Naruto Fan Fiction ❯ The Amorous Adventures of Ayame the Ramen Girl ❯ The Kidnapping ( Chapter 11 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Author's Notes: The Moya (Haze) brothers are from ep 101 and are not in the manga.

Chapter 11: The Kidnapping

Unbeknownst to the troubled lovebirds, they were being observed by three men, clad in gray, not native to Konoha. They had originally disguised themselves as merchants to enter the village, but now they hid in trees with their binoculars.

“That's her isn't it?” asked the oldest brother. He was the tallest and heaviest of the three.

“Yes, we saw them together at the ramen stand the other day, being quite intimate,” said his younger brother. He was the thinnest of the three.

“Yeah, she had her hands all over him,” said the youngest brother. He was the shortest of the three.

“What about that other guy she's been seen with?” asked the oldest brother.

“The scarred nose guy? He's nobody important,” replied the second brother.

“Yeah, I just saw her throwing noodles at him, screaming at him and chasing him away from the ramen stand,” replied the third brother.

“Right, let's get her.”


`Another day, another ryou.' Kakashi had just exited the administrative building after filing the day's status report. He was just about to take out his book for some light reading when...

“Kakashi-sensei! Kakashi-sensei!” Ayame's father called out.

“Hmm?” Kakashi looked passively at the frantic old man. It was the Ichiraku ramen guy. `Strange, I didn't order any ramen,' Kakashi thought.
The old man shoved a note in Kakashi's face. “Read this!” the old man implored.

To: Hatake Kakashi
We have the goil. If yu want her bak alive cum to the old bulding 2 miles SE past the bambu forist at 6pm tonite aloan.

“Hmm...” Kakashi said pensively after reading the note. "I'm sorry, but I have a mission right now.”

“But my daughter - she's in danger! Don't you care?” the old man said angrily.

Kakashi shrugged. “Sorry, but she's not my concern. It's not an official mission. Why don't you ask Iruka-sensei to handle this.”

“The note is addressed to you! And he's just a pathetic chuunin!”

“I have every confidence that Iruka-sensei can handle this. He's actually a pretty good chuunin,” the masked shinobi replied calmly.

“I can't take that risk! My daughter deserves the best!”

“Thanks for the compliment, but she'll be fine. Nothing to worry about. Sorry, gotta go,” Kakashi said as he disappeared before the old man could say another word.


“Iruka-sensei! Iruka sensei!” someone called.

Iruka was on his way home from the Academy, where he had been busy with extra paperwork forced upon him by the other teachers. He was lost in his somber thoughts and only vaguely heard someone calling him. He nearly walked right into Ayame's father.

“My daughter's been kidnapped!” exclaimed the old man. He shoved a piece of paper into Iruka's face.

“Kidnapped?” Iruka said in surprise. He had not yet given Naruto the go ahead, but he naturally assumed Naruto had taken action without him. He looked down at the note and read “We have the goil. If yu want her bak alive cum to the old bulding 2 miles SE past the bambu forist at 6pm tonite aloan.”

To Iruka's confusion, the note was addressed to Kakashi. `That Naruto, he must be rubbing it in!' Iruka rationalized. But considering the lousy handwriting and the misspellings in the note, it had to have been written by a twelve year old with a six year old intelligence.

“I know it's addressed to Kakashi-sensei, but he's on a mission, and I didn't know whom else to ask. Do you know of any jounin available? I don't have time to go through bureaucratic paperwork at the Hokage's office and who knows what they'd do if I reported it to Tsunade-sama.”

Iruka flushed at the probably unintentional insult to his chuunin status. “We don't have time to find someone else. It's almost six already. I can handle it,” he said confidently.

The old man eyed him critically, thinking, `He's only a chuunin but he definitely cares more about Ayame than that bastard Kakashi. Can I trust him to rescue my daughter? It's like spinach ramen where it doesn't seem that good at first, but after a while it's actually better than you expected.'

He finally gave Iruka a nod of approval.

