Blink could only stare as she watched the two try to kill each other, throwing bladed weapons a one another at the same time. Anko just caught Naruto's while Naruto instead was hit by the kunai. "Nar..." Naruto was covered in a cloud of smoke before being revealed as a log. Suddenly shuriken came at Anko from the side, hitting her. Anko started to fall only for her body to change mud. Hearing a scuffle from the bushes, Naruto jumped into the clearing in a flip to dodge more shuriken before Anko followed...along with two copies of her. Naruto began to spin, using a kick to strike at the first, proving it a clone, an elbow on the second also a clone, and a palm on the attacking arm of the last, finding the real thing. That is where he suddenly lost his balance, his free hand coming up from his guard to rub his eye. A mistake Anko punished.

"Damn it, Whiskers, what the hell was that," Anko said after knocking Naruto on his back with a bloody nose. With Blink, the clone cleared her throat. "Ahem, are you going to just stand there or are we going to start?"

"Sorry, Miss Anko. Um, how do we start?"

"Take a seat, sieza, lotus, doesn't matter what, just so long as you're comfortable. You're going to be there for a long while." Anko flipped back her coat while taking the lotus position, regardless that she was wearing a skirt.

"Miss Anko, must you be so indecent?"

"Yes, Pinkette, now do it."

Blink sighed before sitting down on her knees. "Okay, now what?"

"Take a deep breath, relax your body, and then let it out." Seeing Anko do that, Blink did the same. "Do it again and keep going until I tell you otherwise."

With Naruto he rubbed his nose before he got up, glancing at Blink and the clone. "Hmm, Black? And a garter on a day function? You got a date tonight, Anko?"

"Don't change the subject, Whiskers," Anko snapped. "What the hell was that?"

"...Sigh, when I get in a fight, my eye has been doing weird things."

"Like what?"

"When we started, it put an overlay on your body, vital organs, nerve bundles and pressure points, and it makes note of how you are moving to try and predict which way you might go."

"But you stumbled when you touched me," Anko stated, finding this very interesting.

"...My eye is attached to a computer, Anko, it takes note of a thousand things at once. When I hit you, it noticed your reaction, how your arm moved, things you can't even guess. When I did, the overlay on your arm changed to highlight here." Naruto touched her forearm and it made Anko's eyebrows rise to her hair even before Naruto said it, "To the healed fracture on your radius bone."

"...Show me more," Anko demanded, entering a taijutsu stance. "Don't you dare lose your balance, I'll hurt you every time you do."

—oo000oo—

Thump.

Blink jerked from her relaxed position as Naruto fell beside her on the ground on his back. He was limp at the moment with his left knee bent and raised, a bruise on his neck, dried blood from his nose, and just over all tired look. "What happened to you?"

"Three hours of training will do that to you," Naruto muttered.

"Three hours?" Blink looked to Anko to see her nod.

"Continue with it, Pinkette."

"Sigh, what am I looking for inside me?"

"Only you can answer that," Anko replied.

"It isn't that hard to find your chakra," Naruto tried to say, a pinched look on his face.

"Except she doesn't use it like we do, Whiskers," Anko reminded.

"...Blink, close your eyes and picture a stream, smooth, stready, and calm. Throw everything you have ever felt, every emotion into this stream," Naruto told her. Blink glanced to Anko to see her shrug. When Naruto could see Blink relaxed again, he continued. "Now a separate stream running along it, this one strong, forceful, the currents constantly changing, here you throw in your strength. Running to see how fast you are, pushing your body to see your limits, the first time you crawled, the first time you walked, and the first time you ran." Here, Naruto saw something different in Blink, you could see subtle flexes of muscles, tensing and relaxing, ready to do something. "Now...join the streams together, and throw fighting Harvest into it. When fear tried to hold you back and you overcame it, where you should have lost but you won, where you made everything come together in victory... Push that river out your hands!"

If Naruto expected it to work, Anko didn't know. She just knew that it did when there was a pop and Blink jumping while shaking her hands. "Gah!" Blink sucked on a finger a moment before taking it out to look and putting it back. "That hurt."

"At least you did it," the real Anko said, stepping up to her. "I honestly thought it would take much longer."

"So...I can learn to do what the ninja can do now," Blink asked.

Anko smiled brightly at Blink and said, "Nope."

"...But I learned to channel my chakra," Blink protested.

"For a moment," Naruto muttered, still having not moved. "It took me weeks to learn to channel it at will for as long as needed."

"And that was when he was eight," Anko continued. "At that young, when you're told to do something, you don't ask how, you follow your instinct and just do it. It might take a month or more to get it Pinkette, this was merely the first step. I'll see you both tomorrow, here, bright and early." Anko left after dispelling the clone.

Blink looked after her and then down to Naruto. "...Why aren't you moving?"

"Anko poisoned me," he replied.

"She what!?"

