A/N: Alright, guys, I'll give this another try. It's been a long, long time since I've even thought about continuing this story. Every time I go over its earlier chapters I cringe at the obvious contradictions and ridiculous nature of it all. Then I read the later ones and catch myself laughing at my own jokes - you have NO idea how awkward that feels - and think, maybe it's not so bad. So, after a great deal of hesitant "Eehhs" and skeptical "Eerrs," I've finally decided to give it another go. In truth, I feel like I should be writing this thing over from the start if I'm going to continue it at all, but I know I don't have anywhere near that kind of patience or willpower. So here's your long-awaited - very, very long-awaited - tenth chapter of Fangirls. I hope you enjoy it.
Oh, one last thing: this story will probably get even funnier now that I feel like poking fun at all the dumb stuff I did in the previous chapters. Be warned, immense amounts of self-depreciating satire ahead.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything to do with Naruto, and I'm sure Kishimoto's damn glad of it.
Halfway to the Hokage tower, Yuugao decided that Naruto either thought she'd already known about his harem or had one hell of a poker face. The first possibility was probably the more likely one; Naruto couldn't have the kind of skill to fool an ANBU operative specifically trained to pick up on and take advantage of people's emotions. That, and the fan club was kind of obvious - they had their own damn store - so it was actually weird that she hadn't known from the start.
That brought Yuugao some small comfort. Her Naruto hadn't knowingly betrayed her. It was just a horrible, horrible misunderstanding that she would simply have to correct. It would be easy enough to lure him away from those little kiddies, since most of them didn't have anything close to her figure or experience. Her only real competition would be in Anko; that snake-obsessed, masochistic, fishnet-wearing bitch. Then again, Anko might even scare Naruto away all on her own.
Yuugao grinned confidently under her mask, a skip in her step.
Two feet to her left, Naruto was sweating bullets.
"Oh, shit! Shit! Shitshitshit!" Naruto felt like putting his head through a brick wall. How in the hell had he not even thought about what would happen if Yuugao discovered his fan club? Was he some kind of idiot? Had he honestly thought it simply wouldn't happen? Oh, Kami, he was so screwed.
She hadn't said anything about it since she'd just shunshined into The Shop without any warning whatsoever. That, really, was what was so scary. There was no way she couldn't have realized - Anko had been making out with him five feet from her while Hinata fingered herself behind the counter- so her silence meant that she was planning something. There was no doubt in Naruto's mind that that something was going to be bad for his health. He'd be lucky to be alive and with his balls intact pending the next few hours.
He was extremely surprised that they reached the tower without incident. The slight tension in his muscles that precluded his desire to flee had faded significantly. It seemed Yuugao intended to be more subtle about her revenge, so there'd be even less he could do about it than before. As they slipped in through one of the open windows, he sighed inaudibly and decided that he might as well stop panicking since there was nothing for it anyway.
Closing his eyes in resignation, he instinctually followed his captain's silent footsteps for a moment - only to stop and nearly jump backward when he felt a shift in the air directly in front of him. Managing to limit his reaction to blinking rapidly, he took in the sight of ice-blue eyes meeting his through the slits of another ANBU mask. Naturally, the owner of said eyes had to be standing so close that her breasts were nearly pressed against his chest. Feeling his cheeks heating slightly, Naruto mentally told himself not to immediately assume another woman decided that she wanted his children. That would just be unrealistic.
"Damnit, Kagura! Don't hit on my boyfriend!" Yuugao yelled, grabbing the blue-haired ANBU by the arm and forcefully dragging her away from Naruto's proximity. Kagura disappeared from Yuugao's grip so quickly that she seemed to have blinked out of existence until Naruto felt her arms draped around him from behind.
"Why not? It's not like he's not already banging six other girls, anyway," came Kagura's tranquil reply, along with the feeling of her head settling on top of his. Wondering why he even bothered, Naruto didn't even try to be exasperated. Fine, whatever. Fuck logic. He really shouldn't have expected anything less. Seeing Yuugoa's clenched fists shaking with repressed rage, Naruto brought his hands up in his favorite sign.
"…!" Kagura blinked as the shadow clone popped, though she didn't fall over from the loss of support like a lesser ninja would have. Naruto walked past Yuugao without a word, doing a passable job of faking indifference to his situation. His taichou stared after him silently for a short moment, before utterly destroying the mood by pulling off her mask and sticking her tongue out at Kagura before smugly following after him.
Naruto kept walking until he and Yuugao were well out of Kagura's listening range, ninja senses taken into account, then turned his gaze to his taichou. After a tense and suspenseful silence, her response cut through the atmosphere like a razor blade.
