Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or any character from the show.
Hey guys, thanks for all the nice reviews:) 69 alerts already. I am so happy. I am going to update once a week from now on I think. School is getting harder and I have to do more homework. I will try to finish my chapters as soon as possible though.
"Hello": regular talking
'Hello': Inner Sakura and Kyuubi talking
Don't forget to R&R ;)
A woman in a white gown walked over to the girl sitting up in the hospital bed. She was sweating and breathing heavily. Her pink hair was wet and she had tears in her eyes. After walking to the sink and making a piece of cloth wet, she walked over to the girl who so suddenly screamed the name of a certain boy. She sat down on the bed next to her. "Sakura? Are you alright?"
Sakura tried to steady her breathing and faced the woman. Black hair, a smile on her face, it was her fellow apprentice. "Shizune." The black haired woman pressed her hand on the girl's forehead and nodded. "You don't have a fever. That's good. That means that you are sweating because of something else. I think you just had a nightmare…maybe that's the cause."
The pink haired girl looked at her hands and saw that they were shaking. Trying to stop the shaking she lied down again. She quickly gave her friend a nod and closed her eyes. The woman smiled and brought the cloth to her face. She touched her forehead with it and Sakura opened her eyes immediately. Shizune smiled at her. "Don't worry; it's just a wet cloth. I am removing some of the sweat." The girl smiled then and closed her eyes again. She was too tired to keep them open any longer.
The slug woman's apprentice smiled when she saw that the girl had fallen asleep again. At times like this she really saw the girl as her own sister. She wasn't too happy with the test results though. After walking out of the room, she called another nurse to her. "I am going to hokage-sama, please take over for a while." The other woman nodded and saluted. Shizune took off her nurse gown and walked out of the hospital with her usual black clothes.
Tsunade was enjoying her sake once again. She loved to drink some of the stuff after a lot of paper work. She detested paper work more than anything. But it was part of the job. While taking another sip of her well deserved sake, she was looking at the mission report of Kakashi. She had sent him on a mission to investigate the hidden mist village. Although they had signed a peace treaty, she didn't quite trust them. She just couldn't lay her finger on it, but she had a feeling that it wasn't over yet.
She was about to take another sip of sake, when someone knocked on her door. Shocked by this, she threw the fluids over her face. A vein appeared on her forehead and she quickly cleaned herself. It had better be important or else the person at the other side of the door would be in for a lot of pain. After stashing away the remaining sake, she put on her serious face. "Enter!"
The door opened and a dark haired woman walked into the room. She stopped right before the desk of the hokage and saluted her. "What is important enough to bother me, Shizune?" She gave her apprentice glare which scared the woman. She started to laugh nervously, because she knew what the woman in front of her could do when she was mad. "It is about Haruno Sakura."
That name caught the old woman's interest. She placed her elbows on the desk and folded her hands. The back haired woman sat down on the chair that was in front of her and placed the chart of the girl who they were talking about on the desk. "After returning to Konoha three days ago, I have been monitoring her all the time as you had asked me. She has been sleeping almost the entire time and she had been recovering pretty fast because of that."
It was now indeed three days after the battle against the Akatsuki members. Shizune had seem the threesome leave the village and told the hokage immediately. After the hokage had heard the news, she had flipped. The kazekage was attacked and two of her most important people had left the village to help him. She had destroyed another desk with her monstrous strength and had told Shizune to go after them with a few others. The woman had found Shikamaru and the old sannin and had left immediately.
They had found the kazekage along with the rest of the people they were missing. They all were in a bad state. Shizune had been able to heal the kazekage and told the two young ninjas who were still awake as much. After she had told them though, they too had fallen unconscious. She had diagnosed then that they were both very tired and had used up too much chakra. After taking them back to Konoha, they were brought to the hospital right away.
The kazekage and his sister had healed quickly. They were being brought back to the sand village at the moment with the help of some Konoha ninjas. Shikamaru had insisted to go with them and Tsunade knew exactly why he wanted to go. She knew that he had a thing for the girl and let him go with them.
Naruto hadn't awoken at all yet. They had done tests on him and he appeared to have symptoms of chakra depletion. He had used too much chakra and would be down for at least three or four days. He didn't have any serious wounds, so that was one less worry for the hokage to worry about.
Sakura didn't have serious wounds either. She appeared to have used up too much chakra too and had been very tired. Tsunade had put Shizune on the job to take care of her apprentice and had taken the job to take care of Naruto herself with the help of some other medics.
The hokage didn't understand why Shizune would interrupt her while saying things she already knew. "What are you getting at, Shizune. I have got better things to do." The black haired woman recognised this tone and understood that the hokage was getting pissed. "Sakura has been waking up a lot…that's good and all, but each time that she wakes up she is sweating and breathing heavily."