"Nothing leathal," Naruto 'waved' off. "She used a venom that causes muscle fatigue and weakness."

"Why?"

"The first reason is because she wanted to see if it would effect my arm, it doesn't. The second reason though is because she's a sadist. Owe," he finished when a dango skewer suddenly stabbed his deltoid. "See?"

"So you're fine?"

"Yeah, give me a half hour and I'll be up and a pain in someone's neck."

"Never heard of a poison like this though."

"This world is much different from your's," Naruto replied.

"I'm figuring that part out." She looked to his eyes and saw Naruto smirking. "What?"

"...Just wish you could see things like I could is all." Blink tilted her head at that but shrugged it off.

—oo000oo—

Rotating his arm to work a kink from his shoulder, Naruto smiled as he headed into the village, slighly unsatisfied with how short the day was. True, it was a full exercise for the both of them, Blink her chakra and limits and abilities for him, but it was barely pass eleven in the morning. "...I'm feeling restless, I gotta do something."

"Well, you could maybe see if they will let you do one of those missions you were talking about or train," Blink replied. "Maybe take up a hobby, reading or painting maybe. I knew someone back home that would write stories about his favorite movie series."

"...Write a 'fan-fiction'," Naruto asked incredulously.

"Hey, he did it to focus on the here and now."

Naruto just looked at her a moment before smirking. "You do not know the power of the dark side," he quoted with a deepened voice.

"You know Star Wars," Blink asked when she finished her laughing fit the unexpected line caused.

"Meh, a lot got put into my head," he stated. About to give a sigh, Naruto noticed something he felt was very important. "...I know what I can do."

"What...are you planning Naruto," Blink accused at seeing him smirk.

"Me? Planning something," he continued to smile like a cat.

"Yes, you. What are you up to?"

"Oh, nothing too interesting," he said before suddenly making clones and sending them out. As he walked away, a nearby ANBU shivered in foreboding. A short time later, Naruto was standing on the roof of a building, with Blink. "Nice view, huh," he asked her.

"Yeah. I know you are up to something."

"Nah, just making a little exercise plan," he stated, stretching his legs. Blink just narrowed her eyes but looked back out over the village. "...Speaking of knowing something, I know you have some heavy thoughts."

"I do," she muttered.

"Mind talking about it? Might help."

Blink sighed but said, "Do you trust me, Naruto?"

"What kind of question is that? I wouldn't just let anyone sleep in my home, regardless of what the old man said." Despite saying that, she just seem to sink deeper into what she was worrying about.

"...Then why the secrets?"

"Ah. Because I'm human, I have secrets. You're human too, you have secrets as well."

"What makes you think that?"

"You live and breath," Naruto replied. "The difference here, Blink, is that I can wait for you to decide when to share them."

Blink glanced at him before facing the village again. "But by not asking, you don't learn anything about me."

"I think I know what I need at the moment, everything else will come as we talk and go about our lives."

"You sound so sure."

"Experience," Naruto replied. "People can try hard to cover who they are but if you pay attention and give it time, you can figure anyone out."

"Who did you figure out?"

"The people in my class for starters. Mostly though, Sakura."

"What about her?"

"She isn't satisfied," Naruto said simply. "Always after what she can't have, you could say." Seeing Blink's questioning look, Naruto sat down on the edge of the building and said, "Story time again. One year after the test, instructors did another surprise. They put the lot of us in genjutsu, in a world that is different. At the time, Sakura was really raging against her parents always trying to baby her as she said it. I was teamed up with Sakura for this as well as Sasuke. Oh, the worst team I ever got put on, I tell you now. Anyway, this genjutsu changed something, just one thing for each of us in the past, and tangled up all the threads that followed. I wanted my mother, I was upset that Sakura resented her parents for caring for her, and I said 'Be glad your parents are there, if mine didn't have such a hero streak in her, she would be too!' Sasuke was also upset at Sakura, I think he wished he could have killed the man that killed his parents before he did. So, we were all sent to this place where we got what we wanted. Ancient Chinese curse, may you get exactly what you want."

"...Who comes up with some of these 'surprises'," Blink demanded.

"I don't know, I think at least one of them was always thinking up new ways to screw with us," Naruto replied. "The point of this exercise was to teach us how to keep calm in unknown situations and locations. In this Konoha, Sakura's parents were dead." Blink paled at that. "They died in the event that killed my mother, while my mother was still alive."

"And Sasuke?"

"...He did what he wanted. That isn't for me to tell to anyone, Blink, so forgive me for not talking about it. Besides, this is about Sakura. While the genjutsu was actually barely a minute long, we felt like we were in there for weeks. At first we kinda lived it up... Then Sakura got lonely. She never again said anything along the lines that Sasuke and I are lucky to be orphans."

"And you?"