Iruka immediately headed toward the meeting place designated in the note. He took off at full speed while thinking, 'That Naruto, taking action without me, have to get him back for this. This is all his fault in the first place! Suggesting that I deceive my girl'
But Iruka really knew that it was his own fault. All the problems he'd had with the ramen girl were due to his own insecurities as she said. Maybe it was because he had grown up without the secure love of parents. That sort of unconditional love he had missed during his important adolescent formative years, when he started developing feelings for the opposite sex. His parents, after nearly thirteen years it was hard to remember them. The family pictures had all been destroyed in Kyuubi's attack.

Sometimes when he looked at himself in the mirror, he tried to place which part of his features came from which parent. 'I think I have my mother's eyes,' he would muse. 'I think I have my father's nose. The ears I can't remember at all. Who looks at ears anyway?' But then he was sorry that he couldn't remember their ears.

The sensitive young man thought about the time he had an argument with Ayame, when Iruka said she was lucky to have her father. But Ayame said he was lucky to have had two parents until he was twelve, while her mother died when she was much younger than that. "Are you trying to out-angst me?" he had accused. She had looked at him as if he should have been carried away by the shinobi medic psych department.

But it didn't matter when he lost his parents; the problem was he could barely remember what they looked like. What he did remember now was that feeling of being loved no matter what. No matter how poorly he did at the Academy, he knew his parents would love him anyway. He remembered how softly but strongly his mother held him, how gentle she was when she dressed his wounds. He remembered how his dad made him laugh and did all sorts of cool tricks with disappearing shuriken, and juggling kunai. He remembered that feeling of warmth and security, that they loved him most in the whole world. He wanted those feelings back and he wanted them with Ayame.

Now he realized that in order to expect such unconditional love, he had to love unconditionally - he had to trust her, and love her, no matter what. She deserved that kind of supreme unselfish love.


Ayame was asked to help carry a sizable take-out order with the promise of a large tip. It was still before the dinner rush so she agreed to the man's request. He was not a good looking man at all. Not even cute like Iruka. But the heavy set man in a blue suit had flattered her and flirted with her. So thinking of vengeance against her ex for his little tricks, the naive young woman followed him. He chivalrously carried most of the order.

"So pretty lady, what is your name?" her new customer asked on the way. They were now outside the safety of Konoha's walls.

"Me?" People rarely ever asked her name. She was always the ramen girl or the Ichiraku waitress. "My name is Ayame," she blushed a bit.

"Ayame. That sure is a lovely name, a beautiful flower, perfect for such a beautiful young lady," the man said smoothly.

"Thank you very much, sir," Ayame said appreciatively while still blushing. 'This man is no looker, but he sure has a way with words.'

"So Ayame-san, a girl like you must have many suitors."

"Who me? Well, I have been seeing this one guy for a while," she admitted. Though originally she was thinking of using this man to make Iruka jealous, now she thought about how she missed her ex-paramour.

"Is he a shinobi?"

She nodded.

"Does he treat you well?"

"He's a liar and treats me like an idiot!" Ayame said heatedly, but in her heart she thought, 'No he's not. He's sweet and kind, generous and good. I can't blame him for being insecure. After all, I was obsessed with Kakashi for quite a while. If our situations were reversed, wouldn't I be jealous and insecure? Maybe Sakura has the right idea. He just needs someone to love him unconditionally.'

The man nodded at her words. "Some men just don't know how to treat a woman," he agreed, and then smiled at her conspiratorially.

Soon they approached the bamboo forest and were greeted by two other men. They were clad in gray shinobi-like uniforms, but like the first, they were plain to look at.

"I'm sorry about all this miss, but I'm going to have to ask you to hold out your hands so we can tie you up," said the first man apologetically as he took her bag of takeout orders. "Please comply with our orders.We don't want to hurt you." He had somehow instantly changed into the same attire as his comrades.

