All right, this is yet ANOTHER time travel fiction. I hope it somewhat varies from that of other author's fictions, but, who knows. Please read and review.

Chapter One

The clang rang out throughout the air as two shinobi wielded their kunai against one another. The shinobi with red hair and bright hazel eyes let up on his strength, causing the blond male he was fighting to pitch forward in surprise. The blond's cornflower-blue eyes widened, but he could do nothing to stop the fist slamming into his face and sending him flying back. The blond flew back and soared through a boulder, causing it to explode on impact. The first shinobi relaxed his stance and his hands moved quickly to create several seals. "Shouten no Jutsu," he said clearly as five other bodies appeared next to him. He and his five other people looked across the plain of disabled bodies and blood and felt as three traces of chakra rose distinctly. Three people appeared next to the boulder, climbing over the rocks to get to the blond he had just been fighting. One clone shifted as if to begin its attack before holding back as the redhead held out his hand.

"Not yet."

The blond felt pain run through every part of his body, and he struggled for breath. A rock was lifted off his chest, and he breathed in quickly as fresh oxygen rushed into his little rock coffin. More and more rocks were pulled off him, and he saw a black-gloved hand appear over him. Grunting as he reached for the hand, he was swiftly pulled up out of his coffin.

"You okay?" asked his rescuer, her leaf-green eyes filled with worry over his health. The shinobi grinned, his blue eyes narrowing as he tried to smirk. The green eyes narrowed dangerously at his futile attempts, and he laughed.

"I'm okay, Sakura-chan. Really. I'll be fine."

"Course the idiot's fine," said a voice from behind the two shinobi. The man and woman looked back to see another shinobi bearing the hitai-ate of the Konohagakure, with his long, black bangs flowing in the breeze. The newcomer smirked, saying, "I don't think the idiot even knows the meaning of death, Sakura. After all, he's just like a cockroach in so many ways."

Haruno Sakura laughed, her shoulders trembling as she let out her laughter. Blue eyes glared at her and she quickly composed herself. Turning to their black-haired teammate, she put her hands on her hips, frowning as she said admonishingly, "That was low, Sasuke. Naruto's better than a cockroach – I'd say he's more like…a beetle."

Uzumaki Naruto stared at his fiancé, completely aghast. He quickly shifted to see another person approach, their long midnight-blue hair waving in the wind. Lavender eyes and a soft smile greeted him, before a frown quickly replaced it as veins became more apparent around her eyes. She turned to look across the plain at the six people, and frowned as she wondered what kind of jutsu could produce such clones. Uchiha Sasuke put a hand on her shoulder, softly asking, "What do you see, Hinata?"

Naruto and Sakura's face formulated into a serious expression, both now going back to the situation at hand. Hyuuga Hinata gritted her teeth, eyes narrowing further. Naruto snarled as he turned to go and finish the task he'd begun before.

"Wait! Naruto, don't go yet!"

Naruto looked back at the Hyuuga matriarch, his entire body tense. Turning to glance at the six people who waited across the bloodied field, he once again looked at the Hyuuga, teeth bared.

"What am I waiting for? If we beat them…if we beat them, our friends' deaths won't be in vain! What are you stopping me for!"

"I know that!" yelled Hinata, her patience snapping as she began to understand the situation they were in. Sasuke put both hands on her shoulders, and the three shinobi saw her calm down visibly. Hinata took in a deep breath and in a much softer voice, she continued by saying, "Those people…we can't beat them by charging in recklessly. They will mutilate us, and we didn't survive this far just for our luck to run out because of poor planning. Those eyes…you don't understand what damage they can cause!"

Sakura and Sasuke traded glances, though Sasuke was the one to ask. "Eyes?"

"Those people, no, that man Pein is the wielder of the Rinnegan. It's far superior to the Sharingan, and even the Byakugan together. I've heard of him before when my mother once told me fairy tales, but I thought it was just that – a tale. He has the advantage of being able to see from six points-of-view at once, and whatever he sees, he can block or dodge."

"Six views?" muttered Sakura, glaring at Pein, and he met her eyes. "So, Hinata, let me get this straight. Each person, because they have that Rinnegan thing, can share whatever their eyes happen to see with the other five people? So, their view is infinite?"

Hinata nodded slightly, a bead of sweat running down her cheek as she searched for a plan, a course, an escape, anything to help them out of their horrible situation. Sasuke chuckled, and the three other looked at him as if he'd just grown another head. The last Uchiha looked at them, smirking. "I don't see the problem, Hinata."

She stared at him with wide eyes, and he shrugged, grinning more. "So, we just have to stay out of their vision, right? They can't see something, they can't block it right?"

Naruto stared at Sasuke with a scowl on his face until a thought raced into his brain. Looking at Sasuke in a new light, the other man nodded slightly. Hinata and Sakura frowned at one another, and Naruto grinned at both of them.

"Don't worry, you two. With my nearly inexhaustible supply of chakra, Sasuke's curse seal, Sakura's insurmountable strength, and Hinata's lineage, as well as our backup Kyuubi, we can win this battle. Just follow my lead, and we'll make it through."

