It was a nice summer day, perfect weather for training when one wasn't on a mission, or better yet for a mission, and that's what the rookie nine, and team Gai were doing, minus one actually. The only one missing was Naruto, now that might have been normal if he had been on a mission. But he wasn't. He hadn't been seen all day. He hadn't been seen for the past three weeks and people were starting to wonder. Especially Team Seven, who saw him last before the event infront the village.
Haruno Sakura to say the least, was an emotional wreck. She couldn't help but wonder what happened to the blonde who had become one of the bright points in her day. She missed him, and it hurt. She thought back to the last day she saw him and wonder if it was her fault. After all she had been pretty mean to him that day, more then usual actually.
Uchiha Sasuke was lost in thought. He was wonder what had happened to the "dobe" as he had so….affectionately had come to call him. Sasuke sighed, he knew this was his fault, he was the one who made the bet with Naruto, the one that had…had…Sasuke let out an involuntary shudder at the thought. Sort to say he felt like he had killed Naruto. Sasuke thought back a month ago.
It was early morning, Still before sunrise actually, as Sasuke walk to Team Seven's training ground. He sighed, another sleepless night. 'Stupid dobe', he thought, 'I couldn't stop dreaming about what he said'. It was true, all he dreamed of last night was a result of Naruto's uncharacterized out burst the day before. "What did he mean I didn't know what it like to live a life long hell?" Sasuke mused out loud. The more he thought about it, it bugged him. He knew nothing of Naruto, absolutely nothing. Naruto was a bigger enigma then himself, and that pissed him off. Nearing the training ground he heard the sound of a fight. He slowed down as her got nearer and what he saw shocked him.
There was Naruto going head to head with none other then Rock Lee and by the look of it, Naruto was giving Lee a definite run for his money. Sasuke frowned, how the dobe was keeping up with one of the best Taijutsu users among their age group was a mystery. His frown grew as he noticed the style Naruto was using. He had never seen a style like that before. It was fluid and graceful, almost like an ancient warriors dance. It was fascinating. Then it was over as Lee slammed right into The Uchiha prodigy. Lee was up in an instant, but Sasuke took a minute longer, as he was dazed and thinking 'How the hell did the dobe knock spandex boy into me at such a distance.' As he stood he saw Naruto walking over to him and a grinning Lee.
"Naruto! Truly the flame of youth burns within you! TO be able to use such an incredible move! Please, teach me!" yelled Lee as he got on all four and bowed. Naruto sighed as he noticed Sasuke looking at him with an odd look of……something.
"Sorry fuzzy-brows, I'm not taking anybody on right now, not until I finish my taijutsu style to my liking, sorry," said a grinning Naruto. Sasuke was standing now, shock evidient in his eyes, his mind screaming ' The dobes creating his own style!? One that can kick Lee's ass!? I must learn it at any cost!!' Naruto guessed the thought in Sasuke's mind. And turned to leave and said, "Same time tomorrow fuzzy-brows?", to which Lee gave a thumbs up and ran off yelling about Naruto's "flames of youth"
For the first time Sasuke noticed Nauto's shirtless body and blinked. For a boy of thirteen, Naruto was undoubtedly well bodied, lean, slender, and well-formed muscles shaped his upper body. That and the scars, Sasuke couldn't keep his eyes off of all the scars that decorated Naruto's exposed body. But that was over as soon as Naurto put his shirt back on followed by the unusual black sleeveless vest with a red emblem of a nine-tailed fox on the back. Sasuske blinked at the symbol and frowned. He was about to ask but was cut off as a high pitch call reached his ears. "SSSSSSaaaaasssukee-kkkkkuuuuuuuun" Sasuke sighed, it was Sakura.
Sasuke looked at Naruto, who was now in a meditative position on the ground. Sakura stopped a few feet from Sasuke and looked at Naruto and blushed some."U-um Sasuke…..who's this….," Sakura asked pointing to Naruto. Sasuke's eye twitched.
"You don't recognize him?"
"How many blondes with whiskers do you know?"
Sakura stared at the meditating blonde for what seemed like hours, taking in the features of the boy. Suffice to say she was shocked, the usually load and hyper orange clad blonde was meditating, and wearing anything but orange. She took note of his forest green pants, the short sleeved red shirt, and the black vest that he now wore. His hair was still the spiky chaos it usually was. Sakura looked at Sasuke and pointed at Naruto.
