her before pulling the sword out and slashing at it twice. The vermin was thrown back and fell limp. Once he was absolutely sure that it was dead, he turned to Tenten fully.
“Are you alright?” He asked in a slightly monotonous voice, “I had thought that the house was empty, but I guess I was mistaken. No matter, I should take you to the others.”
Tenten stammered for a moment, “I…er…yeah. What happened here? Why are we so small? And what was up with that rat?”
Neji arched an eyebrow, as though unsure why she was asking those particular questions, “I had assumed that all toys were aware of the situation. I should tell you, I am the nutcracker prince, and that was a minion of the rat king.” He said plainly, “I had nobody else would get caught up in the battle, but now that the king knows of you, he might try and capture you.”
Blink, blink. Okay, her boyfriend called himself a nutcracker prince, though he still looked quite human and not wooden at all. Maybe it was Tenten’s imagination but there was just something freaky about all this.
He helped her up, and continued to explain, “There’s only one place safe now, the tree. Come with me.”
Tenten blinked a moment, “Okay, but before we go can I ask you something?”
“How can the king know about me if you killed the minion?”
Nutcracker-Neji looked around to see if there were any more rats around, “The rat king has a very special crown that lets him see from his minions eyes.” Was it Tenten or was there a trace of anger in his eyes when he mentioned that crown? “Now lets hurry, the rats could attack at any moment.”
Tenten quickly followed him to the end of the table. She peered over the edge and saw a little horse waiting for them, along with a rope that could help them down. Nutcracker-Neji held out a hand, which she took as he gripped the rope and slid down carefully. He then helped her on the horse, and they both rode to the tree.
Tenten glanced at the horse, “This seems a little strange, riding a horse in a huge room like this.”
“Well, she doesn’t mind.” Nutcracker-Neji said back to her.
“Huh? Has she told you this?” Tenten teased.
The girl was about to call him insane, when he pointed to a small hoop on her saddle. Tenten gave it a pull, and sure enough.
“I would do anything to stop the rat army miss.”
It was a toy horse with a pull string. Somehow, Tenten wasn’t surprised at all, nor was she surprised when they arrived at the shining Christmas tree and more toys greeted them. Looking around, she saw dolls, stuffed animals, anything with eyes seemed to be moving.
Nutcracker-Neji hopped of the pull string horse and helped her down. She was about to ask him about the rat army, but something stopped her.
“Wow, Neji! Where’d you find her?” A small blur rushed towards her and stopped inches from her face. Tenten found herself looking straight at Naruto Uzumaki, only his clothes were different then usual. Instead of his normal orange jumper, he now wore an outfit usually seen on Santa elves, topped off with a little red hat.
“Naruto,” Neji chided, “you’re bothering her.”
“Oh, not really.” She said to him, “Just give me some space.”
The little Naruto elf moved away from her, and she could take a good look at the rest of the toys. She could see a few familiar faces in the crowd, and a pair of them were coming towards her.
“We should take her up the tree.” Said a stuffed deer with a familiarly lazy voice, “I thought every toy was under the tree, where did you find her?”
“She was in the dollhouse.” Nutcracker-Neji explained.
A familiar looking doll with pink hair and a ballerina outfit gave him a surprised look. “I though that it had been cleared out.”
“I thought so to, but there’s nothing we can do about it now. A rat attacked her.”
The other dolls looked surprised and a bit frightened and pulled her closer to the tree, Nutcracker-Neji called over to them, “Make sure she’s unhurt and to tell me where you put her.”
“Right” The pink haired doll called before turning back to Tenten, “I’m Sakura, and welcome to the tree, our refuge from the rats.”
The deer, who had been following, gave a great big yawn, “I’m Shikamaru, blah blah blah.” He said, “And the blonde is Naruto, as you heard from Neji.”
“Er, it’s nice to meet you.” Tenten mumbled awkwardly, it was very strange to have your closest friends introduce themselves as if they never met you, coupled with the fact that they were children’s play-toys. Not to mention introduce yourself as though you had no idea who the were.
