One day had passed since the debut of Dark and Mysterious Naruto, the Akatsuki-cloak-clad version, and it was the dawn of the 2nd day now. And boy, Naruto already liked what was happening so far!

"Good morning, Narutokun!"

"Hiii, Narutokun!"

"Hey Narutokuuun, are you doing anything over the weekend?!"

"Hee hee hee!" Naruto grinned his foxboy grin from inside his Akatsuki cloak as smitten starry-eyed fangirls called his name from all directions. "Ladies, ladies! I'm so sorry, but my heart already belongs to someone else!"

The fangirls would not be denied as they crowded around Naruto, tugging and pulling and yanking on his sleeves, shamelessly begging for a date. And then poof! The fangirls blinked in shock as "Naruto" vanished into thin air. That had not been the real Naruto. It had been a kage bunshin!

"Oh poop!" The fangirls clamored in agitation. "He got away from us again!" Then they all let out a collective dreamy sigh, clasping their hands to their chests as their eyes became star struck once again. "Oh, that Naruto! He is such a clever, dark, and mysterious fiend..."

Meanwhile, the real Naruto had swooped over by Sakura and her locker, and he was coolly leaning against a couple neighboring lockers, his fierce blue eyes casually checking out his teammate/childhood-crush in that manner which only dark and mysterious bad-asses checked out their targeted girls. His phenomenally dark and mysterious Akatsuki cloak was parted slightly open to reveal loosely fitting denim pants and a slick black leather jacket, his gaudy juvenile orange jumpsuit a thing of the past thanks to Itachisan's wardrobe suggestions. Naruto's thumbs were casually hooked into the denim pants pockets, and he was slowly chewing bubble gum, jaw deliberately grinding and massaging away at the rubbery wad.

Sakura could feel his bold eyes all over her, and she blushed, too shy to look up from her bookbag as she asked with a little smile, "Is there something you wanted to talk about, Naruto?"

"Well, babe." Naruto always used the word "babe" now whenever he talked to Sakura, because Itachisan had told him that it was the pimp thing to do. "I was just wondering, you doing anything after school today?"

Sakura's blush darkened as she ducked her head and smiled in spite of herself. "Oh, well, I do have a couple errands to run for my mother, and I also have to... clean my room... and... maybe later, Naruto... but thanks for asking..."

Naruto was prepared for the rejection, thanks to Itachisan's warnings, and yesterday, Itachisan had prepared a speech which Naruto had memorized inside his head (a short speech obviously, due to his less-than-stellar cranial capacity): "Hey babe, no problem. I understand, you and Sasuke and all... catch you later, okay?"

Naruto popped the bubble gum, flashed a fox boy grin, and he swaggered off, his Akatsuki cloak floating behind him in a really cool manner a la Darth Vader's cape or something. The blushing Sakura turned for a moment to watch him leave, and then she turned to giggle and chatter excitedly with Ino (who was both happy and jealous about the attention which her best friend was receiving from the totally cool, dark, and mysterious Naruto)...

Little did Naruto and Sakura know that, from around the corner, everything had been witnessed by a pair of demoralized and disheartened Hyuuga eyes from behind a pair of huge, thick, and nerdy eyeglasses...

Hinata knew she had to do something. She just knew it. She could not just sit back and passively hope that Naruto and Sakura would not get together. So far, yes, Sakura had been able to deflect Naruto's advances. However, it was obvious to everyone that the pink-haired kunoichi's resistance was crumbling with each passing minute, and it was only a matter of time before Naruto's newfound suaveness and charm swept her off her feet. As a matter of fact, Hinata was afraid that if she didn't do something by today, it would already be too late. That was how precarious the situation had become.

And so, Hinata started to think. She started to scheme. She started to think of ways to break up Naruto and Sakura, even if her planning was a bit premature. Resources. She needed to mobilize all of the resources at her disposal. What resources did she have? She kept a mental inventory inside her head as she quickly patted down her personal self. She had her Byakugan. Her newfound ability to see tenketsus. Her two fists. A dozen kunai and shuriken currently inside her pouch. That jar of medicinal cream which she always carried around. A yoyo. Two pens (one ballpoint, one felt tip). One pencil (wooden, not mechanical). A pink square eraser. Approximately seven dollars in bills and change. A half-eaten pack of Lifesavers. A rubber band which had somehow found its way inside her jacket's pockets.