"What happened to him. Who is he. I…i…why…..", she rambled.
Sasuke shrugged and said, "I don't know, he was here sparring with Lee when I got here and doing quite well."
"How well," Asked Sakura
"Naruto beat Lee"
"As in hand to hand to hand…..?', Sasuke nodded. At that Sakura's jaw dropped. Naruto beat Lee? In a hand to hand fight? Was that even possible? Naruto sighed and stood at looked at his two teammate as they swapped theories as to why Naruto was like this. Such theories as that it wasn't really Naruto, or Ino was playing a trick on them, of a Jounin was messing with them. They didn't notice when Kakashi poofed into the training ground.
"Sorry I'm late I got lost on the road of……hm?" Kakashi was a bit surprised to find two of his students in deep conversation about Naruto while Naruto was….doing something that looked like a new jutsu.
"So Naruto, is that a new jutsu your learning?" asked Kakashi? Naruto looked at him and gave his fox like grin. and shook his head.
"I'm making one," he replied getting Sasuke and Sakura's full attention. A new jutsu? Made by Naruto? Sasuke became jealous, while Sakura groaned thinking 'great, another perverted jutsu'. Kakashi was amused, Naruto was an odd one at best, and Kakashi would wager his entire Icha Icha Paradise collection that Naruto's Jutsu would be something else.
"Tch dobe, it'll be just another worthless jutsu, just give up," said Sasuke. As much as he hated it, he was impressed with Narutos creative justsu ability.
"Oh yeah? Then lets make a bet Teme. One week, we each have one week to create a new jutsu, the one who makes the better jutsu wins, and the loser has to treat the winner to anything they want for a week., no complaining, no whining, and no backing out," Said a smiling Naruto.
"Anything," asked a thoughtful Sasuke. Naruto nodded. Sasuke smugly held his hand out "Then I want you to teach me that taijutsu style your creating after I win"
Naruto glared at Sasuke, Sakura and Kakashi blinked and simultaneous thought ' Naruto's developed a taijustu?'
"Fine teme, but if I win, you have to…..", Naruto thinks for a moment and then smiles," Go on a date with Sakura"
Sasuke's eyes go wide in horror as Sakura squeals at the thought. The thought of going on a date with Sakura was…..horrifying for him. Sasuke looked at Naruto for a moment and then gave his awnser.
A week had passed and the whole village had now heard about the bet between Naruto and Sasuke. It had become a huge event to the point that people had started placing bets on who's jutsu would be better. More the ¾'s of the village had placed their bets on Sasuke. The other ¼ had placed it on Naruto, which included the Hokage Tsunade, several ANBU, Iruka, Ayame from the ramen shop, Gaara, Kankuro, and Temari of the Sand, and the entire Hyuuga clan much to everybody's surprise.
Sasuke was the first to go. Making a series of hand seals he did the jutsu and called out "Youkai Kaji" 1 Immediately pale white fire erupted from Sasuke and started dancing about like wandering spirits before landing upon a stump of wood and immediately incinerating it. A wild cheer went up from the crowd who had placed their bets on Sasuke. Then it was Naruto's turn. All he did was four seals, but that was enough, the effect was felt by everybody, because in a sense, the felt a blast of chakra, and then, nothing. When they looked at where Naruto had been, there was nothing but a single slip of paper.
At first nobody moved, they just stared at the paper, then finally, slowly Tsunade walked over and picked up the paper and frowned. "What..what…is the meaning of this…." She asked still staring at the paper. Kakashi step forward and hesitantly asked "Hokaga-sama, what is it? I-Is there a problem?"
Tsunade sighed, "It seems that…Uzamaki .Naruto….has disappeared from the village"
End Flash Back
Hinata was happy. Happier then she could remember, and it was noticeable too, her teammate's were the first to noticed her change. Not only was she happier, but she had more confidence. It had been a little more then a month since her new friend had shown up in her room. He was different then the other friends she had. Aside from the fact that he wasn't human, and a ninja, she had nothing to worry about. Her new friend was a fox, a blond, five tailed fox, that could talk, and use jutsu. She smiled as she remembered her first meeting with the fox-nin.
