"The Courting of Uzumaki Naruto"
by The Carpet Shampoo
Disclaimer: Unfortunately Naruto is not mine. But I do have the cutest little Naruto plushie!
Author's Note: Hm…What to even say about this crazy fic I have been planning? I will simply state that I love Shikamaru and I want to have his children. The couples are Naruto x Just About Everyone. It's a rather interesting fic, if I can say so myself. Naruto wakes up one morning to discover that for some odd reason, his friends all seem to have fallen in love with him. Konohamaru suggests they have a tournament in which the participants will compete for the title of "Most Romantic", the winner getting the prize of calling Naruto his boyfriend. But who is this secret admirer?
Chapter 1: Springtime for Naruto
"Naruto-kun, you look so nice today!" Huh? Naruto looked up to see his pink-haired teammate standing in front of him. He looked down at himself. He had woken up late this morning and rushed out the door, grabbing a wrinkled outfit off the floor. His hair was messier than usual, and his leaf headband sat crooked on his forehead. He studied Sakura for a moment, trying to figure out what on earth she thought she was doing.
"Ne, Sakura-chan, are you sick?" Naruto put on hand to his forehead and placed his other hand on Sakura's forehead. He really had no idea what this did, only that they did it in books and stuff all the time.
"Naruto-kun, you're so funny!" Sakura giggled and lightly pushed away his hand. Naruto glanced at his hand. What's going on here…? Sakura's never EVER not touched my hand without smacking it…
"Maybe you should go see a doctor! Or Kakashi-sensei! …Well, maybe you shouldn't see Kakashi-sensei…" Naruto was serious now, he'd never seen Sakura act this way before. He lightly sniffed the air. Was she drunk? Where did she get sake? Why hadn't she shared?
He couldn't detect any alcohol on her breath. So what was going on?
"Oh Naruto-kun…you always make me laugh…" She smiled at him, and looked at him in a way that was sort of creeping him out.
"Look Naruto-kun, the cherry blossoms are starting to open…Spring is here."
"Yeah, they're open all right…So what? They always do that you know…" Sakura glanced at him and giggled again.
"So, silly, that means they'll be a festival! Would you like to go with me…?" She smiled and leaned in a little towards Naruto. What the hell is going on? Is this some weird trick? Well…even if it is a weird trick, its still a date with Sakura-chan so…
"Hmph! Like he'd ever go with a big forehead freak like you, Sakura-chan." Naruto looked up, surprised to see Sakura's rival, the ever-insulting Ino standing there.
"Ino-pig! Get away from him, I was here first!" Naruto scratched his head. Why was Ino here? He barely knew the girl, but like most others, she never seemed to care for him all that much.
"Wouldn't you rather go with me to the upcoming festival Naruto-kun?" Ino winked at him, giggling slightly.
"You don't even LIKE Naruto! You're just doing this to annoy me!"
"My motives are my own, but its clear who Naruto likes more. Isn't that right Naruto-kun? Naruto-kun…?" Ino and Sakura turned around to try and spot the blond haired boy, but he was already running away.
Naruto ran away panting, even with his stamina he was slightly out of breath from the speed he had been running.
"Uzumaki. How interesting to run into you on this spring day." Naruto's eyes snapped open and he jumped back, falling into a fighting stance as Gaara of the Sand stood in front of him. The redheaded shinobi smiled in that strange haunting way of his as he reached out his hand to catch a falling cherry blossom.
"So sad…like people, the cherry blossoms begin to die before they have even fully bloomed. Perhaps that is why we love them so…" Gaara looked up at Naruto, still staring at him with that strange almost sad smile. Naruto twitched slightly and took a step away from him. Gaara turned, the wind rustling through his hair and he released the blossom into the wind, watching as it drifted away.
"I was hoping to see you here, Uzumaki Naruto."
"Do you even have permission to be in our village Gaara?!" Naruto demanded.
"The Konoha Village Cherry Blossom festival is open to all ninja clans, is it not?" Naruto sighed; the festival was open to all people.
"I've never attended personally, any sort of festival. Would you be willing to show me the festival Naruto?"
What the hell…? Is he…is this…?
"What the hell Gaara? Are you asking me on a DATE with you?"
"If you wish to call it that Naruto." Gaara looked at him, and Naruto shook his head frantically.