The slug tamer was surprised by this new information, but knew what was wrong. "She has been having nightmares. What's wrong with that? Everyone has nightmares from time to time…there's nothing we can do about that." She sighed, because she wanted to help her apprentice, but she knew she couldn't. While sighing, she picked up the chart that the woman in front of her had placed on the desk. She gasped when she was done reading it. Looking at the woman, she now finally knew why she had come.
She didn't get a chance to speak though, because her apprentice beat her to it. "Looking at the data we have gathered, it seems that the girl hasn't slept well for some time now. She appears to be exhausted. I have done some tests and I got them back today. It seems that she has been having these nightmares for some time now and it has been keeping her awake for most of the time. I have found traces of sleeping pills in her blood too. She must have used them a lot….we wouldn't have been able to find traces of the pills if she hadn't taken much of them."
Gasping the old woman hit the wall behind her…leaving a big crack behind. "So she was the one who took them. Damn that girl!" Shizune raised her eyebrow. She didn't understand what the woman was talking about. She was about to ask her, when the hokage continued. "There have been sleeping pills disappearing from the medical cabinet lately. I didn't know who took them, but now I realise that she is the one who stole them. She has to stop taking these pills; they are a risk to her health. I have to talk with her about this when she wakes up."
The woman sighed and turned around her chair. She needed to look at the sky for a while. She needed some time to think. "Just one more thing, Tsunade-sama." The old woman didn't turn around, but made a sound as a sign for Shizune to continue. "Each time she wakes up…she screams the same word….the same name….she screams out 'Naruto'."
"What?" The slug princess quickly turned around now. The black haired woman continued now. "Each time that she wakes up, she screams his name. She talks in her sleep too and she always talks about the boy. I haven't been able to talk to her about it, because she falls back asleep too soon."
The hokage let out a huge sigh and shook her head. Everything was getting too much for her at the moment. The war with the mist, Akatsuki, and now this too. She didn't know how to handle all of this. Right now, she hated it to be the hokage. "I'll go to her now. I need to talk to her about this myself. Shizune, I want you to keep an eye on Naruto for me. Don't let him out of the hospital no matter what. If I know that runt, he could be awaking any moment now." The black haired woman nodded and exited the room. Tsunade stood up to go to the hospital herself too. She needed to have a few words with that stupid girl.
Sakura was running through great halls of some kind of maze. There was water on the ground everywhere and she could hear a dark voice coming from deep within the maze. She had seen Naruto enter the maze and had entered it to look for him. She didn't like the place though. It was a scary and dark place. Each hall looked exactly the same as the last one and she just couldn't find her friend. She called out his name several times now, but he just didn't answer.
She suddenly heard a loud growl and started to run that way. She could feel a feint chakra signal and turned around a corner. Her eyes widened at the sight. Naruto lied on the ground with a large wound on his stomach. She called out his name while she was running his way. She sat down beside him and placed his head on her lap. "Naruto, hey, are you alright?" He didn't respond and she tried again and again and again, but he just didn't move an inch. She couldn't believe it, she wouldn't believe it. Her eyes were teary, but she wouldn't let him go. She placed her hands on the wound and started to heal it.
'It is no use. He is no more.' She quickly looked up to see where that scary and dark voice came from. Her eyes widened again when she saw a huge cage with a seal on it. She could see a huge red figure behind the bars. "Who are you?!"
'It doesn't matter who I am! That boy has served his purpose. I own him now. He has used my powers too often and now it is time for the price.' She now understood that it was the Kyuubi behind the bars. She started to shake, but she didn't run away. She needed to protect the boy. A claw appeared through the bars and headed their way. The seal on the cage started to crumble and the cage opened a little.
'He is just a weak kit; he can't do anything without me! Just let him go! Let me take him!' The claw had reached them by now, but she was still there. "No, I won't let him go. Never! And he's not weak…he is the strongest person I know! He will beat you! You damn fox!"
She closed her eyes when the claw was about to strike. She wouldn't let him go. She would protect the boy like he had always protected her. If they were to die, then they would die together.
Sakura looked around and saw that she was in the hospital. She had trouble breathing and was sweating again. "Finally awake, eh." Shocked, she looked to her side and saw the hokage sitting in a chair. "Tsunade-shishou!"
The woman stood up and walked towards the bed in which the girl was lying. She sat down on the bed and moved her hand to her forehead. It was very wet. "So, you had another nightmare, didn't you?"
