The name's rolled one after another on the large screen looking over the rather plain room where the Preliminaries of the Chunin exams were being held. The names stopped.
"Kibana Inuzuka. Vs Naruto Uzumaki."
"Alright, you hear that Akamaru we got an easy match!" Kiba shouted as she leapt out onto the battlefield, Akamaru landing down beside her with a mighty ruff. Kiba couldn't help but smile as she watched Naruto nearly fall down onto the arena floor. He completely lacked grace and looked like he had a rough time in the forest.
"Kibana?" Naruto couldn't help but smile at the ridiculous name. "What kind of name is that?" Naruto broke out into a rich belly laugh at Kiba's rather unfortunate name. Kiba felt her face grow red at the comment and stomped her feet.
"Shut up!" Kiba barked letting out a deep growl. "My mom sucks at naming things!" Kiba glared hard at Naruto. At least he wasn't afraid of her the same way the other guys were. Shame he was so attracted to that Sakura girl. "My name's Kiba! Got it? Kiba!"
"But it says Kibana!" Naruto pointed towards the screen his large toothy smile beaming like a second sun. "that sounds like a girls name!"
Kiba narrowed her eyes, fists at her sides as she felt her cheeks begin to heat up. "Naruto do you think I'm a boy?"
"Well duh, you're just one of the guys!" That stupid smile would not leave his face, "You, me, Shikamaru and Choji always ran around getting in trouble."
Oh… that explained so, so, so much. "I'm a girl you, Idiot!"
"No way!" That shout didn't come from Naruto. Though the look on Naruto's face indicated that's what he was thinking. It came from Sakura who was looking around to see if anybody else thought it was odd.
"The Inuzuka have no male heir Sakura," Kakashi said blandly, his one eye showed how amused he was to watch Naruto's plight. "Though I'm surprised both you and Naruto were unaware."
Sakura had the good grace to shut up and simply blush.
"Well, whatever." Naruto finally said after getting over his shock. "It doesn't matter if you're a girl there's still no way I'm going to lose to you believe it!"
"No, You're not getting off that easy Naruto!" Kiba barked at him. Her face was red with rage and her fists were shaking out of anger.
Weeks had passed since her humiliating defeat at the hands of Naruto. And Kiba was still flustered about it. It wasn't that she lost. It was that Naruto thought she was a boy. It was also that Naruto didn't treat her like a girl. He treated her like Kiba. Even after the match. Naruto didn't change attitude towards her.
"GARH!" Kiba buried her face into one of the large pillows on her bed and pulled on her slightly damp hair. The worse part was that she could still smell him. Not the smell of his fart, that nasty smell had been purged from her nose quickly. But the sheer smell of Naruto remained. She smelt him everywhere. And that meant Naruto was constantly on her mind.
Naruto! That annoying hyperactive munchkin dufus that thought she was a boy! Sure, Kiba might have hung out with the boys in her academy days. Sure, she never fawned over Sasuke like the other girls. Sure, she never actually told Naruto that she was a girl.
"GA!" Kiba screamed again into her pillow her once again. Why the hell did it matter to her what that annoying loser Naruto thought of her anyways? Sure, he was technically stronger than her. Sure, Naruto technically beat her. But she was still going to be Hokage dammit. And she was going to make Naruto pay.
"Okay, that's two screams into the pillow." Kiba turned to glare at her older sister Hana as the know it all older sibling walked into the room. "What's got you so worked up squirt?" Hana nudged the concerned Akamaru to the side as she sat down right next to Kiba.
Kiba glared at her sister for a moment a blush slowly creeping down from her ears. Hana returned the glare with one of her own. Sighing in defeat Kiba decided to let her sister know. "Naruto," Kiba said quickly as she turned away from her sister's gaze focusing instead on Akamaru who had moved over to lick her hands.
"What, still got his fart stuck in your nose?" Hana said with a sharp nasally laugh at her little sister's expense. An Inuzuka had never once been defeated by a fart before. Her mother told Kiba that thanks to her enemy ninja will now know of this weakness and try to exploit it by eating large amounts of beans.
"Not his fart," Kiba said lamely. "I can't walk through Konoha without noticing his scent!" Kiba kicked her bed with her feet in frustration. "I can't ignore it either!"
"What's it smell like?" Hana asked curiosity and amusement lacing her voice thickly. Kiba didn't trust the all too knowing smile on her Sister's face. She didn't trust it at all.
