Crossroads
by eixirt

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Chapter 1

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Across the seas, a passenger ship traveled all over from different countries. Seeing that they were almost near their destination, the captain told his staff to tell every passenger that they will soon enter Fire Country's territory. It wasn't long enough that the ship came to a full halt when they finally reached the pier. Soon, some of the passengers stepped down with their luggage to meet with their relatives or friends.

But one part of the ship was still occupied and thankfully a worker noticed it right away. The said worker walked inside the room, which was, by the way, a first-class. It was proven after seeing the luscious décor of the room unlike in the lower deck. The worker noticed that there was someone sleeping on the bed. And so, the worker decided to wake the sleeping passenger. When the worker was about to held out her hand, the passenger moved which caused to reveal his face. From the worker's point of view, the man was handsome. He had the looked of contentment as he slept on his bed. The worker herself couldn't help but to enjoy the sight being given to her.

'Come on, Fuuko… you can do this. You're just going to wake Prince charming here…' said the worker in her mind, not even realizing that the man was starting to rouse up.

Naruto looked at the woman before him with a hint of curiosity as to why there was a female worker in his room. He studied her facial reaction. The element of surprise was still evident from her face and it only took several seconds for the woman to speak.

"Sir, the ship already reached its destination. We're already in Fire country." Said the woman, still there was something about her voice that he couldn't put his finger on it. He wasn't even sure if she's scared or shy.

As of the moment, Naruto showed the friendly side of his. After all, he didn't want to scare the woman away. Surprisingly, the woman loosened up and politely dismissed herself. Once she turned back, she couldn't help but to recall the image of the said passenger as he lay asleep on his bed moments ago. She just hoped and prayed that someday they would meet again.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

On the northern gate of Konoha, a man that seemingly tall with stunning cerulean eyes, his hair was spiky and blonde almost similar to the sun's radiant glow, his face had markings much more like of a fox's, his physique can match up with any shinobi in the village. The said man was walking straight to the northern gate. Unfortunately, there were two Chuunins who blocked his way.

"Can I have some identification of some sort?" asked the Chuunin on the left.

"I'm sorry but I don't have any with me…" said the blonde man.

"Then, in that case… we can't--…" before the second Chuunin finish his sentence, the man before them vanished and immediately they saw him running towards the village.

"HEY, STOP THIS INSTANT!" both Chuunins shouted as they followed in pursuit. Having this kind of speed, both Chuunins realized that the man they were after was a ninja.

The blonde man made a turn and suddenly he bumped into someone. Being as agile as he is, he managed to take the fall instead of the woman he had bumped on to. For a brief moment, he couldn't explain as to how he was suddenly held captive by this woman's charms. He looked straight to her intense red eyes as she too was looking at him. Their brief moment got suddenly cut off when they both heard somebody shouting almost near them. The blonde man moved. From their position, he was on top of the red-eyed woman. Looking downward, he saw the woman blushed. He tried not to get amused, but alas, it was too tempting after seeing her flustered. He suddenly let out a small grin, but apparently, their moment didn't last on since both Chuunins from before was almost on their way.

The blonde man stood up and ran as fast as he can, leaving the red-eyed woman on the ground. When realization hit her, she paced on each roof top, searching for the blonde man.

'This is one heck of a village.' sighed Naruto as he landed on a clearing near the forest.

TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

Naruto rested for a while. It hasn't been a long day but still it felt like he already visited all parts of Konoha.

"You know… it's not nice to point a kunai at someone, especially to someone who is resting." said Naruto as he opened his eyes. In front of him were: Hatake Kakashi, Maito Gai, Mitarashi Anko, and Sarutobi Asuma. He didn't even react at how close Anko was to him, knowing that she had this sadistic smile on her face and had her kunai ready to slice a part of his neck.

Still, he watched the four ninjas in front of him. Hatake Kakashi, also known as the 'Copy Ninja of Konoha' was looking at Naruto. He had this nagging feeling that this guy before him looked somewhat familiar but he just can't remember.

But before something happened between the five ninjas, three ninjas came in view and they were: Jiraiya, Tsunade, along with their sensei, the Sandaime himself.

"Wow… never seen this one coming and come to think of it you didn't even come to pick me up, you old hermit!" fumed Naruto. Surely enough he was talking to Jiraiya, the toad hermit.

The said blonde was now starting his way out of the forest as everybody watched on. "I wonder what you did that made you forget about it…" eyed Tsunade. It was pretty obvious since it was his only hobby, well, aside from writing those 'unpleasant' books.

"Oi, Naruto… wait a sec… at least let me make it up to you… as your Godfather." said Jiraiya, he was preparing at what will Naruto throw back at him, but then, Naruto stopped from his steps and then turned towards his said to be 'godfather'.