"Huh? Why? Why are you doing this? Why kidnap me? I'm just a ramen waitress, no one important. If you expect a hefty ransom, forget it. We're barely in the black. We're just scraping by. Our profit margin is very thin. There's a lot of overhead in the toppings you know though the noodles are fairly inexpensive." Ayame tried her best to convince the heavy set man to let her go as one of the other men wound the rope around her wrists.

"I'm sorry, but it's not you we're after, it's your boyfriend."

"My boyfriend?"

"Yes, he stole my girl three years ago and I haven't forgiven him. It's time for him to pay!" The other two men nodded enthusiastically.

Ayame was surprised. Iruka sure did not seem like the type to steal someone else's girl. "There must be some mistake. He's not like that!"

"Hmmf. You just told me how he treated you. You think stealing my girl is beyond him?”

Ayame thought seriously as she allowed them to bind her wrists. She believed in Iruka. There was no way he would stoop to something as low as that. The girl must not have been serious about this man in the first place. "Not too tight please," Ayame complained. "I am a working girl. If you hurt my wrists, how can I roll noodles or chop vegetables ever again?"

The youngest brother apologized and loosened her bonds a bit.

"What do you plan to do with me?" asked Ayame.

"Nothing. We just plan to keep you here for a while and wait for your boyfriend to rescue you. And when he comes - we'll be ready!" said the oldest brother.

"So what are you planning to do to him?" she asked worriedly.

"Ha, ha, ha, ha!" the three brothers ominously laughed in unison.


Although he knew it was a fake kidnapping, Iruka approached the bamboo forest cautiously. Who knew what Naruto had in stall for him. The enthusiastic genin probably wanted to make the rescue attempt look really good and convincing. Maybe he even enlisted the help of his teammates. Sakura was not one to worry about, but that psycho Sasuke could get carried away - Iruka recalled the time Sasuke threatened him with his sharingan. And what if Naruto enlisted Kakashi's help? Then Iruka could be in super serious trouble. Kakashi appeared to have quite a mischievous streak. He would definitely enjoy giving Iruka a hard time. In any case, if Ayame were watching, he had to look competent.

Although Iruka was only a chuunin, he was very analytical and intelligent, in fact more so than some of the jounin, like Gai and Anko, who relied on brawn rather than brains. The veteran chuunin analyzed the situation. Why ask him to enter the bamboo forest instead of some other obscured area? What was special about bamboo?

`Bamboo is a grass, that can grow quite tall, over 100 feet, like a tree. It's flexible and light and is good for weaving baskets and constructing lightweight furniture or even huts. It's not good for weapons - too brittle and flexible. It's good for making ad hoc structures since it can be cut easily. Structures like traps!'

Iruka's senses were at maximum sensitivity. He listened carefully for the sound of an enemy's footsteps or breathing. His eyes darted from side to side and up and down. His nose tried to detect any strange odors, or the scent of Ayame (ramen and spices). He calmed himself to sense any foreign chakra. And he was careful to move in a zigzag pattern so an enemy could not easily attack him from behind. He then saw a little handwritten note with “This way to the goil” and an arrow pointing into the dense bamboo.


The brothers had forced Ayame to enter the shrine in the middle of the bamboo forest and then tied her to a chair in a small corner room. Ayame had plenty of time to think about her life and her relationships while the kidnappers left to deal with her ex-boyfriend. It had been only two days since the breakup, but it was enough time for her to reflect back now without crying. Also, the anxiety of her or Iruka possibly being hurt focused her attention. So rather than continue to be depressed, she used her energy to think how she could get herself free, help Iruka, and what she would do should they both survive.

She had to admit to herself (as there was no one else around) that she still loved the charming chuunin. She loved his long soft brown hair (so much better kept than her own), the ragged scar across his nose (which gave him such character), and the way he was like an open book with his feelings (it was really cute that he blushed more than she did when they read the Icha Icha books together). She knew (from some of her ramen customers) that he was the favorite sensei among the Academy students, which meant that he would make a good father and loving husband. He was good and honest (always paid his bills on time), gentle and generous (always left her a big tip), sensible and sensitive (always gave her flowers for every occasion and he remembered them all), hardworking with a happy, positive attitude - most of the time. His only problem seemed to be an insecurity stemming from her initial obsession with Kakashi.

