Disclaimer: The characters belong to Masashi Kishimoto, the creator of Naruto, and I don't own them. But I do own the plot, so DON'T TRY AND STEAL IT! IT'S MY IMAGINATION!


Chapter 5:

"Naruto," Sasuke said in his low, smooth voice when he saw him.

"Sasuke," Naruto breathed out, panting from the run they had just done.

Everybody else on Naruto's team had the same thought. Now what?

Without a word, Naruto and Sasuke charged at each other, Naruto's kunai and Sasuke's sword clashing together, making a sound that resonated throughout the whole forest. Birds flew in the air, away from the loud sound.

"You teme," Naruto growled.

Sasuke smirked. "Dobe."

They jumped away from each other and charged again.

Hinata and the others watched on, with worry for their friend, when the 3 "accomplices" of Sasuke charged at them as well.

The big one, with orange spiky hair ran at Kiba, who got ready to fight, whipping out a kunai as Akamaru barked threateningly at the attacker, readying himself in a position that showed he was ready to lunge at him. The white haired one, with the blue tints in it, ran towards Shikamaru, who gave a small sigh, muttering out his favorite term and jumped away to a further tree when his enemy jumped on the same branch he was previously standing on. The third, the red haired one with revealing clothing, lunged at the unexpecting Hyuuga girl who gave a gasp and blocked the other's kunai with her own at the last second.

Naruto-kun! Hinata immediately thought when she heard a groan, but she couldn't look over at him to see if he was alright, too occupied with the red head furiously trying to attack her.

Her form is off, Hinata thought. It doesn't seem as strong as a kunoichi. She's a sensory ninja, so she's probably not that good of a fighter. I can take her! Come on, Hinata! You can do this!

Hinata knocked away the girl's kunai and as they both landed on the ground, taking a break from the trees, she instantly got into her "Gentle Fist" position. "Jūken!" she yelled and she attacked the girl, all with the mindset of hoping to see Naruto alive and well.

The redheaded girl flew backwards and landed on her back ungracefully. She coughed, some blood coming out of her mouth.

Hinata bit her lip. She never did like hurting people. But for Naruto...she would. With the time she had bought, she looked up at Naruto and Sasuke, who were still in the trees. Their clothes were both torn a bit, but Sasuke still had a calm expression and he even dared to have a small smirk on his face, but Naruto was full of anger. He was full of rage and even with the quick glance Hinata gave them, she could see his callousness. Hinata could tell another, different, deadly aura was coming off of him.

His teeth started to grow becoming fang-like. His eyes turned red and he growled.

I-Is this the Kyuubi coming out? Is this what is inside of Naruto-kun? Hinata thought as she looked on, her fist clenching in worry. She had never seen the Kyuubi, only hearing stories - mainly from the villagers - of how horrible its wrath was. But she wouldn't believe it. She wouldn't believe that such a horrible thing could be inside Naruto. She believed - no, knew - she knew that there was more to it. More than what the villagers said. They had always hated the Kyuubi and its holder as well, so she didn't believe them. She knew that Naruto could do anything he wanted to if he put his mind to it and she didn't believe that he would let the Kyuubi take control of him. She believed in him.

She heard a groan near her and escaping from her thoughts, she looked towards the girl she was fighting with last was, now seeing her trying to get up. Hinata knew that in order to make sure Naruto was okay and aid him, she would have to end the fight with this girl first.

The girl stood up weakly and Hinata got into the traditional Hyuuga fighting position, ready. I need to finish this quickly! For Naruto-kun!

As soon as the girl starting moving, Hinata gave a shout: "Jūho Sōshiken" and tried her new move on the girl that she had recently master.

Red hair was blown everywhere because of the impact and the girl flew back and slammed against the hard rock wall behind her.

Flinching only slightly, Hinata paused and ran over to her - discovering she was unconscious. She - just in case - pressed some of the girl's chakra points so that when she aroused, she would be weak and have trouble getting up. Hinata had learned to be tougher while fighting, to not hold back in fear of hurting her opponent seriously, to stop being so fragile when fighting, courtesy of Neji and her father. Hinata had learned that in the ninja world, life was cruel, so she had to be just as cruel while fighting in it. However, that didn't mean that her personality was cruel, just some of her actions during battle. Simply, she was tougher - mentally, emotionally, and most importantly, physically. It took a while, but she had gotten there, but only by ignoring the side of her that wanted to stop hurting others, to stop fighting others.

Letting out a small exhale, she looked over to Naruto and Sasuke. They were both panting and Naruto had…t-two tails?!