"Fine…" said Naruto. There was something in his voice that he didn't like the reception they were giving him. Until, he remembered his last encounter with the red-eyed woman. The memory itself made him smile which made the others look at his direction.

"Whoa… look what we have here…" announced Jiraiya as he placed his arms around Naruto's shoulder. "Seems to me… you found something interesting in the village..." said Jiraiya as they both moved on. "So, who's the lucky girl?" continued Jiraiya with a grin on his face.

Naruto looked at his godfather with a raised brow.

As excited as he could have been, Jiraiya, the toad hermit, couldn't contain himself. He started to ask questions which only made his team-mate, Tsunade, go raging mad to the way her team-mate had been acting.

"What was that for?" complained Jiraiya as he nursed his bruised head.

"That's to stop you and your raging hormones away from Naruto." said the female blonde, she turned to Naruto and said: "So, what was she like?"

Almost everyone fell on their feet as they heard the great female ninja asked that question. "Geez…, woman, you really do have your way of cleaning your name." said Jiraiya.

Tsunade didn't listen to Jiraiya's words and said: "Come on, Naruto, we're waiting." Naruto looked and saw the people before him. They were eager, to say the least.

He sighed for a brief moment and said: "Well, there were two women. The first woman was one of the passenger ship's crew; unfortunately, I didn't get to ask her name though... The second woman was probably a colleague of yours since she is a Konoha ninja." said Naruto. At this point, the people before them got interested in his story, especially the Sandaime, Jiraiya, Tsunade, and Anko.

"One of our female ninja… hmm… what does she looks like?" asked Tsunade.

"I would rather not tell what she looks like. She might get mad at me as she already is… right now." said Naruto as he took a glance on one of the bushes near them.

Sandaime turned to the other ninjas and dismissed them for their supposed to do work.

"Were they supposed to challenge me?" asked Naruto.

"Kind of…" said the third hokage as he walked back to the busy streets of Konoha

"Oh…" was Naruto's reply.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

By the time the group of ninjas was gone, a woman moved away from the bushes. "That guy must have known where I was all along…" said the woman to no one in particular.

"That's pretty much true…" a voice said.

Surprised at what Kurenai had heard, behind her was the same man from before. Immediately, she readied a fighting stance and waited for an upcoming attack but there was none.

"Like you have a chance against me…" said the man with an irritating grin on his face.

With those words said, Kurenai looked at her chances. There were none as a matter of fact after hearing that four of her colleagues were about to challenge him. It was a four against one battle and probably the one with them right now was a clone or vice versa.

Naruto smiled at her and reached out his hand for a hand shake. "We started in bad start… I just stayed behind to tell you… I'm sorry." said Naruto.

Kurenai looked at his hand then at his face. 'He doesn't look like he's lying…' But instead of taking his hand for a hand shake, Kurenai just simply walked away. By the time she was out of the forest, she started to sprint towards the rooftops and surprised to say she saw the blonde man behind her. He was fast, very fast, to say the least. Kurenai headed towards the Hokage tower but still Naruto was on her tail. Once she reached the third floor of the building, he was still behind her.

"What do you want?-!" asked Kurenai. Her tone was loud enough to make everyone in the room look at their way.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

At the Hokage's Office,

The clone Naruto was currently talking with the third Hokage. Inside the room, Jiraiya along with Tsunade were also there, standing on each side of the third. Sarutobi told him that he was going to be assigned as a Konoha ninja and he was given a rank of a Tokubetsu Jounin. The third may have not seen his skills but Jiraiya can approve that he deserve to be in that rank. Hence, he can be an ANBU but they doubt that he will not want that position or being a Hunter-Nin as well.

"So, let me get this straight… I'm going to stay here and become a Konoha ninja?" said Naruto.

"Yes" said the old man.

"No offense but, why can't I be in a different place? Why here?" asked Naruto.

"Because your father wants you to stay here!" replied Sarutobi.

"Yea right… him again…" said Naruto. He didn't like to hear anything that has got to do with his 'so called' father. Even before he erased his connections with Snow Country, he already knew that his father and the council were planning his banishment from the country.

"Did you know that your father became one of Konoha's Hokage? He was, probably, one of the best ninjas ever produced by the village." said Jiraiya.

Tsunade was about to stop her team-mate from what was he about to say. But her sensei stopped her from doing so…

"It is true, Naruto-kun." said the Sandaime. "Minato---…" the Sandaime was abruptly cut off when Naruto suddenly spoke up.

"I don't want to hear another thing about him…" with those words said, Naruto, or shall I say Naruto's clone disappeared in front of them.

"All this time… we were talking to a clone…" said Tsunade to no one in particular.

TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

Meanwhile…

"I just want your forgiveness." said Naruto.

