--Call Me Kindness--


Author Notes:

A big thank you to my only readers: Angela, Sarah, Clar, The Group of Five, and Travis! You guys are so awesome. Thank you for sitting through my ridiculous humor--I hope you're ready for more because this story isn't over yet.

I hope to get some new readers here on Fanfic through this story. R&R please! Thanks a bunch. It really helps! I'm sorry this chapter was so slow in getting up. I have alot of stuff going on. sweatdrop Arigatou!


Chapter Two: First Hour's The Longest

Morning stretched towards afternoon time as Kakashi took his casual leave, forsaking Team Seven in their impaired state.

For a long time the three bound genins only stood there of lack of much else to do. Thoughts drifted into their minds, and then promptly left. Thoughts of what they could have been doing now as opposed to what they really were doing—which was nothing. It was official; their day was completely shot.

"I don't BELIEVE this!" Sakura finally exclaimed, her fury bursting forth vocally. She punctuated this by flopping down on the ground on her back. This of course, caused a complete train wreck bringing both of the un-expecting boys down in a heap on either side of her.

"Moron…" The blind one groaned, touching a hand to his wrenched and now throbbing ankle. This was going to be a very long day.

On the other hand, the blonde genin sprawled out, taking it all completely in stride that he'd just been knocked clear over. He set his eyes skyward, and it was evident immediately that the gears in his head, however tiny they were, were indeed turning. Though usually loud and an open minded thinker, Naruto drew inside and was quietly contemplating leaping this hurdle. If they were going to be stuck like this what was the point in complaining? After all, he was tied to Sakura…how bad could it be? Still the gag made it hard to express his opinions…The clouds drifted lazily over head, causing rays of sunlight spill over his face, warming his cheeks and causing him to squint. And for some reason…this gave him an idea.

"Hee…"

They all ignored him.

"HEEE!"

This got at least Haruno, Sakura's attention, "What do you want, Naruto?" she huffed. Evidently, she had been in the middle of a mental breakdown about the situation they were stuck in.

Naruto swiveled his head to look in Sakura's direction, blushing absent mindedly as their eyes met, "Ummph, ah fink ah ave a i'ea…"

This caused the unseeing and injured one to snap his head in the general direction the voices of his comrades were coming from. Sasuke's attention was definitely caught and he stopped fumbling blindly with his binds.

"Yes, go on!" Sakura urged eagerly, after mentally decoding Naruto's muffled statement. Even if it was coming from Naruto, she was pretty much up for anything right now.

"'ell…" Naruto began slowly, taking his eyes off Sakura as not to stumble over his words, "Fink abou' Kakashi-'en'ei's essons frob eh basd. Dey're alhays farfetched, hur dat hoes 'ithoud aying, ad they alhays ave ome ort of idden beaning. Ut what if…jusd what if dis one doesn'd eally ave a beaning?"

Sakura blinked, she didn't understand at all, "Can you say that in words normal people can understand?" she snapped exasperatedly.

Naruto winced visibly at her words and stared resolutely at the clouds, gulping back an obvious comeback. Of course, he was right, there was no way he could communicate with this gag…He was shocked when he heard Sasuke's voice.

"I understand." The eyeless one said, after tearing apart Naruto's grunts to make them into sensible words, "Sakura, what Naruto is trying to say is as follows: What if Kakashi-Sensei simply wants us to get along and nothing more? What if his lesson really doesn't have a hidden meaning?" He stated for Sakura to contemplate.

It seemed to click when Sasuke said it, and she nodded, turning her eyes also skyward, "Oh."

Now that she thought about it—it would make sense. The three of them really never did get along. Occasionally they were amicable, one on one, but never as an entire group. Still, the thought stuck sharply in Haruno's mind; why wouldn't he just ask them to get along?

And yet, in a way she understood. They would never heed Kakashi's words; by no means. So he had to teach them. Of course…she got it.

But then what? What did he intend them to do? For all she knew, Naruto and Sasuke had way different interests than she did. She never really did stop to find out who they, as people, were. It made her feel, in a way, bad. She'd always rushed forward, noticing actions and appearances. Who they were on the inside was an endless plain of mystery to the young girl. Maybe…just maybe this might be good.

Her thoughts were broken by a grumbling sound, loud and hollow.

"Ubb…" Naruto hummed. It was from him the sound originated, "I'b ungry."

Sakura blinked, actually understanding Naruto's much shorter statement. She too was hungry. She'd taken to skipping breakfast often as of late to loose weight. Ino was a whole five pounds lighter than she was and there was no way she'd get away with that! But still…Sakura couldn't ignore the fact that she was hungry too, "Yeah…so am I."

Another hollow gurgle broke over the three of them.

The visionless Sasuke flushed; that time it was him whose stomach was growling. He didn't even have to say a word to agree with Sakura and Naruto. Sakura giggled slightly at the sound, which was followed by a slight chuckle from Naruto. It cracked somewhat of a smile upon their blind friend who, even though he couldn't see them, could envisage the warm grinning faces of his comrades. Before long, all three of them couldn't help but all out laugh.

"Okay then!" Sakura announced when she'd finally gained control of her laughter, "Let's go get something to eat then!" she finished, followed by a tell tale growl from her stomach, the boys chuckled at the irony of it.