Sakura tried to get her breathing under control and nodded at the same time. The old woman sighed and put a hand on her shoulder. "How about you tell me about these nightmares of you? I hear that you have been having them for quite a while now." Sakura's eyes widened. She hadn't told anyone about the nightmares before. Sure, Shizune knew that she was having them, but she hadn't told her for how long she was having the damn dreams. "How do you know?"
She was confused when the hokage started to smile. "Come on, Sakura. You have been my apprentice for quite a while now. You should know that we have our ways. And you have woken up in the hospital quite a few times all sweaty too. And to top it off: each time you wake up, you call out Naruto's name."
Sakura's eyes widened. The hokage had seen through her. The old woman was looking her straight in the eyes which scared the pink haired kunoichi a bit. She didn't want to evade the questions any more. She had held this to herself long enough. "I have been having these nightmares for quite a while, just like you said. I scream out Naruto's name each time, because the nightmares revolve about him." Her master raised an eyebrow after this last statement. "I keep having dreams about Naruto's death. He dies in every one of those nightmares."
Tsunade stood up now and started to walk around the room. She didn't like it…she didn't like it at all. The girl had been dreaming about the death of her best friend. This happened sometimes after an emotional period. It would be understandable if the person to die in her dreams was her mother, but Naruto's death didn't make sense to her. She turned to the girl and could see that she was crying a bit. She rushed over to her and embraced her. "Shishou, I can't take it anymore. What if these nightmares come true? I don't want him to die. I won't let him die!"
Sakura's eyes suddenly shot completely open and she broke out of Tsunade's embrace. The old woman didn't know what had happened and gave her apprentice a confused look. "What happened to Naruto? Is he alright? The Akatsuki didn't get him do they? Please tell me that he is alright!"
Tsunade smiled and placed a hand on the shoulder of the kunoichi. She looked the girl straight in the eyes while answering: "He is alright. He has just used up too much chakra. He will be awaking soon. I think he will open his eyes today to be honest. But don't worry about him…he's fine." Sakura let out a huge sigh and lied back down on her bed with closed eyes. "Then I am glad."
She didn't see that Tsunade was giving her a devilish smile. "You seem awfully concerned about him." Sakura opened her eyes and saw the grin on the woman's face. She finally realised what her master meant. "Shishou!" She started to blush. Tsunade started to laugh now. "Seems like I'm right. You can't hide anything from me, Sakura."
The girl was still blushing, but started to smile now too. "I don't know what I am feeling right now. I really like him, that's for sure. I don't know if it is love or not, but I am willing to give him a chance. I don't ever want him to get hurt and I am willing to protect him…even with my life. He has always been alone….he always had to deal with everything on his own….and still he was able to give me his smile. Still he was always there for me. That stupid fox has given him nothing but trouble."
Tsunade's eyes widened. "You know about the Kyuubi!?" The woman knew that the boy hadn't told his secret to anyone. He was afraid to lose the people who are important to him and he even told her that he wouldn't tell anyone. Up to now only the adults knew of the secret.
"He has told me after the memorial service. He came to my house to cheer me up and help me through the hardest moment in my life. I am so thankful for that. I don't know what I would have done without him." Tsunade let out a small smile now. She was happy that it had worked out.
"He then told me his secret. He trusted me enough to tell me. He told me everything. The glares, the hate, the loneliness….He even started to cry when he told me…I really saw him cry. He trusted me enough to let me see him cry. I never saw him cry before. He had bottled up everything inside, because he was scared that his only friends would leave him too. Don't you know how sad that it!" She said the last sentence with a fierce look in her eyes.
Tsunade was taken back by the words of her apprentice. She had never seen her so fierce as today before. She wanted to say something, but the pink haired girl didn't even give her a chance. "Nobody ever looked at him, nobody ever helped him! He had to go through everything alone. But still he was always there for every one. Even though I used to push him away…he would bounce right back. He knew that I always liked Sasuke…He knew that I found him annoying at the time. But still…he was there for me….he even promised to bring that fool back to me…just so that I could be happy. You know how noble that is!"
Tsunade felt really sad now. She knew the kid's personality. She had seen the true boy herself…the boy behind the mask. She took another look at her apprentice and she could see that she was crying freely now. She didn't even try to hold back her tears anymore. When the old slug tamer tried to embrace her, the girl lifted up her hand as a stop sign.
"He came to me after the memorial to make sure that I wouldn't feel lonely. He wouldn't let me feel lonely. He told me that I would never have to feel lonely as long he is there. Don't you know how that makes me feel? I have never been there for him. He has lived alone for almost all of his life. And I used to ignore him too…just like the rest of those people. His life must have been so hard…as if the Kyuubi alone wasn't enough. Why…why can't people just accept him for whom he is…why?!"