Kurenai was about to reconsider his words when all of a sudden, a tall man walked next to Kurenai and asked: "Does this guy bothering you, Kurenai?" asked the man.

"Yes" "No" (Kurenai / Naruto)

The tall man didn't even bother to listen at Naruto which made the said blonde to get annoyed at the tall man.

"Listen here, beardy… I didn't come here to talk to you!" answered Naruto. His tone made some of the ninjas in the room to listen even more.

Asuma didn't like the sound of Naruto's voice. He held the blonde by the collar and so did Naruto. Everybody could feel the upcoming outrage, when all of a sudden, the Third Hokage came. He gave a look at both shinobis that meant to take off both of their hands on each other which they apparently did.

"I take it that the both of you were getting to now each other…" said the Third Hokage. Then, he looked at Kurenai and said: "I hope you don't mind helping Naruto-kun get accustomed here in Konoha." said Sarutobi.

Kurenai couldn't believe her ears. This obnoxious, cute…WAIT! What was she thinking?-! She just gave the Third a nod, and soon, the said Hokage was with Naruto. He, himself, showed Naruto where his desk was, and at the same time, he introduced Naruto to some ninjas in the area. It only took the old man several minutes to take his leave and decided to go back to his office.

Naruto looked at his desk. He couldn't help but to compare it to his old desk back at Snow Country. The nostalgic memory itself was making Naruto to stare and not to sit on his newly acquired desk. He sighed and walked out for awhile.

Kurenai, who was busy writing a report on a recent mission, suddenly noticed that the blonde man from awhile ago was no longer in his seat. 'Where the heck did he run off to?' asked Kurenai in her mind. She walked out of the office, and thankfully, she was able to found, knowing that he was the only person in Konoha who has blonde and spiky hair. She called out to him but Naruto doesn't seem to hear her. She tried again but Naruto turned at the corner. Kurenai was able to catch up and saw that he was heading straight to the roof top.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

On the roof top, Naruto took notice the scene below him. It was nothing back at Snow Country, where most of the land was covered with snow, and, where snow always falls from the sky.

"You're pretty quiet…" someone said from behind. Naruto turned and saw the red-eyed woman he had bumped onto.

"Are you following me?" asked Naruto with a raised brow.

Kurenai was about to retort back, but then, she decided to play around.

"Why would I be? Besides, do you really think I wanted to?" said Kurenai.

Naruto sighed and Kurenai saw a small smile crept on to Naruto's face.

"What are you smiling about?" asked Kurenai with a raised brow.

"Nothing, I was just thinking about the irony we're in… You don't want to follow me around, and me, don't want anyone following me around." sighed Naruto.

'He probably went through a lot…that's probably the reason why he moved here in Konoha.' thought Kurenai.

"Um, about my behavior back at the office…um, I uh… I'm sorry about it." said Kurenai. She was looking at the floor when she said those words.

Naruto looked at her and Kurenai saw the expression he was giving her.

"What?" asked Kurenai.

"Nothing," replied Naruto.

"You know, you always repeat yourself." said Kurenai.

"Sorry…" laughed Naruto.

"So, do you have a place to live in?" asked Kurenai.

"If I told you that I don't have one, will you let me stay in your place?" asked Naruto with a grin on his face. Surely enough, Kurenai was annoyed by it.

"BAKA!" shouted Kurenai, as she hit Naruto at the head. "You got some guts in you…who do you think you are?" retorted Kurenai.

Naruto didn't look surprised or even scared at Kurenai's sudden outburst. He just looked at the woman with a smile on his face. As irritated Kurenai was, she only got annoyed even more when she saw the smile on Naruto's lips.

"What so funny?-!" demanded Kurenai.

"Nothing, you just remind me of someone I knew before." said Naruto. He had this genuine look on his eyes that could tell how he truly misses this someone Naruto spoke of.

Kurenai did something that she wouldn't even think of doing. She gently held Naruto's cheek which made the blonde man before her touch her hand. She didn't know how Naruto will respond to the contact. As Kurenai did so, she looked at Naruto's face. His eyes were closed as he held Kurenai's hand on his cheek. 'So warm…' thought Naruto.

They could last on and on but when all of a sudden four familiar ninjas stood at the door way. On cue, they immediately released each other as they felt their presence.

"Don't tell me…you guys came here to look for me again." said Naruto. Behind him was Kurenai. She was looking at her colleagues. Strangely, they had different expressions on their face. She can understand the look on Anko, Gai, and Kakashi's face. But on Asuma's face there was something emanating that she couldn't figure out.

Kakashi looked at the blonde before him. Naruto could tell that the man was smiling from the arc shape produced over his half-masked face. "Well, the Hokage sent us…" said Kakashi as he pulled a piece of paper from his pocket. "…He wanted you to have this…this is the address where you will be staying at." added Kakashi. Still, he has that smile plastered on his face.