There was only one problem.

They couldn't stand up.

--

The dark world of Uchiha, Sasuke was something new and frightening.

Standing up had been a major event to him, being jerked and knocked around by Sakura and Naruto too. Since he couldn't see, it was hard for him to know if he was stepping the right way to assist them in their getting up.

It wasn't long before he recognized Sakura's right foot as his worst enemy.

Several times that diabolical foot had decided to go a different way than his wanted to, which sent them all back to the ground in a tangled heap. Within seconds, they'd gone from laughing together to yelling at each other again; and Sasuke was taking the brunt of it. He was red hot under the embarrassment of his many mistakes and inaccuracy of his actions. There was no mistaking, his face was bright red—humiliated and humbled horribly.

In the end, despite all of his protests, Sasuke needed the assistance of Naruto Uzumaki to get back on his feet once again. Yes, he had to stoop that low.

They'd been on their way into town already for some time. Sasuke longed to drink in the lush green of the tree and blazing blue of the afternoon Konoha sky once again, but instead he viewed a world of black. He realized just how much he'd taken advantage of. Enclosed in his dark secluded world he couldn't indulge in simple things such as seeing.

Walking was a big event as well with Sasuke and Sakura's ankles tied together. Sasuke had picked up a rhythm to the stride after a short while, listening closely to the pattern of Sakura's breathing; it was in sync with their walk. It caused him to have to lean slightly closer to her, but it was a price he had to pay. He couldn't possibly degrade himself any further anyway. Or perhaps he could…for in horror he came to a realization.

How was he supposed to eat if he couldn't see what he was trying to eat?

Cursing inwardly, he would wait until the last minute to mention this to his teammates. When finally they came to a place they could stop to eat breakfast (or rather lunch now) Sakura ordered for each of the boys and herself and had it to go—there was no way they were going to be seen any more in public in the situation they were in and that went without saying.

They left, Sakura, Naruto, and even unseeing Sasuke swinging the plastic bags containing their lunches.

"We'll go down to the river!" Sakura announced, "It's so beautiful there, and after all, it is a hot day and we can put our feet in." She added.

Both boys seemed indifferent to the idea, though inwardly the blind one winced knowing he might need help in taking his shoes off…

They arrived at the river in no time and, with difficulty, sat themselves at the river's edge. Sakura was quick to open their lunch, break apart their chopsticks, and begin gorging herself while Sasuke fumbled opening his lunch. He succeeded, then broke apart his chopsticks, and felt around for where exactly his lunch was. His chopsticks met the grass instead, unbeknownst to him, and that taste wasn't exactly pleasant in his mouth.

Naruto saw this, pointed, and laughed at him. Though the laughter was muffled, it pierced Sasuke's pride sharper than the laughter of a hundred people. A second later, Sasuke was at Naruto's throat, his hands groping blindly for the blonde's throat.

Sakura gasped, her ankle twisting in an abnormal way and her arm jerking along with Naruto's as the two boys grappled, "STOP IT!" she screamed in a desperate attempt to break them up, "Stop it BOTH OF YOU!"

The boys took no heed whatsoever to Sakura's wild pleads and continued their struggle. Sakura was forgotten, her cries faded deep into he background as they fought. They paid no attention at all to the fact that she was still attached to them at their respected limbs; they were focused on each other caught with the tension of sheer, unadulterated, seething fury. Sasuke's hands finally found and closed around Naruto's neck. The blonde began to turn blue in the face of lack of oxygen and his gag was making it no easier to breathe as he attempted to gasp in the air he much needed all he got was the foul tasting fabric. Seeing this Sakura could no longer take it.

"I SAID STOP IT!"

She threw herself between the boys, ignoring the fact that she was twisting her ankle and her right wrist into an even more uncomfortable position. Reaching her left arm forward and into the fray, between the boys, she pressed her elbow against Sasuke's chest and began to lean back with all her might, trying to pull him off Naruto. After a moment more of furious grappling Sasuke relinquished his grip on Naruto and fell backwards with a shove from the pink-haired ninja. Naruto keeled over and sprawled out, chest heaving in the effort to refill his lungs with air. Evidently…Sasuke was in a bad mood.

"Are you okay, Naruto?" Sakura panted, leaning on her elbow, the arm connected to Naruto's via the rope.

Naruto's face blanched, shocked that Sakura was speaking him, and was so close that he could feel the breaths on his face even! Then suddenly, he flushed violently realizing the amazing gravity of the situation. In a split second panic, he went to say something, realizing that Sakura's eyes were urging a response—then recalled the gag on his mouth. In defeat the eager light in his eyes dimmed and he only nodded.

Sakura smiled gently, nearly sympathetically. It rocked Naruto's world.

The sun was high now as each of the already fatigued genins heaved a heavy sigh. Such a long day…yet none of them knew only one hour had passed.

One hour down—twenty three to go. The first hour truly was the longest.


!PREVEIW!

Chapter Three: Passing Time

The worst has passed, or soTeam Seventhinks. The situation has them cornered and frankly--Sakura's right. They have no choice but to get along! Will Team Seven really abide to that?Also, what's going on back at the Academy? What will Iruka do when he finds out about all of this...? Find out in Chapter Three: Passing Time