The Sakura-doll continued, “Ino and Temari should be higher up along with the rest, the pulleys should get us there.”
Sakura-doll pointed to a system of ropes dangling from higher branches of the lighted tree. There were small loops in some, (no doubt for dolls to place their feet) and platforms (for stuffed animals and maybe jack-in-the-boxes, although she had yet to see one of those) Tenten slipped a foot into the other that Sakura-doll led her to and let herself get pulled up.
On the way up, she saw other living objects in the branches. There were ornaments dangling, small baubles playing on the electric lights, and toys galore that looked like they had been frightened, no doubt by the rats.
After a little while, the rope stopped on a sturdy branch where she hopped off. Looking at the other occupants on the branch, she would have twitched, busted a gut laughing, or both.
Sakura-doll hopped off and began to introduce them one by one. She started with a pair of blonde dolls, “That’s Ino with the one ponytail and Temari with the four.” They both waved a hand.
“Hey there.” Said Temari-doll
Sakura-doll gestured to more stuffed toys, “Over there is Gaara. He seems a bit cold, but he’s really quite cuddly.”
Tenten would have laughed so hard if not for the look he gave her. Gaara, the Kazekage, was a red teddy bear with a holly green bow. And Sakura was right, he did looked cold on the surface but extremely cuddly.
“And that over there is the jack-in-the-box, Sasuke.” Sakura doll said, with a familiar blush that she always held when talking about Sasuke as she gestured to a small wooden box with a handle.
Tenten watched, slightly disturbed as the handle cranked and the top half of Sasuke popped up on a loaded spring. He bounced around a bit and said a somewhat irritated hello. It was like one of those cheesy horror movies, but still, the Uchiha was there, mostly there anyways.
“And lastly, hanging from the tree we have the marionette, Kankuro.”
She expected no less, and waved to the guy, who was now on strings himself. He waved back in a blocky, robotic fashion.
“Everyone, this is Tenten” Sakura-doll said to all of them, “She was found a little while ago, so please make sure you treat her with care, like the rest of us.”
“Nice to meet you.” Tenten said, a little unsure about the situation. She noticed that a few of the Konoha twelve were missing, but thought it better not to ask what happened. Ino walked up to her and pulled her along.
“Welcome to the tree Tenten.” She said cheerily, “We’re the survivors of the toys here. You were lucky to be found, dollhouse right? It’s probably been overrun by rats now, miracle you made it here in one piece.”
“Yeah, Neji found me.” She told her.
Ino-doll looked surprised and then mischievous, “Really?” She smirked, “It’s almost as if it was meant to be.”
Tenten sighed, even in this reality Ino was a meddler. She rolled her eyes and took in Ino-doll’s outfit. It was a purple kimono with a blue obi, and even had make-up like that of a geisha.
“She’s a bit different from us,” Muttered Temari-doll, who had gotten up and went over to get a closer look at the girl, “With that hair I wouldn’t be surprised if she was mistaken for a rat.”
Temari-doll was wearing more of an exotic dancer outfit. Her midriff was exposed through yellow sheer and a strapless top covered her assets, she also wore a pair of matching silk pants.
Tenten, in her white t-shirt, white pajama pants, blue robe and blue slippers, looked a bit less then glamorous compared the Sakura the ballerina, Ino the geisha, and Temari the dancer. She let out a prominent sigh and decided to ask about this rat situation.
“I’m a little out of the loop here.” She said, “What’s the deal with the rat army?”
The toys gave her a look as though she had been living under a rock all her life. Finally, Sakura-doll piped up, “Well, nothing much to tell. The rats want to destroy every toy they come across, and nobody knows why. Though some say it’s revenge from the humiliation the rat king faced many years ago.”
“They say that a princess was born in fairy court.” Sasuke-in-the-box piped up, still dangling from his spring.
“Fairyland?” Tenten asked.
“The world that borders Toyland.” Temari-doll said with a raised eyebrow, “How can you not know that?”
