Author's Notes:

I deeply apologize for not uploading for...four ...five months? I'MSORRYI'MSORRYI'MSORRYI'MSORRY!!

I'm not a very organized person (as you can tell) and I can't organize my life to my hide. I was so caught up trying not to fail and studying for exams. But I'm back now! Unfortunately, this might not last long because I'm going on a two month vacation. And I'm not allowed to bring my laptop.

So slowly.

Naruto: ...that's not going to help us...

Storynerd: ...I know...

Naruto slowly sat up on his bed, his eyes still half shut. With zombie-like movements, he shuffled his feet to the bathroom and emerged seconds later, looking the same as when he entered. Without even looking, he dressed and exited his apartment.

Sakura hummed happily as she carried her groceries home. From a distance, she could see the trademark orange of her blonde teammate.

"Good morning Naruto. Are you going to the meeting already? Kakashi-sensei's going to be late you know."

Naruto shuffled his feet past her without a word.

Sakura's eyes followed Naruto's movements as the boy shuffled down the street, apparently with his eyes half-closed.

Sakura turned around with an angry huff but brightened immediately as she caught sight of Sasuke.

"Good morning Sasuke-kun!"

Sasuke merely 'hn'-ed and ambled past her.

Sakura's eyes followed Sasuke as he made his way down the street and turned around with an angry huff.

"What is with boys?! I'll never understand them…" Sakura grumbled and shook her head. With her groceries still in hand, she quickly made her way back to her home, her mood considerably worse than when she set out.

"Sakura honey, are you alright?" Sakura's mother asked, her eyebrows furrowed in worry.

Sakura merely grumbled back with a "It's nothing" and stomped up to her room.

Sakura's father cleared his throat and straightened his tie. "She's alright. It's probably the hormones."

Sakura's mother rolled her eyes and sighed.

Naruto sleepily made it to Ichiraku and sat down at an unoccupied seat. As soon as he sat down, a bowl of steaming hot ramen appeared in front of him.

Naruto took a deep breath and his eyes widened in happiness.

"Thanks jii-san. Itadakimasu!"

"So Naruto, how was your mission?" Teuchi Ichiraku asked his regular costumer.

"Horrible. They didn't have ramen. Every morning I couldn't even wake up!"

Teuchi laughed and turned to prepare another bowl, and perhaps five more just in case.

"Yo. I got lost today, so…"

Kakashi trailed off, seeing that none of the team members were present.

His eye twitched.

Sakura meandered the maze of fences as she stomped towards the meeting area.

If I get there and Kakashi isn't there, I swear…

Sakura's threat trailed off as she turned the corner. Her eyes widened as she took in the scene.

A ninja covered with purple make up and a body suit was holding the Hokage's grandson by the collar. Two other kids were huddled together close to the fence and yelling for help. The remaining person was a girl who looked to be in league with the make-up ninja.

Sakura's eyes narrowed. The headbands on their forehead didn't look like the Konoha headband. She thought back to the lessons in the Academy. Her eyes widened as realization came to her.

"You're Sand shinobis aren't you?" Sakura yelled across the distance.

The two foreign shinobis turned to look at the newcomer.

The blonde ninja leaned towards the boy and whispered with a worried look on her face. The boy responded with a laugh and shook Konohamaru violently.

Before anyone could react, a stone flew towards the foreign ninja's wrist. He dropped Konohamaru in shock and brought his wrist to his chest.

Everyone present turned to look at the origin of the stone.

"That was the Hokage's grandson you were playing with."

"Sasuke-kun." Sakura whispered in relief. She didn't think she could take on two shinobi by herself.

"Foreign shinobi aren't welcome, right Sakura?" Sasuke coolly said, effortlessly crushing a stone. He opened his fist and allowed the wind to blow the remaining powder away.

Sakura smiled to herself. "That's right. Even though Konoha and Suna are allies, we can't visit each other's village without a good reason. Why are you here?"

The blond shinobi snorted. "Konoha genins sure are dumb. We're here for the upcoming Chunin Exams."

The other Suna shinobi removed his package from his back in one smooth movement. "But I need a little warm-up right now. How about we spar?" He asked, though his tone clearly indicated that he was above them.

Sasuke gritted his teeth and reached for his kunai pouch.

"Stop it."

The two foreign shinobis froze. They turned their head up to look at the newcomer.

"G-gaara." The boy stammered.

"We're not here to cause trouble. If you jeopardize our mission, I'll kill you."