Glancing at her other teammates, she noticed Shikamaru was gone and Kiba was currently in a heated battle with his opponent. Knowing they would be fine, Hinata turned her gaze back to Naruto.

His fangs looked more menacing than before and his eyes…those beautiful, caring eyes that Hinata loved to look into because they would almost always be shining with joy, those eyes that Hinata could feel the pain in her heart whenever she saw sadness in them…were gone, replaced with red ones that were like those of a monster's. He…He does look like a monster! Hinata thought, worry filling her. But then she shook her head. Harshly. No! No! He's still Naruto-kun! The same Naruto-kun he's always been! And he's not a monster! Looking up at him, Hinata's fists clenched. You can do this, Naruto-kun!

Just then, Sasuke appeared behind Naruto and gave him a harsh kick, sending him tumbling to the ground. Hinata gasped slightly. W-What should I do?! Hinata couldn't move. She didn't what she could to help the fight. This was the fight Naruto had been waiting for, for so long; she couldn't just interfere now! This was Naruto's fight and she had no place in it. But then again, she felt so helpless and useless just standing there and watching him get hurt, watching the Kyuubi come out and take over him.

Come on, Naruto-kun! Don't let the Kyuubi take control over you! Hinata had heard the senseis talking about one of those incidents and she had been frightened. But she knew that Naruto had gotten a lot stronger after training with Jiraiya-sensei and now, back in Konoha, he had done a lot of training as well with Kakashi-sensei and Yamato-sensei. He had more control and she knew that if he kept a balanced state of mind, he would be able to defeat Sasuke.

Hinata bit her lip. Oh, Naruto-kun. Please, stay strong! Don't lose hope!

Naruto let out a feral roar all of a sudden, jumping down the ground, far from Sasuke. Sasuke followed, a distance of many meters between them. And as he was about to step forward to strike, Sasuke's ebony eyes widened, stopping in his tracks.

Naruto was crying?

Hot, angry, sad, frustrated tears rolled down Naruto's cheeks. And he opened his mouth, glaring at Sasuke, with a disappointment in his eyes as well. "I don't get it! I-I don't get it, Sasuke! We...Why did you leave? You-That snake monster isn't going to help you get any better!"

Sasuke's mouth twitched. "Shut up. You don't know anything."

"I know. I know. Trust me, Sasuke. I know exactly how you feel. Your loneliness. Y-Your need for power. Your need to be noticed."

"NO! No!" Sasuke turned his head away, gathering himself. "You don't know anything what I've been through. You didn't have your entire family murdered by your own brother. You never even had a family! I did. You never knew how it felt to be in a family! I did! And it was taken away from me. Getting something you have taken away hurts way more than starting with nothing!"

Naruto gasped for air, his sobbing was increasing. He shook his head. "N-No. You're wrong, Sasuke. I have had a family taken away. You. You, Sasuke. You, Kakashi, Sakura-chan were all my family, my friends. The first people that cared for me. And you left. And then, slowly, Sakura-chan slipped away too. That hurts, too! Having your own family leave you intentionally. That hurts so much, Sasuke! You don't know that, however."

"That doesn't mean anything to me. I never considered any of you family, or even friends."

Naruto shook his head in disbelief. He swiped furiously at his eyes, a red tail disappearing, the other starting to fade. "Still in denial after all those times? All those times that you saved me and Sakura-chan on missions? All those times that we fought? All those times that we trained together? All of those times that we made plans on difficult missions that worked? L-Look at you! Look at us! When did we become like this? It was all so perfect a few years ago!"

The other tail disappeared totally, and the reddish aura around him was starting to diminish as well. "You bastard...I-I trained for 3 years, constantly, so that I could be at your level, so that we could b-become stronger...together! I can't believe this. Why, Sasuke? Why? Why?! Why do you want to bring us pain?! Why do you want to hurt Sakura-chan?! Why do you w-want me hurt, Sasuke?! We were-are friends! You were my first friend, believe it or not, even though you annoyed the hell out of me and you were so cocky. You were my first friend.

"A-And...Sasuke, I just don't understand. Why would you want to leave? We could have trained together! We could have gotten stronger together! I-I…" His eyes turned to the regular blue, soft color they were and he slumped to the ground, tears coming out even more intensely now. His voice cracked, becoming all raspy as his posture turned defeated, reflecting all the hardships in his life, reflecting how much he has tried, reflecting how much he has still failed.

He looked up, through tears at Sasuke. "Please. J-Just come back. I can't do this anymore. I'm so tired of chasing after you to no avail. Please. It'll be like before. Don't hurt inside anymore.