"Or we'll die like cockroaches," muttered Sakura, though she moved along with the other two behind Naruto across the field towards the center. Naruto and his team stopped in the field, not five paces away from Pein and his five clones. The blond looked Pein up and down, grinning softly. "So, I hear your name's Pein," he said, his voice lilting with humor. "I think it suits you. You've been nothing but a pain in my fucking ass."

Pein narrowed his eyes at the Jinchuuriki, his clones following suit. "This ends here."

"I agree!"

The area exploded with flashes of light and Pein and his clones cried out in pain. Naruto raced around, his blond hair flowing back as he created a cross seal, whispering, "Tajyuu Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!"

Thousands of clones of Naruto appeared in the area, though the six Pein clones were too busy being blinded. Five hundred clones surrounded the six, each holding up the seals of Dragon, Monkey, Snake, and Tiger. Each Naruto clone shouted, "Bakuretsu Bunshin no Jutsu!"

Pein and his clones screamed out as five hundred explosions went off around them, effectively killing their hearing. Hinata, her Byakugan activated, and Sakura with her chakra-filled fists raced at the six men. Sakura pulled back her fists and readied herself to launch the fist forward when a fist appeared right in front of her and slammed into her stomach. Sakura's eyes widened, though she was given no time to emit any sounds as she flew back and skidded across the ground. Her body rolled over and over until friction caught her and she slid the rest of the way across the dirt. She grunted softly, unable to feel her limbs. "D-damn it…"

Hinata had a little more luck as she jumped back quickly as soon as she saw a fist reach for her. Eyes focused, as soon as her feet touched the ground, she moved into a lower position, yelling, "Hakkeshou Kaiten!"

Within half a second, a blue ball of chakra was racing around Hinata as she spun at high speeds, forming the ultimate Hyuuga chakra defense. A face appeared right in front of Hinata's inside her defense, however, and her eyes widened in shock. The man slammed a hand into Hinata's chest, and she felt her ribs and clavicle break before the force of the blow sent her flying back across the ground. A wave of dirt soared from each side of Hinata as she hit the ground rolling, much like Sakura. However, unlike the rosette, Hinata felt her breath cut short as a broken rib pierced her left lung. Freezing, lest she have the rib pierce her heart, Hinata gasped for breath, eyes watering as she looked back up at the battle. "No…" she whispered.

Sasuke charged up to the second level of his curse, feeling his wings sprout from his back, and he forced his Mangekyou Sharingan to activate. Two of the clones raced after him, and he felt the effects of a strong fire technique burn into his back. He yelled out as he felt his wings take flame, and he hit the ground with a loud crash. Only nanoseconds later, the two clones were on him, burning him until he screamed. His eyes caught a hold of one clone, and he shouted, "Tsukiyomi!"

Watching the clone cry out from whatever image he saw, Sasuke jumped up, and swirled around to throw a kick into the other clone. The clone caught it, and Sasuke pushed off the ground with his other foot and sent it flying towards the clone's head. Catching that too, the clone didn't notice Sasuke run quickly through techniques, shouting, "Katon: Ganshou Ryuuseiu no Jutsu!"

From the earth exploded forth hundreds of large balls of magma, each aimed straight for the clone and Sasuke. Sasuke eyes widened as the clone vanished from beneath him, leaving Sasuke alone to take the powerful attack. His screams penetrated the air and Hinata looked up, her eyes filled with tears as she heard Sasuke continue to scream, before silence met her ears. Sakura had pushed herself up from her position on the ground, and she looked over to where Hinata was. The Hyuuga woman was screaming and Sakura turned her head away, unable to handle the pain she knew Hinata was experiencing. Moving to limp over to the far away spot where Sasuke's body lay unmoving, she tripped over a rock and fell down to the ground hard.

"…Down again…"

Naruto looked over at where his three teammates lay, and felt rage flow through his veins. His body trembled as red chakra flowed out of his skin and covered him in a form of a cloak. His teeth enlarged and the incisor grew as sharp as the Kyuubi's, as well as his nails on his hands and feet. Naruto's cornflower-blue eyes faded over to a deep, fiery red, the black pupils retracting and elongating to a become more fox-like. The red cloak of chakra completely covered him, and Naruto raised his nine tails in the air along with his haunches. The five clones of Pein as well as the original appeared in front of the Jinchuuriki, and Naruto let out a loud roar. Pein looked at him, a small smirk on his face. "You'll die, Jinchuuriki."

"I don't care!" roared Naruto. "But when I die, I'm taking you with me!"

Without any more preamble, Naruto flew forward, a red flow of chakra flowing along behind him as he raced towards Pein. Pein shifted aside of Naruto and grabbed the man's black jacket, letting the blond's inertia send him flying across the field towards the Naruto's friends. Naruto's eyes widened in surprise as he saw Pein and his clones close around Naruto and his friends. A palm slammed down into Naruto's stomach, effectively cutting off Naruto's demonic chakra and leaving the blond defenseless. Naruto hit the ground hard enough to leave a crater, and aside of slight coughing, found he could move no more. Seeing Hinata, Sasuke, and Sakura roll into the crater to hit him at the bottom, he felt weakness seep into his body, and he shouted in rage.