"What it smell like?!" Kiba shot up, twisting her body so that she was directly facing her sister. "It smells like Naruto!" That was the simplest answer and most trustful Kiba could come up with. "It smells like Hard work, Sweat, Ramen, Leaves, Sunshine, and really cheap deodorant. But there's more to it than that! I can't put my finger on it!" Kiba spat out rapid-fire things about what Naruto smelt like. Avoiding the obvious smell of strength that reminded her of her father. That was one of the more prominent traits in Naruto's scent.
"Wow," Hana said laughing again. Kiba growled at the laugh. No matter how helpful Hana was at times the teasing was rarely worth it. Stupid older sisters. "Well do you hate the smell?"
That caught Kiba off guard as her face twisted into one of confusion. It wasn't that, Naruto's scent was bad, Kiba actually thought it was an alright smell. In that she didn't really mind smelling it when she went out into to Konoha. She just didn't like that it made her think of Naruto.
"It's not bad," Kiba said meekly.
Hana giggled as she had a mental image of Kiba with dog ears saying that while the ears drooped. "Sounds like you have a crush."
"No way!" Kiba shouted quickly standing up on her bed. The simple thought of having a crush on Naruto was too much to handle and she just had to move so that it didn't get comfortable in her head. Shaking her head back in forth quickly. "There is no way I can like that idiot loser!"
"Why not?" Hana asked curiously.
"Because he thought I was a guy up until a week ago!" Kiba attempted to defend herself. "And he only found out I was a girl because he was laughing at my name!"
"Those sound like reasons for him not to like you," Hana said swiping at her sister's feet to force her back down onto the bed. Kiba fell to the bed with an undignified gasp. Akamaru bravely rose to her defense by nipping at Hana's hand. "Watch it pup."
"He's stupid!" Kiba growled from her now prone position. "He's the deadlast and an idiot! He's weak!"
"He beat you," Hana interjected. But Kiba continued her rant.
"He's short. He only eats ramen. He's stupid. Hinata already has a crush on him. He likes that Sakura girl. So he obviously has crappy taste in women." Kiba let out a long huff out of her nose. "And he's a pervert!" Kiba finished by shooting both of her arms straight up into the air.
"Okay okay. Sheesh." Hana got up from Kiba's bed and made her way out of the room. She stopped at the door frame. "You know, often when girls your age have opinions like that they actually have a crush on the boy." Hana ran out the door as a pillow flew towards her head.
"What do you think Akamaru," Kiba asked her companion who just yipped at her. She understood exactly what that yip meant. Akamaru was teasing her that she liked Naruto. "What the hell do you know! You're a dog!" Kiba growled.
Akamaru yipped again.
"Whatever. Let's just head out." Kiba suddenly grew very tired of looking at her room. She didn't have to train with Shino today. Shino was doing most of it with his clan anyways. And with Hinata still in the hospital, Kiba had almost nothing better to do but train, wallow and self-pity and be endlessly frustrated by Naruto.
Walking into Konoha proper proved to be a mistake. It was like Naruto rubbed his scent on every single street corner. The very air was thick with Naruto's scent. It had always been Kiba realized as she stomped through one of the many streets of Konoha with Akamaru right behind her. Naruto's scent had always been in and around Konoha. But now she couldn't stop noticing it everywhere. Once she recognized his scent there was just no escaping it.
Ichiraku ramen? Naruto.
Mission table? Naruto!
Random apartment? Naruto!
Red bridge? Naruto!
Sakura? Strawberry shampoo… and then Naruto!
Kiba was at Naruto! Where everything smelled like Naruto! It was everywhere!
"GAH!" Kiba shouted in the middle of the street before running off in a random direction. She needed desperately to escape Naruto's scent. She needed him out of her head more than anything. Ignoring the whines of Akamaru at her sudden movement Kiba bolted out into the thicker forests that surrounded Konoha.
"Why is he stuck in my head," Kiba asked herself as she rested her against the rough bark of a tree. Akamaru yipped and barked at her. "I don't have a crush on Naruto!" Kiba snapped at the poor dog. "There's no way I could do that to Hinata," Kiba admitted as she continued to bury her head into the rough tree bark.
Kiba almost wanted to cry. Even out here in the middle of nowhere, she could still smell Naruto. She could practically hear him. Akamaru yipped and growled at her pulling on her pant leg to get Kiba's attention.
"What is it?" Kiba's disgruntled voice was barely a whisper as she turned her attention to Akamaru. Akamaru barked and then turned around acting like a pointer. Kiba followed it and felt her heart sink.
