A Game for the Wicked

'What was I supposed to do again?' he asked himself vaguely,

In a fleeting moment he stopped on a tree branch while he looked around him, finally noticing that he wasn't in the Hokage's office anymore. He was deeply situated in some gloomy part of the forest… but why was he in the forest anyway? Naruto desperately shoveled in his mind of some silent solace for his question of 'why', when he suddenly realized that he had already known from the back of his mind all along.

A 'B' ranked mission.

He was supposed to kill someone.

'Oh, riight,' he thought to himself, momentarily estranged from the surroundings around him, 'He apparently did something naughty, the bastard…'

Wasting no more time and mentally kicking his ass from forgetting that he was in a very serious mission, he stealthily leapt from his place to another bough. Now where would a thief hide in a forest filled with deadly traps of any kind (whether it's moving around with nerves or whether it's apparently lifeless)?

He observed the panoramic spectacle which was idly laid before him by some god who also wished that all this atrocity should end— when he noticed something. It wasn't something a normal (as in an amateur) ninja would see as if it was standing there in front of their faces, but perhaps it was something Kakashi would have seen if he was standing there with him right now.

This particular little thief was known to be very agile. Nimble, and unnaturally discreet, like a politician with his serpent-tongued lawyers (not that some lawyers are of the latter and some politicians are of the former). He was discreet enough to not leave any of his footprints behind for any of Konoha's bloodhounds to perceive, he was discreet enough to be silent and patient to all his wiles, but he was just overly discreet.

Yes: there, barely visible enough to any naked eye— was a scratch. A normal scratch which was obviously inflicted by a human being to an innocent tree trunk, but may also be inflicted by a mere giant centipede or maybe even pink elephants… a scratch which indicated that this certain thief's agility was a bit too much for his own good and to the point that it was obviously inflicted by a sword while he was trying to get out of the sticky mess he got himself into. The scratch was very, very subtle and went on straight to the right side to going upwards to the left side, making a bit of a long and misshapen 'L' like incision.

It was then he was reminded of a quote from his Sakura-chan… wait, a quote FROM Sakura-chan. He shook his head as he forced himself to focus. He desperately needed to get the job done: the more finished the job, the more he can brood about his pink-haired companion.

And the kiss.

THAT kiss—which seemed to be the very reason his head was in the clouds. A kiss which seemed to be out of his mind…

At first he told himself that it was only a friendly kiss…… to the lips… with some tongue… but it was impossible to force his mind that it was just something 'friendly'. Obviously Sakura and Ino never kissed like THAT before, nor did he and Sasuke… technically.


Naruto gave a barely audible growl, "Dammit! I can't work like this!" he quickly bounded north, trying to at least drown his thoughts with consequences: if he fails this mission his ass will totally get maimed… besides, it's no good thinking about kisses and long gone friends when you're dead.

He continued on soaring above ground, and deeper into the narrow path of which he was hoping where the thief had the courtesy of waiting for him while he was briefly dead to the world,

'Of course not, you frikkin' idiot!'

Although his personal problems were albeit a bit dangerous to his life, Naruto prided himself with the fact that he was getting rather sharp as the years passed him by. But no matter how sharp he could become the world is just too unpredictable, among with trillions of its inhabitants trying to kill each other. Unpredictable like he was. Unpredictable like the brief little kiss they both shared earlier this morning before the old hag called him to her office.

'Ugh, she doesn't think of me that way,' he thought, 'At least- I don't think so.'

That kiss seemed to be a kick in the head for him somehow. But how in the world could he have missed something like this?

'I thought that she liked him,' apparently he was mistaken, 'I still have a lot to learn about women...'

Maybe her feelings for HIM had already passed as time went by, and since both of them met with jerky-Sasuke before—

Well, hopefully it has passed… but if she already moved on with that little infatuation with HIM, then wouldn't there be any signs that she either deflected or reflected his own feelings for her? I mean, he would've known, right?


Wrong! He was dense, a blind son-of-a-gun, and an amateur to the face of love; a guy who can boot anybody's ass, any time of day, but is unfortunately inexperienced with women… no matter how perverted he turned out to be. He may know what the painting looked like, but he was oblivious to what the painting meant.

'Women are like paintings?'

So he had the right to be distracted… right? I mean, if that kiss had gotten out of hand and out of control then would that be a more wonderful and sensible reason for him to act this way? But this was SAKURA and not some—some, GIRL. It was their FIRST KISS. The girl who provided him the abuse while he provided the crazy antics, the girl who easily beat the crap outta him because she wanted to, the girl who…

'No time to get mushy now,' no time to get waay mushier. Now, think ramen. Just think about ramen for a few minutes and she's gone……

… yup, he's in trouble. Not even ramen can get his mind off her…


Now even a flabbergasted, love-sick idiot like him would know that when a sword almost missed you by a hair it's time to get cracking before you get your arms ripped off… seriously— because over there, between heaps of giant green foliage, his target was just standing there with this manic-like expression plastered on his face. He was drenched with sweat and his pupils were painfully dilated, yet his eyes were unnaturally wide open like two big shiny ping-pong balls.