Naruto stared down the long corridor, his face showing an expression of defeat. Lifting his eyes, the blond moved down the corridor until he stood in front of a large barred doors with a seal in the very middle. Two large, red eyes glanced down tiredly at the blond, and Naruto looked up with as much enthusiasm. The large fox's chakra was still rolling out through the thick bars of the gate, but Naruto paid it no attention. He breathed in deeply, before exhaling, and moving closer to the gate. Naruto reached up a hand towards the seal and peeled it off the gate. The doors of the gate blew open and Naruto felt himself fly away to hit the wall of the corridor hard. Blazing red eyes looked down at the blond, and Naruto turned away, frowning.

"You're free," he said softly, "and I know you don't owe me jack, but, you mind killing off that Pein for me?"

The Kyuubi moved one of his tails to grab the blond and brought the shinobi to his face. "I don't remember you ever quitting so easily, kit," Kyuubi said, his voice deep and loud enough to cause the corridors to shake. Naruto raised his head to look at the Kyuubi, frowning as he said, "Konoha is dead… My friends are as good as dead…my fiancé is almost out of my reach. So many have died – I can't keep this up anymore! I'm…I've died!"

Kyuubi laughed, the barks sounding like explosions roaring through the small passageways. Naruto grimaced, and glared as he bore his teeth at the demon. "What's so funny?"

"Physically," said the Kyuubi, his voice vibrating with each word, "you have died, yes. But spiritually, you, and your friends, very much exist. Much as I hate what greedy flesh-bags as you humans have prove to be, I must say I've taken to your brash personality, and noticed humans probably need a bit of a nudge in the right direction."

Naruto stared at him, his left eyebrow raised in confusion. "And this means…what?"

"You're going to try again, you little idiot, and this time, you won't put my life at waste!"

Naruto shuddered when the Kyuubi grinned, showing all of his teeth. "I'm sending you back, and you're going to fix all this shit! You're going to make it so I don't die, and don't get stuck with a fucking weakling for a vessel! With what I'm doing, you'd better make the best of it!"

The blond screamed as all of the Kyuubi's chakra began to surround and flow inside him. "Gah!" he screamed. "What…what the hell is this!"

Outside in reality, Naruto screamed as his body turned a bright red and a sphere of red chakra formed a dome over the crater, keeping Pein and his clones out. The dome began to crackle and turned bright white, before shattering into fluttering pieces of energy, and dissipating completely. When Pein looked down into the crater, he was surprised to find the area was completely deserted.

Naruto rose from where he lay, screaming as loud as his lungs could. The pain still fresh in his mind, he realized his entire body was shaking. Breathing in deeply in an effort to calm himself, he felt himself relax. Looking around him and expecting to see the large crater Pein had sent him packing into, the blond was surprised to see what looked like his old apartment in his youth…the apartment he'd had before Konoha had been completely demolished. Jumping off of the bed he was sitting in, he raised a hand to scratch the back of his head in confusion. Blinking a few times, Naruto turned to look back at the bed and stared at it, comparing it to his eye level.

"I feel like I've shrunk, somehow…"

He raced over to the mirror located near his restroom, and stared at it. "I'm…short… Again…"

Naruto turned around and looked over at his bureau, where he found only his old goggles, but no sign of his hitai-ate. Grabbing the goggles, he frowned at them. He couldn't remember having ever taken them out of his first drawer since graduating from the academy. "I have my suspicions about this," Naruto muttered, "but I'd better find out for certain first."

He walked over to his closet and looked through his clothes, frowning when he saw his orange jumpsuit. "Hell no," he said as he pushed all of the orange things aside. Reaching back, he discovered an outfit consisting of a black V-cut, short-sleeved shirt with orange lining, and a pair of black pants made of a light material. Surprised, Naruto quickly grabbed the outfit and ran to put it on his bed. Grinning, he then tore off his clothes and went to take a quick shower and ready himself for whatever kind of day it was.

Fifteen minutes later, Naruto was outside of his apartment and locking his door. Frowning at the loss of his hitai-ate, he shrugged and jumped on the railing running along the walkway in front of his apartment. He took in a deep breath and jumped off, laughing as he fell. Hitting the ground hard, he felt something wrong take place immediately. As soon as he had tried to gather chakra to help for a softer landing, he found he barely gather enough to cover the size of his hand, much less his feet and legs. He cried out in pain, and glared down at his legs. Having concentrated solely on the loss of his chakra finesse, he hadn't paid attention to how far from the ground he had been. Completely confused, and feeling his suspicions about his current situation begin to rise again, Naruto gathered himself up and moved towards the direction of the academy. He forced himself to run and was shocked to find he had none of his original speed, and not only that, but he was winded easily, despite his enhanced endurance due to the Kyuubi. Naruto sighed, but did not allow himself to stop running, and he puttered along all the way until he saw the building come into view. He gasped in relief, and stopped running only to start coughing hard. A hand clapping his back surprised him, and he looked up to find a younger Hinata smiling down at him. Staring, he sputtered, "Hinata!"