"...I realized that you can't change the character of someone and expect them to do the same things. Okay, I've been an orphan since I was born, pretty much. I never knew my mother. But, when I was old enough, the Hokage let me know who she was and why the secrecy. The Uzumaki Clan was once a well respected clan feared for their skill in fuin jutsu, seal arts. My mother, Uzumaki Kushina, was no less feared for her skills. She always was stubborn, brave, and loved thrilling heroics. Still weak from giving birth to me, she immediately started the heroics again."

"Why she died, and why you said you wished she wasn't such a hero."

"Yeah... I came to realize that the woman I met there wasn't my mother. My mother was brave, willing to face death to protect those she loved. That person...wasn't." Naruto sighed before shaking his head. "I'm getting away from the point of all this. Sakura isn't satisfied, like I said. She is the type that has to lose something to appeciate it, but even more so than most. If she gets the boy she wants, she'll start to want another one. Same thing with weapons or techniques. I'm not trying to talk down about her, I'm really not. She is a good person, she just doesn't know what it's like to have nothing."

Blink nodded and suddenly asked, "What else do you know about your mother?"

"Well, she immigrated to Hi no Kuni from Uzu no Kuni. Here, I got this from her old profile folder." Naruto took a locket from his neck and handed it to her. Opening it, Blink saw a beautiful woman with long red hair and blue eyes.

"I thought you looked like the Fourth Hokage but I take it back, you look like your mother." She glanced to Naruto and tried to picture him with her hair. "Too bad you didn't get... So that's what was with that transformation!"

"Don't even mention that," Naruto snapped, taking back the locket and trying to give Blink a glare, as his cheeks heated up. Blink chuckled but held her hands up in surrender. "Sigh, anyway, if you are done going on about that... What was that about the Yondiame?"

"I thought you looked a little like his statue."

Naruto glanced at it and Blink couldn't believe how hard his face suddenly got. "I don't see it."

"Whoa, whoa, stop right there, I know a story is here."

"...Sometimes I think I should be tucking you in bed, so inquisitive. Fine, doesn't matter much. You might have heard about the Yondiame saving the village from the Kyuubi, the Nine Tailed Fox?"

"I have."

"Well, that night he saved the village also happened to be the night I was born," Naruto stated while tapping his chest. "And the night my mother died." Blink looked like she was going to say something but Naruto continued. "What very few people even care to think about though is that the reason why the Fox attacked us. The Kyuubi is one of nine creatures of immense power. Did you ever watch that movie Aliens?" Blink nodded. "Well imagine trying to do what Weylon-Yutani tried to do with those xenomorphs, but in this time, a creature immesurably powerful, a real bad temper, and the size of an aircraft carrier from your world. The difference here though is that here, we were able to do it. We turned that Fox into a weapon. Apparently, no one here had heard the phrase, 'There are somethings we weren't meant to do'. The Hokage has been tasked with doing something. It is his duty and responsibility to keep the Kyuubi under control. That night that so many think of as that man's greatest triumph, was nothing more than his greatest failure. So that is why I don't like him. On the Tenth of October, when everyone is celebrating him, I..."

"You what?"

"...That first year after I found out...I went up there and...peed on him." Blink couldn't decide if she should be shocked or laugh at what he admitted, so she did both, laughing while slapping her hand over her mouth. "Hey, I was angry, and I'm an orphan, so it's excusable!"

"You peed on him!?"

"Gah, I was in so much trouble when I was caught," Naruto muttered while palming his face. "I've had time to adjust and get used to it... The paint the next year washed off with just water."

"Paint!? What else did you do?"

"...I might have been caught carrying explosives up there the following year." Blink just stared at him, her mouth open a little as if to say, 'I can't believe you were that stupid'. Instead of saying it though, she just looked to the ground and shook her head. "Yeah, not my best idea, I admitted to the ANBU. So I just drew a penis on his forehead when I escaped."

"What!? You really hate this man."

"Hey, I think most people are rather grateful I focus on the statue instead of doing stuff like that to them." He received a blank look for that. "Yeah, that sounded rather hollow to my ears too. But they appeciate that I cut back on things when I do."

"...My husband dresses in drag and is a delinquent," she muttered, covering her face in mock shame.

"For the last time, it's not drag," Naruto shouted before covering him mouth, glancing around, and then coughing.

"Okay, okay," she replied, chuckling. "I think that's enough with the stories. So what did you come up here for, anyway?"

"Can't help but think that maybe the ANBU are a little too relaxed is all. Look at that woman there, just crouching on a roof, watching people like a vulture, that isn't what she should be doing! So I'm making note of everything and I'm going to tell the Hokage that this is completely wrong!" Blink sighed in relief, having feared he was planning to do a very stupid thing. So she missed it when he said, "When I'm caught."

—oo000oo—

Ten minutes later, a clone suddenly jumped up on the roof. "Bosu, everything is set."

"Good."

"Shall you do the honors," the clone asked while holding out a water balloon.

"Sure," Naruto said, excitement in his voice.

