Seeking True Love Version 2

Summary : (SasuNaru)YAOI. Previously named 'Love Triangle' but has been renamed to suit the story better. Set a few years after the whole Orochimaru ordeal. Naruto had always loved Sakura and would do anything for her. But he could never know the feelings a certain dark haired boy harboured for him, and the extents the said boy would go to for Naruto's happiness. Even if it meant getting Sakura and Naruto together, and ultimately sacrificing his own happiness.

A/N - Warning. This story will eventually have YAOI. So if anyone is uncomfortable with that, DON'T READ further. This story will be a Naruto, Sakura, Sasuke love triangle and takes place a few years after the whole Orochimaru thing. I have the plot all planned out. It's good, trust me, so give this fic a try!

Disclaimer : I do not own any of the Naruto characters. This story is purely fictional.

Chapter 1

The morning mist had barely lifted. Rays of sunlight shone across the land as the sun peeked out from beneath the early clouds. The crickets had only just retired from their nightly 'song' as the buzzing rhythm that had filled the night slowly died away. The sound of a rooster crowing at a small farm near the outskirts signaled the arrival of a new day in the village of Konoha.

Early as it was, the village was already full of activity. The shopkeepers had been up since dawn getting ready for their customers as the villagers had a habit of waking up in the early hours of a morning to do their daily shopping. This held true for almost all the villagers as the streets were already crowded with people of all age, shapes and sizes. The same also goes for a certain blonde who was currently deep in a forest at the outskirts of the village.

Naruto panted as a bead of sweat traveled down the side of his face, from the tips of his blonde hair, all the way down the expanse of his smooth and tanned skin, to the whisker marks on his cheeks. Naruto had certainly grown since the days that he had first started off as a genin. He was no longer a tiny squirt with too much energy. He had now grown into a seventeen year old and was now a chuunin in his village. He was slightly taller now but was still at an abysmal height for a male of his age. Nevertheless, he had a cute, boyish face with eyes a sparkling blue colour. His cheeks still held the whisker marks as if serving as a reminder that the Nine-Tails Fox Demon was confined within his body. His skin was slightly tanned brown due to his job as a shinobi. Naruto now adorned an orange and black attire similar to his favourite orange jumper which showed off his slightly muscled and lean figure nicely. And not to forget, around his forehead was the Konoha village forehead protector. It was his most treasured possession due to many reasons. The forehead protector was proof that he had successfully graduated from the academy and became a Konoha ninja. It was also the forehead protector that Iruka-sensei had given to him as a sign of acknowledgement. Iruka-sensei was the first ever person to acknowledge him and this had made Iruka a very special person to Naruto. His forehead protector had been given to him by Iruka-sensei the night that he had acknowledged Naruto and he prized it more than anything else. He was never seen without it since.

The morning sunlight crept upon his frame, causing his blonde hair to glow an unnatural golden and his sweat glisten, as his face screwed up in concentration. Here was the place in which he usually trained and it was here that he spent most of his time when he wasn't on missions, today included.

After a few moments of pause, he gave out a fearsome cry as he launched himself onto the worn-out pole he had been using to train on. With an almighty kick, the battered pole finally gave out as it snapped into half, the broken piece landing with a loud 'clunk' ten feet away. Seeing this, Naruto jumped up in victory.

"Yatta! I am the greatest!" he yelled out for the forest to hear. With a huge grin on his face he struck a pose very much like Gai-sensei's thumbs-up pose before turning around and making his way back to the village.

"Whew! I'm beat!" he said just as his stomach let out a loud rumble. Hearing the offending sound, he stared at his own tummy.

"Uhh… hungry...!" Naruto stated the obvious, clutching his stomach. After several moments of contemplation, he made a decision. "I know! I'll have some ramen at Ichiraku's!"

He then abruptly picked up his pace as he quickly made his way to his favourite place in the village.

The village was buzzing with activity when Naruto had arrived in the middle of town just a few minutes after the sun had properly come up. The streets were busy and Naruto had to carefully maneuver his way around the crowd to avoid knocking into anybody. Not that this was a big problem to begin with since most of the villagers chose to avoid him as well.

