Disclaimer: Me no own nuthin except my kakashi key-chain and mangas.

This story just magically appeared in my notebook the other day. I don't know if I should bother continuing so, depending on reviews…shrug if I get more than 5, I'll continue or else I'll call it a failed attempt. This is a non-pairing fic, just adventure/fun and exploring the Konoha spirit of fire, sacrifice, and protection.

((set after episode 18, pre-19 on a detour back to the Hidden Leaf village. My first attempt at Naruto Fic, so please be nice…btw it does get better.

I will die to protect you

"Ai Sensei! Why are we taking this stupid way back to the village?" Naruto whined, trudging along the rocky gravel trail behind their teacher, who strode along with his nose in a well-read orange book, doing an excellent job of ignoring every word coming out of the twelve-year-old's mouth.

"It's cold and rocky and windy and cold and rocky and windy and cold…" the blond boy complained half-heartedly, frowning unhappily as he kicked at the rocks in the dirt. He was a hero! They had saved the village and the little boy, the bridge was going to be built and they'd beaten the bad guys. He shouldn't have to be stuck next to the stupid pompish guy longer than absolutely necessary. Glancing over at the black-haired boy, he stuck out his tongue. The other boy wasn't paying attention though. Sasuke lwas looking upwards, peering at the sky in his usual annoyed and slightly haughty manner.

"Looks like it's going to snow." he said, shooting their sensei a "look" that accused him of knowing better and ordered the Jounin to do something about the situation. The sleepy-eyed teacher gave no response of having heard and kept on reading.

Naruto sighed loudly and proceeded to turn his attention to Sakura who was carrying her bag silently as she casually attempted to peek at Sasuke every few seconds.

"Oi…Sakura-chan, do you have anything to eat?" The girl Genin blinked then rolled her eyes in annoyance.

"Eh? What? Of course you can't have anything because we just ate breakfast two hours ago." Her inner-self screamed much more loudly in her head, "Pig! You're totally not like the awesome Sasuke!"

Naruto sighed again.

"Even a little?"

She shook her head.

"We have to practice conserving supplies. What if we were in a real emergency?"

Naruto rolled his eyes at her words.She wouldn't be saying that if it was Sa-su-ke-kun asking. Meany. Why does she like him so much?

"As if that'd ever happen," he said, easily dismissing all their recent events and the deaths that were days in the past.

"Shut up, moron." Sasuke said in annoyance, tossing his black hair back. Naruto snarled with a gleam in his eyes.

Stupid Sasuke, I'll show you...But he didn't do anything outrageous, eyeing his teacher warily. The last time he'd tried kicking Sasuke and the two had ended up beating at each other senselessly, Kakashi had hung them both upside down in a tree for an hour as he blushed reading his book and Sakura had cooed to Sasuke worryingly. He shuddered at the memory distastefully.

Time wore on and traveling their way on the thinning mountain pass, the air got chillier and chillier, and soon they were surrounded by snowy hills and patches.

Sakura was getting worried.

"Sensei, are we going to prepare for staying in this snow? Are we going to rest at a village?" She asked in a concerned voice as began to have to loose track of an easily visible trail.

Kakashi turned his head back to look at her with a cheerful face, an amazing ability considering 85 of his face was covered by a black clothe mask.

"Don't worry, we'll be out of here in about a day and back in the Konoha forest area soon. We're not that far, just a different roundabout areaI wanted to train you guys in a different environment though so we're not going to be stopping at any village." The teacher smiled with his right eye, the Sharingan hidden once again underneath his forehead protector.

Naruto grinned brightly, his mood perking up at the possibility of competition. This makes things much more interesting.

"Training? Alright! I'm going to beat Sasuke!" He shouted, pumping his fist into the air.

Kakashi didn't say anything but gave a mental sigh.

Sakura shot Naruto a dirty look and growled at him, wagging a warning finger.

"If you lay your hands on Sasuke-kun again, I'll finish you off."
Naruto stuck out his tongue at her. Kakashi interrupted his petty students.

"That's enough fun for you guys.Okay. Follow me." He said abruptly. He somersaulted onto the snow mounds at the sides of the pathway and started to walk casually on top of the snow without sinking in.

"Wow…" Sakura said. It reminded her of the powerful water battle with Kakashi and Zabuza, when both high-leveled ninjas had preformed Jutsus at lightening speeds while resting on top of the water's surface.

Naruto and Sasuke exchanged looks and then both somersaulted up at the same time, only to sink suprisingly into the snow waist-deep.

"Kuso!!! It's cold!!!" Naruto yelled. Sakura jumped and landed in the snow unhappily sinking in as well. Kakashi squatted down and eyed his team 7 with an apathetic eye.

"Use your chakra like when you practiced with the trees," he suggested.

Sasuke called out as he tried and failed, tumbling through the annoying white fluff.

"The snow is too soft for us to find a firm ground to push the chakra down on." Sakura cried out hopelessly as she wavered momentarily on the surface then sank down again.