"Naruto what are you..." Naruto took the balloon and chucked it at the waiting ANBU. "Doing!?" Blink got to the edge of the building just in time to see the ANBU spin and throw a kunai at the balloon. The blade hit without error...and burst it, releasing the black grease contained within. Arm still outstretched, she was suddenly covered in the oilly substance before feathers rained from the sky to cover her. Blink could only watch it all in shock and awe. Almost mechanically, both Blink and the ANBU turned their heads to the laughing Naruto as he proudly stood on the edge of the building, pointing.

"Ah, the poor little, baby-BU, did I soil your uniform? Catch me if you can!" Naruto turn and ran, his clones suddenly joining up with him before scattering to the winds. The ANBU jumped up on the roof to give chase only to suddenly fall face first on the ground. Naruto had also placed a trip wire across the roof.

"Grr, Naruto, I'm going to strip your hide and salt your wounds," she shouted after him.

—oo000oo—

"Lord Hokage, we have a..."

"Hiya," Naruto said, looking to the door of the Hokake's office, as several ANBU suddenly burst in, cup of tea in one hand and a cookie in his mouth.

"...You die this time," one ANBU growled, about to step forward, his uniform completely hot pink.

"Stay where you are," Sarutobi ordered. "What is the meaning of this?"

"Lord Hokage, Genin Uzumaki assaulted several of the ANBU in an unprovoked attack starting near three hours ago," another of the masked ninja said, this one with a Goucho Marxs nose and glasses stuck to his mask.

"I see," the old man said before turning to Naruto, seeing him tearing up.

"Jiji, I've been here all afternoon, drinking tea with you," Naruto sniffed. "I would never..."

"Naruto, cut the dramatics," Sarutobi interrupted.

"Fine, fine, but I didn't do it! I've been here, with you, and I'm not a clone, see!" Naruto took a kunai out and cut his cheek, drawing a fine line of red. "I couldn't have done it, you were with me the whole time."

"You didn't my ass," One ninja in only half his uniform shouted.

"Watch your language," Naruto chastised. "And not to change the subject but I'm curious as to how this person, which was not me, was able to get the drop on so many ANBU, and then this person, still not me, was able to stay ahead of, what? Twenty, thirty ANBU? For three hours? If such a person, that looks like me but isn't, could do this and then escape, maybe you guys need to train some more and stay aware of your surroundings."

"Hmm." The Hokage turned to the ANBU, having noticed at least two of them had slipped out when they saw where this was going. "That is a very good point, Naruto. Tell me, Captain, how did this person, that you believe is Uzumaki Naruto, escape you? Are you completely sure it is him?" You could hear the teeth grind and the fist clench at that one.

"...No Hokage-sama, I am not."

"Well then. If this person again does such an attack, I expect you all to not only catch him but much more swiftly as well. And for far less of you to be caught in his traps. Am I understood?"

"Yes, Hokage-sama."

"You are dismissed. Captain, please have Anko come to my office."

"Yes, Hokage-sama," they all said. As they were leaving, one of them said, "Forget the salt, I'm dropping him into a pool of iodine after I skin him."

Sarutobi waited until the door shut before suddenly snatching the 'kunai' Naruto used from his hand, and then used the same edge to cut his palm. While a red line also formed there, there was no pain. "A kunai prop made to visually fake wounds. Press it hard enough and..." This time enough red dye came out to start to drip. "The exact thing you need to make a clone seem the real thing."

"Ah...help," Naruto muttered while biting his lip.

"Naruto, if you dispell yourself, your punishment will be far more severe," Sarutobi warned.

Quickly enough, Anko arrived in the office with a smirk on her face, knowing exactly why she was here. "Hokage-sama, Whiskers. What can I do for you?"

"Yes, Anko, Naruto seems to have too much energy about him right now. I would appreciate it if you would spend... oh, the next week burning it off, if you would kindly."

"A week, straight," Anko asked with a smirk.

"Make sure he has no time to rest," Saruobi confirmed. "Naruto, know that the only reason you are not being disciplined for this is because they had grown laxed. Now, you may dispell yourself."

"Run, run, run, as fast as you can," Anko said in a singsong before he vanished. "...Amazing that out of over a thousand ninja, the only ones able to keep a hold of that leash is myself and Iruka. And I wouldn't be surprised if Whiskers lets Iruka. Well, I best be off."

"Anko, before you do... By all means, encourage Naruto to do this again. I want to see improvements not just in the ANBU but also in the him as well."

"Hah! When I'm done with him, it'll take them a full day to catch the gaki!"

—oo000oo—

That evening, Naruto sat slumped against a tree, covered in scrapes, burns, and bruises. Anko had started by hunting down all his Kage Bunshin and himself. Picking them off one by one, in slow, practiced, painful attacks. Naruto learned something tonight, even if it isn't him that is getting hit, he still remembers it. Kinda makes him wonder what else he could remember. "...I think you punctured a lung," he groaned.