Exploring his opponent's behaviors a bit further, he noted to himself that this guy was absolutely nuts; he was mentally disturbed and had these serious personal and emotional problems that would make a normal SANE person INSANE. He was crazy which can equally be compared to Mr. Hyde himself, and now he knew why: he was mysteriously smiling. Widely. An unnatural kind of smile; an 'I'm-smiling-without-a-reason' kind of smile. Surely not one of you would have that happy grin displayed on your face when you know you're in deep-hell. This guy went a bit crazy while he stole what he stole, killing eighteen innocent people on the process.

Naruto couldn't believe that he almost passed his target.

"You can't defeat me ya' CHAKRA PINING PIECE'A CRAP!" a fire-blaze semi-circle suddenly appeared around them both and engulfed them, until the sky disappeared from the terrifying inferno. The trees which stood in the way of the fire were sent aflame and were reduced into burning carcasses of wood. It was just them, face to face for the first time. It's a pity that one of them must die, though.

"Look who's talking!" Naruto returned, an adrenaline rush flooding his every emotional corner. This was going to be easy no matter what some dirt-talking crazy says.

For some reason, Itsu, the thief, was about to say something outrageous but suddenly stopped in mid-sentence. Naruto knew that he was searching for something critical, maybe even a dare, maybe a death threat. The worse thing he could do right now is use that speed which rivals even Rock Lee and kill him right there, on the spot, so when pause immediately took hold on both opposing persons Naruto took his chance:

Fingers swiftly curling around the handle of his kunai, he flung it towards the distracted bandit who, in turn, snapped out of his ominous reverie and simply moved out of the sharp-edge's way, smirking with a mischievous spark in his eyes, "Got somebody on your mind?"


Before Naruto could react Itsu unsheathed his sword with that amazingly monstrous agility and slashed the ground. A thin layer of half-burnt leaves sprang up from the earth and fluttered upwards until it slowly dissipated from the ghastly bonfire.

Itsu's intentions remained unknown because it did nothing to confuse Naruto, yet the blonde took this to his advantage and flung four more kunai towards Itsu which, when thrown, aimed towards Itsu's different fatal body points. He merely swatted them away except one which painfully latched into his collar-bone, just mere inches away to his heart.

"G- Guhh..."

Naruto, seeing his opponent's brief anguish, took hold of the situation, "KAGEBUNSHIN NO JUTSU!"

Several clones appeared around the fugitive thief.

Itsu swerved left when a clone tried to restrain his wounded shoulder and somersaulted, striking one of Naruto's clones below him with his sword.

More clones tried to restrain him but he countered all of them at once.

It turned out that he was indeed right about Itsu being too fast for his own good: more clones crowded around the maniac thug, and the more distractions Naruto provided, the more overwhelmed Itsu became. Even though he's faster than Lee, his bowl-haired friend was much more focused and… normal—a must have for agility geeks.

When Itsu stabbed one of his clones in the stomach, Naruto swiftly captured his neck from behind (not forgetting to put some bone-crushing pressure on it, of course) and flung him towards the fire. Itsu was not affected by the heat, of course, since it was of his own making. He skimmed to the ground with a muddled thud, using all fours until he skidded to a halt.

Before the chaotic churns of the fire vanished, Itsu ran into the dense forest, hoping that the drug would go into full effect before the man rips his neck off. Naruto was pulsing with power.

After a good few miles, Itsu looked behind him and slowed down to a halt. He turned his head, left—right—making sure that his target never followed him and wouldn't somehow cause his death in the future.

At least the bounty was a price worthy enough to bet on his life.

In truth, if this Uzumaki fellow dispatched him of his swords then he'd be as good as dead, even though he was a prodigy of his own world.

If not, this part of the universe confused him.

Itsu raked his damp white-blonde hair off his face and smiled widely, if not wider, this time. His eyes darted in and out like rockets as he stood within the thicker part of the forest, searching for any sign of his brother, Shaz. With both of them around, dispatching Uzumaki (if Naruto ever followed him) would be a synch.

He tried to calm his breathing down, afraid that he would miss any kind of unwanted noise among the silence around him. His head was buzzing with adrenaline while his hands were shaking uncontrollably... a common occurrence. Whizzing his head around, he wondered where Shaz has gone to. Honestly, AT A TIME LIKE THIS!

Where the hell is he?

AN: Well, here I am. I finally added some notes for the damn thing! Okay, lesse, no flames except constructive criticism is widely accepted, no flames telling me that another particular couple or characters are better or crap like that, I don't own Naruto, and please review . Believe it or not, reviews allow me to write a single chapter for thirty minutes to one hour... not like any of you can't do that or something, any writer can do that stuff... but sometimes I loose my inspiration, and it takes me WEEKS to update a chapter.