She was crying furiously now. She didn't mind that the whole hospital was able to hear her scream. She didn't care anymore. The woman next to her was shocked. She didn't know that her apprentice was this…this determined to help the boy. She knew she cared about the boy, but not like this. The revelation of the Kyuubi was one thing she hadn't expected. But she still accepted the boy with all her heart. She wanted be there for him even more now. Tsunade was glad that there were people in the world with such big hearts as those two children had.
Sakura was surprised when the fifth hokage embraced the girl once again. She tried to push the woman back, but the blonde used her strength to stay put. After resisting for a while, she gave up and just cried in the arms of her master. "And then I see him die in my dreams every time. It is just not fair. The dreams keep on getting worse and worse. I reach him every time, but I am just not able to save him."
The slug woman let out a small smile what confused the girl in her arms. "What is so funny, shishou? Here I am pouring out my heart and you just smile!" She was surprised when the woman put a hand on her mouth to silence her.
"I think I know why you are having these nightmares, Sakura." Confused, the girl kept silent and waited for an explanation. "The nightmares began when you started to miss the boy. Then when he got back and you learned more about the boy, the nightmares got worse. In the dreams he dies and you are unable to help him. Sakura, I think that you are scared to lose Naruto. You are scared that you are unable to help him. You are scared that he will die. Isn't that right?"
The pink haired girl wanted to yell at her sensei for being wrong, but after thinking about it, she knew that the woman next to her was right. She nodded and lowered her head. The slug woman let out a smile and patted the girl on the back. "He won't get hurt, Sakura. You know how the boy is. He is just like weed…you just can't get rid of him." Both started to laugh at the statement. "And you are there to protect him most of the times too." Sakura smiled when she said that. "I won't let anything happen to him!"
Tsunade smiled and stood up. "I think that you should go talk to him, Sakura. I will help you and him at the same time. I think you should tell him about the dreams. If anyone is able to help you through this, it is that guy." Sakura nodded with a downward face and jumped out of bed, much to the old woman's surprise. "Where are my clothes, Tsunade-shishou?" The woman just pointed to the closet and smiled.
"Oh yeah, Sakura. I have found out that you have been taking sleeping pills without permission. I am going to punish you for taking them and you have to give to pills you have left back. They are bad for your health and if I am right, the nightmares will stop after today." The pink haired girl was shocked that her master had found out about the pills, but she was glad that she didn't get angry on her. She put on her shirt and nodded. Then Sakura gave her master one last smile and walked out of the room.
Tsunade walked back to her office while Sakura headed towards Naruto's room. She had offered to go with him, but Sakura had told her that she wanted to be alone with him for a while. The woman didn't even say anything, but just gave a nod and went back to her room. She opened the door and saw the paper work on her desk. She sighed and sat down on her chair. She knew that Sakura had a thing for the boy. She was just denying it. It would be a matter of time before those two would be together. After picking her bottle of sake, she let out a huge smile.
Sakura was very nervous while she was walking towards Naruto's room. She didn't know what to say to him and how. After finally reaching the room with the boy in it, she let out a deep sigh. She opened the door and scanned the room. The boy was sound asleep in his bed. Shizune was in the room too and walked over to the girl.
Sakura took this time to look the woman straight in the eyes. "Can you leave me alone with him for a while, please? Shishou has given me permission. I need to tell him something and I don't want anyone else to hear this." The black haired woman smiled and nodded. She didn't say anything and just left the room.
She walked to the bed and saw the boy. A goofy smile was plastered on his face as usual and he was sleeping really peaceful. She thought that he looked really cute now. She closed in on him more and more and before she knew it she was only a few centimetres above him. Their faces almost touched. She was about to move in a little closer, when one of his hands suddenly moved. She jumped back quickly. Her heart was bonking against her chest. 'What is this feeling? Why is my heart racing like this?'
'You were going to do what I think you were going to do, weren't you? I didn't think that you were the type to take advantage of him like that. You've got style!' She quickly hit her inner self and calmed herself. The boy was slowly getting up. When he was almost halfway there, he fell back again. To his great surprise he didn't hit his pillow. He opened his eyes and was surprised to see that Sakura had caught him. "Sakura-chan?"
She placed the boy down and gave him a sweet smile. "Hey there." She sat down next to him now and moved her hand through his unruly hair. "You sure slept a long time, sleepy head." She saw the he was still pretty confused. Who wouldn't be after waking up in a completely different place than you would expect? He was looking around the room with a dreamy look on his face. Then suddenly his eyes opened and he turned to her. "What happened to Akatsuki, what happened to Gaara!"