Despite all her attempts, he still did not trust her enough, or believe in himself enough, that she really did prefer him over Kakashi, that she loved him more than anyone else. What could she do to prove her love to him? What would it take to get it through his thick head? Her death? She shook her head and frowned at that thought.

The three men didn't seem particularly dangerous or cruel. If anything, they were rather nice. The ropes that bound her did not cut into her skin. There was enough slack that if she were a shinobi or even an experienced civilian, she would have been able to free herself easily. As it was, she knew nothing about knots. Still she instinctively, but futilely, strained against her bindings.


Iruka decided to first send in a bunshin as a decoy, in case Naruto or his teammates were lying in wait. Kakashi and Sasuke could easily distinguish a bunshin, and probably Sakura, but Naruto would be fooled, he reasoned. But in case the traps were triggered by weight, Iruka filled his pockets with stones. As the bunshin entered, Iruka matched its footsteps with stones, throwing them where the bunshin stepped. He camouflaged himself against the bamboo and shadowed his bunshin, while keeping an eye out for any trip wire.

The youngest of the Moya brothers saw the scarred nose shinobi approaching. He was watching from high up, on the tips of the tallest bamboo. `What is he doing here? Where's Kakashi? Oh…wait I get it. These shinobi are capable of transforming themselves to look like someone else. Kakashi must be trying to trick us. He thinks we won't attack anyone but him. But I'm going to prove him wrong! We're smarter than that! Wait till that runny nose poison affects him - no woman will want a man with constant nasal drip! Ha-ha!' He threw a kunai down towards Iruka.

Eight stalks of bamboo tied down by a rope were released. They whipped through the bunshin causing it to immediately disperse. Iruka stepped back as the stalks continued to flail in front of him. He then noticed that the stalks were pierced with senbon coated with a black substance he assumed was poison.

`What the hell? Poison is pretty extreme even for Sasuke and Kakashi.' The chuunin analyzed the trajectory of the kunai. By its vertical placement, it had to come from directly above. Still in his camouflage mode, he concentrated chakra into his kunai, and swung it across the bamboo in front of him. The stalks fell over and he could hear an astonished yelp, the cracking of bamboo, and then a thump.

Iruka quickly followed the direction of the noise and found an unfamiliar man lying on the ground. He was about his age and dressed in pseudo shinobi gray robes with a forehead protector of a village he did not recognize. He could tell it was a real person, not a bunshin or transformation. “Are you from the…Question Mark Village? What the hell did you do with my girl!”

“You're not Kakashi? Who the hell are you?” the shinobi wannabe replied.

“I'm Umino Iruka, chuunin of Hidden Leaf Village and your executioner if you don't start answering some questions!” Iruka threatened impatiently.

The man's face blanched in fear. His voice trembled as he replied, “I'm one of the Moya brothers - see it's supposed to be haze on my forehead protector. We're out to get Kakashi, not you or the girl.”

“Kakashi? What does he have to do with this?”

“He stole eldest brother's girl three years ago!”

“That bastard! I know exactly how he feels."

“Right, so you see where we're coming from…”

“Yes, but what does this have to do with Ayame?”

“We thought she was his girl.”

“No she's not! She's mine!”

”Sorry, we didn't realize…but why was she cursing you out and throwing noodles at you?”

”That's none of your business! Tell me how many of you there are and where she is!”

“There are just us three. The girl's at the shrine in the middle of the bamboo forest. OW! OW! I think I broke something. Help me,” the man said as he tried to get up. A sharp stalk of bamboo had penetrated his thigh and blood dyed his gray uniform red.

“I'll come back for you later. If Ayame's okay I'll make sure you get some help, but if she's not, I'll come back and finish the job,” Iruka said coldly as he headed deeper into the forest.

Iruka continued with the same strategy, camouflaging himself while shadowing his bunshin. But this time he was more wary of attacks from above.