"Please…"


"Naruto!" Tsunade yelled. "What in the world-" she stopped her sentence to sigh. "Why haven't you gone to the hospital yet?! What were you-" This time she stopped her sentence in disbelief.

After all, who wouldn't be rendered speechless after the Uchiha Sasuke walked in after Naruto's beaten up form?

Naruto, leaning heavily on Hinata for support, smiled at Tsunade, giving her a weak peace sign, with his signature smile. "Mission complete, Tsunade-obaa-chan," he said, nodding to the scrolls in Kiba's hands.

And that was the last thing he said before passing out from exhaustion.

The first thing Naruto saw when he opened his eyes was pink. Pink hair...sakura petals...Sakura-chan!

"S-Sakura-chan?" Naruto's voice was raspy from not using it in a while. He cleared his throat and sat up, ignoring his head that felt thrice the weight of his body. "W-Where's Sasuke?" he asked timidly, in a voice that was unlike him, afraid of the recent events just being a cruel dream.

"Sasuke-san? H-He's over there…" Sakura pointed to the bed that was on the other side of the room where Sasuke was sleeping. A blush took over Sakura's face and she looked at Naruto with sincerity. "Thank you, Naruto. Seriously." She leaned, and gave him a peck on the cheek in thanks.

Naruto blushed a bit, after all, Sakura had been his crush for years. Had. Which got him thinking…"Where's Hina-chan?"

Sakura raised her eyebrows at the affectionate nickname, noticing an obviously closer relationship between the two. "Uh…I don't know. I think she might be in the halls somewhere. She's been volunteering here for a while."

"Oh. Okay." He made a move to get up, but Sakura pushed him down. "Where do you think you're going?! You haven't healed yet! And from what I've heard, you went into your Kyuubi form for a while, so you need to have extra rest."

"Sakura-chan! I'm fine, seriously. I don't feel sore or anything."

Before Sakura could say anything else, Naruto bolted out of the hospital room and went to the front desk, about to ask for Hinata's whereabouts, when he saw her coming down the hallway talking to another nurse.

"Hinata-chan!" He ran over, tackling her in a hug.

"Naruto-kun!" she scolded. "Aren't you supposed to still be in bed?! You're not supposed to be moving around so soon!" The other nurse had slipped away to give them privacy.

"It's okay! I feel fine. Gosh, all you worry too much about me!"

Hinata stayed quiet, tightening her arms around him.

Sensing the shift in the air around them, Naruto said, "Hinata-chan?"

In response, Hinata just held him tighter and allowed for a silence before speaking her thoughts. "I-I was so scared back there, Naruto-kun. Y-You were transforming. And I don't know, but then you started crying, and I felt so sad and scared, Naruto-kun."

Naruto's eyes saddened. "I…I'm sorry, Hinata-chan. I told you. This is why people are scared of me. I'm a monster."

Hinata gasped, wrenching away from him in disbelief. "N-No! No, Naruto-kun!" She touched his face to make him look at her. He was surprised with her boldness. "You're not. You are not a monster! You're Naruto-kun! And you're…you're perfect. I wasn't scared because of the Kyuubi, but because of the tears you cried and how hurt you must have felt. It scared me that I felt the pain that you felt in my heart. Th-That's just how much I love you."

Realizing what she just said, Hinata pulled away totally and covered her mouth, color rising to her cheeks. "I-I mean...oh, my God…I mean-"

She was pulled again into a hug, Naruto's breath tickling her ear as he laughed. "It's okay, Hinata. But...I won't say that back to you….yet. I don't know exactly what I feel, but I do know this: I really, really, really like you."

Hinata blushed even more so as Naruto pulled away just to lean in again closer, lips brushing against hers as he spoke. "And you look absolutely adorable in your nurse outfit."

And to hide her embarrassment, she closed the almost nonexistent space between their lips.


Author's Note:

And that is the end of this fanfiction! Sorry if it seems rushed or unrealistic! D: To be honest, I don't really like this story that much. But I would hate to discontinue a story, so I just made this (sloppy) chapter. So, once again, sorry if it wasn't what you guys were expected or wanted. I have a hard time writing in the actual world of Naruto because you have so many things to take account for and remember, and the plot is very limited to the shinobi world. I prefer to make up my own worlds with my own plots. Haha.

Please support my other stories, that are (very, very slowly) being updated.

And, as always, thank you so, so much for taking time out of your day to read my story. It means more than you will ever fathom. Please review to show me your support and to tell me your comments and opinions. Constructive criticism is always appreciated!

Thank you again!

~ booklover