"Hello, Naruto," responded the Hyuuga in return. Her eyes narrowed slightly as she looked him in the eyes, and he met her gaze fully. "Have you noticed anything odd about our current circumstances?"

Naruto sighed, having hoped he was completely wrong, but now after seeing a younger Hinata look at him without her normal stuttering to accompany the image, he realized he was definitely right. Frowning, he said, "I suppose we have been brought back to the past. That's all I can ascertain from this situation."

Hinata looked shocked – her pupil-less lavender eyes were wide and she seemed a bit taken aback. Though Naruto wanted to grin for doing the unbelievable and shocking the Hyuuga matriarch – correction, heiress now, he couldn't allow himself to do the immature action. Looking away, Hinata frowned as she raised her right hand to her lips with her left supporting her right arm in a gesture showing she was thinking. "But, how?" she asked softly, still thinking hard. "I don't recall there being a jutsu allowing for time-travel…"

"Same here, but that's not to say the Kyuubi doesn't."

"The Kyuubi? He did this? Whatever for? What could he gain from such an act?"

Naruto shrugged his shoulders. "Look, I'm not even sure what age I am, and you expect me to answer how we were sent to the past? Give me a break."

Hinata stared at him for a full minute before chuckling softly, with Naruto succumbing to laughter shortly after. The two grinned at each other, and Naruto raised his fists up to the sky, still chuckling. He looked over at the midnight-blue-haired girl and let his smile slip a bit as he asked, "How are you doing at home?"

Hinata's smile completely disappeared and she stared stonily across the school grounds. "My father…you know how he is. Even if this is our second chance, or whatever this may be, I'm not sure how to go about making my father notice my strength." She paused slightly, looking down at her hands. "I even sparred him today, fully thinking I'd gain an advantage because of the techniques I've learned and employed all my life, but…"

"Yeah. I jumped from my apartment building and freaking almost broke my damned ankle," muttered Naruto. "Back to the fucking stage of screwed up chakra. Fun, fun."

The two shinobi looked across the school grounds silently, though Naruto perked up upon catching sight of a bobbing head of pink hair. A grin shot to his face quickly, and he looked at the younger Sakura appreciatively as he saw her long, pink hair had been tied up into a ponytail, with wisps of hair falling to shape her jaw line and not-so-apparent cheekbones. Lifting her large, leaf-green eyes, Sakura's face turned from one of annoyance to one of pure happiness. She walked up to Hinata and Naruto, and placed a kiss on Naruto's lips. Hinata turned away, an eyebrow raised at their actions. Sakura frowned at her, and poked her in her breast, causing Hinata to jump away and stare at the rosette in disbelief.

"Sakura!" she squeaked out, her face a brilliant shade of red. "What do you think you're doing!"

"Yeah," said a soft voice from behind the heiress. "Isn't that my job, Sakura?"

Feeling her face grow even warmer, Hinata turned around to see a smiling Sasuke. Sasuke looked at Hinata, laughing at her shocked expression. Chuckling a bit, he looked at Naruto with a frown. "What's going on, Naruto? I woke up this morning to find myself a couple of feet shorter and missing my hitai-ate. Not to mention my curse seal is gone."

Sakura nodded. "Not to mention how we all look like how we did when we were in the academy, and have become squeaky with pre-pubescence. Plus the fact that my endurance is back to square one, and even worse than when we were on Team Seven."

"Sandaime is back in action, too," interjected Sasuke, still frowning. "The Hokage Monument isn't even displaying the Godaime's face."

Naruto frowned. "Your curse seal is gone?" he asked, looking Hinata who nodded. "That seals it," Naruto said. "We are definitely in the past. Where in the past, I'm not sure."

The four from the future looked at each other, each sighing almost simultaneously. Sakura looked up quickly though, turning her gaze to land on Naruto. "But wait, does that mean we're actually starting over from the beginning? Academy, graduation, Kakashi-sensei, the whole shindig?"

Sasuke groaned. "Not again…that means I have fan girls again."

Hinata hung her head slightly, softly saying, "I'm back to my stuttering stage…"

Sakura grabbed her head and looked up at the sky. "I'm back to being on bad terms with Ino and back to being a silly, little, fan girl. And back to when I hate Naruto again…"

Naruto stared at Sakura, completely stricken, and she quickly moved to say, "I don't mean I'm actually going to hate you. But, that's what I used to do, and if we're back in the past, that's what everyone will expect of me."

The blond shook his head, clenching a fist. "Well, I'm not going accordance to the past. Hell, I can't even remember a few months ago, much less eight to nine years ago. This time will be different, and I don't care what happens. We have things to do, and we can't let the people around stop us from doing that."

"There may be consequences for acting out of turn, Naruto," Sakura reasoned softly. "We may do something to ruin the whole time and space dimension thing."

