Yarr! My first Naruto fic! I wasn't sure whether or not I wanted to start this thingy, seeing as I don't know what to do with it. Still, I had the urge to write something and this is what I'm doing. I plan on finally trying to continue a long story and actually get past 5 chapters. Haha.

Edited by Ghostninja85

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or any of the characters and blah! So, nyah! You can't sue me now! (attempts to chuck demonic plushies at anyone who dares say otherwise)

Fragile Bonds

Chapter 1: Thinking Back

"Stay away from him! He's dangerous!" an elderly woman hissed, dragging a small child away. The little brown haired boy turned around to meet his eyes with sad, emerald orbs.

Naruto sighed. "Grr…" he frowned and turned to face the wall. "Why me?"

It always bothered him when people threw spiteful glances at him as he walked down a street or into a store. There was never a day that he could go without being glared at. On some occasions, those who had the guts would actually lash out.

As years went by, the irritation from that treatment began to disappear. He had found the respect and acknowledgement that he needed from his friends. Still, he did have his bad moments. Like now…

"Kyah! I should have done something!" Yes, he could picture it now.

He would be standing there in all his triumphant glory, cackling as the woman was stuffed into a garbage bin, headfirst. He punched the air with his fist. "Yeah!"

He sighed. "Yeah, right. A huge mob of old women would come and run me over after that."

It wasn't as bad as it used to be. After realizing that he was indeed a good ninja and helped the village, the people began to soften up a bit. Though they still glared at him every once in a while. He was their way to vent out their anger.

Naruto yawned, sitting up in his bad. He stretched an arm out and scratched the back of his head with the other. He glanced over at the clock.

9:13 A.M.

'At least I don't have any missions today,' he thought. Naruto tried to get out of the bed when a sudden pain shot through his back. "Eep!!" he squeaked as his feet tangled with the bed sheets, dragging everything down onto the floor.

"Why does everything hurt so bad…?" he squirmed his way out of the sheets, rubbing his sore back.


Naruto winced. "Oh yeah," he said, a hint of distaste apparent in his voice. He sighed again. "Why does he always get away with everything?"

Dumb question.

'That's right,' he thought. 'He's the great Uchiha Sasuke! Everyone praises him and wants to be like him! Women kiss the ground he walks on!' He didn't notice himself mouth out everything he was saying, making ridiculous movements to go along with it. He even took a sheet and wrapped it around his head, kicking his heel into the air like a girl.

"Ah, is this a new dance?"

Naruto immediately ran into the mirror, falling onto his bottom. He yanked off the sheet and glared at his visitor. "Can't you use the door like normal people?! People need their privacy!" He huffed, folding his arms across his chest and turned away.

'Stupid former sensei and his stupid lateness and stupid inability of using the door.'

Kakashi grinned, taking joy in troubling his old student. "Why don't you go get dressed? I'll wait here."

The blonde raised an eyebrow. "Why?"

"Just listen to your sensei, okay?"

"You aren't anymore and even if you were, I wouldn't listen," he said rather childishly. He stuck his tongue out, adding to the effect.

"Fine, fine. Just go get dressed already. We're going somewhere."

Naruto still wasn't listening. He was a bit stressed out since bringing Sasuke back. It was irritating. Naruto was always blamed throughout his entire life for something he never actually did, and after Sasuke randomly stomps off to go get his ass hacked off, everyone just welcomes him back with open arms. Some people even had the nerve to try and blame him for it.

'That demon boy is having an influence on him, that's all! It's not his fault!'

He bit down, hard. His teeth made an ugly, cracking noise from the pressure. And even more annoying was that Sasuke didn't say anything against it. He just stood there, letting them put the blame on him. That just made him hate the raven-haired boy even more.

"Erm, Naruto?"

He shook his head. 'Forget about that jerk,' he thought. "Uh… what if I refuse?"

A mischievous glint formed in Kakashi's eye. Even with his mask, it was enough for Naruto to know that he was smiling.

