The Trip Home

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
Spoilers: up to 238 (manga)
Note: I finally wrote something for this pairing.

As soon as Naruto had an opening, after Sakura had visited, he was off. He needed to be alone for the moment, needed some fresh air. While he ran in a random direction, his subconscious had decided to take Naruto on the path that he, Chouji, Neji, Kiba, and Shikamaru had taken only a single day before. It surprised him, even though he was covered in bandages, the Kyuubi had healed him completely.

The pre-teen didn't notice anything familiar, until he came upon the place where Chouji had left them.

"He's mine!"

Naruto grinned dimly. Chouji was not weak, and Naruto would take the lesson he had learned to heart. He would try not to underestimate anyone ever again. But he probably would, it was in his nature.

Naruto continued his run, his blonde hair flying as he ran at seemingly inhuman speeds, he began to wonder what things would have been like if he had succeeded in his mission. But as soon as he began to think, an old lesson Iruka-sensei had taught him came flying back.

"Do your best not to look back. You'll only get upset. Live for the present and the future, remember that, okay Naruto? … Don't ignore me! Hey!"

Naruto laughed softly. That had ended in ramen, and Naruto shook his head when he passed some fallen trees. Shikamaru had described what had happened in his fight with the only girl of the Sound.

Naruto was about to leap over some more wreckage, when he spotted a figure. It was a person, coughing up blood. Naruto's natural urge to help others, despite it being crushed down by hateful villagers who always smacked him away, burst forth. Naruto turned in midair and landed in front of the figure, which he realized, was female.

"… You need some help?" asked Naruto. The girl looked at him, and her brown eyes hardened into a glare.

"… One of you… Damn Leafs…" coughed the girl, her voice unmistakable. "Come to… Finish me?"

Naruto blinked.

"You're alive?" asked Naruto, plopping down to the girl's level. She was lying on her stomach, and it seemed she was now trying to glare him to death. By the looks of it, she was only a couple of years older than Naruto.

"Well, lucky for…" the girl let out another cough. "Me, Orochimaru's ANBU passed over me when they were looking… For bodies."

"Oh." Naruto stared at her. "What's your name anyway?"

"Tayuya. What of it shithead?" snapped the girl. Her attitude lit something in Naruto, a spark that someday would be a full blown blaze.

"Well Tayuya, are you interesting in living?" asked Naruto, his blue eyes meeting her brown ones.

"Hmm… Is the sky blue? Of course, idiot." replied Tayuya swiftly, coughing up a little blood. Naruto frowned.

"You're really ill aren't you?" Naruto sighed. "Will you tell Tsunade-baa-chan everything you know about the Sound?"

"…" The girl before Naruto stopped, in deep thought. The only sounds she made were coughs, as Naruto pulled her out from the tree. Getting a good look at things, Naruto noticed she must have been trying to escape for a while.

"Well?" pressed Naruto. Part of him was berating him for possibly letting this girl die. Another part was yelling at that one, that this girl was the enemy. And another part believed that maybe, just maybe, saving her would be a start of making up his failure. But more so, another part wanted her to make up her mind to he could grab her and take her back to Konoha and to the hospital, no matter what her answer.

"… Fine." muttered Tayuya, looking at the dirt below her. "Only if they don't kill me or torture me… I;ve been tortured enough in my life time."

"Alright then!" Naruto grinned and pushed the tree off Tayuya, before holding out a hand. Tayuya looked at him like he was an idiot. "Oh, right. Can you climb on then?"

Naruto knelt down, his hands positioned so that Tayuya could ride on his back. Sighing, Tayuya got on his back, her head on his shoulder. The fact that she was fairly taller than Naruto was obvious.

"So, shithead…" started Tayuya after a moment of walking. Naruto inwardly realized he wasn't fully recovered yet, so it might take a while to get back. Tayuya had obviously noticed this too, and was attempting conversation. "What's your sucky village like?"

"Well, the villagers hate me, but besides that, it's not so bad." replied Naruto, and he would have shrugged, but it would have knocked Tayuya off.

"Why would the villagers hate you? They must be dumber than… Well, you." commented Tayuya, fighting back another cough as she remembered Naruto's actions from the day before.

"…" Naruto pondered this. Telling a complete stranger about the Kyuubi? Nah, better not, at least, not yet anyway.

"Alright then shithead, how bout this one. Why were you so intent on getting back Orochimaru's little… Wet dream…" Tayuya coughed. "He your main squeeze or something?"

Naruto choked on his saliva.

"Ew…" Naruto shook away that mental image and ignored Kyuubi's laughing. After taking a moment to collect himself. "No, he was my friend… My brother…"

"Ah, well, get over it. If he's anything like the rest of us, you've lost him." replied Tayuya offhandedly.

"Well, why are you so different?" asked Naruto as he leapt over the crater that Chouji and Jirobou's fight had created.

"… Well, shithead, I really don't know." replied Tayuya after a few coughs. "But… If the place is as god as you say… Who knows, maybe I'll…"

Tayuya yawned, and Naruto didn't find out what Tayuya would do, and didn't think about it. Tayuya's head fell limply on Naruto's shoulder, but Naruto could tell she was still alive. And all the parts inside him suddenly agreed, this girl, this former enemy, was one of Naruto's precious people.


I honestly don't know if I'll continue this, but I might. Seriously considering it actually.