He was surprised when she placed her fingers on his lips. "Gaara is fine and he is already gone. He wanted to go back to the sand as fast as possible. He is the kazekage after all, so he had to go back to his people as soon as possible. We both blacked out after the battle and Shizune and the rest brought us back to Konoha. We have been out for three days. I just woke up and they told me that you were going to wake up soon too, so I decided to visit."
The boy's lips curled into a smile. "Then I am glad. So how have you been, Sakura-chan?" He looked at the girl and saw that she was getting serious all of a sudden. Her eyes lost their caring touch and her lips turned in a straight line. "That's part of why I have come here. I wanted to tell you something that I have been hiding for some time now."
She could see that the boy was getting confused, but she continued nonetheless. "I have been having nightmares for a while now. In all of these nightmares you end up dying." The eyes of the boy widened now, but she still continued. "I wake up every time crying and sweating. Because of these dreams I haven't been able to sleep well lately and I have been taking sleeping pills to get a little sleep. I have just talked to Tsunade-shishou about it and we think that I am having these nightmares…because I am afraid…to lose you."
Naruto was in shock. Sakura out of all people was afraid to lose him. He felt really glad that she cared for him so much. But he became worried too, when he thought about the nightmares. When he heard the sound of sobbing, he turned to her again and his face fell when he saw what he saw. His pink haired friend was crying. "I don't want to lose you, Naruto. I don't want to see you get killed."
She was surprised when she felt arms encircling her. When she opened her eyes, she could see that Naruto had embraced her in a fierce hug. He looked her in the eyes with a serious look. "Don't worry, Sakura-chan. I won't be going anywhere. You are not going to lose me. You can count on it. So please stop crying. It pains me to see you like this." He used his hands to cup her cheeks and used his thumbs to wipe away the tears. "You are much more beautiful when you smile anyway."
She looked into his eyes and could see that he was telling her the truth. She launched herself at the boy and wrapped her arms around him. He was so surprised by the assault that he fell backward. She blushed when she realised that she was lying on top of a boy. She quickly jumped off of him and turned around to hide her blush. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have." When she turned around again to see how the boy was fairing, she became angry. The boy had fallen asleep. She just couldn't believe the nerve of the boy. 'I fall on top of him and he just falls asleep. Does he really like me?'
'I don't know! Every man would have been the happiest guy in the world. Maybe he is just tired…you know that nobody is able to resist us. He will have to make this up to us! That guy hasn't seen the last of the mighty Haruno Sakura yet! Shannaro!' Sakura smiled when she saw that her inner self was still reading her perverted book.
She totally agreed with her second persona though and walked back to the boy. She pulled the cover over the boy again, when she saw that he was shivering a bit. 'He looks so peaceful. Just you wait; you're not off the hook yet, Naruto-baka.'
She moved her face closer to his and gave him a small peck on his lips. Their lips just barely touched, but she knew that this small one-sided kiss was of great significance. She had just kissed him and it felt good. She could feel her heart race in her body. And when she saw that a smile appeared on his face too, she couldn't be happier. "I'll see you later, Naruto." With that she left the room.
The next few days went faster than a speeding bullet. Sakura had avoided Naruto for the last few days. She didn't get as much nightmares as before and she was very thankful for that. The only thing Naruto was doing these days was training. They hadn't gotten any mission for some time now, but she had heard that he was going to go on a mission tomorrow. He had to go to the village of the mist to bring back someone to interrogate.
It was good to be the apprentice of the hokage sometimes. She had overheard the hokage talking to Shizune about the war. It seems like Akatsuki was involved too. She didn't believe that that stupid organisation was behind all that. That stupid organisation was getting more troublesome by the minute. She decided to go to Naruto today before going home from training. Tsunade had pushed her to her limits once again and she just wanted to go to sleep, but she knew that this was the last time she could see the boy before he would leave.
While walking through the village she looked all the people in the eyes. She still couldn't believe how the people of the village could treat the boy so badly. She had beaten one of them before, when he had called her a demon friend. The guy was transported to the hospital right away with some broken bones. He had been screaming like a baby and when he had finally reached the hospital he was in for the worst. When he saw who his doctor was, he flipped. It was the same pink haired girl who had put him there. She still remembers how she said that she'd needed to break some bones to fix everything. She had let out all of her aggression that day.
She remembered that Naruto had told her that he would be training on the training grounds of team seven. It was the only place he trained since he came back. She often went to see him train after her own training. She loved to see the boy work out. She would watch him from afar, so that he couldn't sense her. She knew that she was beginning to look like Hinata, but she didn't care. Looking at the boy would make her day good again after a long day of training. He looked so sexy while training.
She finally reached the gate to the training grounds which she was searching for. She did the same thing she always did….she jumped into a tree. Hoping to see the boy do some kind of heavy workout, she was disappointed to see something entirely different. Her eyes widened in fear and in rage as she saw that he wasn't training, but talking with someone else. And it wasn't just someone. He was talking with Tenten, the weapon mistress. She didn't know why, but she felt so angry right now. She just wanted to hit something.
