The Portrait

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto – I'd rather own Kakashi but he doesn't belong to me either.

AN: Sorry if some of the characters are a bit OOC.

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She cried. Her tears fell on her porcelain cheeks as he painted her portrait in the moonlight.

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"And this is a supposed van Gogh oil painting, although very beautiful, there is much controversy as to whether or not this painting is a fake," said the guide as she led the class towards a painting. Unfortunately for the students, their field trip to the art gallery had an assignment attached to it. Some of the class were taking notes on the notepads they were all required to bring. There were others on the other hand, who were about to fall asleep.

"Naruto, come on, we're moving onto the next painting," whispered an annoyed Sakura.

"I don't understand why a dobe like you took art if you're not even interested in it," said Sasuke.

"It's not my fault I needed an arts course to pass high school! I can't sing, dance or play an instrument and politics was at the same time as drama class!" announced the one called Naruto, rather loudly.

"Not so loud moron!" scolded Sakura. She slapped him quite hard on the head to emphasize her point. "Look, you only need to pay attention to what the guide says for one painting so you can write your report on it. Afterwards, do whatever you want but just don't make us look stupid."

"Yes ma'am," replied the blonde with a salute.

"Here with have a painting by the great master Sai," announced the guide.

"Oh, the stalker…" muttered Sasuke.

"The creepy painter?" asked Naruto.

"Yeah, apparently he would stalk people and then paint them," replied Sakura.

Naruto looked up at the huge painting before him. The sight was breathtaking. It was a portrait of a young lady with long indigo hair. She wore a pale cream gown and stood by a window in the moonlight, her back mostly towards the onlookers in the gallery, her head turned over her shoulder. Her eyes, a pale lavender seemed to hold an inexplicable sadness within them.

"He might've been a stalker, but he knew how to paint," muttered Naruto. Both his friends shushed him as the guide started her lecture.

"Although the painter Sai is revered as one of the most skilled artists in history, he was infamous for following his subjects in an almost stalkerish fashion and then painting them. Even so, his notoriety is taken up another notch with the story that follows this painting. Supposedly, the master painter was extremely intrigued by the girl in the painting; so much that he decided to kidnap her. According to the tale, the painter was so intent on painting her portrait that he did nothing else for many days. When he finally finished the portrait in seven days, he looked at his prisoner and realized that she was dead. It is said that the painter died a few months later from grief even though the date of Sai's death as well as the date of when this painting was created is unknown."

"What an asshole," declared Naruto. The class laughed at his comment while his teacher, Kurenai sensei gave him a menacing look.

"Well, Sai really wasn't an admirable character," said the guide. "But he knew how to paint. There's another part of this story too."

The whole class fell silent.

"It is said that the girl didn't really die. Instead, she was lifeless as Sai took her soul and put it in her portrait. They say that sometimes, this portrait sheds tears because of the girl's soul is sealed inside the portrait."

"HOW DO WE GET IT OUT? WE NEED TO FREE HER NOW!" yelled Naruto. This comment was followed by another round of laughter and another menacing glare from Kurenai sensei.

The guide began again, "Apparently to free her soul, one must have a pure heart strong enough to guide her soul out of the portrait. Other than that, there's nothing more to it."

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"Anywhere else you want to go before we go dobe?" asked Sasuke. The three friends were in the art gallery gathering last bits of information during their free time there.

"Can we see that portrait again?" asked Naruto eagerly.

"Fine," said his friend exasperatedly.

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"She's really pretty isn't she?" asked Sakura.

"I guess," replied Sasuke.

"She's not as pretty as I am, right Sasuke-kun?"

"Hn."

"Come on Sasuke, say it."

"Hn."

While this argument continued, Naruto stared at the portrait.

"It is said that the girl didn't really die. Instead, she was lifeless as Sai took her soul and put it in her portrait. They say that sometimes, this portrait sheds tears because of the girl's soul is sealed inside the portrait."

"I wish they would stop calling you 'the girl'. You have a name right?" whispered Naruto.