"Sure, people will change, but, they're going to change anyway!" argued Naruto. "We just can't be the people we used to be. Too many things have happened, and we aren't the same!"

Sasuke nodded in agreement. "He's right – I've changed too much from my time with Orochimaru. I can't go back to being that innocent–" at which point Naruto snorted loudly and earned a glare from Sasuke, "–boy I used to be. It would be a waste of time to try."

"I can't stutter anymore," Hinata muttered. "I'm not going to do it. I won't pretend."

Sasuke grinned at her, saying, "Not like you talked that much anyway from the start. No one will notice with you. But you two," he said looking at Naruto and Sakura, "if you two don't act similar to how you used to, arguing all the time, people will wonder how you changed overnight. I am not as bad as I used to be, but I can act like an asshole if need be. Hinata can act submissive, and we can avoid each other."

Sakura let her head drop a bit as she contemplated over what Sasuke told her, and she couldn't help feeling as if her heart was hurting more and more with each word. A hand on her shoulder had her eyes rising to look into two blue orbs. Naruto grinned, his teeth a pearl white. "Don't worry, Sakura-chan. What they don't see, they can't do anything about."

Sakura's mouth formed into a soft smile, though she and the other three looked over upon hearing the loud pitched screaming of young children as they raced towards the academy. Sasuke sighed and smiled at Hinata one last time before he began to walk away. "I'm an avenger," he said loud enough for several other people to hear him. "I can't be seen with idiots like you lot."

Naruto felt his temper spike a bit, though he was distracted when Sakura trailed after Sasuke. "S-Sakura-chan!" Naruto said, stumbling after the pink-haired girl. Sakura turned around, flashing him a grin before shouting without enthusiasm, "What the hell do you want, Naruto? You'd better stay away from Sasuke-kun! He might catch your idiocy!"

Though Sakura said her words confidently enough, she couldn't help but glance at Hinata upon using the endearment on Sasuke's name. Hinata raised an eyebrow at her, but said no more as she walked towards the academy on her own. Sighing softly, she gave Naruto one last glance and ran off after Sasuke. She grabbed onto his arm much to his surprise and Hinata's and Naruto's annoyance, but Sasuke chuckled before adopting a stony look. Naruto looked up at the clouds in the sky, but couldn't help but smile over the recent events.

"Everything…I'll change it all! Just watch me!"

Looking ahead, Naruto grinned widely as he ran to catch up with his friends.

Naruto looked at his surroundings, frowning as he tried to place the room. "This room," he said thoughtfully, "I think this room…"

His thoughts were called to a halt, however, as a young girl with long, pale-blonde hair burst into the room and hit Naruto on the back of the head. The girl turned to look back at Naruto with a glare, her pale-blue, pupil-less eyes fierce. Naruto rose from the ground, a hand immediately reaching up rub the back of his aching head. He looked up at the girl with annoyance, and saw her grow more angry.

"Watch where you're going, you idiot!"

Sakura had turned around when she heard the commotion, and saw her old friend Ino run straight into Naruto and knock him down. Anger clouded her features, and she felt the need to protect Naruto soar through her veins. Readying herself to stand and go to help Naruto, she felt a tug on her arm and looked back down to see Sasuke frowning at her. Her anger was lost completely, and replaced with an expression of pain. Looking back to see Hinata, she saw the quiet girl move her head from side to side in small movements. Sakura sat back down slowly, and forced herself to turn away from her fiancée.

Yamanaka Ino was not a happy girl. Not only had the Sakura beat her to Sasuke, but now she had to run into the village idiot. Naruto scowled at Ino, but he forced himself to relax when he saw Sakura's expression. She wants to help me, he thought to himself, and that was enough to make him smile. He saw Ino become confused, and he forced a big grin to his face. "Ha, ha, sorry Ino! Didn't see you there!"

"Geez, you're getting to be more and more stupid, aren't you?" muttered Ino under her breath. "Just stay out of my way, dead-last."

Naruto froze upon hearing the old nickname, but again forced himself to remain calm. Looking around, he looked for a spot to sit, and ended up sitting near the back in the corner. His old teacher, Umino Iruka, came in not too long after, and announced to the class,

"Today, we have our final exam."

Naruto, Sakura, Hinata, and Sasuke all looked up in surprise, and Naruto grinned menacingly. Iruka continued by saying, "If your name is called, come to the classroom next door. You will be performing the Bunshin Jutsu. First up…" Iruka said, looking down at his clipboard before looking up at Naruto. "…is Uzumaki Naruto."

Naruto stood up, and walked to the front of the classroom. As he passed by Hinata, he winked, and while passing Sakura and Sasuke, he whispered, "I'll see you guys in a couple of days for our first meeting!"

All three of them grinned as the blond left the room, and Naruto closed the door behind him. Walking to the room directly to the left, Naruto walked in and placed his hands in the normal Ram seal position. Breathing in deeply, he allowed himself to find the root of his chakra and pull it forth from his core. Without any more thought, Naruto yelled, "Bunshin no Jutsu!"