"Poor little baby boo, did I hurt you," Anko teased before she got very serious on him. "Let me tell you straight out, Naruto, by wearing that headband, you are not a child anymore! You represent Konoha, your actions reflects on the village, do you understand me!?"

"Yes, sensei."

"Good. If you ever, do something like this again...and you don't keep the ANBU from catching you for at least a day," that made him look a bit surprised at her, "I will make your life a living hell, am I understoood?"

"Y-Yes, sensei."

"Good," she snapped again. "When you can, get home and rest up, we continue tomorrow."

"...Yes, sensei."

Reaching a hand into his pouch, Naruto found this little jar that he opened and began to apply the ointment inside to his wounds. Anko raised an eyebrow at seeing a wisp of steam rising from each. "Well now, what's this?"

"Healing ointment created by Hyuuga Hinata, she's very good at it."

"...Close to her?"

"Sure, she's my friend," Naruto said nonchalantly. "Why, hoping to get some?"

"Maybe. Let me see that." Taking the oinment, she smelled it first and then dabbed a little on her hand. "Hmm, tingles." Seeing Naruto flex his flesh hand, which had been too sore to move, she glanced at the little container before smelling it again. "General poison antidote, disinfectant... chakra restorative?"

"She uses it after being forced to spar with her sibling or cousin, helps restore chakra flow to closed paths," Naruto explained. "Her father was surprised to see her figure out how with just plants."

"I bet the stick in the mud would be. Hyuuga Hinata, isn't she the one that he..."

"Thought was too soft to be the clan heiress, yes," Naruto finished. Suddenly clearing his voice, he said, "If you cannot beat your own sister, how will you be strong enough to defend our clan," in Hiashi's voice. "Honestly, I kinda wish that Hinata was th second child and Hanabi the first."

"First, you might be right," Anko said, sitting down on a rock. "Second, how the hell are you doing that?"

"My vocal cords are mechinized, now. It is actually rather easy to get them to move just the right way to emmulate someone's voice." He smirked before suddenly using Anko's voice. "Like this." Clearing his throat again, he finished with, "Course, it doesn't copy speaking habits so there is a limit."

"...Do Kakashi, do Kakashi next!"

—oo000oo—

Blink sat at the table, looking over a few books, a frustrated look on her face as a clone helped her. "So by combining kanji symbols, two words can become one different word. 雨 means rain while 雨季 means rainy season."

"Gah! Why doesn't your world use Rōmaji!?" Blink shouted before slamming her head down into her book.

"We do," Naruto stated, lifting her head up to remove the book and replace it with a pillow. "...You haven't asked yourself yet just why we are speaking the same language, have you?"

"Uh, no."

"Okay, couple hundred years ago, Konoha was looking into using a secret language so as to keep things a secret. Along came someone that used the language to the east across the ocean, what you know as English. For payment, they taught us how to speak, read, and write English. It was a huge success. No one understood us if we didn't want them to. Along comes the catch though. Either we didn't tell him not to sell it to others, or he did anyway, or so fourth, but other villages learned it too. To spy on us, because the writing is less complicated, I don't know. So, as the ninja villages used it, it began to become popular in the underworld market. Within fifty years, almost the entire continent is using it. Why not, instead of symbols meaning specific words or combining to make a new word, its a bunch of smaller symbols to make words, easily reusable, and changeable. At least the written language is more adaptable."

"So why am I learning this?"

"Easy, as the old written langauge fell out of use, it was perserved for formal writings, treaties, important things. If you can't read it, you have no business looking at it anyway, that kind of thing. Rōmaji is used for less important things, but still important in their own way. Mission orders, office to office communique, so on. English you will find in your average book. Some of the best paying jobs in the continent is someone that can translate english to and from rōmaji and kanji."

"That is..." Suddenly the door opened and in came Naruto, supporting a drunken Anko, both smelling of sake. "Weird. I thought you didn't drink."

"I didn't back then, I don't drink now. But you start entertaining Anko with a new trick and...oi." The original said as he set the laughing woman on his couch only to sigh at what came next.

"Ooh, the Uzumaki Looove Nest!" Anko blinked a moment before asking, "...What am I doing here again?" Then she grinned and called out, "Whiskers, you beast, bringing a defenseless, intoxicated woman to your house to have your wicked way with!" Anko snorted at her joke before laughing.

"Yeah right," Naruto muttered. "Sleep it off, Anko, you're drunk."

"Am not," she grouched before leaning back. "Hmm, still the comfortable couch, Whiskers. Wonder what it'll feel like after its broken in."

Naruto frowned, tired of this already before grabbing something from his collar and then touching Anko's neck, making the woman suddenly fall back asleep. "...Huh," Blink asked, confused on why she suddenly stopped.