Somehow without even thinking about it. She had followed Naruto's scent right to him. Just across the wide river bend in a rather nice looking swimming hole was Naruto. The wind blew towards Kiba and she felt her knees buckle. It was getting worse. Her cheeks flared red as the raw smell of Naruto filtered into her nose.
Kiba wanted to scream. She hated the fact that she was liking the smell. She hated the fact that it was Naruto that was causing this. She hated the fact that Hinata was her friend. She hated the fact that she wanted to just talk to Naruto right then and there.
She hated the fact that she didn't know what was even going on.
Watching Naruto train without a care in the world Kiba couldn't help but think that life would be so much easier if she was actually a boy.
Kiba simply stood half concealed by the trees and foliage as she watched Naruto train. A large man with a lot of spiky white hair sat nearby laughing more often than he was giving instructions. The laughter seemed to be proving more effective than the actual instructions in getting Naruto to actually train. All Naruto was really doing was making toads appear over and over again. Most of them were tadpoles no bigger than Naruto's hand.
"Why's he wasting time with those weak things?" Kiba asked nobody in particular. She hadn't realized that she was sitting down until Akamaru curled up in her lap deciding that a late afternoon nap was a good idea. "How on earth is he planning on beating a guy like Neji like that?"
It was then that Naruto froze. And suddenly looked right at Kiba.
Kiba froze as well.
"Hey Kiba!" Naruto shouted at the girl he used to think was a boy. Like a deer being caught by a wolf, Kiba bolted away in a mad scramble. "Hey Kiba wait!" Naruto shouted from behind her.
Kiba's face was red now - Very red - her breathing was ragged, and her heart was beating in her ears, so this was what it felt like to die from embarrassment. Naruto had caught her practically stalking him. Naruto's going to think that she likes him now! Naruto's going to get the wrong idea about everything. It was just dumb luck that she stumbled upon Naruto and it was just curiosity that made her stay and watch as Naruto training. Right?
Kiba tripped. Too flustered by the fact that Naruto was actually chasing behind her to fully pay attention to where she was going. Kiba's foot caught under a root sending her flying towards the ground rather quickly. And sending Akamaru flying through the air. And off the cliff face.
"Akamaru!" Kiba saw Akamaru plummeting to his death. Even a ninja dog wouldn't be able to survive a fall from the height she had practically thrown her companion, her best friend to his death. She struggled against the wicked root that was wrapped around her ankle.
"I got him!" Kiba twisted to watch Naruto leap off the cliff. With no sense of self-preservation he caught Akamaru mid-air in a rough somersault.
"Naruto!" Kiba shouted as she pulled her ankle out of the root. Rolling the fragile joint. They were both going to die now. Naruto and Akamaru were both going to die now because she tripped on a root.
"You okay Akamaru?" Naruto asked as he looked at the dog tucked into his arms. Akamaru whined and gave a yelp. Naruto had no idea what the dog was saying. "Well, whatever let's hope this works!" Akamaru held on for dear life as Naruto began going through the hand signs once again.
"Something big!" Naruto shouted as he shot his hand downward. "Summoning Jutsu!" From the ground to where Naruto was falling filled with smoke. Naruto crashed down upon the slick surface blue surface of the beast he summoned.
"Giro giro?" Gamahiro asked as he looked around. "Jiraiya-san?" the toad questioned as he began searching its head for its summoner. With a ginger pluck, the massive toad brought Naruto down before him. "You're not Jiraiya-san. Much too short."
"I'm not short!" Naruto shouted as he kicked his legs while dangling in front of the massive toad. "And my Name's Naruto! Got it! Naruto Uzumaki." Akamaru barked in agreement. The massive blue toad's eyes went wide at the noise.
"Ahh, a dog!" Gamahiro squealed in a pitch unbefitting it's massive size. Naruto's jacket was torn from his body as he found himself being thrown through the air as the toad flailed its arms around before vanishing in smoke.
"I got you, boy!" Naruto called as he caught Akamaru for the second time that day. Naruto managed to slam hard into the top of the cliff knocking the wind out of him but delivering Akamaru to safety. The pup returned the favor by biting onto Naruto's sleeves to try and pull him up the cliff.
Kiba limped over to Naruto with her ankle twisted into a painful degree she grabbed onto Naruto's arm before the blond could pull himself up.
"Thanks," Kiba said sharply as she scooped up Akamaru into her hands. "But this is all your fault, you idiot." Kiba's harsh tone caused Akamaru to whine and whimper in her arms. Akamaru was on Naruto's side to now? Just great.