Catching a few glances of people who were looking at him with dislike, Naruto chose to stare at the ground as he walked. All his life, he had been shunned by the people of the village. Seventeen years ago, an evil and powerful being known as the Nine-Tails Fox Demon (Kyuubi) had attacked the village of Konoha. On the night of the attack, many villagers had died. Commoners and ninjas alike. In order to stop the Kyuubi, the Fourth Hokage had given up his life to seal the Kyuubi inside a child who's umbilical cord had just been cut ; Naruto. Due to this incident, many saw him as the incarnate of the Kyuubi. Most villagers held a grudge and saw him as the Kyuubi itself. They hated Naruto and kept their distance from him. This had caused the innocent blonde to be cast aside from the rest of the villagers and he had to endure hateful looks and remarks all throughout his life. Naruto had felt lonely without any friends or family. He had always been alone without the love and care that the other children had. Iruka-sensei was the one who had pulled him out of the dark place which was his world. He had been given hope. And from there, ever since he had become a shinobi, the blonde haired boy had met many people and had been through a lot. He had found friends. Although the villagers still did not trust him and hated him all the same, life had become endurable for Naruto. He had friends. He had people whom he cared for, and people who cared for him in return, and that was enough. He was happier than he'd ever been in his life.

"Yeah…… life is definitely better this way….." he whispered under his breath, lost in thought.

'Life is definitely better…. now that I'm not alone anymore……'

Feeling cheerful, the blonde arrived at his favourite ramen place and quickly set himself down on one of the stall's seats.

"One Beef Ramen, please!" Naruto ordered.

"Hai! One Beef Ramen coming up!" the ramen-ojiisan replied.

The ramen arrived a few minutes later and Naruto quickly indulged himself in his favourite food as the ojiisan left him alone to eat in peace.

"Mmmmmm… the ramen is great today as usual!" he exclaimed to himself happily.

"Ohayo, Naruto." Naruto, surprised at the sound of somebody speaking somewhere behind him, almost choked. He turned around to look at the person whom had just greeted him and immediately brightened up.

"Sakura-chan! Ohayo! What are you doing here so early in the morning?" he said, waving a hand in welcome.

"Oh, nothing. I just thought I'd go for a walk this morning since the weather's beautiful," Sakura answered as she took a seat beside Naruto at the ramen stall. "So! What have you been up to?"

Naruto blinked. Then grinned, holding up his ramen bowl. "Ramen, of course!" he laughed. "Heh, I was just getting myself some breakfast after tiring myself out from training. You have no idea how great ramen tastes after a morning's hard work!"

Sakura just smiled.

'She looks so beautiful when she smiles…' The thought crossed fleetingly in the blond's mind, a feeling of longing and tenderness rising deep in his heart.

Naruto let his eyes wander over Sakura. He still hadn't gotten over his crush for her. In fact, his feelings for the pink haired kunoichi seemed to have grown over the years. He had had a crush on her ever since they were kids. Although his feelings were never reciprocated up to this day, Naruto still held her in a special place in his heart.

She had changed a lot since her genin days. Haruno Sakura, now a seventeen year old chuunin, had grown up into a beautiful young woman. Her eyes were still that startlingly green colour. Her short pink hair had grown slightly and stylishly cropped at a length just around her shoulders, the soft pink strands framing her face. She wore the forehead protector on her head where it served as a replacement for a ribbon she used to wear as a kid. She had lost the round, chubby cheeks she used to have and her features now held a matured look over them. She had a rather attractive body too, with curves at just all the right places. Her choice of attire was a red sleeveless blouse, coupled with a white skirt and black tights underneath. She wore a pair of black boots as her footwear. All in all, Sakura was truly a sight to behold, a far cry from the girl whose friends had teased her for having a wide forehead.

As Naruto's trained eyes roamed over Sakura (he spent too much time girl-peeking while on training with the Ero-sennin), he didn't notice the kunoichi's eyebrows twitch in annoyance at his unabashed staring.

"WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT YOU HENTAI!" she shouted suddenly causing Naruto to jump in his seat. He blushed as he realized then that he had been staring at her. He smiled sheepishly and muttered an apology before turning away from her. Despite the physical changes in Sakura, she still had an incredibly short temper which was now even more dangerous as she had acquired enormous strength due to her training with Tsunade-sama, the Fifth Hokage. Sakura was definitely not a person to pick a fight with.

'Heh, well… some things never change, do they?' Naruto thought.

They then sat in companionable silence for a few moments as Naruto finished up his food. Just as Naruto finished, Sakura spoke again.

"Oh yeah… Naruto?"


"I've been wanting to ask you something…" she said slowly, her expression one of seriousness. At this words, Naruto's ears perked up in curiousity. He set his now empty bowl of ramen on the table silently.

"…what is it?"

Sakura paused for awhile, lost in her own train of thought. She turned to look at Naruto, her green eyes meeting his blue ones. They shared eye contact for a few moments.

'What's up with Sakura-chan?' Naruto wondered to himself. He could see the hesitation in Sakura's eyes… along with another emotion which he couldn't read, and he couldn't help himself from feeling worried over whatever it was that Sakura wanted to tell him… The hidden emotions behind Sakura's eyes just didn't bode well with him somehow.