Tenten chose to ignore the question, at least now she had a name for the crazy world she had found herself in. Sasuke-in-the-box continued,
“Anyway, the rats crashed the party, but Neji, who was there at the time, hit the rat king when he tried to hurt the baby. The rat was so ticked that he turned him into a nutcracker and banished him from fairy world. After that put the fairy girl in the main gem of his crown to give it those powers it has, and put everyone else in a come of some kind. The green mark on his forehead is the symbol of his banishment.”
Tenten listened on in disbelief, this was too crazy to even comprehend. She felt the sudden urge to sit down. She sank into a nearby ornament hanging from the tree that was shaped like a rocking chair. It swung under her weight for a while before she heard someone call her name.
“Tenten, Neji and the others wanna see you, pronto.” It was Naruto-elf, putting his loud voice to good use, “The others can come down to, unless you are preoccupied.”
She hopped out of the chair and walked to the pulley, behind her, Sasuke-in-the-box was hoping towards the platform one, with Sakura-doll right behind him. Gaara-bear also decided to come along. Temari-doll was helping Kankuro-puppet out of the tree, and Ino-doll was climbing aboard Shika-deer.
As Tenten touched down to earth, she noticed Nutcracker-Neji, along Naruto-elf and some tin soldiers and another doll gathered around a box. Upon closer inspection of the toys, she realized that they were a handful of the sensei of Konoha.
The men were all soldiers, dressed in classic British soldier fashion with the big hats and everything. The only one who was not a soldier was Kurenai, but she was dressed like a Viking warrior woman.
Nutcracker-Neji turned to her upon arrival, to which she blushed a bit in spite herself. Doing so made her feel a bit odd, that is to say, she was dating Neji, but was blushing because of a different Neji (Nutcracker-Neji) who was also the same but not quite. It was very confusing.
“I see you’ve been introduced to the others.” He said to her, “These are what’s left of the tin soldiers, Kakashi, Gai, Asuma, Iruka, and the head of the doll army Kurenai.”
Tenten nodded her head at them, when a loud barking made her jump a foot in the air and nearly have a heart attack. She turned to see Akamaru, still a living dog, and a brown dog she had never seen before.
“Easy boys.” Kurenai-doll said sharply, “That’s Kiba and Akamaru, the dogs have helped us with the rats in the past, and are very loyal to us.”
Oh, well that made sense. Kiba would be a real dog in this life considering he always acted like one in real life. She gently placed a hand on Akamaru’s nose as he pushed it forward to sniff her and make sure she was a friend. At first it was fairly pleasant, but when Kiba-dog did the same, it felt a bit awkward. Remember he’s a dog now.
“Anyway,” Tenten said, “What are we supposed to be doing?”
“Fighting the rat army.” Kakashi-soldier piped up, Tenten was not surprised to see that he still wore a mask “We don’t know when they might attack and making sure we know when they do.”
She nodded, aware that this was at least somewhat in her element. She looked at the things on the table, and felt herself get a bit giddy at some toy weapons. There were little slingshots, bows that shot what appeared to be pine needles, and little swords like the one Nutcracker-Neji had used. Our favorite weapons mistress felt a familiar happiness.
“These are so cool.” She cooed as she picked up one of the pine needle bows and bent back the empty bowstring.
They all gave her an interesting look before Nutcracker-Neji cleared his throat, “I take it Tenten, that you are proficient in weaponry?”
“I try.” She giggled as she let the sting go with a twang, and moved to the swords.
As she swung one around, she ailed to notice Nutcracker Neji smile a little bit at her antics. It was however, noticed by Naruto-elf, who gave him a playful nudge.
“What?” The nutcracker asked, slightly put off.
“You like her.”
Nutcracker-Neji flushed a bit and whispered harshly to the elf, “Shut up, I only just met her.”
“By rescuing her like a knight in shining armor.” Naruto-elf teased.