Five copies of Naruto appeared beside him, shimmering slightly. The real, physical Naruto grinned at Iruka, and narrowed his eyes slightly at Mizuki, who looked shocked. Dispelling the jutsu, Naruto walked up to the desk and plucked off one of the hitai-ates, grinning as he tied it around his head. Iruka grinned at Naruto, and asked him to call in the next student. Naruto made a waving gesture and ran back to the room to burst in with a large grin. Everyone in the classroom stared at the boy in surprise, and Naruto chuckled. "Iruka wants Aburame Shino next. Much luck to all you guys."

He glanced at Sakura one last time before racing out of the door.

Hours after the exam, Naruto found himself bored completely, and not at all willing to just sit and do nothing at the Ichiraku Ramen shop. He rose up from his bed and scowled at the dark night. Passing that exam had been far easier the second time around, but his chakra control still sucked. Unfortunately, due to how his younger self had been, and that of Sasuke's, Sakura's, and Hinata's, he couldn't very well ask anyone to practice with him. He would have much preferred Hinata to help him, since she could see the chakra inside him, but there was not much he could do about it. He had never really hung out with the girl in his academy days, and to start randomly calling her out for training would be lost on no one. Naruto jumped off his bed and moved for his front door. As soon as he had his sandals on, he went out the door and locked it. Sighing, he jumped on the railing once again and jumped down to the street below. Hitting the ground hard, he sighed but said no more as he raced off to see someone special.

Minutes soon passed and one could see Naruto breathing hard as he stood in front of a specific residence. Moving forward, Naruto knocked on the door softly and moved back to wait for someone to answer. Not too much later, he saw Sakura open the door slowly, see him, gasp, and close the door behind her as she came outside. Sakura looked back at the house and sighed. Looking at Naruto, she said softly, "What are you doing here, Naruto? You know what might happen if my parents see you here!"

"I know, but I was bored, and I needed to see you."

A flush of red drifted over Sakura's cheeks, and she looked away from Naruto in embarrassment. "S-see me? What did you need to see me for?"

Naruto smiled softly. "I heard that if you find an angel, and don't visit her for a while, she might leave you and go back to Heaven. I can't have you leaving me, you know. Who'd protect me against myself then?"

By this time, Sakura's face had begun to turn a color similar to that of a tomato. Coughing slightly to hide her state, Sakura said hoarsely, "I haven't protected you from anything, idiot…"

Naruto took Sakura in his arms, much to her distress. Resting his forehead against hers, he whispered, "Come stay with me tonight."

Sakura stared at him, her leaf-green eyes incredulous. "But–! Naruto, I can't! I mean…my parents, I…"

Her thoughts slowed to a standstill as she felt Naruto's tongue slowly trail over her neck. She felt her pulse begin to race as he placed gentle kisses along her collarbone. Trying to grasp at whatever she had been thinking about before, she found herself unable to concentrate at all when Naruto began sucking gently at her tender neck, flicking his tongue over her pulsing carotid artery. Her darkening eyes slowly moved down to look at Naruto as she felt her resistance fade away bit by bit. Naruto moved back up to kiss her softly on the lips, and when he hadn't felt her resist, kissed her more deeply. He held her completely in his arms as her strength left, and Sakura wound her arms behind his neck, pressing against his lips more. Taking a chance, Naruto let his tongue slide softly against her teeth, until she opened her mouth slightly. Sakura moaned gently when she felt Naruto's tongue slide against hers, tasting of lemon pepper and a touch of chocolate. It was an odd combination – quite disgusting really, but only left her desiring more. So she was quite frustrated, and not to mention surprised, when she found a hand pulling back on her one-piece dress and away from Naruto.

Her eyes opened quickly to see her Jounin father standing in front of her, glaring down with hatred at an even more surprised Naruto. Naruto took a step back, a flash of fear flitting across his face. Though he didn't much care what the man did to him, he couldn't bear it if something happened to Sakura because of his selfishness. As the Haruno clan patriarch raised his fist to beat down the blond, Sakura raced in front of Naruto, her eyes wide. "Wait, don't hurt him! He didn't do anything!"

Haruno Minoru looked down in surprise before narrowing his eyes more. "What is the meaning of this, Sakura? I believe I warned you to never go near this…this thing again! Bad enough he's running loose as is, but to take advantage of your innocence in addition…"

Sakura shook her head adamantly, keeping her stance in front of Naruto. "He wasn't taking advantage of me at all! If you'd just listen…!"

She saw her father's eyes drift down to look at her neck and she frowned, before quickly clapping a hand on her neck with a gasp. Naruto felt a large source of killer intent come into play as Minoru's eyes narrowed even further. Shuddering, the blond knew the best action would be to run away as far as possible, but because of his need to always take the blame for everything, he found himself standing in front of Sakura. He glared up at Minoru, softly saying, "I take the blame for all you have witnessed. Please don't be angry with your daughter. If anything, I'd like to apologize for the issues that have taken place here."