"I don't think that's an option!" he said, jumping into the room from his spot on the windowsill. He waved a camera in front of Naruto's face. "Well, unless you don't mind my showing these pictures to everyone. I can see the look on Sakura's face now."

Naruto's eyes bulged.

"Oh, and I wonder what Sasuke would do?"

At this point, Naruto's eyes were on the edge of popping out of his sockets.

Naruto went red in the face. "Dammit!" he lunged at the jounin, trying desperately to save his pride. Of course, he failed and instead hit the floor. Again.

"Nah uh. You can't have it until you go get changed."

Finally accepting his defeat, Naruto decided to do as Kakashi said. He stomped out of the room mumbling something about a chicken and a sharp, pointy object. Kakashi thought about this for a moment trying to put two and two together. He shook his head. On second thought, he didn't want to know.

The blonde continued his grumbling all the way through his morning tasks. He wiped his face off with his towel and was about to leave when something caught his eye. He turned to the counter to see a small frame. It was the picture of Team 7.

'Why is that here?'

Naruto couldn't remember when he had moved it. He smiled. As much as he would like to deny it, he actually liked doing those silly missions. Of course, they had gotten dull once in a while, but it was still fun. In a way, he kind of missed Kakashi's late arrivals (though that hasn't really changed), Sakura's lectures, and yes… even Sasuke's attempts to walk all over him. Okay, maybe he didn't miss that aspect of Sasuke.

Everyone had moved up from their genin positions. Shikamaru was still a chuunin as well, but he was sure that he'd be moved up to the jounin level soon enough. I doubt he'd even have to lift a finger. Naruto pouted. 'I guess being a super genius pays off sometimes.' he thought.

Well, it didn't really matter. It was still fun working with him. Ever since Shikamaru was appointed the mission to bring back Sasuke, he had developed a strong trust in Naruto and the other three.

Shikamaru and Naruto sat around a small fire. "Mission accomplished," Shikamaru said. Despite having completing their task, the satisfaction in having done so wasn't there. The others had been left behind…

He shifted. 'What if the other three hadn't made it? What if they-' he shook his head. 'No, they'll come back. I'm sure of it.' He glanced over to Naruto.

The blond sat with his legs crossed and arms folded across his chest. He seemed to be in deep thought. Shikamaru smirked. 'If it was possible for him to think anything aside from ramen or becoming the next Hokage.' He frowned.

"Hey, Naruto."

His companion opened his eyes and looked at him questioningly.

"What…" Shikamaru stopped. The blond raised an eyebrow. "What did you do to convince him to come back with us?" he asked. For the first time since they had brought him back, Shikamaru spared the sleeping boy a glance. Sasuke was curled up by the fire looking just as exhausted as the other two did. He had been in that state when he found them both.

Naruto thought about this for a moment. What did he do to help him anyway? He rubbed the back of his head and grinned. "Hehe. Actually, I don't really know myself. One moment we were fighting and the next, I was bringing him back."

That wasn't the answer Shikamaru had expected, but realizing that Naruto had mixed feelings over the question himself, he decided to leave it at that. He didn't really care, in any case. He never really did like the guy. Still, he was glad in the end that Naruto had come along. It's true; he was the only one that could have brought Sasuke back. Had he not come, the mission would have been a failure. I doubt any of them would have been able to bring him back.

What confused him was why Naruto made such an impact on the other boy. The two were complete opposites and would argue just about every time they were together. 'Yet…' he was starting to get a headache. 'I'm not even going to think about it, it's so bothersome.'

This brought up another question. "How did you beat that sound nin?"

Shikamaru smirked. "Despite the large difference in our strengths, I was able to fight her off for a while, but I knew that I was at a disadvantage." Naruto looked at him in confusion. He sighed. "I got some help."

"Eh? Help?" he gestured for him to go on.

"Yeah, Temari came along to help."

"Temari?! You mean that girl with the huge fan? Are you sure?"