Hinata grimaced. Geez. For the first born child of the main house of Hyuuga, she sure didn't have that much stuff going for her. She looked around herself in the classroom. It was lunchtime now, and it was pretty much empty. She had come here in order to have some peace and solitude for her brainstorming session, but much to her surprise, she was not the only occupant of the classroom. That Shikamaru guy was way back there, head lying on his desk and sleeping soundly, having slept throughout the entire morning and right into lunch. Huh. What a slacker.

Hinata turned back to face the front of the empty classroom again. She already had an idea about what she wanted to do, at least. She had to figure out a way to make Naruto offend Sakura so much, that Sakura would be forever repulsed by Naruto and never find him attractive ever again, no matter how cool and dark and mysterious he might be. It would be a lot easier to achieve this than to achieve the vice versa situation, due to Naruto's more forgiving nature, Hinata was sure. Hence, it was the choice plan of action.

But how could she make Naruto offend Sakura? Naruto always made sure to be on his best behavior around Sakura. He would never try to do anything to offend Sakura or hurt her feelings. In a way, Hinata thought to herself, it was unfortunate that Naruto hadn't picked up some of those lecherous habits from his nasty old pervert sensei, Jiraiyasan. She was pretty sure that if Naruto ever did something perverted like, say, pinch Sakura's butt, Sakura would break his nose and blast him straight into the emergency room. But alas, Naruto would never do something like that...

A light bulb flashed above Hinata's head. No, wait a minute. That was not exactly true. Granted, Naruto would never willingly do something like pinch Sakura's butt. However, what if someone forced him to do it? Against his will?

Yes, yes, yes, she had seen the light! Mu ha ha ha, it was all coming together now...

Sweet Nice Hinata's benevolent face was morphing now, twisting and warping into a familiar sinister caricature. The mild forehead creased into a heavy shadowy brow. The gentle eyes became narrow venomous crevices. Her little half-smile abruptly turned downwards into a surly perpetual snarl...

She had arrived. BIG - BAD - HINATA was here to take care of business!

First things first. With a deep throated cackle, Big Bad Hinata turned around to cast her evil evil eyes once again upon the sleeping Shikamaru...

"Yawwwn!" Shikamaru yawned mightily as he lifted his head up from his desk to survey the still empty classroom. As the groggy haze of slumber lifted away from his genius mind, he blinked a couple times to wipe away the unfocused bleariness, and he smacked his lips and tongue a couple more times. "Man, it's lunch time already? I hope I still have time to go out and get something from the cafeteria."

He blinked when he realized that Hinata was sitting in front of him. She was looking at him rather intently, which was odd, because she was usually too shy to maintain eye contact with anyone for an extended period of time. He didn't think much of it, though, as he greeted her. "Yo, what's up, Hinata."

"Hi, Sh-Shikamaru. Did you sleep well?"

Her voice was still its stammering self, he noticed, but yet, there was something different this time. Instinctively, something started to nag him in the back of his mind now, as he said, "Yeah, it was nice. I'm glad that Ankosan is pretty cool about kids sleeping in class."

"Mmm, I see." Hinata nodded. "Well, it's good that you're well-rested, because that means y-y-you will have plenty of energy when you help me accomplish my master plan. Oh, and by the way! From now on, feel free to address me as Hinatasama from now on."

"Huh?!" Shikamaru wrinkled his face at Hinata's odd words and suddenly faint hostility, and he wondered if maybe he was still dreaming. "What master plan? And why should I call you Hinatasama?"

"F-f-fu fu fu fu!" Big Bad Hinata chortled in a quavering version of Orochimaru's cackle as she held up a pink hand mirror for Shikamaru to observe. "You will call me Hinatasama from now on, because if you don't, I'll fry your brains into lumpy bits of charcoal! Fu fu fu fu!"

"What the heck!" Shikamaru gaped as he realized that he now had a Caged Bird seal imprinted on his forehead, just like Neji (you know, that swastika Nazi tattoo). "Did you do this to my forehead while I was asleep?!"

"Fu fu fu fu!" Big Bad Hinata was so delighted with her evil self, she could say nothing more as she held a hand over her mouth. "Fu fu fu fu!"

Shikamaru now realized what was going on (or so he thought). "Okay, Hinata, I get it now. This is some sort of joke, right? Kiba put you up to this, didn't he?"

Hinata suddenly glowered at him. "Oh dear, you didn't call me Hinatasama!" She sighed. "I guess I have no choice but to overcook your brains now. Don't worry, it won't hurt too much. You'll just be rolling around on the floor in agony for five minutes or so, ha ha ha haaa!"

Hinata suddenly did a hand seal as her eyes creased into evil looking Byakugan eyes! And Shikamaru flinched as he braced himself for whatever pain she had prepared for him...

