Warning: Bad language, bad grammar, not Beta-d….


Sasuke twitched madly.

Kakashi chuckled.

Hinata blinked.

"Mou….Anko-sensei," Hinata called to Anko.

Everyone looked at her.

"Hai! Hinata-chan?"

"What is 'uke'?"


"Did you feel that?" Izumo asked, looking around trying to pinpoint something.

"What?" Ebisu looked at him, peering from his signature sunglasses.

"Naahh….probably it was my imagination."

"What are you talking about?"

"I thought I felt a killer-wave just now."

"You're delusional."

"Don't get me started, perv."

Sasuke shrilled almost femininely, clutching his face in horror before hoisting the poor Hyuuga girl onto his right shoulder and ran out of the way as fast as he could, leaving a trail of sandy dust behind him.

Anko blinked.

Kakashi blinked.

"What the fuck was that?"

"It seemed that our little Hyuuga princess still live in a sheltered life, Anko."

Anko grinned maliciously, turning to Kakashi, "Do you know what will happen to our dear Ducky Ass-chan if his little Tomato hime-chan finds out?"

Kakashi looked at her wide-eyed. It is no doubt that Anko was definitely Orochimaru's prized pupil.

"Two words; absolute mayhem."

"Bingo!!" Anko laughed shrilly, rubbing her hands in absolute glee.

Quietly, Kakashi shudder. Dangerous woman….dangerous dangerous woman.....


Sasuke ignored Hinata's wailing and continued running full speed ahead, dodging bushes and hedges, tree-hopping until he could not sense any chakra following them.

I think its far enough now. He said to himself before stopping at somewhere remotely unknown and then proceeded by dumping his mortal enemy unceremoniously to the ground.

"Ouuchh!!" Hinata rubbed her backside and glared balefully at her raven-haired nemesis. "What's your stupid problem Duck Butt?! Have you gone insane? Ohhh…I'm sorry, I forgot you've lost your brain back there!"

"Hn." Sasuke acted indifferently, crossing his arms across his chest.

Hinata rolled her eyes upwards in irritation. She can't believe the audacity of this…this…idiot in front of her. "You. Are. An. Idiot!" She got up and started walking back, ignoring the sharp looks hurled to her.

"Where are you going?" He demanded, offhandedly of course.

"I'm not talking to you!" she replied, huffing angrily at him. "And if I had my kunai pack with me, I'd skinned you myself for what you did! Stupid Duck Butt!!"

"You're not going back there Tomato Freak."

"Hah! Says who?" Hinata stuck her tongue out at him before proceeding back to camp.

"Do you know your way back?"

"Of course I do. I'll just follow this way back, idiot."

"Baka," Sasuke grimaced. "You're not going to run away that easily. Besides, you're going the wrong way."

"Run away?" Hinata turned back. "Who was the one who ran away just now, you duck ass jerk!"

"I was just...uhh...well...err...protecting…errr…you. You know. Standard...shi...shinobi guidelines! Yeah!" Sasuke murmured indecisively and yet sounding very unconvincing to the Hyuuga Heiress. Great....what a lame excuse. As if she's going to buy that one...great job Sasuke....

"And you expect me to believe that load of rubbish?" Hinata folded her arms across her chest, looking incredulously at her arch-nemesis.

Sasuke glared at her. "Why don't you just thank me and be done with it? I just saved your innocence."

Hinata's eyes slitted furiously. Oh! The audacity……of this…this….jerk! "Thank you? Thank you? THANK YOU??" Hinata went up an octave. "I...I...rather trust a man-eating snake than trust someone with the likes of you, Duck Butt! The day I trust you would be the day I die!!"

Sasuke glared back. "You should be lucky that I was there to stop Anko from..err...from polluting your...your....young mind! A simple thank you would be just fine and I accept your gratitude, Tomato Freak."

"Thank you? You??" Hinata looked at him in utter disbelief. "I prefer to die, thank you."

"Hey! I protected your modesty and innocence and this is what I get? Ungrateful bag of…of….rotten maggot infested tomatoes!"

"I can't believe Itachi-nii has moron for a brother who so loves the shape of a duck's ass."

"Don't drag my Aniki into this...." Sasuke warned.

"Why not?" Hinata smirked, like Sasuke, she knew which buttons to push to annoy him.

"He's not your nii-san! He's my nii-san!" Sasuke shoved his index finger to himself gruffly.