With the threat hanging in the air, the boy named Gaara dissolved his body into specks of sand and materialized in front of the Sand ninjas.

Gaara turned his blood red eyes onto Sakura.

Sakura took a step back. Her entire body was frozen with fear.

Gaara's scrutiny moved to Sasuke.

"What's your name?"

Sasuke jumped down from the tree, landing a few feet in front of Sakura. "Uchiha Sasuke. And your's?"

Gaara turned around and walked away. "Subaku no Gaara." He answered over his shoulder and led his teammates down the alleyway.

Naruto hopped off the high stool and rubbed his stomach.

"Oh that felt good. I haven't felt so awake in a long time!"

"Well Naruto, you certainly beat your record." Teuchi whistled as he gazed up the tower of ramen bowls.

"Yep and I have the money."

Teuchi's attention turned back to him with raised eyebrows.

"I don't believe you." Teuchi replied bluntly with a pointed look.

Naruto's eyes widened. "No really really I have the money." He dug in his pocket and produced a wad of bills. He smacked it down on the counter with a proud grin.

Teuchi stared at the money like it was a miracle, which it was, for Teuchi.

"You have the money?" Teuchi asked disbelievingly. He picked up the wad of bills and quickly counted. A wide grin instantly appeared on his face.

"Naruto, your bill's all paid, for all four years. Come back anytime boy!"

Naruto smiled and nodded. "I will." He shouted over his shoulder as he walked away from the little stand.

With no aim in mind, Naruto ambled the maze fences.

Suddenly, Kyuubi growled, low and deep. Naruto shivered at the guttural sound and turned a corner.

The first thing he saw was a pair of blood red eyes, red enough to rival his Chishiogan.

Kyuubi's growl increased in intensity, wiping away all thoughts in Naruto's mind. Soon, snarls and howls filled the expanse of his mind as well, sending his mind into a frenzy of headaches.

Heat raced up Naruto's spine, vibrating off his body in waves of red colored chakra. His vision descended to darkness, with the exception of the red hair boy in front of him.

They stared at each other with crazed eyes in the landscape of darkness. Naruto's headaches increased in intensity and he realized with a start that he had started to growl.

Naruto gathered his remaining sanity and took several deep breaths to calm himself. Pain shot up from his hands. Drops of blood slipped from the gouts made from his sharp nails.

With the help of pain, he was able to reduce Kyuubi's maddened state to a dim growl in the back of his mind. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, gathering his strength. He opened his eyes and stared back at the red-eyed boy, who was grinning insanely.

The boy turned around, whispering insanities under his breath.

"Come on Temari, Kankuro. Let's go." The red-head said, a subtle tone of crazed happiness was heard. He walked past Sasuke and Sakura and turned the corner out of sight.

Kyuubi had redoubled his efforts. Naruto clutched his head in pain as howls and screeches rang around his mind. He spun on his heels and stumbled around the corner. With renewed determination, he sprinted back to his apartment and collapsed on his bed.

Temari and Kankuro fell on their knees, their muscles tense and frozen as the waves of demonic chakra flowed over them. Their eyes diluted with fear but they couldn't move their bodies even if their heads were clear of fear.

Sasuke and Sakura also collapsed in fear. Their eyes were fixed with disbelief on their blonde teammate and the red-haired Sand ninja.

The area was flooded with blood lusting chakra. The red, malevolent chakra that rolled off Naruto seemed to have to effect on the redhead as he added his own blood-lusting chakra.

The Sand nin smirked, a crazed look in his eyes as he stepped backward and made his way down the alleyway.

Naruto also regained control and stumbled out of sight.

The remaining ninjas took a single breath and panted in shock. They looked at each other and quickly separated and went their own way.

The Sand shinobis hurried after Gaara, their bodies still containing a slight shiver as they reflected about how malevolent and similar the red chakra was to Gaara.

"Who was that kid?" Temari asked breathlessly.

"I don't know but whoever that kid is, we have to avoid him at all costs." Kankuro replied, his voice holding a slight tremble.

Sakura panted on the floor. She was glad she sent the kids away when she had the time. With a hand over her heart to calm herself, she looked over at Sasuke.

Sasuke's shadow was thrown over Sakura as he stood up, his hands still containing a slight shiver.

"Where did Naruto get that power?" Sasuke whispered under his breath.

Naruto grunted as he tightly tied his headband around his head.

