Disclaimer: Naruto belongs to Masashi Kishimoto. Yu Yu Hakusho belongs to Yoshihiro Togashi. I used both without knowledge of permission and for my own entertainment. No money was made. Yea, verily.

Rating: swearing, eventual boy-kissage and innuendo. Too racy for you? You decide.

Warnings: crossover, AU-ish, future silliness

Pairing: the main one: NaruSasu

Summary: Hinageshi's mistake means Naruto gets another shot at life. Yuusuke attempts to help. The others come along for the ride.

Authors' Note(s): Since I've only seen up to episode 60-something, and since I've only been able to read a smattering of the manga after that, and since we don't really know the conclusion of the whole Orochimaru-thing, I'm going to ignore that it happened (is happening...?).

Damage Control
By: SnS


Prologue:

Naruto didn't listen to his inner voice. Unlike most inner voices, which were a combination of omniscient mother and irate conscience, Naruto's was bloody rage and fury snarling, "Why the hell aren't you DEAD yet?" So he tended to ignore it.

Naruto listened to his inner teammates. He had a set of three, and they seemed to take turns offering commentary on the daily events of his life. This time, it was his inner Sasuke, standing with a hand on his hip and one of those annoyed/bored expressions that Naruto was so used to seeing.

"Well, that was stupid," inner Sasuke grumbled.

And, in all fairness, Naruto thought he might be right.

He really should have known better. But when you were on a mission with your rival, and your respected teacher, and your potential love interest and basically everyone in the world you wanted to impress the most, and then you make a mistake and let one of the bad guys get away, well...

You just had to go after them. You had to. Even if your chakra was dangerously low, even if previous blunders earlier in the mission had left you wounded, even if you'd lost a lot of blood already. And you ignored the demon laughing inside your head as you ran blindly and exuberantly into danger.

"You weren't thinking, were you, Naruto?" inner Sakura scolded, shoving imaginary Sasuke aside with an annoyance her real counterpart would never exhibit toward her crush. "Why don't you ever think?"

He really didn't have an answer for her, except that having an entity of rage and hate burning in his head 24/7 left little room for rational thought, sometimes. Not that he'd be allowed to say that to her, even if he had wanted to.

A sharp pain as he shifted in another attempt to sit up brought him back to his present situation. Fighter instincts, lagging a bit in a daze of pain, finally kicked him in the ass and told him to analyze his current position.

Enemy check: not bad; still twitching, but otherwise showing no signs of consciousness or, even better, any inclination to attack him again.

Self check: not so good; he was cold except for his side which was on fire with pain and his head was swimming, vision darkening. The demon was stirring inside, restless. Tasting death.

Now all he could do was hang on, press the demon back with what strength was left, growling You set me up, stupid fox, and wait for the others to find him.

Stay conscious. Stay conscious, dammit.

Man, he hated being rescued. Sasuke would never let him live this one down. Stupid asshole...better get here soon...

"U-Uzumaki-san?"

Naruto twitched in surprise as a tentative feminine voice addressed him in respectful tones. Kneeling beside him was a young girl in a strange outfit-bright white gi-like top, bright red pant-skirt-thing bottom. Her eyes were sad and worried as she surveyed his form.

"Oi," Naruto frowned. "What are you staring at?"

The girl eeped and blushed, and mumbled an apology as her eyes flicked back to his. And then something in her seemed to settle. Naruto couldn't make out what she was saying through the dull sound of his heartbeat in his ears, but her tone was tremulously soothing. He took a breath to tell her--what? That he was fine? And his breath hitched. It was hard to breathe; the air was like a weight was pressing down on him, cold...

The girl lay a gentle hand on his forehead as he struggled to keep the sudden panic down. Her nervousness melted into a serene, compassionate expression. Naruto thought he saw a glow brightening around her, but chalked it up to his fuzzy vision due to blood loss.

"Uzumaki Naruto," she intoned. "Do not be afraid. I've come to take you to the final lands of--ACK!"

Which is when he shoved her out of the way as the not-so-unconscious bad guy surged up behind her. No chakra left in either of them, so they both went for whatever was handy. The bad guy was bearing down with a kunai. Naruto's hand settled on a wooden rod of some sort--what the heck is--and swung it as hard as he could. Fortunately, the staff-thing Naruto had grabbed had a much longer reach than a kunai.

The flat, ladle-like end of Naruto's impromptu weapon cracked as it connected with the other shinobi's head. The man bounced when he hit a tree, landed hard and didn't look as if he were going anywhere after that.

Naruto collapsed back, the pain in his side a roar that blocked out everything else. The girl scrambled to her feet beside him, a horrified look in her eyes.

"Oh...oh no! Er, hang on, Uzumaki-san!"

The hands she placed on his chest were warm and gentle and he didn't have the energy to tell her that trying to stop the bleeding now probably wasn't going to help anything.

"Oh," he heard her whisper forlornly. "What am I going to do now?"

And then he passed out.


A/N continued: Okay, for those who may not know or remember, Hinageshi is the little ferry-girl-in-training from the Yu Yu Hakusho movie. Also (and I swear I'll shut up in a minute) this is me tentatively feeling my way into the Naruto fandom. Forgive me if characterizations and/or terminology are slightly off.