Shikamaru blinked. Then he blinked again. Then he relaxed as he reached up to gingerly feel his forehead. "Am I supposed to be in pain?"

"W-w-what?!" Hinata did the hand seal again, but to no avail. For all intents and purposes, Shikamaru was perfectly fine. "It's not working? This can't be!"

Shikamaru sighed as he stood up from his desk. "Ok, Kiba, you can come out now! Shame on you for making Hinata do such a silly thing!"

"No, no, no!" Hinata yelled as she also stood up from her desk, and she did the hand seal yet again. "I did everything correctly, you're supposed to be rolling around in terrible agony as your neurons rupture into nerve endings at the cellular level! No, no, no, this can't be happening!"

Shikamaru shook his head. "Oh man, I think Kiba drugged you or something, Hinata, because you sure are acting weird - "

He suddenly stopped talking, as a loud grumbling squeal sounded from within his belly. He looked down at his tummy, as did Hinata. "Huh? What was that - OH CRAP!" Shikamaru suddenly doubled over as he was hit by the worst case of diarrhea he had EVER experienced. "What the fuck!"

Another noxious and ominous rumble sounded from his stomach, and, still doubled over, he instantly knew that he had to find a restroom. Fast. He was already channeling every single ounce of his chakra into his sphincter muscles, and it was still a battle he could not win. He had thirty seconds, tops, before all hell literally broke loose.

Still doubled over, he awkwardly lumbered past a surprised Hinata as he said over and over in a rather appropriate choice of words, "Oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap!"

Hinata turned to watch him hustle out of the classroom and into the hallway, and she heard his voice echo throughout the hallways, "OUTTA MY WAY! GET OUTTA MY WAY! COMING THROUGH, ARGH, WHAT'S GOING ON?!"

Big Bad Hinata then chuckled to herself, as she realized what had just happened. "Well, well, well, I now see what's going on. The seal did not quite have its intended effect, but nonetheless, it still does the job!" She rubbed her hands in glee now. "I guess Shikamaru is going to be my bitch after all, fu fu fu! Time to get my master plan underway!"

Ten minutes later, Big Bad Hinata was inside her brand new headquarters, which she had established inside a dark, dismal, and sinister room fitting for evil schemes (in other words, the school's basement), and she was pacing back and forth in front of her new manservant, a visibly drained and wobbly-kneed Shikamaru.

She barked, "So, Sh-Sh-Shikamaru, you know the plan now, right?!"

"Yes, Hinatasama, I understand everything, and I will do what you ask of me." Shikamaru groaned as he closed his eyes in exhaustion. Boy, he had never having been so dehydrated in his entire life. "Oh man, why are you doing this? What's the big deal between you and Naruto?"

"None of your business!" Hinata snapped. "All that matters is that you accomplish our objective: to forever alienate Sakura from Naruto!"

"Ok, ok, whatever." Shikamaru rolled his eyes. "I get the idea."

"Oh really? I don't think y-y-you do, Shikamaru! This is nothing to roll your eyes at! I swear, Sh-Sh-Shikamaru, if you fail this mission, you are going to be spending the next week sitting on a toilet in rapid-fire mode!"

"Yikes." Shikamaru winced at the none-too-idle threat. "In that case, Hinatasama, may I make a suggestion which might increase the chances of our mission?"

Hinata glowered at him, but she managed to ask in a civil tone, "What?"

"Although I can control Naruto's body, I will not be able to control his tongue and lips. In other words, he will be able to say whatever he wants."

"Oh! I see!" Hinata nodded furiously. "This is indeed a problem! Hmm, what to do?!"

"Well, if we want to ensure that this mission runs smoothly, it would be better if he cannot speak. Otherwise, it could complicate things." Shikamaru, as always, already had a solution figured out. "And fortunately for my bowels, I have an idea on how to solve this problem."

Neji Hyuuga ambled down the sidewalk, happily humming and staring up at the beautiful blue sky. He was in a rather good mood, surprisingly enough, considering his reputation for surliness. But really, ever since his fight with Naruto during the Chuunin Exam, he had been looking at life in a different - no, brighter - shade of light...

His keen eyesight detected a pair of familiar people just around the corner, and he raised an eyebrow at the odd couple. It was Hinatasama and... Shikamaru? No, it was not just Shikamaru. It was Shikamaru with a big rainbow-colored dunce cap sitting on top of his head?

Prodded by his curiosity, Neji was the first to start talking as the three converged onto the same point. "Greetings, Hinatasama. Greetings... Shikamaru?" Neji gave the sour-faced Chuunin a strange look. "Why are you wearing a dunce cap?"