So this is why you have so few brain cells…

Naruto didn't answer. He didn't make any indication that he had even heard Kyuubi.

Kyuubi sighed. Obviously, Naruto was still sore about the events of yesterday. And Kyuubi's pride didn't allow him to apologize.

Naruto exited his apartment and quickly made his way to the meeting place.

As he entered, he placed a stupid grin on his face. "Hey!"

Sasuke and Sakura scooted away from him and looked at him with suspicious eyes.

Sasuke glared at him and stood up. "Naruto, tell us the truth. What happened yesterday and what was that power you unleashed?"

Naruto looked over at Sakura. Sakura nodded and stood up to stand behind Sasuke.

It looked like they talked it over while he was absent.

Naruto took a deep breath and looked at them weirdly. He was going to stick to his plan if he didn't want to reveal his secret, both of his secrets.

"What are you talking about Sasuke-teme?"

Sasuke growled in annoyance and stalked forward towards Naruto. "Don't pretend to be dumb, dobe. You know what I'm talking about."

Naruto scratched his head and looked at Sasuke with a raised eyebrow.

"Yesterday? I was at home sleeping and then I went to Ichiraku's and then I went home and went to sleep again." He replied with a shrug.

Sasuke and Sakura stared at Naruto with furrowed eyebrows.

"I didn't do anything other than that." Naruto said, raising his hands up in surrender. "So what happened yesterday?"

Sasuke and Sakura stared at him while they thought it over. Naruto had to be telling the truth. It was impossible for the dead last of the genins to possess such power.

Naruto kept up his stupidly innocent face. His eyes were wide as he looked between Sasuke and Sakura.

In the end, Sasuke and Sakura gave in and believed Naruto.

"We saw you yesterday when we met a couple of Sand nins and you used this horrible chakra." Sakura explained with a shudder at the memory. She sat back down at the foot of a tree.

Naruto took a seat next to Sakura. Sasuke opted to remain standing.

"But if the person wasn't you, who was it? Who would impersonate you?" Sasuke asked, keeping his voice deep as he casually paced back and forth.

"That's right." Sakura agreed. "Maybe it was someone outside the village who wanted to sneak in."

"If that's the problem, we'll have to report it right away." Naruto put in. "We can tell Kakashi as soon as he gets here."

"What are you going to tell me?"

The teammates looked up towards the origin of the voice to find Kakashi perched on the highest branch.

"Were you going to apologize for skipping the meeting yesterday? And forcing me to wait the entire day?" Kakashi asked, glaring down at them.

"You didn't wait the entire day." Sakura grumbled under her breath. "I walked past this training area and you weren't even here."

"Ano sa Kakashi-sensei. Sasuke and Sakura said they saw someone henge'd into me yesterday. Right?" Naruto looked at Sasuke and Sakura.

Kakashi sighed. "You can report that to Hokage-sama later. It was probably some smart-aleck chunin wanna-be. The reason for yesterday's, oops I meant today's since you skipped." Kakashi muttered bitterly. "Because you three, I was late to the release of the newest edition of Icha Icha Paradise."

Kakashi jumped off the tree branch and landed gracefully in front of the group. "The reason I call the meeting was to give you three this." He held out three pieces of paper. Each team member took one and skimmed the content.

Naruto's eyes bulged out. "You nominated us for the Chunin Exam Kakashi-sensei?!"

"Yes but whether you want to take the exam or not depends on each one of you. If you do, the instructions are written on the paper. Don't be late or you'll be disqualified."

Naruto turned towards Sasuke, who smirked back at Naruto. Naruto's smirk widened. The boys extended a clenched fist towards the middle of the circle. Naruto turned towards Sakura with an eager, expectant smile.

Sakura's hesitant smile slowly turned confident as she also extended a fist to join the boys.

With confident smirks, they looked around at their teammates.

Kakashi's eyebrows rose until they disappeared beneath his forehead protecter, making him look eerily similar to Zabuza.

Somewhere Else

Zabuza violently sneezed, waking both him and Haku out of their peaceful sleep. He lazily wiped his nose and scowled.

"That gaki better not be badmouthing me," he growled before flopping back into bed.

"Are you talking about Naruto-kun?" Haku asked, his eyelids drooping in exhaustion.

"Whom else would I be talking about?" Zabuza grumbled before falling asleep again.

Author's Notes:

I've rewritten the story with changes in the plot because it'll fit in later. So please go back to the first chapter and read it all over again and review!!