"What?" Naruto spat out as he dusted himself off. "How's it my fault! You're the one that ran away from me!"
"Because you were chasing me!" spat back giving Naruto a sharp glare of her own.
"Only because you started to run away!" Naruto huffed as he put his hands into his pockets. "Whatever I need to get back to training before pervy-sage runs off again." He was already missing his jacket.
Kiba frowned at Naruto. And at herself, she might have gone too far with that. Attempting to step out of Naruto's way proved to be a mistake as she temporarily forgot about her ankle. Kiba winced and drew in a sharp intake of air. It was a good thing she didn't have any missions for a while.
"Let me help you back okay?" Naruto sighed, he didn't even wait for her to answer, bringing brought her arm around his shoulder. For once him being short was proving to be a good thing.
"What about training?" Not being directly opposed to not walking on a sprained ankle, Kiba didn't openly protest Naruto's help. She felt a lot of sudden urges then as she was once again being held by Naruto. Why on earth was Naruto making her feel like her stomach was doing fang over fang with her heart?
"The pervy-sage was about to call it quits for the day, Besides!" Naruto said excitedly nearly bouncing on his heels. "Did you see how big that toad was! It was huge!" Akamaru yipped from the ground before growling. "Right, and he was afraid of Akamaru too!"
Kiba had to suppress a giggle; She failed and the giggle bubbled over.
"So is that how you plan on beating Neji?" Kiba wasn't even thinking at the moment. That meant she wasn't thinking about Naruto or his stupid smell. And the less she thought. The better things would be.
"What?" Naruto asked as though he was insulted. "No way, I'm going to beat Neji without my summons! Believe it!" Kiba stared at Naruto for a moment before smiling.
"I know from experience it's a bad idea to underestimate you Naruto," Kiba said allowing herself to smile for once. The mood was spoiled by Naruto's stomach speaking up. Apparently trying to take credit for Naruto's victory over Kiba. Which was true. "And that stomach of yours."
"GAH!" Naruto suddenly shouted as he quickly became depressed. "I lost my jacket! I had coupons for Ramen in there!" Sighing in defeat Naruto had to wipe away a single tear. "Oh well, they expired today anyways."
Akamaru yipped happily as he followed behind Kiba and Naruto through the thick Konoha forest.
"So why'd you chase after me anyways?" Kiba asked suddenly. Not wanting to deal with the thoughts silence brought.
"Oh, I wanted to see if you would get ramen with me." Those words had a profound effect on Kiba.
Was Naruto going to ask her out on a date? Did Naruto always like her but didn't act on it because he thought she was a boy? Why was her heart racing? Why did she not entirely hate the simple idea of going on a date with Naruto? Why did she want to prove to him that she was a girl? Why was she good friends with Hinata?
"As an apology for thinking you were a guy and you know… other stuff" Naruto's own face reddened, as he sucked on his bottom lip. "But, you don't have to if you don't want to, I understand if you don't like me right now.
"Yea well." Kiba half mumbled to herself as they made it to the main road of Konoha. "I'll treat you to ramen tomorrow," Kiba said suddenly. "Not that I want to or anything. Just as a thank you for saving Akamaru and helping me home."
"You don't have to if you," Naruto began with a frowned but was quickly cut off by.
"Idiot," Kiba spat. "I said I'll treat you to ramen tomorrow. So I'm going to treat you to ramen tomorrow got it?" Kiba's ears were red now and she was once again thankful for her large hoodie covering much of her face.
"Got it!" Naruto said snapping his mouth shut. Good, he was learning.
"Good," Kiba said smirking for a moment. Before she realized exactly what she did. She, Kibana Inuzuka had just asked Naruto Uzumaki out on a date. What was she thinking? What was she going to wear? What was she going to tell Hinata? How much ramen could Naruto eat? What did you even do on a date!?
She could practically hear Akamaru snickering at her. She could already feel Hana's teasing. And her mother's amused smirk. Kiba hated that smirk. It was an "Oh so close to actually winning." Kind of smile.
"Well anyways. I think my ankle got better so, Uhh, I'll meet you at Ichiraku's at noon tomorrow okay bye." Kiba quickly sputtered out as she ignored the pain in her foot to quickly. "And don't be late Idiot!"
"Girls are weird," Naruto said looking to Akamaru, who tilted his head in confusion. Before yipping agreeably at Naruto and bolting off after Kiba. "But hey, free ramen."
AN: Edited 12-30-17 for reasons.