Shikamaru merely grunted in reply, while Hinata sweetly answered, "Well, Nejisan, why don't you turn on your Byakugan and see what's underneath his cap?"

"Hmm?" An odd request. Neji shrugged and did it anyway. "Byakugan!"

His penetrating eyesight easily burrowed beyond the cheap gaudy felt of the dunce cap, and it now rested upon the previously hidden forehead of the unfortunate Shikamaru... Neji let out a gasp of horror at the familiar markings. "Hinatasama! No, you didn't!"

Big Bad Hinata cackled in delight. "Oh, but I did! I did! Fu fu fu fu!"

Neji took a closer look. "Uh, hmm... Hinatasama, you do know that the seal on his forehead isn't quite the same as mine, right? It looks like its been drawn backwards and upside down - "

"Shut up, Neji! Or perhaps you wish for me to deep fry your brains into crispy crusty finger-licking-good bat guano?!"

Neji paled at the ominous threat. "I am sorry, Hinatasama! It was wrong for me to point out the error of your ways!"

"Damn right it was. Smarty pants." Hinata huffed as she lowered her voice into a conspiratorial tone. "Now Neji, I need for you to listen up. I have a mission for you and Shikamaru..."

Lunch break had just ended, and the Dark and Mysterious Naruto happily hummed as he made his way over towards Sakurachan's locker once again. He could sense that her resistance was ebbing away, and he was almost absolutely sure that if he asked her out this time, she would say yes! Oh boy oh boy, this would be so cool -

Someone roughly plowed into him from behind, nearly knocking him off his feet, and Naruto barked in anger, "Hey, what gives?!" He turned around to see Neji standing there with his arms crossed. "Neji! What's your problem, man?!"

Neji scowled, back to his old asshole self apparently, as he snapped, "My problem is with you, Naruto. You think that just because you have a cool cloak, you have changed. Let me tell you something, Naruto. Once a loser, always - "

"Always a loser, blah blah, yah yah yah, you told me all that crap already!" The fox boy aimed a finger at Neji's face. "If you got a problem with me, we can settle this anytime, any place!"

Neji snorted in condescension. "I see no need to stoop to your level, SHORTY."

Naruto blew up at the dig on his vertically challenged self. "Well, this shorty beat you up a couple months ago, remember?!"

"Bah. I was careless." Neji waved a dismissing hand. "Once a shorty, always a shorty. Besides, you know what they say about runts, right?"

"What do they say, you booger brain?!"

"Shorties like you have short... tongues!"

Naruto had been bristling in fury, but now he wore a confused look on his face. "Huh? Short tongues?"

"You head me right, loser. Shorties like you have short tongues, and you know what they say about people who have short tongues, right?"

"What?! You dirty bastard!" Naruto turned redfaced when he realized that quite a few people in the hallway were watching now, including Sakurachan! No way he could let Neji get away with something like that! He had to say something back!

Naruto yelled, "That's not true, Neji, and you know it! Just because I'm short, it doesn't mean that I have a short, uh, tongue!"

"Oh really? Then let's see what you have, shorty!"

Neji stuck out his tongue, and everyone gasped as the Hyuuga shamelessly showed off his rather large organ of taste. Tongue Neji smirked at the gawking Naruto, as Neji said, "How abouth thisth, shortieth? Is your tongueth as long as thisth?"

Naruto snuck a peek at Sakura, who was nervously watching Naruto, clearly afraid that her dark and mysterious studmuffin did not have a tongue as big as Neji's! Panicking now, Naruto growled as he yanked open his mouth. "Oh yeah, Neji, my tongue ain't so small either, you know! Why don't you get a load of this!"

Naruto then stuck out his also rather large tongue, and everyone gasped at the heightened tension of the tongue standoff! Naruto snuck another peek at Sakura, and he was glad to see that she was ecstatic that his tongue's size matched Neji's! Yes, he had done it! He had showed that Neji what's up!

Meanwhile, Neji's eyes had flashed, and that big glowing green ying yang circle for Hakke 64 appeared beneath the two elite genins. While the spectators squatted down to study the interesting lightshow which had suddenly appeared beneath their feet, Neji settled down into his attack stance for Hakke 64. His tongue still hanging out, Neji shouted, "Youth cannot escapeth, Narutoth! You arf in my rangeth! Hakkeshouth Rokujuuth Yonshouth!"

In a flash, Neji's left hand had seized Naruto by the tongue. And before the fox boy could even begin to utter a muddled squawk of discomfort, the Hyuuga's right hand had already riddled Naruto's tongue with 64 tenketsu-disabling strikes!