"Of course he's not," Hinata replied coolly. "He is my future fiancé. And I'm going to marry him! Nah!"

"Are you sure its going to work?" Anko raised an eyebrow.

"Of course!" Kakashi grinned from behind his mask. "Guaranteed to work!"

"I hope you didn't take the idea out from that perverted orange book of yours."

Kakashi sweat bullets. How'd she know?

"You owe us big, Kakashi," Pakkun replied coolly, looking at Kakashi.

"No problem Pakkun," Kakashi grinned, looking at his other nin dogs digging the ground.

"I hope you know what you're doing, Kakashi...." Pakkun looked at Kakashi drily. "...and whatever you're planning, I hope it'll work. Not to mention you're going to pay for our spa treatments after this."

Anko smirked while holding a small jade coloured snake with golden amber eyes wrapped around her slim wrist. "And now you know why I'd prefer my reptilian babies compared to your pups, Kakashi." She kissed the top of her beloved pet's head.

"Don't start with me, Anko."

Anko giggled. "At least my baby here purrs delightfully than complaining."

Pakkun and Kakashi shudder.

"If she's your mate Kakashi, indirectly we'll be related to snakes. And you know we don't go well with…." Pakkun stole a look at Anko, "…snakes."

"Another mordant comment like that Pakkun, I'll dress you in pink tutus, tiaras and thong so you'll be the laughing stock of all the animal summons…." Anko threatened hissingly, "…..for you entire fucking lifetime."

And that kept Pakkun shut up for the entire day.

"Err….hi there, Rhai-sensei," Iruka greeted Rhai politely. A shy blush coloured a nice pink on his tanned cheeks.

"Hi, Iruka-sensei," Rhai replied warmly. She too had a shy blush across her cheeks. The rest of the Suna instructors left the two of them alone.

"Anou...do you need more help?" Iruka offered. "I..I...mean with all the genins around, I thought you....might need some...help."


"Yeah," Iruka scratched the back of his head. "I'm sure you know that our terrain here is different than those in Suna."

The young Suna kunoichi smiled and nodded her head, "Yes, my team and I had a discussion about it. We will need more briefing and organize some activities."

"I already have some activities listed and...." Iruka was explaining until his stomach growled. "Gomen-ne." He looked at her apologetically.

"Have you eaten yet, Iruka-san?"

"Err...not yet?"

"Maybe you ought to have something before you got gastric," Rhai looked worried.

"Err...uhm...would you like...err...to join me...perhaps?" Iruka was trying his best not to blush furiously, but it wasn't working. "I….don't feel that comfortable eating...all alone with you watching...you know?"

Rhai looked pleased and nodded shyly, "I'd love to....Iruka-sensei."

Iruka smiled in relief. Thank you Kami....

"Temari," Gaara called to his dark blond sister.

"Hai?" Temari looked slightly nervous.

"What do girls like?" he asked impassively.

Temari blinked.

"I don't like repeating myself," Gaara was getting impatient.


"You're a girl." He was impassive.

"Of…of…course!" She trembled.

"What do girls like?"

"For...err...what occasion, Gaara?" Temari tried her best to control her stammer.

"Is there a need for occasion?"

"Of course there's a need," she explained. "Different occasions shows different type of gifts, if gifts you were thinking about."


"So....who is it for?"

Gaara frowned.

Temari jumped back slightly, holding the wall behind her.

"That girl."



"Oh! You mean the sweet girl who spoon-fed you?"

"Hn." Gaara twitched a little.

Temari didn't know whether she was dreaming or not, but this was certainly.....odd. Her demonic-possessed brother is exploring possible human interaction? The thought did not seem possible five minutes ago but now…..well, the chances for it to work has increased to fifty percent from zero!

Grinning to herself, "Well, it won't be hard Gaara."

Gaara's cool aquamarines locked in a gaze with his sister's amber ones. "Explain."

Temari resignedly sighed, thinking how to explain the intro to the world of the birds and the bees to someone like Gaara. "Girls like flowers Gaara, or toys like bunny rabbits, cute kitties and furry teddy bears. It'd be nice if you could get one of those do-it-yourself gifts. It has a more personal touch to it."

"Flowers? And teddy?"

Temari nodded her head. "Now, its not that hard, ne?"

"Hn." Gaara crossed his arms before strode out of the room with a newfound determination.

