1A kunai flew through the air and landed with a dull thud in the sunlit grass. Blonde hair flashed as the thrower in the tree landed next to it and withdrew it from the ground, his blue eyes gleaming as he looked up at the sky, slipping the kunai back into its proper place.

Naruto had received a note to meet at this specific place around noon. Well, he was here, and he was bored. He sat back against the tree, closing his brilliant eyes to the sun, and sighed.

His life had been hard lately. On the way home from one of his typical Ichiraku stops after training, Naruto could've sworn he'd been followed. He had no proof, but he always saw that shadow out of the corner of his eye and when he turned to see it better, it was never there.

There was that, and the fact that a few days later he had come home early from training frustrated, when he heard a hard thunk! as he slammed the door. He opened it again and saw a kunai, but of unusual make, and blood was dripping down from it. He looked around, but he didn't see anybody injured or any blood besides what was on the door. He took the kunai to Tsunade, and as soon as she saw it, her face clouded in a fearful expression he'd never seen before.

After he'd told her what happened, she'd disappeared into her office for a few minutes before reappearing. She told him that it was a weapon from a far village that even she hadn't heard of before and that it was dipped in a poison so potent, it made wood bleed, which explained the blood's strange appearance on the door.

Sasuke saved me that day, however indirectly, he thought, smiling slightly. They'd fought again that day over some stupid thing, and when Naruto slammed the door, the door had swung into the path of the kunai, preventing it from killing him. Naruto thought about Sakura, and he smiled a bit wider. She'd been beautiful that day, even more so than usual. But that was probably for Sasuke to notice, not me. His thoughts grew darker and he lost his smile.

Why am I here? Where is this person that's supposed to meet me? His eyebrows contracted over his closed eyes. Is it Sasuke? Is this his idea of a joke? But then, other things entered his head. What about that rock that somebody threw through my window? What about all those other things? And then this note. Why'd they want to meet me outside the village?

His eyes flew open even as he felt the kunai being pressed to his throat.

What if this is a trap?!