Hinata was tired, and in pain from the training session she had just had with her teammates Kiba and Shino. Every muscle was tense and sore and she wanted nothing more then to take a hot shower and give her aching muscles some form of relief. As she reached the front gate of the Hyuuga grounds she noticed something odd. People were running about, both main and branch alike. She frowned and wondered what could have happened. Rushing in despite her muscles painful protests she looked for the source of the problem. Being unable to get a strait awnser from anyone she went directly to the top, her father.
Before anyone could stop Hinata rushed into her father's room to see what she was needed to do, however she was completely unprepared for what greeted her. Her jaw dropped and nearly hit the floor at the sight of her father. The first thought that came to mind was that somebody had played a really sick joke, the second on was that it had been damn funny, and thirdly this was not her father. The man before her was laughing, laughing like the funniest thing had just happened, and his face, dear sweet Kami, his face. It took all of Hinata's will power not to laugh, or even give the hint of a smile, and it was damn near impossible seeing as her fathers face, had been painted like a clowns down to the very last detail, red nose, big painted lips, rainbow wig and all.
"O-otu-s-san," stuttered Hinata trying her damn best not to laugh, "H-h-how a-are you f-feeling t-t-his e-evening?"
Hiashi gave a large grin, one that scared Hinata to the point that all humor in her was lost. After what seemed like minutes the usually stoic Hyuuga finally spoke.
"Hinata, why didn't you tell me you had friends with such a great sense of humor?," he laughed, which scared her even more, before continuing," To think not only did he beat Neji but to pull such a delightfully tasteful prank during my meditation, superb. That Uzimaki is certainly one to keep an eye on"
Hinata was confused. Her father was praising Naruto for a prank, but, how could he have done it if he was missing she wondered. Haishi noticed her confusion and gave a small smile and gave a small but mysterious explanation.
"He's still in the village, Hinata, just don't expect to recognize him, considering how his jutsu saw to that," said the head Hyuuga. Hinata blinked and slowly nodded not quite understanding him, and slowly left and went to her room. She sighed, Naruto was missing and she missed him dearly.
Closing the door to her room, Hinata slowly began to undress, upon throwing her jacket onto her bed she received a "Do you mind? I'm trying to sleep here"
Hinata jumped and looked at her bed in bewilderment as a fox clamored out of her jacket. It wasn't just any fox, it was a box of the purest blond color she had ever seen, actually, it was the only blond fox she had ever seen. She blinked, it winked at her. She took a step back and it smiled, she blinked again and thought 'How does a fox smile'?
Then she noticed that it had not one, but five tails. Her eye went wide, here before her was a fox her mother used to tell her stories about. Multi-tailed tricksters capable of doing the most mischief in the shortest amount of time, then it bowed, bowed, in front of her and spoke.
"Greetings young Hyuuga mistress," it said," I am here to help you."
"You...you….KAWAII," were the words that escaped her mouth as she bolted and started frisking the fox. Hinata couldn't help it, a kitsune was in her room, and it was there to help her. Numerous questions shot out, all the fox either refused to answer or gave mysterious replies. This went of for an hour before Hinata finally stopped and blushed.
"Gomen Kitsune-san, I haven't asked your name," said Hinata," M-May I have it?"
The fox looked at her for a moment, pondering for a moment, before saying, "My name you know, for you have in your heart. My will is fire, my determination is steel. You watch me from a distance, and faint when I speak. My burden is heavy, all I ask is you share it with me when I cannot bear it, that it my name."
Hinata blinked, a riddle, he gave a riddle for a name. She thought for a moment before answering," Gomen Kitsune-san I don't know your name, but, give me time and I'll figure it out."
The fox nodded and replied," Very well, you have a month to figure it out. If you do, I will show you my true form. One that you know all too well."
End Flash Back
Hinata smiled, over the past three weeks she and the fox had gotten close. She shared her secrets he shared things about Naruto. How, she oft wondered, did the fox know so much about her crush? As she ran, the fox, on her shoulder, was telling her about all the jutsu's Naruto had supposedly created, and the secret vault that he kept them in. She was curious to see all the jutsu filled scroll's that supposedly existed by Naruto's creation.