Naruto tried to yell, "What the fuck!" But unfortunately, his tongue no longer worked, due to Neji's attack! All Naruto's lips could issue was drooling meaningless gibberish that sounded roughly like, "Wabba da faah!"

Naruto then blinked, as he realized that Neji had already let go of his tongue and run off down the hallway. That Hyuuga coward! A hit and run attack, huh?! What a cheap bastard!

Then a nervous voice from behind soothed Naruto's nerves. "Naruto, are you okay? Did he hurt you?"

Naruto turned to see a worried Sakura standing behind him. The fox boy grinned to show that nothing was wrong, as he tried to say, "Oh no, of course he didn't hurt me!"

But unfortunately, due to his malfunctioning tongue, what Naruto actually said was, "Ah na, ah clah ha nana ha mah!" And to top it off, he was uncontrollably drooling now, and a few globs of spittle now splashed down onto Sakura's nose, thanks to his efforts at communication.

Sakura made a face as she wiped her nose dry. "Ewww, Naruto! Are you sure you're okay?"

Hinata and Shikamaru were watching from around the corner, and Hinata could now see that this was the opportune time to strike. She clapped a hand onto Shikamaru's shoulder, as she hissed, "Now!"

Shikamaru nodded as he settled back and formed that familiar hand seal of his. "Kagemane no jutsu!"

Naruto was now attempting to apologize to Sakura for his errant drool, but all he ended up doing was spitting more drool onto her, and frankly, it was not making the situation any better. Sakura was becoming visibly irritated now, because even though this was Dark and Mysterious Naruto, he was also being Unbearably Gross and Disgusting Naruto. And "Unbearably Gross and Disgusting" beat out "Dark and Mysterious" ten out of ten times.

"Naruto, what's wrong with you?!" Sakura wiped away more spittle from her nose now. "Why are you drooling onto me?"

A panicky Naruto decided that maybe he shouldn't try to talk anymore, and he tried to hold up a hand to pacify the grouchy kunoichi. But then Naruto barked in drooling shock when he realized that he could not move his arms!

Naruto tried to yell, "What the fuck is going on?!" But unfortunately, all he managed to do was spit even more onto the maddened Sakura. Then Naruto yelped as his legs suddenly started to move on their own, stiffly walking him towards the nearest wall. He began to yell even more now (at least he wasn't drooling on Sakura anymore), as he suddenly stopped in front of the wall.

And he began to lick the wall. Repeatedly. Over and over. Somehow, someway, the formerly Dark and Cool and Mysterious Naruto was licking the dusty plaster wall as if it was the world's tastiest lollipop.

Sakura gaped at the utterly disgusting act which Naruto was performing. "Naruto, why are you licking the wall?! I don't think it's sanitary to do something like that! If you're trying to show off your tongue to me, stop it, okay?! I can already see that your tongue isn't as short as Neji said it would be!"

At those words, Naruto suddenly realized that he had stopped licking the wall. The bewildered fox boy then breathed a sigh of relief - oh no! He yelped as his hips started to thrash about all over the place! What the heck was going on!

"Ayiee!" Sakura screamed in mortification as Naruto began to randomly hump the air with frantic exaggerated motions, his hips thrusting out this way and that. "NARUTO, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE DOING THIS IN FRONT OF A GIRL!"

As Sakura frantically clapped one hand over her formerly virgin eyes, her other hand cocked back in a fist - KAPOW! And just like that, Naruto's wild air-humping session was abruptly ended with a rocket to the face that sent him flying into the wall which he had just cleaned with his tongue.

Ino rushed forward to comfort her poor violated friend, and while Sakura screamed and cried into Ino's arms, Naruto found himself scrambling to his feet for even more! Naruto screamed, "Noo, what's happening to me - NOOO! NOOOOO!" Naruto's eyes bulged in horror as his hand stuck out in front of him, the two forefingers spread out like claws and ready to pinch its prey. He fought with all of his might to pull his hand back into the realms of decency, but alas, he could not; the power of Kyuubi was no match for Shikamaru's adrenalin-boosted desperation to preserve the intactness of his bowels.

And so, Naruto began to walk towards his death. With his hand outstretched, he slowly made his way towards the sobbing Sakura and the motherly Ino. The fox boy was visibly shaking and trembling, Kyuubi orange chakra gushing all over the place as he struggled to free himself from whatever had seized him. However, just around the corner, an equally sweaty and trembling Shikamaru would not be denied as he forced Naruto to edge closer to certain doom, Shikamaru periodically casting terrified glances towards the nearby Hinata and her raised hands, which were a mere inch away from performing the activation of the Caged Bird seal upon his forehead...