"Where are you going?"

"Get gifts," he answered without looking back.

"What happened?" Kankurou woke up, looking rather dazed at his sister. "Where is Gaara going?"

Temari was grinning widely, "He's going to get a gift to his little girl friend." Temari made a inverted comma sign emphasizing on the 'girl' word.

Kankurou looked shocked, "I think too much excitement in a day is way too much for my system, Tem. My heart is not as young as it used to be, ya know?"

What the fuck did she just say?? Sasuke's brain went on an overdrive.

"Oh hell no!" Sasuke yelled at her. "You're not going to marry Aniki! Never! I won't let you!!"

"Says who?" Hinata taunted him. "He gave me this ring!" She showed him the ring strung hanging from her necklace. "Itachi-nii gave this to me before I left for camp, and its a promise ring he says. Hah! Take that Duck Butt!"

A...A....Aniki.... Sasuke clenched his fists tightly. Fury gripped the young Uchiha, conflicting emotions swirled passionately with much rage. I won't let you take away what is mine...she is mine first!

He turned his attention to Hinata who was glaring back at him.

"Give it to me." He put out his hand to her.

"No!" Hinata refused.

"Give the damn ring to me!"

"Never!" Hinata held the ring protectively to her chest. "He gave it to me."

"Give the ring to me or else..."

"Or else what??"

"Or else I'll take it away from you!"

Hinata gasped and break for a run. And Sasuke followed closely behind her, determined to snatch the one thing that will bind his possession to his older brother, and he is not going to lose out to his aniki.


"Did you hear that?" Kakashi asked.

"What?" Anko looked up at him.

"Cries of help…."

Pakkun frowned, "They're coming this way."

Kakashi whistled to the rest of his nin-dogs. Covering the hole with leaves and twigs, the nin-dogs disappeared into thin air including Pakkun and the two former ANBUs took refuge about thirty feet away, amongst the canopies of leaves.

"Kakashi," Pakkun looked smugly.

"What now?"

"Just to let you know, I think I got a bad feeling about this."

"And you're telling me this now??"

"Well, I didn't want to interrupt you and your...err...lady friend."


"Can the two of you shut the hell up??" Anko was irritated. "Keep it low! They're coming this way."

Pakkun and Kakashi looked at each other with Pakkun giving Kakashi a I-told-you-so look.

"Come back here Tomato Freak!!"

"Go away Duck Butt!!"

Sasuke increased his speed until he heard Hinata's high pitched scream. What happened??

He increased his speed until he saw a weird hole on the ground before him. He stopped and peered into the hole. Shocked and surprised, he screamed, "TOMATO!!!"

"What is the problem?"

Temari, Kankurou and Baki sweated bullets. Never in their life trying to agree with something has been this difficult. Ever before.

"Err…Gaara…I don't think...its..err..." Temari stammered at her youngest but dangerous little brother. "….errr….a go…goo…od….idea?"

Kankurou was trying his best to contain his laughter but failing miserably. He apologised frantically at Gaara and ran out of the room causing Temari to twitch and cussing him under her breath and confusion to their youngest sibling.

Baki sighed restlessly. Why did their puberty have to hit at this time of my age??

Gaara frowned darkly and closely to snarling.

"Gaara," Baki called out from his corner. "Self-control."


"Well, I think your gift is a little…uhmm....exotic, Gaara," Baki finally admitted.

Gaara frowned.

"Temari says girls like toys, so I made her a toy," Gaara looked down at his creation, expression still as impassive as usual.

"Yeah," Temari agreed. "Girls do like toys, but….carving out a teddy bear from wood is a little….uhmm…exotic?" Almost squeaking at the end of her sentence.

Gaara looked down at the wooden carved figurine, "Girls like bears." It was not even a question. It was a statement. An edict.

"Teddy bears, Gaara. Not grizzly bears," Temari pointed out. "Like your Mister Bear, remember?"

"I can't give her this?" Gaara's sand held up the roughly sculpted bear the size of a ripe watermelon.

No one dared to answer that. Not even Baki.

Gaara already knew his answer. He destroyed the carved bear with his sands and stood up. "I'm going out."

"Where will you be going?" Baki asked, sipping his already lukewarm tea.


"Not too long Gaara," Baki reminded.


Temari, Kankurou and Baki blinked. And blinked again before Kankurou and Temari both floored in relief while Baki steadied himself by the wall.

