Disclaimer: Naruto is the intellectual property of Masashi Kishimoto, Shueisha, VIZ Media, et al. No money is being made from this story and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author's Note: I really have no idea where this story came from. All I know is that the knock knock joke drifted through my head as I was falling asleep last night, and somehow Naruto and Sakura's voices and personalities got attached to it. So I got up and wrote it down. (Minor edits 10/24/06, thanks to Fiona.)
Summary: After Wave Country and before the chuunin exam, Team 7 kills time while waiting for Kakashi to show up. No pairings, no warnings, just mild humor and kids being kids.
Just Killing Time
"Hey, hey, Sakura-chan!"
"Huh? What? I wasn't asleep!" Sakura looked around wildly, but Kakashi hadn't arrived since she'd closed her eyes. Sasuke was leaning on the opposite rail of the bridge, staring down at the water. Naruto was perched on the rail next to her, crouched down so he was almost on a level with her, and grinning like an idiot.
"Didn't say you were," he told her. "Knock knock."
"Naruto, what on earth...?"
He shrugged. "Kakashi's late and waiting's boring. It's a joke. Come on, Sakura-chan. Knock knock."
"Oh, all right. Who's there?"
Sakura shifted against the rail, moving her shoulder away from a splintery patch. "Banana who?"
Sakura blinked. "I think I missed something. Aren't you supposed to finish with some awful pun on 'banana'?" Come to think of it, what sort of pun could a person make that started with 'banana'?
Naruto just grinned.
Sakura sighed and draped her arms over the rail; in the corner of her eye, Sasuke raised one foot and scratched idly at his ankle. "You forgot, didn't you; this is a new joke. Okay. Who's there?"
Naruto's grin widened. "Banana."
"Wait, didn't you just do this?" Naruto shrugged, still grinning. Sakura gave in. "Fine. Banana who?"
Sakura curled her hand into a fist and shook it under Naruto's nose; he went cross-eyed staring at her knuckles. "Who's there? And I swear, if you say 'banana' again..."
"Banana!" Naruto swung down off the rail, standing upside-down on the bottom of the bridge. Sakura bent double over the rail and growled at him. He stuck out his tongue. "Nyah, can't get me!"
"What are you doing?" Sasuke asked.
Sasuke was looking at her! And he sounded like he thought she was acting as stupid as Naruto -- which, well, maybe she was. Sakura stood up, straightened her dress, and blushed. "Sorry for bothering you, Sasuke-kun. Naruto's just being an idiot."
"Am not!" Naruto protested, climbing back onto the rail and scowling at Sasuke. "I'm telling a joke, so Sakura-chan won't be bored waiting for Kakashi. And it's working, too," he added, crossing his arms and looking smug.
"You're being an idiot," Sasuke concluded. "Whatever." He closed his eyes and leaned back against the opposite rail, ignoring both of his teammates. Sakura fumed silently.
Naruto poked her in the shoulder. "Banana. Come on, Sakura-chan, forget that jerk. I promise there's a punch line. Cross my heart!"
"Sasuke-kun is not a jerk!" Sakura snapped instinctively. Then she gave Naruto a long, measuring look. "If you promise there's a punch line... banana who?"
"Hey, hey, I promised! Don't hit me!" Naruto danced back along the rail, narrowly avoiding Sakura's fists. "Ow! Hey, Sakura-chan, calm down!" He tried a backflip, wobbled, and caught his balance again.
Sakura paused, startled by his uncharacteristic gymnastics. "You've been doing extra practice," she accused.
"Yup! 'Cause I'm gonna be the best ninja ever, and I'm gonna be Hokage someday!" Naruto said, clasping his hands behind his head and grinning from ear to ear. "It'd be easier if stupid Kakashi didn't waste half our training time, but whatever. Knock knock!"
There was a certain point past which it really wasn't worth arguing with Naruto, because he'd just go ahead and do whatever he wanted to do anyway, and it was less annoying to go along than it was to beat her head against that idiotic, rock-hard stubbornness. Besides, some of his half-brained ideas worked out better than they had any right to. "Who's there?" Sakura said, sliding down to sit on the bridge with her back against one of the rail posts.
"Orange!" Naruto proclaimed.
"Not more fruit..." Sakura looked up at the sky. It was a gorgeous day, warm and sunny and dry, and she wished she could nap or watch Sasuke in peace instead of dealing with her idiot teammate. "Orange who?"
"Orange you glad I didn't say banana?"
"That is the stupidest joke I've ever heard," Sasuke said.
Sakura blinked again.
"Bastard!" Naruto yelled, jumping across the bridge in a flying kick. "That was Sakura-chan's joke, not yours!" Sasuke dodged, eyes still closed; Naruto grabbed frantically for the railing, missed, and splashed into the stream with a despairing yelp.
When Kakashi finally showed up ten minutes later, Sakura was still laughing.
Naruto claimed it as a victory.
AN: Thanks for reading, and please review! I'm particularly interested in knowing what parts of the story worked for you, what parts didn't, and why.