Minoru pulled Sakura out from behind Naruto hard, and pushed her back to the house with shout of, "Get in the damn house! You are to see no one else tonight! No one!

"As for you, you damned monster," he said, cracking his knuckles at a frowning Naruto. "I'll teach you never to touch my daughter again!"

Naruto forced himself to stay still as Minoru's fist slammed into his face, despite Sakura's cries for him to escape. He felt himself fly backwards and hit the ground rolling, only to recover to receive a thorough bout of Minoru's punches. Naruto almost yelled out in pain but upon seeing Sakura's crying, and fearful face, forced himself to just take the punishment like a man. After twenty minutes, Minoru felt his good deed done for the day, and moved to go back to the house. Naruto felt pain run all the way down his body, but even after his beating, wanted to move to help Sakura when her father began yelling at her to get into the house. Silence met him, and not too long after, he felt several drops of rain began falling down on him. As soon as the first initial drops fell, the downpour came and soon Naruto was soaked to the bone. He groaned as he moved his beaten body to a kneeling position, before finally rising completely. I, he thought tiredly, am in pain…

A couple of days later, after him taking a horrible photo for his shinobi identification card and meeting the kid named Konohamaru, found Naruto trudging into the classroom, his head down. He had met with the Kyuubi the night before, and had asked the fox not to heal his wounds. Naruto wanted to be reminded of his idiotic stunt for as long as was possible. Even as he thought about it, he had thought his meaning with the Kyuubi would be a lot more…confrontational than it was, but since this time's Kyuubi didn't know what had occurred with Naruto, he wouldn't know to say anything about it. The class was nearly empty as he came in, except for a few other students, which included Hinata and Sasuke. As Naruto moved down the steps to go sit next to Sasuke, Hinata caught sight of his injuries and gasped as she stood up. Rushing down behind him, Hinata grabbed Naruto's arm and surveyed his wounds. Naruto hissed when Hinata's left hand hit a particularly sore spot on his arm, and she drew back her hand quickly. Sasuke had turned around to place a glare on the two of them when he, too, saw Naruto's injuries. He stood up, staring at Naruto with narrowed eyes.

"Who did that to you!" Sasuke whispered harshly. "Tell me!"

Naruto forced himself to laugh as he rubbed the back of his head. "It's okay, it's okay," he said, moving away from Hinata and sitting down on the bench. "Besides," he added, glaring at Hinata and Sasuke, "you two are acting out of character. Get a grip!"

Hinata stiffened and glared down at the blond, who did his best to ignore her. She rose her gaze to look at a furious Sasuke, and he sighed and nodded. Scowling, Hinata recomposed herself and moved back to her seat. Sasuke scooted away from Naruto, but kept an eye on the blond in any case. Sakura won't like this, he thought, his face paling slightly.

Shortly after that even, Sakura and Ino came bursting into the room, with Ino breathing hard and Sakura acting like she could run a few marathons. Seeing Naruto sitting beside Sasuke, her face paled slightly when she saw how horrible he still looked. Ignoring Ino, Sakura moved down towards Naruto, placing her hands on the desk in front of him. He looked up and saw her face whiten further. "Naruto…" she began, before being pushed out of the way. Surprised, she saw Ino reach for Naruto's V-cut black shirt. Ino pulled the boy out of his seat and pushed him down the stairs as she moved to sit next to Sasuke. Sakura saw Naruto hit the ground and wince in pain, and the thin line of patience she had been holding onto since her father had nearly killed Naruto snapped. Within seconds, a kunai was in her hand and she appeared in front of a shocked Ino, holding the kunai at Ino's throat. Ino's eyes were wide with disbelief and fear as Sakura regarded her with a calm, yet deadly expression.

"You… Never, ever, touch him again. Are we clear?"

Ino stepped back, and looked down at the slowly rising blond. Turning back to Sakura, she mustered a few chuckles, saying, "You're kidding, right, Sakura? That's the dead-last. No need to protect him."

"Yeah, that's another thing," Sakura continued, still gripping her kunai tightly. "You're not going to call him that anymore. He has a name, and you're going to use it!"

Naruto gripped Sakura's shoulder, forcing a grin to his face. "Aw, Sakura, she didn't mean any harm. Don't scare her."

Sakura turned to look at him, her pale, leaf-green eyes filled with tears, anger and determination. Naruto blinked a few times and forgot what he had been trying to do. Turning back to Ino, Sakura said, "If I catch you demeaning him ever again, I will make you regret it, Ino. I don't care if you are my best friend. Now, please step away from me."

The rosette glared at all the people who had began paying attention to the conversation, and just as quickly, they found themselves having something better to do. Catching Hinata's eyes, Sakura readied herself for a look of disappointment, but only found pride in the Hyuuga's eyes. A smile graced the lips of Hinata, and she nodded down at Sakura, who nodded back. Turning to Naruto, she pushed the boy onto the bench before sitting there herself. Looking closely at his wounds, she sighed softly, and pulled Naruto's head down to rest in her lap. Though he resisted, as soon Sakura began to run her fingers through his hair, he began to relax and found himself unwilling to leave his comfy pillow.