"Build a foundation then," Kakashi responded simply, then winced as he stood up again. His wounds were still raw and aching under his ninja outfit. The kids didn't notice anything though as they kept climbing and falling into the snow. Even Sasuke lost his patience and started to perform the Jutsu for his Grand Fireball no Jutsu. Kakashi casually flicked a rock into his mouth though and shocked the Uchiha boy into stopping.

"Have some patience if you ever plan on becoming real shinobi. Cultivate your abilities or else how can you build up your strength?" Kakashi said.

Finally after an hour of fighting in the snow, the two boys could gain enough footage to work their way ankle-deep in snow. Sakura was stable enough to run on top of the snow though and Kakashi beamed at her chakra control much to the chagrin of the other two. Kakashi walked behind them and the two continued to glare at each other enviable while Sakura looked on hopelessly, trying to explain the method. Naruto's constant taunting and complaints didn't help though.

"Look moron, go bother a tree okay? Bug off!" Sasuke retorted and started to walk farther down the side of the path. Naruto grinned suddenly.

"Fine, let's race if your think you're so good."

Sasuke narrowed his eyes at the bright-haired boy and smiled haughtily.

"If you want to lose."

The two flew across the wood spotted open, snow plowing up and flying in a flurry.

Kakashi called out alarmed.

"Hey! Naruto! Sasuke! Don't be idiots! Stop that!"

Naruto looked back grinning widely.

"Not till I win, Kakashi-sensei!"

Sakura snorted and yelled waving her fist.

"As if you could ever win over Sasuke!"

Kakashi looked on worried though. This wasn't the path and the snow covered terrain made danger spots indiscernible. He feared something would be hidden in the snow, invisible to the eye.

With Sakura in tow, he followed behind the racing pair. Naruto kept running, nostrils flaring as he shot Sasuke a look. The black haired grim boy was going just as all out as Naruto. The Hidden Mist incident had changed them to become more inclined to reveal their inner abilities. Racing down the snowy incline, Naruto and Sasuke never noticed the misty steam that came off the snow bank. Suddenly as their feet simultaneously stepped down on the snow, they fell through and crashed onto the black icy water below.

"AHHH!!!" The cry of Naruto's panicky voice sent Kakashi dashing forward, somersaulting from tree to tree.

Sasuke gasped, mind and body numbed. He couldn't think, couldn't move as the black water seemed to have a life of its own, pulling him down. Naruto's screaming was cut off when his mouth sucked in a mouthful of the bitterly cold black liquid splashed up by his own struggles. As he did so, he saw Sasuke's head tossing, struggling against being yanked down. Naruto fought to get his arms free but the water was sucking at him, grabbing his body. He heard the roar of the water all around and wondered if this would be how he would die.

"NOOO!!!" Naruto screamed infuriated by the idea that he'd die before becoming Hokage.

Kakashi spun in mid air, and landed on the water lithely. Even he was grabbed and sucked in though, as the water dragged at his legs, pulling him down.

"What is this stuff?!" screamed a struggling Naruto. Kakashi's eyes were narrowed as his hands preformed a Jutsu.

"A cursed Black Mark." He said and held his hands up in a "Bird" sign.

"Dispel no Jutsu!" The red glow that shot at the black water enveloped it but then the black water seemed to eat it up, dispelling the dispel.

"The Jutsu didn't work?!" Sakura cried and gasped in horror at the blight of Sasuke. The boy seemed to have lost all ability as he sunk down in the darkness.

"Sasuke!" Kakashi called out, the grey-haired sensei spun in place with such incredible speed he broke free of the grasping black evil. He leapt over Sasuke and as he did so sliced open the palm of his hand with his kunai, using his blood to scribble a sigil on the water around the boy, stepping only where he'd written in red. He stepped lightly and with the bloody hand, grabbed at the silent boy.

"Bleeding Wall No Jutsu!" He called out as he yanked out the boy and threw him onto the snow bank where Sakura was. The sigil trapped the black water, the icy water steaming as it burned from the blood. Naruto felt Kakashi's hand on the back of his jacket as the Ninja repeated the move and grabbed Naruto.

"Bleeding Wall No Jutsu!" Naruto flew into the air and crashed down onto the snow bank beside Sasuke.

"Kakashi Sensei!" Sakura cried in horror as the half-dazed Sasuke watched in shock as the older Ninja seemed to falter, hand flaying to his chest and suddenly half-stepped off the sigil. The water splashed up and the man was falling, falling, and crashing down into the ice-cold blackness, the water pulling him down. The water churned and the three students were left in shock on the snow bank by the broken water's edge.

"Kakashi-sensei…" Sasuke managed to saw when a blast shot up from the water and the Ninja landed in the snow with a crouch. He was breathing hard and his visible right eye narrowed in pain.

"Damn." He said in barely a whisper, and then fell forward, tumbling down into the snow, blood from his opened chest wound staining his shirt and the snow.

Author's Note:

End of the first chapter? How'd it go? Please review! I apologize for anything that didn't go right. Gomen Nasai!

EDIT: updated chapter 1 with some minor changes. i didn't like the way it was before. this is a little better. enjoy and review!