He scoffed, “Please, those toys are very snotty, that’s why there aren’t any of them left.” (AN: Ouch)
Naruto-elf shrugged and watched as the bun wearing girl sampled each weapon with enthusiasm. Nutcracker-Neji folded his arms and shot a glare at Naruto, but smiled again at Tenten.
They went on as such, letting Tenten see some of the artillery they had to offer. She was most impressed with the cannons and toys that had automatic fire that shot plastic missiles.
As the tin soldiers (and Kurenai-doll) led her through the stock of weaponry. As they went along examining things, they failed to notice the nutcracker slip off somewhere. By the time it had ended, she was a very happy girl-who-somehow-found-herself-in-Toyland.
As she skipped back to the base of the tree, she found Nutcracker-Neji there waiting for her. She stopped in front of him and they both stared at each other for a while.
“What’s up Nutcracker?” She asked, unsure what else to say.
He didn’t say anything, but took her hand and pulled it along to a more secluded spot. Poor Tenten was clueless as to what the heck was going on, so she just followed his lead. He took her to an empty plastic toy barn. Then he turned to her with a look that was chock full of mixed emotion.
“Where do you really come from?” He asked her.
Tenten was taken aback, “What?”
“I can tell that you aren’t a doll. I’ve been around them enough to know, and you knew my name when I saved you from that rat. Now where do you really come from? Are you a fairy?”
She shook her head, “As far as I can recall, I’m a human.”
He gave a look of mild surprise, but then shifted back into a blank look, “I see, so how did you get in Toyland?”
“Heck if I know.” She said with a shrug. “As far as I can tell, I just woke up and found myself here. You won’t tell anyone, or kick me out will you?”
“Of course not.” He said with a bit of a smile. “I’m afraid you’re stuck here for now, but I will help you get home when we defeat the rat army.”
Tenten breathed a sigh of relief, “You have no idea how glad I am to hear that. I would love to get back home, but if there was anything I could do to help with the rats, let me know.”
Nutcracker-Neji sighed, “There’s something else, I can tell. Everyone you’ve met thus far you’ve regarded with a bit of familiarity.”
She smiled a bit, recognizing that observant Neji she knew most of her life (Not to mention was dating back home.) But she found herself opening her mouth and closing it again, unsure about what to tell him. It’s not it was hard to explain that he was the spitting image of her boyfriend back home where toys did not rule the earth and fight rats. (cough)
“Well, its complicated.” She said, flustered, “I mean, I know you but not this you. I mean…eh.”
Nutcracker-Neji sighed as she floundered about for words, and gripped her shoulders firmly. She was startled as he gently leaned in to her, and as her heart started to beat faster she closed her eyes.
“I knew they were into each other!”
A loud voice rang out and caused them to spring apart. There was a flow of voices that followed.
“You stupid elf!”
“Ouch, that hurt Sakura.”
“Shut up Sasuke-Teme!”
“For the love of-”
The girl and nutcracker both heard the eavesdropping toys, (all of whom were from the same team) Neji looked like he was going to pull out some detachable limbs that moment.
Just as Tenten figured things couldn’t get any more complicated, a loud noise filled the whole tree. Nutcracker-Neji looked up sharply and dashed out of the toy barn. Tenten quickly followed, bowling over Sakura-doll and Naruto-elf, and sent Sasuke-in-the-box’s box tipping over.
“Sorry!” she shouted behind her as she kept running.
She eventually found herself at a cluster of building blocks where most of the others were waiting. They all looked grim.
As the remainder of the leader toys (Sasuke, Sakura and Naruto) came up, the tin soldiers all looked pensive. It was Kakashi who addressed the nutcracker.
“The rat army is approaching.” He said, and Tenten knew what was going to happen. Nutcracker-Neji immediately began calling orders, sending everyone into position. As he did, Tenten picked up a discarded pair of binoculars and peered through them.
Sure enough, an army of rats was racing toward the tree. It was easy to pinpoint the leader, as it was the biggest, and had the big crown that everyone was talking about. When she saw the rat kings face, she did a double take.
Дата публикации: 17.01.2008
Прочитано: 2832 раз