Sakura bawled into Ino's chest, "Oh my god, Ino, I can't believe Naruto is being so gross to me! I only flirted with him a little bit, and now he's taking advantage of me by drooling all over me and doing all these sexual innuendo things like licking walls and humping the air - OH MY GOD, I can't believe this is happening to me! Waaaah! I didn't want this! I didn't ask for this! I don't deserve to be treated like this!"

"Now now, hush hush, Sakura, everything will be all right." Ino held her victimized friend closely as she patted a reassuring hand onto Sakura's back. "Don't worry, it's all over now NARUTO!" Ino's eyes bulged in pure unadulterated shock. "NARUTO WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!"

It was too late. Naruto tried to warn Sakura with one last drooling shout: "LA WAH SAKAHA CHA! LA WAH!" But alas, all he did was drool incessantly all over her back, as his pincer-like hand rushed forward to claim its victim...

Half an hour later, a mummified Naruto was being loaded into the back of a wailing ambulance. I use the term "mummified" because his thoroughly pulverized body was now encased completely inside one big bandaged body cast. Forty nine fangirls were squealing anxiously over the fall of their dark and mysterious studmuffin, and one of them was even thoughtful enough to wrap his now-tattered Akatsuki cloak around his body cast.

"Get well soon, Narutokun!"

"I hope you feel better soon, Narutokun!"

"I'll visit everyday, Narutokun, and I'll bring you fresh flowers!"

From inside the two eyeholes (and airholes) of the body cast, Naruto could only roll his eyes, groan in feeble agony, and pass out into blissful unconsciousness as the painkillers finally took effect...

Hinata was no longer Big Bad Hinata, having reverted back a long while ago. And right now, she was feeling very bad about herself, as she surveyed the aftermath of the destruction which her big bad alter ego had wreaked. Naruto was being rushed en route to the hospital in stable yet critical condition. Shikamaru was currently getting his sprained neck looked at by the school nurse; he had not released the shadow bind in time to avoid injury, and he had suffered a serious case of whiplash when Sakura first unloaded her wrath upon the hapless Naruto. And last, but not least, a sobbing tearstained Sakura was all alone now, suffering through the post-event trauma of the violations she had suffered.

Since Naruto and Shikamaru were unavailable at the moment, Hinata decided that maybe she should first apologize to Sakura. However, understandably enough, Hinata was not quite sure how to go about her apology. Hi, Sakura, I'm sorry that I made Naruto pinch your butt! Hi, Sakura, I'm sorry that I made Naruto drool all over you and repeatedly invade your personal space! Hi, Sakura, I'm sorry that I made Naruto perform obscene humping gestures in your general direction!

Hinata knew that there was no way Shikamaru or Neji would ever tell anyone about their little plan, because her big bad alter ego had threatened them repeatedly into silence. But still, she felt so badly for Sakura, Hinata knew that she had to approach Sakura and apologize to her. Maybe people would think worse of Hinata because of this catastrophe, but really, it was the right thing to do.

Hinata had been tailing Sakura throughout the school's hallways for quite some time now (Hinata was very good at tailing people without them noticing her, thanks to her countless Naruto-stalking expeditions), and the Hyuuga girl had almost gathered up enough courage to walk up and apologize to Sakura. But then Hinata noticed that Sakura had abruptly stopped in front of a doorway, and Hinata also stopped, wondering what was going on.

Sakura had been wandering aimlessly throughout the school, cursing boys, cursing dark and mysterious boys, cursing dark and mysterious fox boys, cursing dark and mysterious and DISGUSTING and VULGAR and CRUEL fox boys. Oh, she had learned her lesson now! She would never ever fall for a dark and mysterious boy ever again! She was through with them! Finished! No more! Nada!

She didn't care if the boy was the darkest and most mysterious boy ever (or mysteriousest, as Stoner Itachi would say). She didn't care if a boy was incredibly dark and mysterious and crazy and wild! Such a boy would never be sexy in her eyes ever again! If she ever saw a dark and mysterious boy do something crazy and wild like smash Big Macs onto his head?! Hah! No more! She was immune! Such a feat would no longer be immensely attractive to her! Down with the dark and mysterious boys! Down with all the crazy and wild things they did!

With all these violent thoughts raging inside her charmingly wide noggin, Sakura almost didn't hear the curious racket which was emanating from a room nearby. She couldn't quite describe the cacophony of chaos which her ears now detected, but it sounded vaguely like a high-pitched musical whining accompanied by the operation of heavy machinery?

