This is my first fanfic. I'm a big fan of Naruto and I'd say a fairly decent writer. I'm trying to be semi-serious about this so feel free to be as critical as you'd like. IM A BIG FAN OF CONSTRUCTIVE RATHER THAN DESTRUCTIVE CRITICISM. I'm not well versed in the honorific suffixes as well as some of the other Japanese phrasings but I'll try to be as thorough as possible and consult a dictionary as appropriate.

I'm a fan of the Sakura/Naruto pairing because they just seem to work very well together, particularly after the 2 ½ year time skip following the Sasuke Retrieval Arc.

Though I attempt to allude to the main storyline, I do diverge considerably in order to further my storyline. My fic takes place right after the Grass Country Arc, after Naruto, Sai, Sakura and Yamato fail to rescue a certain someone.

I don't own Naruto. With that sorted, here it is

Enamored by Your Eyes

Chapter 1

"When did he move from...?" Sakura thought, astonished.

"And so, on a whim, I will take your life." His words were without emotion yet when Sasuke's scarlet eyes met Naruto's desperate gaze, those eyes conveyed even less; the eyes Naruto saw seemed to reflect death – absolute nothingness and the absence of all hope.

Sasuke raised his blade, Kusanagi, high overhead, with the intent to kill his best friend.

In a moment, Sasuke's blade was parried, no thanks in part to Naruto; Naruto could only stand there, frozen in… was it shock… fear… sadness… or was it the power of those soul devoid eyes?

Then there was the jutsu that followed….

"Chidori Nagashi!" An electric current enveloped Sasuke's body and Naruto, Yamato and Sai were beaten back by its intensity. Naruto remained helpless.

And then something even worse followed that….

"So who are we going to kill now? Surely you should know by now that you are nothing without my power." The demon fox urged. Naruto found himself back in the chamber of his subconscious self, staring at the sealed bars that held the Kyubi.

"I don't need you…" Naruto quietly remarked, though it was more of a forced re-validation rather than an actual retort. Naruto then felt something awful, like a snake that had slithered its way into his heart. He turned around and, stunned, realized that he wasn't alone.

"So you are the Kyubi." Sasuke mused. He turned to Naruto, "So this is the source of your power? Who could have thought that something like this would be inside of you?" For a third time, Naruto was absolutely powerless. Even the demon fox marveled at Sasuke's improvement…... Sasuke, without fear, crushed the visage of the Kyubi created by the fox's bubbling red chakra and allowed himself the slightest smirk.

All Naruto could think the whole time was, "He's…. so much…. stronger."

Days later….

"So that's the report, Hokage-sama." Yamato finished updating Tsunade on the results of the Grass Country mission, which ended in failure.

Naruto stood quietly with his head down, his face in an open scowl, and his hands behind his back. Sakura tried showing outward optimism but she felt the way he looked.

Tsunade saw the look on Naruto's face and asked him, "So Naruto, what will you do?" She humored herself, "You can always walk away. Sasuke is the least of the village's problems." To that Naruto looked at her solidly, the fatigue and despair temporarily gone from his face and said, "I WILL BRING BACK SASUKE! I won't take back my words……"

Tsunade allowed for the speech which she had heard countless times and then informed Naruto about Kakashi's condition, which improved while they were away. After they were dismissed, Naruto darted out of the room only to be stopped by Sakura in a corridor.

"Naruto, I'll go with you!" Sakura shouted before Naruto went out of earshot. She saw his mood earlier and decided to stick with him for a while.

They had arrived at the hospital and began to walk down another corridor leading right to Kakashi's room at the end of the hallway.

"It was a nice walk. It was beautiful out today," Sakura said

"Yea…" Naruto replied silently

"We'll find him together, I promise," she said. She had said that before to be sure, but felt that he needed to hear it again. To that, Naruto stopped walking and faced her.

"I'm really trying Sakura….. I've been trying for 2 ½ years. I went through back breaking training and fought like hell to become strong enough. But I'm just… not. I want to save him… I really do."

"It's ok… Naruto."

Sakura saw Naruto do something that she hadn't ever recalled seeing him do- he gritted his teeth… and then he cried.

"It's not ok! You told me the same thing two years ago. But it was never ok, Sakura…. I've failed to bring him back. What's worse is that I've been failing my promise to you."

Sakura was stunned. He's really grown up... even more than I'd acknowledged, she thought. He started walking ahead of her, rapidly wiping the tears from his face.

She shouted again, "Naruto!"

He turned around. She approached him closely, put her hand on his cheek, and began to gaze into his eyes. Sakura started to shed tears herself saying, "Tsunade-sama was right… You have an amazing power to change people. Gaara.. was able to change because of you and became the Kazekage. Do you remember when you beat Neji in the Chuunin exam? Naruto… people who despised you and what you are… had smiles on their faces… they were cheering for you… You've changed me too." Sakura stopped and dwelled on that point

Sasuke-freak!... Utterly Defenseless!… Deadweight!… Useless!… She dwelled on how she thought of herself…but also how she began to strive and grow by Naruto's example, by Naruto's growth.