"Nerves in the neck, slight pressure in the right place can cause the body to suddenly relax, in combination with the alcohol, she passed out." Moving Anko's head slightly, Naruto showed her a needle the he kept hidden in his collar now piercing her skin. "When I take it out, she'll wake up feeling great and well rested. Or miserable and hung over."

Naruto shrugged and headed to the shower and pulling his jacket and shirt off. "Naruto, do you..." Blink started to say but trailed off.

"Do I what?"

"...Nothing, its not important." Naruto looked to her, sighed, and went through the door, wishing she would just say what was bothering her already.

"Blink-chan," Naruto's clone suddenly spoke up, making her turn back to him, only for him to flick her nose.

"Hey!"

Getting Naruto to chuckle, "Much better. Blink, relax, we'll never make this work if you don't."

Blink frowned while rubbing her nose before saying, "Let's just get back to this."

—oo000oo—

"Uh," Anko groaned as she began to move the following morning.

"Good day, sunshine," Naruto called cheekily from the kitchen before walking over with a small cup of sake. "Here."

"Thanks," Anko replied, quickly downing the entire cup.

"Really Naruto, giving Miss Anko sake before eight?"

"Whiskers knows what he's doing," Anko replied, rubbing her forehead. "Huh?" She reached for her neck and found a needle. "This your's, Whiskers?"

"Yeah," Naruto replied, taking it back and replacing it.

"Anyway, when you have a hangover, the best thing you can do is have a small amount of alchohol to settle your stomach. Small, just a cup." Naruto headed over to the refridgerator next. "Follow it up with a few bottles of water to rehydrate," she caught one that Naruto threw her over his shoulder, "and some asprin for the headache," she caught the pill bottle he also tossed her, "and you have a fair hangover cure."

Blink looked between them before saying, "You've done this before."

"What can I say, he makes me laugh," Anko replied. "Whiskers, feed me!" Naruto only chuckled as he went to his oven with some eggs.

—oo000oo—

As the weeks carried on, things stayed much the same for the two. They woke up at six, and went training. For Naruto, Anko had expanded into trying to put what all Naruto had learned to use. While Blink was now busy trying to use her chakra in some meaningful way and learning the handsigns.

Naruto twisted, body moving into a kick that his clone caught and countered, only for Naruto to do the same. Hands held as if a claw went for a strike only to be pushed away by one held more like the scythes of a mantis, then there were strikes that looked almost like he was holding a cup, Naruto shifted from style to style, faster than even Anko could keep up as he watched him.

"...Okay, Whiskers, enough, I get it."

Naruto sighed and stepped back while the clone was dispelled. "I could keep going," Naruto stated.

"I know, but I don't need you too, just practice those moves later." Anko walked around him,trying to think how to help him improve. "All of that was in your mind?"

"Yeah, also know how normal people in their world fights. Can you imagine what kind of primitive culture uses firearms?"

"Hmm, maybe they're just that weak," Anko offered... before throwing a shuriken at him. Naruto wasn't caught completely unprepared, tilting his head just enough for it to miss and sink into a tree.

"Miss Anko, must you always do that to him," Blink asked, sitting in her sieza position practicing her chakra control with an Anko clone across from her. Once again cross legged, once again wearing a skirt.

"Keeps him on his toes, Pinkette, now keep practicing," Anko said, striking at Naruto with two palm strikes followed by a high kick. Naruto leaned left, ducked right, before raising his arms to catch the leg... and lowered his head with a smirk.

"Huh, didn't think you were the unicorn type, sensei."

Where Blink sat, her brows furrowed in confusion at that. "Unicorns? What are you..." It was an accident that she glanced down while facing her instructor. "...NARUTO!" Anko and her clone started chuckling at the impressive burst of speed Blink made to run up to him and start beating on his head as Naruto raised his arms to ward her off as he laughed.

—oo000oo—

When the training was over for the day, Naruto stretched his arms over his shoulders before saying, "Well, ladies, as much as I would like to stick around, I have somethings to do. Blink-chan, think you need a clone today?"

"...Nah, I got it," Blink muttered dismissingly. Anko watched them a moment as Naruto left before facing Clarice.

"Alright, Pinkette, what's the matter?"

"Naruto is hiding something...well, not really hiding it. For the past few weeks, I've been seeing a pattern in him. Every other day he will go off, if its Monday, he leaves for an hour or two at one o'clock. Wednesday and Friday he leaves, at one thirty, and is gone until seven fifteen, seven thirty. He doesn't hide that he leaves but he's never asked me to come with nor tells me what he does."

"...And you haven't asked him?"

"...We might officially be married but it really isn't my right to."

Anko just sighed before taking her by the arm. "Well, its Friday, let's go see what he's up to." Taking a few running steps, Anko jumps up onto a roof, carrying Blink with her. "Okay, you see the little ball of sunshine?"