Curiosity now sweeping throughout her traumatized mind, Sakura turned her head to look through the open doors of a nearby gym room. And at the sight of the awesome spectacle before her, she could not help but gasp in excitement and blush like all get out.

The dark and mysterious Shino Aburame was in the middle of the room, and he was calmly bouncing up and down on a pogo stick and blowing repeatedly on a neon orange kazoo which he had nestled inside his lips. Not only that, he was also wearing a blindfold over his sunglasses, juggling seven live gasoline-operated chainsaws at once, and scratching the inside of his left calf with his right foot in between pogo jumps!

Sakura clasped her hands over her chest, struggling in vain to still her rapidly beating heart as her wide green eyes admired the incredibly captivating display of wildly sexy manliness before her. Now, normally the pogo stick and neon kazoo alone would be crazy and wild enough to drive any girl into paroxysms of rabid fangirl adulation. But when you added on the chainsaw juggling act while blindfolded and scratching the inside of a leg with his other foot?!

Needless to say, it was love at first sight.

Shino did not notice Sakura's doting eyes at first, but after half a minute, he finally felt the girl's eyes roving all over him, and he turned his head to coolly nod to her in acknowledgment. In between kazoo toots, he greeted her in that dark, mysterious, and sexy voice of his: "Hello, Sakurasan. How are you?"

Sakura madly blushed at the simple little gesture, and she waved back, shouting over the racket of the chainsaws: "I am fine, Shinosan! How are you?!"

"I am fine, thank you for asking. Hold on for a minute. I am almost done with my training."

Sakura nodded, watching in rapture as Shino continued his training exercise for another minute or so. And then, still juggling the chainsaws and bouncing on the pogo stick, he bent his head down to drop the kazoo from his mouth into the chest pocket of his big ass blue coat (goosebumps were now elicited from her neck). He then jumped off the pogo stick, letting it fall to the ground with a clatter as he continued to juggle the chainsaws, maneuvering the dangerous devices so that they followed his backstep (even more goosebumps now). And then, finally and insanely enough, he caught all seven chainsaws one by one, somehow snagging each of them by their plastic handles until he had all seven chainsaws dangling and roaring from one outstretched hand (a veritable mountain range of goosebumps had now spread all over her body due to the sheer craziness of it all).

While Shino proceeded to turn off the chainsaws one by one, Sakura knew it. Her whole body knew it, from the depths of her heart to the marrow inside her bones. She had found her one true love. She had found her soulmate. Shino was the one.

And yet, she was still so shy, as she murmured, "Shinosan, that was a very, um, impressive training exercise!"

Shino nodded as he took off his blindfold. "Thank you, Sakurasan. That exercise is part of a secret training regimen devised by the Aburame clan throughout the years."

Sakura raved, "That was so awesome and cool! I never thought that anyone could do something as crazy and wild as that!"

The dark and mysterious bug boy seemed to shrug, although his shoulders did not budge an inch. "Actually, Sakurasan, that was only the warmup exercise. The main part of the regimen is far more grueling than what you witnessed just now."

There was even more?! Sakura was almost beside herself now, her head swimming with mind-boggling infatuation as she managed to croak, "That is so wonderful, Shinosan! I never knew you could do such things!"

"Hmm. Well, not many people know about these exercises, since they are a clan secret."

"Oh, they are a clan secret?! I'm so sorry, I shouldn't be watching!" Sakura hastily turned to go. "I'll leave you alone now, Shinosan! I'm so sorry that I watched part of your secret training! I couldn't help it, I was just curious about the noise - "

"I don't mind if you watch."

Sakura instantly turned around, face blotching in heated eagerness as she almost yelled, "You don't?!"

"Not at all." Shino had put his blindfold back on, and he was picking up the chainsaws from the ground again as he headed towards a pull-up bar. "It would be my pleasure if you watched me train."

"Oh my god!" Inner Sakura was squealing in excitement. "He's flirting with me! The totally dark, mysterious, crazy, wild, and superhot Shinosan is flirting with me! He wants me to watch! Omigod, Sakurachan, I think you've hit the jackpot with this guy!"

She then heard Shino firing up the chainsaws once again, and she realized that Shino was now doing a different exercise that was even more crazy and wild than before! With his blindfold on, he was using his tongue to do pullups, his hands to juggle the chainsaws once again, and his hips were hula hooping with a hula hoop in mid air!