After a few moments, where Sakura seemed to do some serious thinking over whereas Naruto worried himself sick, Sakura finally let out a long sigh.

"Never mind. Forget it, Naruto…" And with that, she turned away.

"…" Naruto blinked. Then he blinked again. "What? What do you mean 'forget it'? You can't just leave me hanging like that!" he cried out in dismay.

"It's… nothing. It's stupid anyway. I shouldn't have brought it up in the first place. Don't worry about it." She stubbornly continued to avoid his gaze.

But Naruto seemed to think that this WAS something to worry about. He stared at her turned head incredulously.

"Uso! There's something wrong, I know it! You can talk to me about it, you know."

Sakura's eyebrow twitched for the second time that morning. Always a danger sign. She turned back to glare at the blond haired boy.

"I said it was nothing! Just forget about it already, okay?" she snapped, losing her temper.

Naruto kept silent. He knew better than to object to her wishes when she started to rage. Frowning slightly, he looked away from her angry gaze, unwilling to see the glare aimed towards him.

'I don't want to see it. It's okay if the whole village does it. But not you, Sakura-chan, not you. I don't ever want to see the anger in your eyes. I don't want you to hate me. Please, don't hate me. Don't look at me with hate in your eyes…'

After a few moments, Sakura's anger seemed to die down. She blushed, embarrassed and feeling guilty of her own actions. She slumped slightly in her seat.

"I'm sorry, Naruto. I didn't mean to yell at you like that. Gomen," she said in almost a whisper.

"…It's alright."

'It's alright, Sakura-chan. It really is. As long as you're not angry with me. As long as you don't hate me. I don't want you to ever hate me…'

Once again they fell into silence. After a few minutes, once again it was Sakura who broke the uncomfortable silence.

"Oh yeah. I almost forgot. Kakashi-sensei asked us to meet up with him at our usual training place later today at about four. He said it was something about a new mission so we've gotta meet him about it. And… Sasuke-kun will be there too…"

Naruto noticed that her voice seemed to fade at the mention of the dark haired boy and there was a flicker of that same unreadable emotion in her eyes that she had had earlier. Even the aura around her seemed to be emanating negative vibes at the mention of the boy. Suspicions started to form in his head. Could this be related to Sasuke? Taking note of this, he nodded to show that he'd heard her. Sakura just smiled slightly in response before speaking again.

"Well. I… I guess I'd better be off then. Need to do some research at home for Tsunade-sama…"

Naruto nodded again. "Sure. You'd better go then."

Sakura then got up as she prepared to leave the ramen stall.

"Hai. I'll see you later then, Naruto." She then turned and walked away in the direction of her house.

Naruto just stared at the back of the pink haired girl until she was out of sight. There was something not right about Sakura-chan today and he didn't like it. He didn't like to see her troubled. It made him feel like helping her, protecting her. Taking her away from all the troubles that were harming her in any way at all.

Naruto frowned as he lost himself in thought. What could be troubling Sakura so? And did this have something to do with Sasuke? She did seem a bit funny when the Uchiha was mentioned. What were those unreadable emotions that he had seen hidden behind her eyes? Somehow, he thought that the emotions that were flickering in Sakura's eyes earlier were something akin to sadness… and pain. He knew it well, because he himself had been a victim of those feelings most of his life. But why in the world would Sakura be in pain…? Could it be…? A vision of a dark haired boy entered his mind. Sasuke. His teammate. His rival. His best friend. Was all this because of Sasuke? What happened? Had he done something to Sakura?

Naruto felt himself getting angry at the other boy. Then the anger dissipated just as quickly as it came.

'Calm down. I'm letting my imaginations run wild. I can't be too sure just yet. I don't even know what really happened. Maybe this hasn't got anything to do with him at all. After all, I don't think Sasuke would ever do anything to hurt Sakura-chan."

Yes. Naruto was confident about that. Sasuke, his teammate, his rival, his best friend, was a cold bastard. But he really wasn't all THAT bad… Considering the things they've all been through together, trust was one of the things that had been built between them and all of their friends in Konoha. He couldn't go jumping to conclusions so quickly now, can he? Sakura's condition might be totally unrelated after all, he didn't know. And so, he had to find out more. After a few moments more thinking, the blond boy finally decided that he should find out more first before jumping to conclusions.

'I'll see what I can do during that meeting with Kakashi-sensei today. I swear I'll get to the bottom of this soon!'

And with that vow, he got up and left the ramen stall.

End Chapter 1