She couldn't hear what they were talking about, but she had an idea. She could see that they enjoyed their time together. Laughing was one thing they were doing a lot. 'Those bastards are probably making fun of me. Or they are laughing, because they know what they were going to do this evening…together.'
'That wench stole our man! This cannot be forgiven. Kill her! Kill her!' Inner Sakura was armed and ready to kill. Sakura couldn't help but sweat drop when she saw all the weapons her inner self had, but she did agree with her. That bitch had stolen Naruto from under her nose. She even called her a friend. Friends don't do this. Then suddenly she realised that she couldn't steal the boy, because he was never hers to begin with. Her face fell and she mentally hit herself. She was too late. When she saw that they hugged each other, she knew that she was right. Tenten had won the guy, because she had been too slow.
When she saw that the weapon master had disappeared, she jumped down the tree and started to walk towards the boy. When she saw him train again, she realised that he would never be hers. When she saw that he was running towards another training post, she could see the training post change into herself. When he destroyed the post, she could feel her own heart breaking. She closed her eyes to get the images of the boy in front of her and Tenten out of her head, but it only got worse. She saw the hug that he shared with the girl over and over in her head. It made her mad, but she was too sad to express the anger in her voice. She reached him and just stood there, hoping that he would notice her. After she had remained quiet for more than three minutes, she decided to start the conversation. "Hey, Naruto." She said it in a very low voice.
The boy stopped with his heavy training when he heard a familiar voice. He landed on the ground and saw his pink haired friend standing next him. He became happy the moment that he saw her. He ran towards her with a big smile on his face. 'She will be so happy when I tell her the news.' When he stopped next to her, he didn't become happier though. When he saw the downward look on her face, he began to feel a pain in his chest. The boy hated to see her like that. "Sakura-chan, what's wrong?"
The girl didn't answer, but continued to stare down to the ground. "Is there anything I can do to help, Sakura-chan?" Again she stayed quiet. He placed a hand on her shoulder, but she slapped it away. She raised her head a little and looked him in his eyes. She could see the confusion and hurt in those deep blue eyes, but he deserved it for doing this to her. "I just came to wish you good luck on your mission."
The boy was surprised by her action, but he didn't know what he had done wrong. He decided to let it go for now, because the girl seemed to be in a foul mood. "Thanks a lot, Sakura-chan! I am going to the mist village tomorrow for a mission. I will be away from the village for at least a week. It will be a dangerous mission, but don't worry. Nothing will happen to me. I'll be fine with Ino, Shikamaru and Tenten there."
He didn't see that a vein started to appear on the forehead of the girl in front of him. "Oh yeah, I wanted to tell you something that Tenten and I have talked about. It is..." He couldn't finish his sentence. He was sent flying because of the fury of a certain pink haired girl. "Have fun with Tenten on your mission, you baka!" When Naruto tried to stand up, he could see that the girl was running away with unseen speed. He brought his hand to his broken cheek and tried to call out to the girl.
When she was out of sight, he sat down on the ground. 'What did I do wrong? I thought that we were getting close. Seems like I was wrong. But still, she didn't have to hit me like that...especially since I have convinced Tenten to help her with her training. Well, I will talk with her about this when I get back. Better to concentrate on the mission for now.' He started to walk back to his home with his hand still at his cheek.
Sakura had returned home and was now in her bedroom. Crying on her bed, she reached out her hand to grab a picture. In the picture Naruto was smiling with his typical grin...the grin she liked so much. She closed her eyes for a moment and opened them again. She could see herself next to him in the picture. She let out a small smile when she saw that. A second later though the she started to change. She got a bit taller and she was changing more and more and suddenly Naruto was standing next to the weapon mistress. She let out a scream and threw the damn picture away. The frame broke and she continued to cry herself to sleep.
The blond boy was standing next to the girl she hated so much right now. The kunoichi of them Gai was holding his hand and had a big blush on her face. When Sakura looked to the left, she could see herself...she was all alone. The darkness was taking her and she wanted to be taken by it. She closed her eyes and let herself fall in the depths of darkness. Her eyes shot open when she wasn't falling anymore. She looked up and saw that Naruto was holding her hand. He pulled her back up and caught her in his arms. He gave her a smile and put her back down. When she tried to say something, nothing came out. Her voice just didn't work. Even when the boy started to walk away, she couldn't call him back to her. She gathered all the power she had for one final scream. "Naruto!"