"If you didn't want a date, then why did you suggest we have one?" Gaara asked simply. Naruto shook his head again, trying to shake that weird look Gaara was giving him, the one that made it appear the redheaded shinobi was staring into his soul.
"What the – I didn't suggest that at all!" Naruto argued back. Gaara didn't even flinch as the blond haired-boy screamed in his face. Gaara smiled that strange half-smile, half-smirk as he stepped forward towards Naruto. For one wild moment, the blond ninja thought the other boy was going to kiss him.
Gaara reached forward and stroked the side of Naruto's face with the back of one of his fingers, causing Naruto to flinch slightly.
"I do wish you'd make up your mind Naruto…" Gaara brushed his way around the blond ninja and walked off, calm as always.
"What the hell is going on…?!" Naruto ran off as fast as he could as Gaara calmly strolled away.
Naruto staggered backward rubbing his forehead. Even with the forehead protector, that had hurt like hell. Naruto glanced up and saw Neji standing there…Well, to be technical, he saw two or three Nejis standing there.
The dark haired ninja stumbled backwards a few steps. He looked up, his pale eyes narrowed in anger to see who had been so clumsy and stupid to crash into him like that. Neji looked up and saw the little blond ninja rubbing his forehead and swearing. The slightest bit of pink tinted his cheeks at the sight of the boy.
"Naruto! I-I'm sorry, I didn't see you there…" Naruto stared at the pale eyed boy.
What the- I bumped in to him! I was the one who wasn't looking…How hard did he hit his head? I know Iruka-sensei says I have a hard head, but I wasn't going that fast…was I?
"Neji, I was the one who bumped into you…"
"Naruto, don't be so weird. I was obviously not paying attention."
Oh jeez, not another one being all weird…Neji NEVER 'not pays attention.'
"Do you think it was fate that brought us together today Naruto? Oh wait – you don't believe in fate, do you Naruto? Then what is it that brought us together, in this very spot? A strange coincidence for neither of us to be paying enough attention to dodge the other, don't you agree? Two shinobi, both caught off guard…" Neji looked over at Naruto to see if he agreed, and odd, rather creepy smile on his face.
Naruto saw the slight pink on Neji's face, wondering how he missed that before. The pink was the only sign of color on Neji's entire body. Naruto backed away slowly.
"Oh God, not you too…What the hell is going on?!" Neji watched as the blond ninja fell to his knees and banged his head against the dirt.
"Naruto! Stop it! You'll hurt yourself!" The blond boy ignored him and began repeatedly pinching himself in the arm. Neji gulped slightly. How hard had he collided with Naruto? Was the boy really that hurt?
"Naruto…" Neji knelt down and gently grabbed the boy's wrist, holding it just firm enough so that he couldn't escape. "Are you sick Naruto? Running around in all this heat can make you do that…Perhaps you should go lie down or something…I could go fetch your…" Neji paused for a moment. Naruto didn't have parents to take care of him if he was sick "…sensei. Kakashi, right?" Neji had heard rumors about Kakashi and wondered if it was the best idea to leave the blond boy alone with him. "Or perhaps…perhaps I could take care of you when you're sick."
Naruto frantically shook his head. The last thing he wanted to do was be alone with Neji. Sick…? I usually don't get sick, but it's a good explanation for why all this is happening.
"Maybe I've come down with something after all…Could you go see if Iruka-sensei is around anywhere?" There's no way in hell I'm letting Kakashi take care of me!
"Of course Naruto…" Neji patted the blond boy on the head, ruffling his hair slightly before running off to the village to find Naruto's favorite teacher.
Neji wandered around the village, searching for the ninja cadet instructor Iruka, or at least, someone who would know where Iruka was. In the crowd, he spotted his dark haired cousin, Hinata.
"Hinata-sama! Have you seen Iruka-sensei around?" The dark haired ninja girl looked up, seemingly startled.
"Oh! Neji…I haven't seen him, but perhaps he is with Naruto?"
"You're looking for Naruto Hinata-sama?" Hinata blushed a bright pink and shook her head, stammering slightly.
"Its no use Hinata-sama. I already found Naruto and spoke to him. Fate has decided this battle, and the Main House of the Hyuga clan won't beat the Branch this time…"
"Neji…what do you mean?"
"You'll find out Hinata-sama…" And with that, Neji walked off, leaving his cousin behind.