"Um, I was trying really hard to be all mysterious and cool back there, but I really have no idea where I'm going," he muttered, scratching the back of his head. That wasn't what he'd actually been waiting for from her, but if she wasn't going to bring it up, Naruto had years of practice in faked obliviousness. It worked, and he immediately found his face being crushed into Yuugao's breasts while she squealed about how cute he was. Thus was the scene two paperwork-toting chuunin were treated to as they rounded the corner of the hallway.
Izumo dropped his papers all over the floor, his jaw slack with shock. Kotetsu, seeing his partner's reaction, grinned and let his papers fall as well.
"Oops," he muttered, snickering as Izumo's attention gradually turned to the mess at his feet and his expression changed to one of horror as he realized that he'd be the one picking it up.
"Oi! Don't go dropping important paperwork on the floor!" Yuugao reprimanded, finally releasing Naruto, whose head made a comical popping noise as it came away from her chest. Izumo quickly squatted down and began frantically gathering papers. Kotetsu, on the other hand, just rubbed his nose and made his way over to the pair of ANBU.
"So, I don't think I've seen this one around before. Who's the pipsqueak?" Kotetsu asked, using his hand to compare his height to Naruto's.
"Ne, Kotetsu, I'll let this one slide because you didn't recognize me," Naruto spoke for himself, pulling on his mask just enough to expose one ocean-blue eye and three whisker-like scars, "but do remember what happened the last time you called me a pipsqueak."
Kotetsu turned white and took a step back, wary eyes now scanning the smaller ANBU for sudden movements.
"Right, Naruto. I'm sorry, please don't rig my apartment again," he apologized meekly. Yuugao's mask hid an impressed expression. In the background, Izumo's head popped up and papers went flying again.
"Naruto?!" Izumo exclaimed, suddenly in the fox-boy's personal space, "You're ANBU?!" Taking a step back and quietly grumbling about people getting in his face, Naruto took his mask off.
"What do you think?" he asked, crossing his arms. Was it honestly that hard to believe? Izumo paled the same as Kotetsu had. Slowly, the two chuunin partners turned to look at each other.
"We're so fucked, aren't we?" they asked in stereo. Naruto grinned as he slipped his mask back on.
"Oh, definitely," he said. Yuugao giggled.
After Yuugao and Naruto bid goodbye to the strange pair of chuunin, Yuugao dragged Naruto all over the tower, introducing him to various chuunin. It turned out that he actually knew a great many of them already, since they'd been assisting in his training under their own ANBU aliases. Yuugao eventually explained that the trip to the tower was actually somewhat of a rite of passage where newly trained recruits learned the more mundane identities of some of their instructors before their first real mission. There were others, of course, who wished to remain anonymous for their own reasons, but it wasn't anything personal so much as it was the paranoia that became engrained after so long in the corps. The real surprise came, though, when Yuugao flagged down a particular ANBU out of the ever-bustling crowds of ninja in the lobbies and dragged him into the privacy of a meeting room to introduce him to her boyfriend.
"C'mon, Dolphin, I know you'll be interested in this one," Yuugao whined as the other captain resisted her efforts.
"I could really care less about your sex life, Neko!" Dolphin growled, his feet sliding as he attempted to find traction on the polished wood floor. Nevertheless, Yuugao managed to pull him into the room, likely due to the fact that he was unwilling to damage the floor by sticking to it with chakra whereas Yuugao didn't give a fuck. Finally giving in when she kicked the door shut behind him, Dolphin sighed and turned to observe the young ANBU sitting on the large desk at the front of the room. Naruto idly kicked his legs back and forth and stared back as the older man took in his appearance.
"There's something oddly familiar about you," Dolphin spoke, and Naruto perked at the sound of his voice.
"No way," Naruto breathed. Dolphin squinted behind his mask while Yuugao held in mischievous laughter.
"Iruka-sensei?" Naruto asked, pulling his mask from his face. The dolphin-masked ANBU's back went ramrod straight. After a moment, he removed his mask as well, revealing the familiar scarred visage of Naruto's favorite teacher and father figure.
Iruka wasn't expecting the speed or strength of Naruto's vastly improved tackle-hug. Yuugao finally laughed when the teacher ended up on his ass with an armload of mini-ANBU.
"Why didn't you tell me you were ANBU?!" Naruto asked excitedly, quickly falling into the familiar diatribe of rapid-fire questions and exclamations that Iruka couldn't keep up with on his best days. The teacher tuned it out, instead taking in the ridiculous sight of a beaming, armor-clad Naruto sitting in his lap. Utterly bewildered, he looked past the boy at the woman in the background, hoping for some kind of answer. What he saw was an affectionate smile and warm eyes, all focused on the impossibility that was the ANBU in his lap. Catching his look, Yuugao slowly raised her hand and signed.
"Meet my new boyfriend: Naruto."