She looked around and saw that she was in her room again. She was breathing heavily. Looking around she figured that she had another nightmare. It didn't end up with Naruto dying, but she didn't feel any better this time…too be honest, she felt even worse. After opening the curtains, she could see that it wasn't dark anymore. She picked up the alarm clock which she had thrown on the ground some time ago and her eyes widened. It was midday already. Her shishou hated it when someone wasn't on time. She was in for a world of pain and to make things worse...she couldn't see the boy she loved off. He had left her behind...all alone.
That was the only thought that ran through her mind the whole day. She didn't even bother to pay attention. When she shook her head and looked around she didn't know what she was doing. She was suddenly hit by a kunai in her leg and she winced in pain. 'Was I so spaced out that I didn't even know that I was sparring…' When her master saw this, she healed the girl and sent her home. Sakura nodded without hesitation and started to walk home. It had been a bad day and she just wanted it to end as soon as possible.
When she returned home she just sat down on the couch on which the boy had slept not too long ago. She wanted him back so badly. She didn't know exactly since when, but she felt so alone without him. 'I'll win him back. I'll show that bastard that I am much better than that stealing wrench. I will show him the love of Haruno Sakura!'
Naruto thought that he was in a beautiful place. There was water everywhere and the forests around here were nice too. He had left on the mission some time ago now. The mist village wasn't that far from Konoha, so the trip wouldn't be too long. The sand village was much farther and he was glad that he didn't have to go that far. Although he wanted to know how Gaara was doing. He hadn't seen him after the battle with Akatsuki and was concerned about him. The only thing that bugged him here was that there was mist everywhere. Not seeing anything irritated the young Kyuubi container.
He was currently the front man. Shikamaru had again made the travel strategy, because all of the konoha eleven knew that he was the most experienced leader. The hokage had even trusted him enough to let him lead the attack against the mist ninjas. Nobody complained when he decided to be the leader of the mission. They were travelling in a straight line. Naruto was on the front, because he was the most energetic ninja. He would be able to react on a situation very fast and he could make clones to help him too if he would be isolated from the rest.
Behind the loud boy was Shikamaru. He decided to be the second in line, so that he would be able to give the front man commands and he could give the people behind him commands by using hand signs. He had recently learned some nice battle techniques. His father had been the one to teach them to him. Looking down he still remembered the day his father died. He clenched his fist, because he knew that the village they were currently going to was to blame for it. Before he had left on the mission he had vowed to succeed. He wasn't going to fail this mission no matter what.
Ino was the third in line. She didn't know why she was sent on this mission. As a medical ninja, she didn't have much mission experience. Sure, she had gone on missions with Asuma, Chouji and Shikamaru, but those missions were all easy. Most of them were C-rank. She didn't feel good about this mission. She knew that there was a high possibility that there was going to be some fighting. Medical skills and infiltration were the things she was good at. She was probably chosen because of her infiltration skills.
She was happy though that she was going on this mission with the blond Ninja in front of her. He had grown so much and she couldn't keep her eyes offa him. He was just sexy! She hated that he was spending a lot of time with her pink rival, but the pink haired girl didn't seem to be so interested in the boy. 'This will be my chance. I have got to make that boy mine before it is too late. I have seen that Hinata girl looking at him too…the girl even drooled. She has been gaining a lot of confidence lately and it won't be long until she will ask him out. I'll just have to show him something he won't ever forget on this mission!' Nobody could see it, but Ino had a devilish smile on her face.
Lastly Tenten was at the rear. She was the best weapon handler in all of Konoha and she could throw lots of weapons at the same time. Shikamaru had figured that she would be the best at the rear for the same reason Naruto was best at the front. They both were able to take out a lot of enemies fast. She was probably on of the strongest kunoichi of the village. Maybe Sakura was better, but she hadn't fought the girl since the chuunin exams so long ago.
She was happy to go on this mission with Naruto. She hadn't known the boy for so long. She always thought that he was kind of annoying, but after he came to her a few days ago to help him with his training, that all changed. She saw the real Naruto that day. She had never seen the honest, serious side of him. He openly admitted that he needed help. She was so shocked by this that she accepted his request right away.
He had showed her a weird sword. Supposedly it was the sword of a legendary warrior. When she had asked him how he had gotten the sword, he said that his teacher gave it to him. There were strange seals on the sword and he was even able to send his chakra into it to make it even sharper. She had never seen a sword like that before and helped the boy to handle it. Although his teacher had given him the sword, he didn't know how to handle it either, so the boy was on his own, until he came to her. They trained together for three days and he was finally able to handle it properly.
