Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.


Bed of Lies


A clutter of mind keeps me spare
Floating on which I've made my bed
And I lie in it, content
For I've never had such peace

Naruto's azure eyes stared blankly at the ceiling above before the sound of a angry pounding on the wall next to him brought him back to the present, along with the yell "You damn idiot! Turn off that alarm already!" of his neighbor. With that, the reality of being late for a team meeting hit him. Turning off the alarm the blonde sighed. 'Another day of hell?' A wry smile played on his lips. 'Well, at least its repetition is comforting.'

Going through the motions of the day, a short cold shower, a bright orange outfit to draw away from his fake expressions, and a bowl of cheap ramen noodles. The only difference of schedule these days came down to the type of ramen noodles he chose. It didn't make him sad, and while he didn't feel happy, he was content in his apathy. So content he jealously guarded it's existence from prying eyes, it was the least he could do.

'Ten in the morning? Maybe I'll be later than Kakashi, that'll be an achievement.' Naruto hesitated before throwing open the door in his expected exuberance before shrugging and throwing his usual mask on his face. If someone were to see him in the motions in between that they would have seen his previous peaceful expression fade into the face of a clueless naive boy. He threw open the door and dashed off to another deceitful day with the sunlight glinting off his bright features as if condoning his actions.

Who knew, maybe it did.

He dashed down the dusty streets of Konoha, doing less to irritate the individuals bustling on the street than their looks of disgust and hatred would indicate. Naruto didn't even give them a passing thought. He wasn't exactly used to them, no one could get used to such things, he just didn't care. He didn't care about anything, and it was a beautiful thing.

Naruto made it to Team Seven's meeting place, the usual red bridge, in record time. Sakura sent him a furious look that made him falter and trip on the edge of the bridge platform, landing on his face. Clumsy of him, one would think. Of course, that's only if the whole thing wasn't a planned. The pink haired girl laughed at him, and the usual stoic Sasuke smirked at him, "Idiot", the boy called him. Naruto just laughed, jumping up with a sheepish grin while rubbing the back of his head.

"Well, now that we're all here..." The sound of Kakashi's slight drawl drew Team Seven's attention to the Jounin perched above them with his usual orange book in hand. The usual routine of screaming, "You're late!" in outrage was thrown off due to Naruto's own lack of punctuality. Kakashi almost looked disappointed. "I can tell you that I've nominated you for the Chunnin exams!"

While Naruto acted out his usual personality and reacted as fit the time passed quickly and he went off onto his day with his mask in place. None of the team noticed that before walking off an uncommon smirk made it's way across his face. Sakura said he'd hold back the team in the exam? Heh. 'No doubt if I purposely dropped the mask now they'd be so set into seeing me as an idiot it wouldn't make one bit of difference. They're right, however, I will hold them back. Purposely. I have no intention of inflicting that sort of headache on Sandaime-sama if they become Chunnin.' The Hokage was one of the few people Naruto cared for through his apathy, and one of the only people in the village that he wouldn't wish that headache on.

Also... it wouldn't do to alienate the one person who knew about his true self.

A slip on the sidewalk amidst jeers
Laughing as I rub a new bruise
It hasn't bothered me yet
Because I just love my masterpiece

The Chunnin exams progressed at an agonizing pace and Naruto was bored and annoyed. While it was entertaining to act the way he did, at times, he gave himself headaches. Thankfully he could get out of the first test without showing that he actually could answer the questions, the empty test he left instead would have provided quite a show when they realized one genin didn't even answer a single question! Too bad he wasn't there to see it.

The Forest of Death looked dark and gruesome but there didn't seem to be anything exciting once there. However much Naruto liked to plead apathetic to all things, boredom made him incredibly irritable. He could be in a plain white room all day and never become bored, but if something was promised to be interesting and turned out not to be, the hated boredom took hold through his shattered expectations. Fortunately, his boredom would end soon. Unfortunately, after an amusing encounter with a rain-nin and stroking Sasuke's ever growing ego an instance occurred that would threaten his apathetic existence.