Needless to say, Sakura almost fainted from the sheer hotness of it all, but she managed to keep herself conscious as she forced her trembling self to sit down and watch as calmly as she could... and as she watched him do his pullups and juggling and hula hooping, she couldn't help but notice in giddy glee: "Omigod, Shinosan's tongue is absolutely huge!"

As Sakurasan watched Shinosan train, Hinata was watching from around the corner, happily smiling despite herself. Maybe there was a happy ending to this disaster after all? Sakurasan was clearly enjoying herself... Shinosan was clearly enjoying himself... unlike Sakura's previously rocky relationships with Sasuke and Naruto, Hinata had a feeling that things would work out between Sakurasan and the ever solid and steady Shinosan...

Although today's events had been nothing short of a massive catastrophe, Hinata had a feeling that somehow, someway, everything had turned out all right. If Sakurasan and Shinosan hooked up, not only would the two of them be happy, it would leave a clear and open path for her and Narutokun! Ah, yes, she and Narutokun... Hinata happily sighed as she watched Shinosan do his pullups, the Hyuuga girl already making plans to visit Narutokun at the hospital...

Hinata had to admit one thing, though. She found Shinosan to be pretty darned hot while he did those crazy exercises of his...

While Hinata, Sakura, and Shino happily did their thing, a sullen and depressed fox boy lay inside his body cast on top of a hospital bed, mulling over his utterly ruined chance at Sakurachan...

A low monotone voice drifted over his hospital bed. "Hey kid. Wassup dude."

Naruto's eyes flickered in recognition from within the eyeholes of the body cast, as he moaned, "Hi, Itachisan... how you doing..."

The elder Uchiha dragged up a chair to the bedside. "Duuude. What happened to you?!"

"I don't know what happened. I don't want to talk about it." Naruto's voice was about as lifeless as could be. "Itachisan, I think I've made up my mind."

The Sharingan eyes narrowed in anticipation, as Itachi slowly asked, "Whaddya mean, little man?"

"Sakurachan hates me now. She totally hates me. I don't think I have any shot at her anymore." The fox boy heaved a sad sigh. "I've got nothing here in this village, Itachisan. I got no reason to stay... I want to leave. I want to leave and join Akatsuki."

Itachi's eyes fairly gleamed now with a disturbing glow. "Not a problem, dude. You won't regret it, man, I can promise you that."

"Yeah, well..." Naruto heaved another sigh. "I don't care about regrets. I just want to get out of here."

"Sounds good to me, man! Hey, this calls for a celebration!" Itachi looked around briefly to make sure that the snoopy worrywart Kurenaisan wasn't trailing him or spying on him, and he pulled out a champagne bottle from his jacket. "Drink?"

Naruto blinked from inside his eyeholes. "Uh, Itachisan? Am I old enough to drink that stuff?"

Itachi was appalled by the question. "Dude, if you're man enough to leave the village of your own free will, you're man enough to drink some freaking grape juice!" Itachi produced a straw from his jacket, thoughtfully wiped it against his pants leg to make sure it was clean, and then poked it through one of the airholes inside Naruto's body cast. "You got the straw in your mouth, kid?"

"Mmm." Naruto nodded from inside his body cast and used his lips to wiggle the straw about.

"Cool. Drink up, man! A toast to the newest member of Akatsuki!" Itachi popped the champagne bottle, poured some "grape juice" into a cup, and stuck the straw into the cup...

While Naruto sucked in fluids from a straw (he was used to it by now, the nurse had fed him his dinner in the exact same manner), Itachi guzzled down half the bottle in one giant swig... just two members of Akatsuki sharing a quiet moment and a drink...


Notes: Holy moly, the insanity of it all! Naruto has decided! He is going to join Akatsuki! Does Hinata realize what she's done?! Will Shikamaru ever free himself from Hinata's grasp?! Stay tuned for the next chapter...

You may have noticed, this chapter had a lot more attempts at actual prose than the previous ones, and that is because I am getting out of my writer's block funk. It's amazing how much more freely I can write when I don't have schoolwork hanging over my head. When I finish this insane fic in the near future (it has probably two or three short chapters left), I will definitely get back to my Butterflies story, since that one is more fitting for actual prose... I also shamelessly borrowed my ShinoSakura idea from my Butterflies story, mostly because the thought of Shino doing all that crazy stuff makes me laugh. Oh, and a word of warning: do not attempt to juggle chainsaws while bouncing on a pogo stick. Just trust me on this one, okay? Only cool pimps like Shino can get away with stuff like that.

Oh, and keep up the reviews, people! I luuuv reviews! :-)