He had even surprised her more when he asked her for something else. He had asked her the day before they left for the mission to help Sakura train. He had told her that she had just acquired a new katana and that she hadn't fought with swords before. He almost begged her to help the girl with it and when she said that she would do it, he immediately hugged her, while saying words of thanks. 'He probably cares very much for that girl to be so eager to help her. I do see him spend a lot of time with her. Maybe he wants to become more than friends with her. I think that they will be a great couple. They look really cute together.' She giggled, while she was looking at the back of the blond boy.
Naruto noticed that the mist was getting thicker and thicker. He had heard that the village hidden in the mist lived up to it's name. When the mist became so thick that he couldn't see anything anymore, he decided that it would be best to stop now. He glanced over his shoulder and looked the lazy ninja straight in the eyes. With one nod from him, the loud ninja stopped in his tracks and the rest stopped behind him. After looking around, the leader of the mission decided that this would make a fine place to stay for the night.
The lazy ninja put down his bag and sat down on a log. "So, who's going to take watch tonight? I took watch last night and it would be too troublesome to go though another night without sleep." He looked around and saw tired faces around him. He saw that Naruto gave him a smile though. "I'll do it." They all nodded and took their sleeping bags out of their bags and placed them on the ground. Naruto leapt away and came back some time later with tree branches. He put them down in the middle of them and lighted it with a small Katon jutsu. He didn't have an affinity for fire, but he knew how to use one or two fire jutsus.
They all prepared their food…Naruto had brought instant ramen of course…and began to eat. It was quiet for some time and Naruto decided that he couldn't take it anymore. He hated big silences…he already had to live through silence most of his life. "So, Shikamaru, how are we going to do this tomorrow? We are going to infiltrate the village, right. So how do you want us to act?" Everyone was surprised that the boy in front of them was able to start a serious discussion. They had expected a stupid sentence. The boy had really matured.
"I am glad you asked. Listen well, everyone. I am only going to say this once. It would be too troublesome to say it twice. We are going to infiltrate the village in two teams. We will say that we are two couples and we are just travellers searching for a place to stay for a moment. So we can't wear our ninja gear. I have told you to bring regular clothes too, so tomorrow you will have to put those clothes on.
We will stay in the village for one week. So in seven days at 19.00 I want everyone to be here. Gather as much information as you can. Any information is vital here. When we come back here, we are going to put all of the pieces together and then we are going to make our move. We need to take someone with us who can tell us what is going on. It would be nice if this would not become troublesome, but I don't think that it will be so easy."
Looking around he could see that everyone nodded and he let out a big sigh. He saw that Ino was waiting hopefully for what was coming next. He raised his brow, but she didn't say anything. 'Please let me get with Naruto.' Shikamaru looked around and lowered his head. "The teams can't come into contact with another for the week. Naruto, you go with Ino and I will go with Tenten." Shikamaru was surprised when Ino suddenly made the peace sign, but simply mumbled something that resembled 'troublesome'.
Naruto jumped into one of the trees surrounding the camp and looked around for possible enemies. The rest was sound asleep already. The trip had been tiring and everybody needed their rest. 'A whole week with Ino. What did I do to deserve this? She is cute, I won't deny that, but she is just scary most of the time. I wish it would have been Sakura-chan.'
He became sad the moment her name came to his mind. He still didn't know why she was angry at him and he hated it. Had he done something wrong? He shook his head and clenched his fist. He would talk to her after this mission was over. 'I just don't know why, but I get the feeling that something bad is going to happen on this mission…'
Little did he know, but a certain blonde was looking at him the whole time with a devilish smile on her face. 'You're mine, Naruto.'
AN: So I have decided to go with Ino, Tenten and Shikamaru. I have gone with Tenten because Sakura was already jealous on her when she saw them together in the village. I made Ino go because she thinks Naruto is hot now too and she won't hesitate to make a move. And I made Shikamaru go, because I needed a male and I think he is the best choice for this mission.
I didn't let Hinata go, because I already wanted Ino to go to make a move and Tenten was going too because of the incident with Naruto. So Hinata is left out. But don't worry. Sakura is jealous already, and she will be even more after they return.
Next chapter will be the mission. I will be focusing on Ino and Naruto's team of course. There might be some NaruIno moments in the next chapter. But don't worry…this is a NaruSaku story. I think they will return to the village next chapter too. Maybe some narusaku fluff then. I haven't thought so far ahead yet.
I am going to introduce a new person the next chapter too. He will be one of the important characters of the story. Not like Naruto and Sakura, but more like the rest of the village. I am a final fantasy freak and he will be from one of the games. He won't act completely like in the game, but he will look the same. He is from the mist village. Do you know who it is? Try to guess;-)
Hint: He will be in the same gang as two other mist ninjas you have seen so far in the manga.(kisame and zabuza)
Well, review and I hope to see you again next chapter