Ino continued staring down at Sakura and Naruto, confusion whirling around in his brain. When Iruka came in, she finally gathered some sense and went to go sit down somewhere. Iruka looked up Sakura in confusion when he saw her holding Naruto, but shrugged and figured it wasn't his business. Looking down at his handy-dandy clipboard, saying, "All of you have passed the Genin Exam. Congratulations to all of you, though I have to warn you that it's only going to get harder from here on out. Never forget what you have learned at this academy. Remember: the basics are essential. In any case, I will announce the teams now. Team One is…"

Sakura and Sasuke tuned Iruka out and looked at each other. "Together again, huh, Sasuke?"

"Seems that way. But things are going to change this time around."

"Yes…you aren't too much of an asshole anymore."

Sasuke smirked, though a frown soon became apparent. "I will still have to get that curse seal though. I'll just have to nurture it on my own, instead of going off and staying with that porno idiot Orochimaru."

Sakura scowled at hearing the name of that man, and looked down at the sleeping form of Naruto. Her ears perked up when she heard Iruka announce, "Team Seven consists of Uchiha Sasuke, Uzumaki Naruto, and Haruno Sakura. Team Eight carries Hyuuga Hinata, Inuzuka Kiba, and Aburame Shino. Team Nine holds Pekiro Kairo, Pekiro Kiiro, and Roka Minebi. Lastly, Team Ten consists of Yamanaka Ino, Nara Shikamaru, and Akimichi Chouji."

Iruka grinned up at his students, and said, "I am proud of you all. Your jounin instructors will be in at noon today, giving you about two hours of time to do what you will with. Also, if you arrive later than your instructor, be well assured they will leave without you. All right, dismissed!"

As soon as Sakura had awoken Naruto, Hinata had appeared in front of them, a soft smile still on her face. She looked at Sasuke, and was about to give him a vouch of good luck, when he reached forward. Hinata's eyes widened and her cheeks flushed red as Sasuke gently held her head between his hands and placed a soft kiss on her lips. Sakura, and the newly awakened and healed Naruto, both cheered as soon as Sasuke and Hinata touched lips. Hinata's eyes were still quite wide when Sasuke moved back with a smirk on his face. She glanced at the rosette and blond before looking back at the Uchiha, her face sufficiently red. Backing away, a large smile found its way to her lips, and she ran out to catch up with her two teammates, waving back at Team Seven with enthusiasm. Inuzuka Kiba watched her approach, seeing her face go from happy and exuberant to masked and polite. He stared at her, a frown on her face, but she gave him a polite smile, saying, "We should have lunch together. That way, we can get to know one another better."

As soon as she saw both Shino's and Kiba's astounded faces, she realized her mistake. At this age, she was supposed to not be able to convey her words without stuttering or hesitance. Frustration boiled inside Hinata, and she mentally shrugged her shoulders. Oh well, she thought, pulling on the hands of both Shino and Kiba. Just have to deal and continue on, for now.

Sasuke watched them walk out, and chuckled. Naruto jumped up on top of the desk, grinning. "Hey, hey! Let's go practice, since we're allowed to be with one another now!"

Sakura felt a twinge in her heart at that announcement, and she shifted her eyes to look away from the blond. Naruto caught the movement, and placed a hand on Sakura's shoulder, grinning. "I'm fine! You're fine! We're both fine! So, let's train!"

Sasuke rose up from where he sat, and placed his hands on his hips, another smirk on his face. "We may as well try to get our chakra control back up, as well as our reserves. Besides Sakura," he said, getting her attention. "You know the idiot will never settle back down until he can get in some training for the day."

Sakura stared at him, understanding this was one of the Uchiha's ways of showing concern. Plastering on a smile for the boys' benefits, she stood up, making a fist. "All right! We have two hours of time to train, so let's get started! First things first – tree climbing!"

Naruto and Sasuke stared at her with expressions of fear, and she laughed. "Come on. It's the best way to get up our chakra reserves for right now. Then we can do some water walking, and then we can start training on the water. We'll systematically raise our reserves, and once Kakashi-sensei is ready to give us that stupid bell test tomorrow, we'll have something interesting to show him."

Naruto made a grin of fierce determination. "All right! I'm all for that!"

"To Team Seven!" yelled Sakura, holding out a hand. Sasuke and Naruto grinned at each other, each clapping a hand over Sakura's.

"To Team Seven!"

Shouten no Jutsu – Shape Shifting Technique
Tajyuu Kage Bunshin no Jutsu – Multiple Shadow Clone Technique
Bakuretsu Bunshin no Jutsu – Exploding Clone Technique
Hakkeshou Kaiten – Eight Trigrams Palms Heavenly Spin
Tsukiyomi – Moon Reader
Katon: Ganshou Ryuuseiu no Jutsu – Fire Element: Magma Meteor Shower Technique
Bunshin no Jutsu – Cloning Technique

First completion: 12/6/2007 1:45:57 PM