"I...There he is," Blink said, casting about. Anko carried several houses down when they noticed that Naruto was walking a very familiar path. And when he entered a certain stall, Clarice nearly cried out in exasperation. "Ramen, he spends six hours at a ramen shop! How much of a glutton can you be!?"

"...No, that doesn't sound right," Anko stated. "We'll give him a few minutes before going in to see if that's what he's really doing."

—oo000oo—

"Thank you, sir, please come again," said the red head behind the counter, presenting the tray with his change. "Irasshaimase," she called when two entered the shop as she was setting down a bowl for another customer. It was fairly busy in the shop, usually is when she works. "Konichiwa," she said, facing three boys eating together. "Miso, shio, and tonkotsu," she quickly listed off, setting those bowls down.

"Thank you, Anzu-chan," they answered as she moved on.

"Ayame-chan, toss me a new bin of chop sticks," she called back before the brunet threw her a bundle of the utensils. "Thanks." Sighing, she faced the two new customers. "Welcome to Ramen Ichiraku..." She trailed off when she saw just who it was, both of them grinning. "Uh...Would you like to...try our tsukemen or..."

"Oh, I'll have a miso," Anko replied, chuckling as she does, "can you throw in extra narutomaki?" Anko glanced her up and down, actually rather surprised as she kind expected this person to be a boy's fantasy but she wasn't. Anzu had straight, shoulder blade length red hair, and her bust was hardly large, rather average in size. The only part of her that seemed generous was the legs that her skirt showed off. It actually made Anko glance down at her own, a little envious. Her form seemed to rather focus on being sutblely attactive instead of Anko's own blatant style.

"Uh..."

"I'll have tonkotsu," Blink said, also smiling. "You know, the one with the yellow broth, almost a neon blond even. Well, come on, come on, no need to drag it out!"

"Oh man, look at Anzu blush," one of the boys called.

"Hey, maybe Anzu likes girls, no wonder she never accepts when I ask her out!"

Unable to take anymore, she suddenly rushes in back. "Ayame-chan, take over," she shouted over Anko's guffawing.

—oo000oo—

"Here, one miso, extra narutomaki, and a bowl of tonkotsu," Anzu almost snarled. "What are you two doing here," she whispered harshly.

"I'm eating ramen," Anko said cheekily. "Not my usual thing but hey, can't eat dango all the time, no matter how much I would like to."

"So, Anzu was it," Blink asked, still snickering. "How long have you been working here?"

She growled before answering, "Two years almost, every Wednesday and Friday. Well, how else am I going to pay for my ramen addiction? That'll be seven ninety seven." Pushing forward the tray for money to be put on, she looked the them expectingly.

"Uh...I didn't bring it," Blink stated. When Anzu looked to Anko, she only grinned.

"I'm not paying for this," Anzu vehemently denied the older woman. Still she grinned. "...I will embarrass the both of you so much you will never return to this shop if I have to."

Anko leaned forward, expectingly. "Try me."

Anzu licked her lips, as if nervious about actually carrying out the challenge... before her right arm jumped out, grabbing Anko's coat collar in a grip that would bend metal, and pulled her forward. Anko had brief thoughts that it was to threaten her before Anzu slammed her lips to Anko's. And then groped her chest for good measure. That left Blink blushing with her jaw dropped as well as several customers, though the younger boys seemed to be enjoying the sight. After several moments, Anzu let Anko fall back into her chair, licking her lips again. "Mmm, Dango. You're right, that was worth a bowl of ramen. But there is still that second bowl to pay for..." she said loudly before she looked to Blink, smirk on her lips as licked them again. Blink nearly tore Anko's coat apart as she grabbed her wallet and threw the money in the tray before grabbing her sensei and dragging the stunned woman from the stall. "Please visit Ramen Ichiraku again," Anzu called after them, laughing. "And look, two bowls of ramen, just for me. Ayame-chan, I'm taking my lunch break!"

—oo000oo—

"I don't believe the gaki actually did that," Anko muttered as she was still being dragged along by Blink. "I'm so proud."

"I am never going back to that shop again," Blink said, mortified and grateful she left before Naruto could do that to her.

"Then I guess Whiskers called it right," Anko replied. "Same thing Monday?"

"Monday? Why bother, he's working at Ichiraku."

"For two hours? No, I don't think so. Work would be longer, and just eating ramen would be shorter. Heh, if it was me, it would more be like..."

"What," Blink asked when her face pinched as she trailed off.

"You know, you're probably right," Anko dismissed, shaking her head. "I almost forgot that Whiskers doesn't really have friends. Hey, Pinkette, have a good day, and be ready for both tomorrow and when Whiskers gets home!" That got a groan.

—oo000oo—

Monday, one thirty in the afternoon, Anko stood on a roof, alone, watching. Naruto was more suspicious this time as oppose to Friday but when he saw neither Anko nor Blink he shrugged it off thinking they had learned their lesson. He headed away from where he was working with Blink and Anko knew almost instantly it wasn't to Ichiraku, he was heading for one of the more distant training grounds. Either she was losing her touch or Naruto really was getting better because he kept stopping and looking around for the one following him. After a few moments of being unable to find her, he would continue on until the feeling of being followed got to strong again.