'Orochimaru. What the hell was he doing here?' The blonde escaped from the giant snake just in time to see one of the Legendary Sannin's about to bite into his irritating teammate's neck. So he did the only thing he could think to do, he threw a kunai and pierced the bastard's tongue. With speed that none but the Hokage knew he possessed he darted towards Sasuke, grabbed his collar, snatched up the frozen Sakura and "poofed" to the tower. Or more precisely in front of the Hokage, unaware of the meeting he was interrupting.

Naruto dumped his two wide-eyed teammates next to him. "Hokage-sama, Orochimaru is in the forest. He just tried to put the curse seal on Sasuke." Hearing the gasps behind him Naruto was suddenly aware of his folly and was very aware that the old man he just relayed his report to would be laughing if the situation were so serious. He'd get no support there, the Hokage never approved of his mask.

He hesitated before turning to the alarmed eyes of various Jounin, some (most of the other village orientated shinobi) because of the idea that a S-ranked missing nin was involved in the Chunnin exam, but most were because of Naruto's action as the one reporting it. Kakashi, in particular, was the one looking most startled. Naruto gave him a blank look and turned back the Hokage. "He'd probably left the area to get treatment, I threw a kunai through his freakishly long tongue and it was bleeding heavily, but I doubt he was only here to steal the last Uchia from the village-"

The Hokage raised his hand to silence him. "Kakashi, alert Anko and the ANBU about this and stop the exam." Kakashi looked to protest in favor of staying with his team but poofed out after the look the Hokage gave him. A few of the Jounin sensei's looked upset about this (most notably, the sound and sand) abrupt canceling of the exam but most were relieved by it. They didn't want the genin involved in the matters of S ranked missing-nin. "I apologize for this but this falls in the parameters of the agreements all nations had agreed to when hosting exams. The attack by one of Konoha's missing-nin is a threat to your genin and Konoha isn't going to be responsible of any injuries outside the exam." With this said the various Jounin left to collect their teams.

Soon the only people left in the room were the Hokage, the apathetic Naruto and the confused and frustrated Sasuke and Sakura. Finally one of them managed to open their mouth, Sakura, and asked, "What? What is going on Naruto!" The boy in question sent her a bored glance and gave a borderline pleading look at the Hokage.

...Who just chuckled and answered, "You got yourself into this mess Naruto. By the way, thank you for relaying the information so quickly at the cost of your own cover." And left the room, probably to sort out the political mess canceling the exam would cause and to ponder what Orochimaru's aims were.

Sasuke, at this point, managed to suppress his ego long enough to demand answers. "Cover? And how did you do that transportation jutsu, dobe?"

Naruto just sighed, ignoring them. That action became even more difficult when Sakura started screeching for him to answer "Sasuke-kun". 'Sandaime-sama always told me my mask would have bad repercussions once revealed.' The headache he was getting was the only motivation he needed attempt to end this torture session. "Yes, cover, my actions thus far have been a deception and I learned the jutsu through the Hokage."

Just like he figured, even after dropping his mask the two continued to see him as an idiot. See the underneath of the underneath? Hah, he wasn't even that good at acting. The dumbfounded expressions on his teammates faces were almost enough to entertain him, but it didn't last, and soon he was annoyed by demands of "What does that mean!" from both his teammates.

Naruto gave them a cursory look before smirking mischievously. 'I may have made this bed of lies, but I'll wait until I'm tired to lay in it.' And poofed out of the room. He could hear their screams of rage all the way at Ichikaru's.

A sly smile speaks of forbidden acts
Morals have long been overthrown
And I hesitate, briefly
As my punishment will be harsh.


The End


Notes: Well, there you go, my first Naruto story. The poem, "Bed of Lies", is of my own work and the inspiration for this story. Thank you for reading. :)