She smiled, "You've made me want to get stronger. And… when you're upset, when you're sad… you make me sad too." She moved even closer to him, still staring at his eyes, and wrapped her arms around him. Naruto, for his part, wrapped his arms around her.

"I'm sorry, Sakura-chan." Naruto whispered quietly. His face reddened as he felt her soft hair against his cheek and her breasts gently press against him. Sakura found herself fixated on his muscular chest and torso. The moment had gone from sentimental to erotic in moments. Neither was self-conscious enough to break up the hug- they both were secretly enjoying it immensely

"Yo! Naruto…Sakura.." Kakashi spoke up from the end of the hallway. He saw and heard everything.

Naruto let go of Sakura and ran up to Kakashi. "Yo Kakashi-sensei!" he smiled, "how many times have you read the new book in the Icha Icha series while we've been away?"

"I'm still reading it…."

"What?!!" Sakura and Naruto both exclaimed

"Well… after the bell test, we almost immediately had to go to Sunagakure to rescue the Kazekage and fight off the Akatsuki….Hmm… The haste at which we traveled made it impossible to get in more than a few pages. Er….After the fight with Deidara and unleashing the full capabilities of the Sharingan, I was in no condition to read. It was only after you left for the Grass country that I recovered enough to read…. But I haven't been sitting around doing nothing either… Hey Yamato-san, two times in one day huh?!" Yamato had followed distantly behind Naruto and Sakura and appeared behind them without a sound.

"I wanted to be here when you told him..." Yamato stated

"About what?" Naruto said with curiosity

"Yamato informed me about what happened in the Grass Country earlier today." Kakashi said solemnly

Naruto appeared to become somewhat downcast again. "Well…" he sighed, "It's clear Sasuke isn't going to come back on his own accord." Kakashi became very stern, "Tears won't help… I know that better than most." Kakashi paused for a moment, allowing this point to sink in. It was a painful allusion to his own past as well. "If you truly want to save Sasuke….If you truly want to bring him back, then show him your strength! To counter Sasuke's techniques, you'll need another jutsu. I've been thinking about it for quite awhile… and I'm pretty sure that it's a jutsu only you can achieve, Naruto. Even still, it may be impossible. But if you do achieve it, in the process you'll probably surpass even me."

Surpass Kakashi-sensei? Naruto thought with a measure of disbelief. His eyes brightened, "A new jutsu?!?!"

Kakashi ignored him, glanced in Sakura's direction and continued, "To facilitate this end, I'm going to need the help of everyone in this hallway. Sakura, Yamato informed me that you now know the true nature of Naruto's condition. Naruto will be intentionally overexerting himself in the attempt to execute the jutsu. In the event that his exhaustion reaches dangerous levels, I will need someone with capabilities in medical ninjutsu to revive and heal him. Jiraiya-sama informed me that we can no longer rely on the Nine-tail's chakra to fully heal Naruto because the healing process has slowed considerably over the past two years. In addition, every time Naruto relies on the power of the nine-tails, the seal encapsulating the Kyubi weakens and corrodes. Sorry to speak about it bluntly, Naruto, but we can't risk unsealing the demon fox, or the chaos that occurred 15 years ago with undoubtedly happen again. To this end, Yamato will perform sealing techniques similar to the Hokage Shiki Jijun Jutsu: Kakuan Nitten Suishu (Hokage-Style Sixty-year-old Technique: Enclosed Hermitage Return to Society) restricting the beast's chakra and not allowing it to leak into Naruto…."

Sakura and Naruto took this in very intently. "Naruto…. are you prepared for this?" Kakashi asked.

Naruto grinned and pumped his fist in the air, "Yes!"

Kakashi continued, "That's more like the Naruto I know. I know you want to hear more about it, but I'm ordered to stay in the hospital for another ten days and I'd prefer to tell you about it once we're ready to begin. Naruto, Yamato… you can leave. I need to speak with Sakura alone for another moment."

"Sakura, I'll wait outside to walk you home," Naruto exclaimed warmly. The two left leaving Sakura with Kakashi

"Sakura, the road ahead is difficult. Naruto was different today, don't you think?" Kakashi inquired

"He… he was doubting himself. He's been like that since we returned. It's just a bit worrisome, though I suspect that it'll only be temporary until he starts learning this new jutsu."

"In order to learn this new jutsu, he has to put all fears, all worries, and all concerns aside. In achieving this jutsu, he needs more than your medical support. He needs your warmth. You have to be his support more than ever before. Sasuke pushed him to excel by virtue of competition. Now you have to push him to excel by encouraging him."

He added, "And… I feel as though you want to help, anyway."

She smiled.

Cool, first chapter is complete. Was that long enough? I'm going to keep writing ahead as much as possible, so I can try and post regularly. (Every 2 weeks-ish maybe) I have a rough sketch as to where I want things to go, but I'm not entirely certain as of yet. This story will receive a M-rating for later chapters. I don't intend on it getting too raunchy, but there will be some 'action' later on- I just don't want it to get too distastefully lemony. My philosophy is that if you get too vulgar, a lot of the meaning behind the sexual encounter gets lost and then it's just not erotic or sensational at all. The story probably won't be any more than 5 chapters as I don't know if I have the creative power necessary to conjure up much more than that. Anyway, please review