"I think this might work out for him," Temari smiled, looking at Baki.

"And I think you might be right on this Temari," Baki agreed, then smiled. There maybe hope after all….

"I think we can leave them for now," Kakashi observed.

"I still don't think it'll work, Kakashi," Anko frowned slightly. "What if she's really hurt or something?"

Kakashi turned his head slowly….at Anko. He shot her a suspicious look. "Are you sure you didn't hurt yourself Anko?"

"Are you insinuating something, Kakashi?" she snarled at the taller man.

"You sure don't sound yourself," he hopped down and started to walk away. "Its as if you're on your monthly again."

"Oh…and you think you men don't have your mood swings??"

Kakashi sighed deeply, finding it not worth his time in arguing with the feisty spiky-haired jounin.

"Don't you dare walk away from me, Scarecrow!" she growled menacingly at the silver-haired man.

"I'm not walking away, Anko," Kakashi grinned and then disappeared in a puff of smoke. "Just running away…"

Anko grinned slyly, twirling a kunai in her hand, "Oh no, Kakashi. You won't run away that easily…."

"Hey Tomato! You there?" Sasuke peered over the dark hole. It looked eerily dark. Is she alright?? Did anything happened??

Guilt started to eat up the young Uchiha.

"Naahhh….she probably deserves it," Sasuke started to walk off, and all of a sudden he turned around. "Maybe she'll need help?? Hah! Help that Tomato Freak?? What a waste of time! Why the hell would I wanna help that useless white-eyed freak??" Sasuke walked off again, fighting off his 'good' conscience.

….five seconds later….

…..ten seconds later…..

…..eleven seconds later…..

"What the hell…" He turned back and knelt down beside the hole. "Oi Tomato Freak! You okay down there??"


Sasuke heard a weak stirring from the dark abyss and automatically he knew it was her. She's alright…..

Sighing in relief. Thank Kami she' alright….

Until he heard some bushes rustled.


Sasuke cursed and jumped back into the green foliage and hid himself, masking his chakra from being detected.

Deep down the manmade hole, Hinata moaned in pain. Sharp intense pain shot up her frail frame stemmed mostly from the lower part of her body which came from her already wounded legs. Struggling to get up, Hinata tried to figure out what happened and where she was but the pain was too intense she fell back on her backside, down unto the dirty ground.

Looking what was around her, Hinata could only surmised that she must've fallen into a hole. Feeling around the ground, Hinata tried to sit up and managed to lean herself against the moist wall of earth, pondering what to do next. As she tried to move both her legs, a sharp severe pain shot through her left leg immobilize her movement altogether. Activating her Byakugan, she could see that broken her left leg and sprained her right ankle.

Hinata moaned in pain and tears automatically appear and streaked down her cheeks. A mixture of pain and frustration was too overwhelmed, causing her to sob louder.

"What am I going to do?" sobbing to herself. "No one will know I'm…here…Okaa-chan…please….someone…..please….." Hinata sobbed in her hands for quite some time. Until….

"Why are you crying?" Someone asked.

Hinata whipped her head up, only to find someone peering into the hole. She couldn't make out who was it, but the outline of the figure did give her some form of hope to be rescued.

I'm saved!! She beamed happily. "Here! I'm down here! Help!"

Then Hinata could hear some sort of hissing sound and saw a trail of sandy dust filling down the hole and wrapped all around her fragile body. Tensing at the sensation of moving sand around the fragile state of her body, Hinata screamed in pain when the sand wrapped around her broken leg. Immediately the sand held her in a sitting position with her legs straightened out before lifting her out from the hole.

Hinata didn't know whether to either cry in joy or in pain. But the sight of her rescuer, tears of happiness trailed down her soiled cheeks, sobbing happily.

A few hours later:

"Are you sure you didn't have anything to do with this, Sasuke?"



"I did not do anything, alright?!" Sasuke snapped at Kakashi.


"Are you just going to let him get away with this, Kakashi?" Iruka looked penetratingly at the silver-haired man.

"I mean, he didn't do anything of the sort…."

"But Hinata-chan is injured!"

"It was nothing serious, only a broken leg."