Shikamaru slapped his forehead. Sometimes, Naruto made him tired. "Yes, I'm sure!"

Naruto folded his arms again. "So, if she was here…"

The other boy caught on. "Yeah. Kankuro and Gaara must have come as well." This raised their hopes. He saw a hopeful glint in Naruto's blue eyes. "Well, since she helped me…"

"Then we were helped by the others."

Naruto and Shikamaru spun around. "Neji!" Naruto yelled. He jumped forward to hug his friend.

"Aah! No!" He sent a swift punch to Naruto's head, knocking him to the ground.

"Oww... Okay, no hugs. Got it."

Shikamaru sighed in exasperation, turning his attention away from the blond. Naruto was really good at giving him a headache. "Then where are the others?"

"Right here."

Naruto looked up from his new place on the ground. "Chouji! Kiba! LEE!" They all stepped out of the dark, accompanied by Kankuro, Temari, and Gaara.

Shikamaru smirked. The mission had started out with five members sent to retrieve Uchiha Sasuke and ended with nine members. 'I don't think we would have made it alive, had it not been for them.' He smiled seeing all of them gathering around the fire.

"Mission accomplished," he whispered to himself. It was only then that he really felt as though he had completed his mission.

Naruto smiled. Two years had passed since then and everything had gone back to normal. Well, as normal as it could get. His smiled dropped. "It has been a while since I've seen the others without it being mission related," he whispered.

"Oi, Naruto! You done?"

He frowned and went back to grumbling.

'Stupid Kakashi and always interrupting him.'

A pink-haired girl sat cross-legged on a picnic table. She tapped a finger on her chin. "How long does it take to get someone?!" she flung her arms up in the air.

"This is too troublesome…" mumbled a bored Shikamaru.

"Oh, stop complaining!" Ino yelled, her hands on her hips.

This earned a grunt from Shikamaru. "Whatever. It wasn't my idea to send Kakashi of all people to do this," he said, lying down on the grass.

She shook her head. 'He finds everything troublesome,' she thought. 'Why did I have to fall in love with this guy?' she smiled, watching her lazy boyfriend doze off.

"I must agree, Sakura. Why did you ask Kakashi?"

Sakura slumped her shoulders. Why had she anyway?

"I-uh… Well…"

Lee sighed. "It's okay, he'll come eventually," he said, putting a comforting hand on Sakura's shoulder. She smiled.

"I don't know about that." She frowned. Knowing Kakashi, it wouldn't surprise her if it took him another three hours to get Naruto here. Something clicked. She turned around to the group of people, seated at random areas on the hill.

"Hey, Sasuke!"

He was leaning against the tree, a leg crossed over the other. He looked up.

"Why don't you go check up on them?" she said, a pleading look in her eye.

"Hn." He pushed off with his back to a standing position. "Why should I be the one to go get that idiot?"

"Oh, come on!" she pouted. "Please?"

He took off without another word.

"Are those two still fighting?" Lee asked sadly.

Sakura had to smile at that. "When have they not?" They've been at each other's throats since the very beginning. 'Maybe this'll give them a chance to patch things up…' She clapped her hands together. "Well, what are we waiting for?" she beamed at everyone. "Let's get to work!"

Hm, that was rather dull wasn't it? Sadly, my stories always start off like that. Er, with fanfictions at least. I always have to give explanations for what happened. Sorry if I changed the way things went during the mission to get Sasuke back. If I remember correctly, the parents of Neji and Chouji came to get them. Wait, or am I thinking of that scene where they go to fight Gaara? AAAHH!

Ah, whatever. I just know that I didn't get to see what happened to the others after that point. From then on, Naruto and Sasuke were fighting. Well, it will get much better later on! I promise!! Please let me know what you think. I don't like flames, but constructive criticism is always welcome.

Oh yeah! I'll be replying to reviews in this section. If anyone needs to ask questions or something or if I need to say something, I'll just do that here.