"Neji…He can't like Naruto, can he? T-Then what am I supposed to do? I could never tell Naruto I like him personally. What does Neji mean fate has already decided the battle? Could he have feelings for Naruto, and have told him?! Oh my gosh, what am I going to do? How will I tell Naruto how I feel if I'm going to have to compete with Neji?" Hinata covered her blushing face, trying to keep calm. She knew she had to tell Naruto, but she was too shy to tell him in person.
"What am I going to do…?"
"There he is Kakashi!" The silver haired jounin lazily glanced up to see Naruto sitting where Neji had left him. He watched as Iruka ran towards the confused looking boy, and slowly meandered after, stifling a yawn as he turned the page in his book. Kakashi wasn't quite sure what was going on, but he knew there was no way Naruto could be sick, so that meant he could take him time.
Iruka on the other hand…
"Naruto, are you ok? How many fingers am I holding up? Do you know who I am?"
"I think so, 4, Iruka-sensei." The blond boy answered. Iruka looked alarmed and glanced around for Kakashi. What was taking that stupid jounin so long? Didn't he realize his student was ill?
"Kakashi! Hurry up! Naruto's really ill! I held up three fingers and he counted four!"
"That's because the dunce is too stupid to count right…" None other than Uchiha Sasuke had walked on to scene, smirking arrogantly in that way he knew pissed Naruto off.
"Sasuke, you bastard!"
"Sasuke, don't upset him, Naruto's sick today."
"Sasuke, please!" Sasuke turned to his former sensei and nodded.
"I have some stuff to do anyway. Don't be sick for too long, dumb ass. I don't want to be saving you on our next mission." Sasuke walked off towards the village, Iruka holding back Naruto, who was desperately trying to chase after him.
"Well, what did I miss?" Kakashi asked, showing up at last. Iruka glared at him, and the jounin took a slight step back and cowered slightly. Naruto watched the curiously for a moment. Since when did Kakashi-sensei or Iruka-sensei ever act like that? Iruka never ordered people around like that, and Naruto would bet his last bowl of ramen Kakashi never acted that way either.
Well…at least Sasuke is still Sasuke…
Naruto returned home alone, though Iruka had promised to stop by with dinner later that evening. He was surprised to find Shikamaru standing outside his house.
"Oi, Naruto, someone asked me to give this to you." Shikamaru stuck out a note and waited, rather impatiently, for Naruto to take it.
"And you've been waiting here for me all this time?" Naruto asked suspiciously. It was very unlike Shikamaru to put this much effort into anything.
"Who gave you this note…?" Naruto asked. Many people had been acting weird today, why shouldn't Shikamaru?
"Didn't see their face, didn't bother to figure it out…" Shikamaru responded. Naruto sighed. Well, that was pretty pointless. Naruto wondered why Shikamaru was going through so much effort to deliver this note to him. Not only had he brought it all the way to Naruto's house, but he had waited for Naruto to arrive home as well.
Very suspicious indeed.
"Ah, well, I've been feeling a bit under the weather recently, so I'm going to go lie down, ok Shikamaru?" The lazy ninja nodded, then wandered off, leaving Naruto alone.
Naruto sat down in a beat up old chair and opened up the letter.
Fate does strange things to a person, even one like me. It likes to curse people like me, spit on us, but occasionally, it throws things our way that we never would have expected. In this case, fate gave me Uzumaki Naruto. At first, I didn't like you, but really, who does when they first meet you? But lately, and knowing you, you haven't noticed or are confused by it, I have found myself thinking of you the way one thinks about a summer day. Like a light, like warmth, you've melted something in my life and I find myself thinking of you so often now.
What is it about you, dear Naruto, that draws me to you so? Since our first meeting, I have felt something for you I can't explain, something that has drawn me to you.
My dear Naruto, if this letter indeed reaches you, which I have made sure it will, then I wish to know if you feel the same. On the day of the cherry blossom festival, if you feel you could return my feelings, then please, wait outside your favorite place, and from there, I shall reveal myself.
-Your Unknown Admirer
"What the…Who the…?"
"WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON AROUND HERE!?"
Author's Commentary: Well, what do you think? I apologize right off for Neji, I really hate Neji and don't know how to make him act. Um, well…I hope you like this fic! And uh…Shikamaru ish hot. ^^