"Broken leg? Broken….leg??" Umino Iruka couldn't believe the audacity of his senior. "Let me tell you something Kakashi-senpai, that broken leg did not only break but splintered through the skin and a few leg nerves were affected. That took three medic-nins to fix with their chakra! You better be glad that Hyuuga Hiashi isn't going to breathe down your neck!"


At the mere mentioned of Hinata's father, Sasuke immediately froze. Oh crap….

"And you, young man…" Iruka pointed out. "You were caught at the scene itself, hiding behind some bushes and not offering any help to your fellow shinobi but it has to take a foreign shinobi to help! Have you no shame, Uchiha Sasuke?"

Sasuke's head hung low. He knew he is going to be in more trouble than he already was when…

"I'm going to have to report you to your parents, Sasuke. And I'm sorry it has to come to this, but I'm going to have to confer with the rest of the teachers on what we are going to do with you for the rest of the duration. You're dismissed."

"Hai." Sasuke walked out of the room dejectedly. Then, Iruka's gaze fell to Kakashi.

"Somebody must've dug the hole purposely, Kakashi and I'm going to find out who and why."

Kakashi sweatdropped. I'm dead.

"And Kakashi?"

"Yes Iruka?"

"I am going to need Pakkun's help with this."

Damn it…I'm screwed.

Camp's Infirmary:

The door slid open slowly and Sasuke poked his head through. Looking at the sleeping Hinata, he treaded the floor carefully as to not waken up his little nemesis.

Sitting down on the wooden chair beside the bed, Sasuke's black onyx eyes stared at the all bandaged up girl and her leg in a thick plaster cast. He couldn't believe that he'd almost cause someone to die. But it shouldn't be hard because he is a shinobi, ne?

Shaking his head, Sasuke looked at Hinata breathing slowly. "Sorry, Tomato." He murmured softly, hoping that he could be heard and not embarrassing himself.

"She is sedated."

Sasuke turned around only to see Gaara standing by the darkened corner of the room.

"What are you doing here?"

"Shouldn't it be me who ask you that question?"

Both continued to stare at one another until Gaara asked deeply, "Are you the one who cause hurt to her?"

Sasuke narrowed his eyes. "No."


"Why do you ask?"

"Because," Gaara looked menacingly evil as his sand swishing around in his huge gourd. "…if I found who did this to her, I will take it upon myself to avenge her."

Not feeling happy with the sudden declaration from the redhead, Sasuke crossed his arms across his chest. "Why do you do this? Who is she to you?"

Gaara smirked almost threateningly. "She is a friend." Then walked towards the bed and touched her cheek gently with the back of his hand. "She is not afraid of me. I like that."

"Take your hands off her!"

"And who is she to you, Uchiha Sasuke?" Gaara asked almsot snarlingly, his aquamarine gaze balefully at the young Uchiha.

Sasuke gritted his teeth and clenching his fists tightly that he felt blood dripping to the floor. Without realising it, the smell of blood permeated in the air causing the sands in Gaara's gourd to swirl in frenzy.

How could he answer that? How could he answer that simple question? Who is she to him? Why is she so nauseatingly annoying to him that he felt he wanted her all to himself? And what is this feeling churning deep down in his chest? Turning around, he ran out of the room, leaving Gaara's question unanswered.

"He is WHAT??" Kankurou exclaimed out loud while Temari blinked.

"Kankurou, I may be old but I'm certainly not deaf," Baki sighed. "He is protecting the Hyuuga girl."

"This isn't funny Baki-sensei," Kankurou pointed out. "I mean…this is Gaara we're talking about for Kami's sake!"

"Exactly my point," Baki poured himself a cup of tea. "Do you remember what he asked us not long ago?"

Both Temari and Kankurou looked at each other.

"You mean?"

"Yes, exactly that," Baki smiled. "I think this little girl might be the key to help Gaara."

"Is that even possible, Sensei?"

"Absolutely Temari," Baki sipped his tea. "Let's just hope things turned out for our love struck fool."

- TBC -

A/N: My sincerest apologies for the longest delay ever. A lot of things happened and I thank you all who have reviewed, giving their opinions and sharing suggestions. Also thank those who favourite this story and also C2s who like this story. I'll try to update sooner and thank you for your patience. I hope the length of this chapter helps to satiate all of you. My next update is juggling between "If Only" and "Spring Memories". My thanx again to all for your patience and support!!

My apologies for the formatting, tried to adjust them in the page editor but it went haywire instead. I can't get anything underlined here. Really crap.