"Naruto, it's time to go," called Sakura.

"Goodbye," he whispered again to the portrait.

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The so-called "Master Painter Sai" was a creep who kidnapped a girl and…

"And what now…" asked an annoyed Naruto. He was trying to write his report for art class. After doing – or his attempts at doing – his chemistry and calculus homework, it had become quite late.

"Whatever, I'll go to bed," the blond declared as his digital clock read 1:09.

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The moon was bright in the sky as Naruto looked up from a dazed state. A foreign window stood where his own should've been. Something warm rested on his head. He looked up. A young lady with indigo hair and a cream gown was sleeping, one hand resting on his hair and his head on her lap. Naruto twitched involuntarily and fell onto the ground with a loud clatter causing the girl to wake.

"I'm sorry, a-are you alright?" she asked gently.

"Heh, no problem. Sasuke says that I have quite a thick skull."

She smiled weakly in reply. An awkward silence ensued.

"Um… you're the girl in the portrait, right?" asked Naruto after a few minutes of silence.

The girl paled slightly and nodded. Another silence came over them.

"Um… eh… why… are you h-here?" she asked shyly.

"I don't know how I got here, I just did! It's really cool though, I really wanted to meet you," Naruto replied with his characteristic grin.

The girl blushed a bright red.

"WAHHHHH!!! You're not dying now are you?" Naruto asked, clearly alarmed. He put his hand on her pale forehead in response.

"N-no... I'm f-fine."

Naruto sat down trying figure out what to say next.

"Um… w-who are you?" the girl asked.

"I'm Naruto and I'll be Konoha's next Hokage so don't forget my name!"

The girl smiled once more. Naruto felt his insides melting in response.

"I'm Hinata. I used to l-live in Konoha a long t-time ago. I guess things never c-change. The leader in our day was called Hokage although many o-other countries started calling their leaders "prime ministers" or "presidents"."

"It's a great place isn't it? Oh and your portrait hangs in the national museum there. It's the most beautiful painting there. Is it true that your soul is trapped there?"

Hinata, whose face had temporarily regained colour suddenly blanched.

"I'm sorry Hinata, I – " he started but he was shushed again. Footsteps were coming towards the room.

"You must leave. He's back," she whispered with fear and desperation in her voice. She pushed him out through the small window before them…

Naruto woke with a start.

"It couldn't have been a dream…" he muttered sleepily. A little tune suddenly caught his attention. His cell phone was ringing.

"NARUTO WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU? YOU HAVE FIVE MINUTES TO GET YOUR ASS HERE 'CAUSE THE CHEMISTRY QUIZ IS ABOUT TO START!!!" came Sakura's voice.

"Dammit!" he yelled. It was 9:05 in the morning. School started five minutes ago. In record time, Naruto got dressed and ran to school.

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"That was brutal…" said Naruto, walking out of chemistry class.

"It's your fault you overslept dobe," said Sasuke in a slightly more lighthearted voice.

"What's the matter with…" began Naruto but Sakura arrived and joined the group of friends.

"Sorry guys, I had to ask Shizune sensei a few questions," she explained. Naruto noticed that her hand suddenly latched onto Sasuke's whose hand willingly enclosed around hers.

"Hey, you guys finally got together," he said sheepishly. He knew that it would happen eventually but Naruto was always slightly afraid at how it would affect their frienship.

"Well… we'll explain at lunch," said Sakura softly, trying to reassure her friend who had a troubled look on his face. "Anyways, we have to English class now and you have History. Don't be late."

They walked off in separate directions. As soon as Naruto got into his class, he got to his desk to prepare for a good nap.

"'Kay, good morning class," began Asuma sensei. "Today we have a new student joining us."

Naruto looked up.

"Please welcome – "

"HINATA!" yelled Naruto. Surprise filled his cerulean eyes and his finger instinctively pointing at the new student.

What's Hinata doing outside of the portrait? How did Sasuke and Sakura get together? Did Naruto pass his chemistry quiz??? Stay tuned to find out!