When finally he got there, Anko saw he was not alone. "Hey Hinata-chan!"

"Hello, Naruto-kun," Hinata replied happily as she went about her stretches. "You're a little late."

"Yeah, gomen," he said, rubbing the back of his head with this large grin on his face. "So, ready to continue on from where we were?"

"Yes, I am," Hinata said with a deep breath... before lunging at Naruto with her fingers in an adjusted juken stance. Actually, they were held more for...

Anko smirked and relaxed a little. It would seem that Naruto had gone to the little Hyuuga to learn about pressure points. And was that... It was, the two of them were now using the same style of a mix of Gentle Palms and Hard Fist, focusing on pressure points and nerve clusters. They would sometimes slow down a move to explain to the other what the reaction would be if they followed through, Anko saw Naruto do that with a strike to the armpit. A good hit there caused temporary paralysis. Only for Hinata to nod and then show what she learned recently. Slowly, she jabbed her fingers into Naruto's left shoulder before a slow hit to the deltoid behind it. The passed commentary on this a moment before Hinata did it for real, surprising Anko with her speed.

"Gah!" Naruto jumped back, cradling his now limp arm and rubbing his shoulder. "How does someone so small hit so hard!?" That made the girl giggle into her hand before she began rubbing the point she hit with her fist.

Anko was going to say her concerns were unfounded until they had finished, and were sitting down next to one another, talking about innane stuff teens do, laughing about somethings and complaining about others, and eating from bento boxes that Hinata had prepared for the. The final coffin nail was when after a half hour had passed, they got up, headed back to the village together holding hands, and parted with a kiss on each others cheeks.

—oo000oo—

Naruto was almost back to his apartment when he saw Anko leaning against the wall of his stairwell. "Hey Anko-sensei, something else for me?" His smile fell when he saw how serious she looked.

"Naruto, how long have you been dating Hyuuga Hinata?"

Now the smile was gone, so he had been followed. That she didn't even call him Whiskers really just made this worse. "We've been meeting like that for a year and three monthes about, since we had this surprise ambush by the instructors in the acadamy. Don't know when it grew to more, really, just one day I kissed her and we were too embarrassed to talk to one another for a few days."

"Sigh. No wonder Clarice feels she isn't getting anywhere emotionally with you."

"...Blink is pretty and pretty cool, and is a friend," Naruto told her. "We haven't been that long but I would do about anything for her if she needed it."

Anko ran her hands through her hair and groaned. "Naruto, do you know the position this puts me in? It is by council order that you two are together, you are supposed to be married and together, and raising a bunch of ninja babies. This compromises that, I should be reporting this to the Hokage."

"...I know, and I don't blame you if you have to." Naruto leaned against the wall across from her and sighed as well. "Truth is, I wanted to punch the old man when he sprung this on me. I...love Hinata, and we were already planning on talking to her father...that was supposed to be this last week." Anko's hand hit her forehead, it had been that far. "What are you going to do, sensei?"

"...It sounds like you already know you can't marry one another," she said slowly.

"Yeah, we know. I already explained that to Hinata."

"...Tears?"

"I wanted to tear my heart out over seeing it," Naruto replied, looking away. He held Hinata for hours that day, trying to stem of flow of tears but they never stopped. Got even worse when his dam finally broke as well and he started crying.

Anko looked torn for a long while before saying, "I'm not without sympathy, Naruto, you, Hinata, and Clarice got a raw deal. But this can't continue. I won't tell the Hokage, yet. But this has to stop. No more hand holding, no kissing. As cruel as it may sound, I suggest you stop seeing her altogether."

"I can't stop loving her at the drop of a hat," Naruto offered weakly.

"I know," she said just as weak, thinking of someone from her own past. "Hearts suck like that. In a perfect world, Naruto, you and Hinata would never be forced apart or you would have been available for Pinkette to get. But this isn't perfect, so I'll let you handle it until I feel I have to." Anko straightened and started walking away.

"...Thank you, sensei, really," Naruto said softly. He remained there for a half hour, trying to think of something, any way to keep from completely shattering the heart of the girl he loved, until he finally just trudged up to his apartment and saw Blink at the table studying once more. The woman looked up at his entering and again he saw the look of mild concern on her face. His grin sliding into place, he said, "Still having trouble Blink-chan?"

"This isn't easy, Naruto,"she said with the slightest of grumbles.

—oo000oo—

Author's Notes. I wasn't quite planning that with Hinata from the beginning but when things started falling into place and I decided that Naruto would know many of his age group, this would be part of it. Now, before anyone gets real upset about this, it will end up a Blink/Naruto pairing and not because they are being forced to it.