`So this is not Naruto's doing. It's Kakashi's fault again! That bastard, stealing other guys' women. I'll never forgive him!' Iruka unfairly thought.

The second brother was crouching low, half buried in the soil, and hidden by the dense bamboo. He could not see Iruka's face well, only the lower half of the shinobi uniform appeared in front of him. He quickly threw a kunai with an exploding tag and a small pouch. The pouch was filled with super itching powder, the kind that cause skin lesions oozing with pus - no woman would ever want a guy with a condition like that.

The explosion took out the bunshin, and the itching powder scattered everywhere in a cloud of purplish dust. But to Iruka's luck, a sudden gust of wind blew the itching powder harmlessly away from him so that he was completely oblivious to what horrible disaster he had just avoided.

Iruka quickly ran toward the direction of the kunai, which appeared to be thrown from a low angle. He cautiously circled around, caught the man from the back in a chokehold, and held a kunai to his throat.

“What the hell? You're not Kakashi!” said the second brother who could now see that this shinobi wore no mask.

“No I'm not!” Iruka said as he delivered a strong chop to the base of the man's neck, knocking him out. He quickly tied the counterfeit shinobi's hands and ankles together, much like a trussed up pig.

The bamboo grew denser and denser as Iruka moved deeper in. There was little room to maneuver and the raspy stalks scratched at any exposed skin. His hands and face bore the worse of it. The cautious chuunin grew more and more impatient as he worried about his love, imagining all sorts of horrible torture the kidnappers may have employed. The first kidnapper had claimed she was in no danger, but how could he trust someone who dared to kidnap an innocent girl? He finally reached the middle of the bamboo forest and saw the old Shinto shrine just yards away in a small clearing.

The eldest Moya brother was inside the temple, watching from a window. 'He won't escape from this last trap! With the poison on the kunai, shuriken, and spikes, he will have flatulence all the time, for the rest of his life - no woman will ever want him! But wait…is that Kakashi?'

The bunshin proceeded without any problems, but Iruka felt the ground give way when he followed. He quickly leaped back as the ground exploded and racks of wooden spikes crashed down from the left and right. Then another explosion as the spikes flew from the rack in all directions. Iruka blocked the spikes with his kunai, but more kunai and shuriken flew at him from multiple directions. Somehow Iruka survived the last trap without a scratch.

Iruka quickly ran the rest of the distance to the shrine and crashed through the window shoulder first. He dropped to the floor feet first and immediately tucked and rolled on the ground.

By the time the kidnapper overcame his surprise, Iruka was poised with his left hand at the man's throat while his right hand held a kunai ready to disembowel him with a flick of his wrist.

"You're not Kakashi! Who the hell are you?" the man managed to squeak out as sweat dripped down his face.

"I'm Umino Iruka, Hidden Leaf Chuunin, and Ayame's ...significant other," the young man replied.

"Significant other?"

"Well, I'm not exactly her boyfriend right now, but we were going out for a while. Hey I'm asking the questions here! And that's none of your business!"

"So where's Kakashi? The note was addressed to him."

"He's apparently on a mission."

"Damn! He'd abandon a damsel in distress. What a bastard!"

"Look, your brother told me about how that bastard stole your girl, but that was a long time ago. I don't blame you for wanting revenge, so I'll let you guys off easy this time, just don't do it again. I'm only a chuunin and I was able to take you all out. You have no chance against Kakashi. He's an inconsiderate girl stealing bastard, but he's also a top shinobi. You guys don't want to die do you?"

"No, sigh, I guess you're right. But hey, I have to ask you. I had a good talk with Ayame-chan. You guys seriously broke up? Mind if I..."

"No! You three stay away from her! She's mine! Where is she?"

"You know, from what she's told me, you don't deserve her..."

That was the last straw and Iruka finally lost it. He punched the guy squarely in the jaw with a right cross then a left hook. The shinobi wannabe fell to the ground unconscious. Iruka then headed to the back of the temple.