Naruto did not head up to the balcony like most combatants had done. He turned to Gai and yelled instead.

"Lemme know the rest of the results. I need to check on Hinata," he turned and ran out of the arena and toward the medical ward.

Gai smiled and nodded even though the boy's head was turned before he could even respond.

The next fight was starting before Naruto even made it out of the room. He ran down halls searching for any trace of where they had taken Hinata. After two times turning back, he found a small trail to follow: droplets of blood. The very blood he had sworn upon to bring vengeance upon the head of one Hyuuga Neji for his betrayals to his blood and family.

The droplets were about forty feet apart which was good because she was not bleeding but also bad because he could not follow it well and ended up turning back a few more times to take a different route.

How can it be this damn hard to find the medical areas? He questioned himself as he rounded another corner.

The trail had one final smeared droplet that led under a door. There was a light on the outside of the door with a needle painted on it.

"Dammit, I guess I'll wait," he muttered as he plopped himself onto the floor next to the door. This time was beneficial as his mind was never still and his thoughts always wandering.

Why am I following her? Sure, I have spoken with her numerous times but why follow her and why get involved in her political-or is it familial? Ah whatever, political issues with her cousin?

He sat and pondered over this for a time. His brow furrowed and his inner gerbil sprinting he came upon more questions instead of answers.

Could I love her? But I barely know her. Sure, she supposedly has a crush on me but I doubt it's true. She is really cute, shy, but cute.

Not to mention her rather large assets you noticed-

No, no. Stop that right now. While that is true I am not a pervert like you. I do not, will not act on them. I'm not you.

I was only saying, you have that option. As well, I'm sure she'd oblige for her worshipped crush.

Whatever, perverted fox.

Naruto continued in his thoughts and so deep into them that he barely noticed the nurse trying to get his attention. After a few minutes she reached out at touched his shoulder, shocking him back into reality.

"Are you waiting to see her?"

He nodded his dumb response. (A/N dumb as in mute not stupid.)

she ushered him into the room urging him to be quiet as Hinata was still resting and only recently stabilized. Naruto looked at her soft form gently from her head down to her still sandal-born toes.

"How can such a harmful technique be used on such a gentle and frail girl? By family no less!" Naruto said managing to keep his volume down but not his disdain and newfound anger. "I hope to see him in the finals. I'll show him what he has wrought."

The nurse was quiet surprised to hear such passion, honor and vocabulary from such a small boy.

Naruto stood there staring a hole into the wall until something small and soft touched his hand. Looking down he saw that it was Hinata's fingertips touching the back of his hand.

"You should-ah!- not look like that, Naruto-kun," she said as soft as a feather falling through the air.

"Hinata, don't speak. Rest, I'll punish Neji for you," he said as he gripped her small and frail-to-the-touch hand kneeling.

"No, Naruto-ah!-kun. Do not hate or-" she gasped and shuddered in pain.


"Punish him. Show him what he should be."

"Why-" Naruto began but Hinata was already unconscious if her limp hand were any evidence.

Naruto placed her hand at her side and stood turning to the door.

"I understand."

he calmly walked out and back to the arena a new purpose written on his heart.

As he walked into the arena, Kiba's loud and utterly grating howl call him out.

"Naruto! Get down here! I don't wanna win by disqualification!"

Naruto wordlessly jumped down to the center of the arena, a clear and terrifying purpose on his face: he would not lose.

"Kiba, I apologize in advance for the sheer decimation you will face at my hands."

"Cocky as ever, huh? Fine by me. Come get your ass handed to you by the fangs of the Inuzuka!"

"Fighters ready?" Hayate's voice interrupted them. "Fight!"

Kiba was first to charge as per usuam. What was not usual was that he was moving slower than he could. Once within striking range of Naruto, who had not moved an inch, he ducked down and brought both hands up to strike Naruto's chin. Naruto whipped his head back to avoid Kiba's strike by fractions of a centimeter and brought his right foot straight up under Kiba's jaw. The canine mimicking boy was sent tumbling back to his original position.

"If you expect victory from this fight Kiba, you must come at me harder than that. I have faced muskrats more vicious than that pitiful display."

Kiba hopped up and rubbed his extremely sore jaw, then tossed a red pill to Akamaru.

"Fine then," he said smiling and activated his familial jutsu.

Two feral Kiba's dove headlong for Naruto, spinning wildly and creating a vortex of chakra enhanced claws. Naruto Flipped to his shoulders to plant both heels into the jaw of the first vortex, sending it backwards and across the arena. The second vortex slowed a half a beat, just enough for Naruto to catch both spinning wrists and spin him around his feet before whipping him up and slamming his back into the ground. Hard.

Naruto backed himself a few feet from Kiba's prone form to watch both opponents. The first one to rise was the small, red dog which he first downed. It ran headlong for Naruto's knees with open jaws. Naruto simply stooped and chopped the dog on the back of his neck away and unintentionally into Hayate who hastily caught and dropped the dog, dogs were one of the few things that truly made him sick.

Kiba slowly and unsteadily got to his feet to catch his breath.

"You jerk!"

"This is live combat, Kiba!" Naruto said as he marched towards his opponent. "You must forget that I am your comrade in the Leaf and fight me!"

Naruto started a vicious physical onslaught of fists. First high then low the high three times and low again. His balled fists and sometimes heels of his hands were seemingly randomly aimed but always on target and always hard. Kiba could barely see some of them and the few he could see he could barely lessen the strikes. Then Naruto gave him an opening: an extremely slow and lengthened uppercut. Kiba waited and dodged the punch then heaven opened for him: Naruto had turned himself around with his punch. Kiba tried to rake his claws along Naruto's back but the foot the was suddenly planted into his gut stopped everything. His world was black before he even broke contact with Naruto's offending heel. Kiba tumbled backwards for two meters like a rag doll before rolling on his side to rest face down.

"Winner: undoubtedly Namikaze Naruto!" Hayate yelled out.

Author's Notes:

First off, thanks be to Godsmack for helping with the Naruto-Kiba fight. The pure rage that Naruto was feeling and using Kiba to help vent, assisted by the anger from a few of their songs.

Second, fights are much easier to write for someone who practices in martial arts like myself than the emotional and social development. Hence, the super long update time.

Also, thank you to all of you who actually read my crap writing. I like my story, but sometimes I find myself wishing that someone else was writing it. So that I could read it and not know what's coming. Alas, laziness.