"Uh…thanks…I'm Uzumaki Naruto, Tokubetsu Jounin, nice to meet you all." said Naruto as he bowed in front of the ninjas. He offered his hand for a hand shake which everyone took with a smile on their face except for Asuma.

"If you're mad about that nickname I gave you, then, I'm sorry." said Naruto. He offered his hand again. But instead of receiving a hand shake he was thrown several feet away. "O-kay… I guess you really are mad…" said Naruto. Knowing where would this lead; he sighed and looked at the Jounin in front of him. "If you want a fight I could generously give you one." said Naruto.

Not a single ninja interrupted, not even Kurenai or Kakashi. They just stood there anticipating what will happen between the two.

"Oi, Asuma, if you want to do this. Keep in mind that he's not just any ordinary ninja." said Gai.

"I know that already!" yelled Asuma as he charged at Naruto with his trench knives, both ignited with chakra. From the viewers' point of view, Asuma looked like he was having trouble keeping up with Naruto as he charged at the said blonde. As for Naruto, he looked like he was just having fun; he didn't even break any sweat as he dodged the attacks being given to him. But when there was a point that Asuma saw an opening, he immediately took the chance but the given chance was not meant for him.

Naruto took Asuma's wrist. With enough strength, he twisted his arm and punched him using his palm. The next thing everybody knew, Asuma flew several feet away from Naruto.

Kakashi could tell that the punch unleashed by Naruto was almost the same from how Tsunade-hime attack using only her fist. He just kept on watching as he didn't want to jump on conclusions as to who really is this Uzumaki Naruto. He was a mystery to him. A mystery he anxiously wanted to solve.

Currently, Naruto was waiting for the smoke to dissipate. He didn't look like he was waiting for Asuma like everybody thought. After a few seconds, there was something going on under the smoke.

'So Asuma decided to use some ninjutsus… this should be interesting…' thought Kakashi.

Under the smoke, Naruto could tell that Asuma was doing something until… he heard a familiar voice shouted: "Katon: Karyu Endan" Soon, there was an upcoming dragon like figure coming in Naruto's way. Kurenai was about to call out Naruto's name but when she heard his voice saying: "Suton: Suiryuudan no jutsu!"

As both techniques collide, the fire was easily put down. Kurenai could see the look of defeat on Asuma's face but on Naruto's…It was different. He didn't look like he wanted to win much like any other opponents would but in his eyes she could see that he didn't want to fight. Kurenai has been coped up staring at Naruto that she didn't even realize that Asuma saw how she looked at the said blonde. He didn't like what he was seeing and as a result he walked away from the group but before he could, someone spoke from behind.

"Ano…, Asuma-san…if I did something to make you that angry I am truly sorry." said Naruto.

Asuma didn't turn from where he stood he just neglected everything Naruto had said.

"Oi, Asuma! Just where do you think you're going?-!" This time it was Kurenai who spoke.

Asuma turned and everybody saw the same expression he wore on his face before he fought Naruto. It was filled with anger which made everyone surprised since they never saw him like that. He didn't give any reply to Kurenai which made the woman irritated to the point that she wanted to hit the man in front of her.

"That's enough, Kurenai-san…" said Naruto from behind.

"But…"

"That's an order." Naruto made it sound firm. He looked back to Kakashi and said: "If my memory serves me right… you have something for me, am I correct?" said Naruto.

"Here's the place you will be staying in." said Kakashi as he gave the piece of paper to Naruto who gratefully took it.

"I think I'll go check the place out once I'm done with my paperwork." said Naruto as he looked at the contents of the paper. With those words said, he left everyone. And once again, Kurenai was starting to get annoyed. She immediately followed Naruto's whereabouts.

"What's up with her?" asked Anko.

"Sandaime-sama wanted Kurenai to help Naruto get accustomed here in Konoha." replied Kakashi.

"So that what it is… I wonder…" said Anko. In a matter of seconds everybody started to hear some giggling coming from Anko. They just stared at the Tokubetsu Jounin not even knowing what to do.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Meanwhile, Naruto, who was walking aimlessly around the corridors of the Hokage Tower, paused from walking…

'WHERE THE HECK IS THAT ROOM?-!' wondered Naruto. Apart from that, he didn't even know that Kurenai was following him.

'Honestly, he doesn't have any sense of direction! What the?-!' wondered Kurenai as a familiar kunoichi walked right behind Naruto.

"Hey, Na-ru-to…" said the kunoichi as she clung on Naruto neck. It was Mitarashi Anko, one of the beautiful, hot, sexy, (and most of all) deadliest kunoichi of Konoha.

"…A-A-Anko-san" Naruto stuttered her name as he felt the hot air coming from her luscious mouth. The said blonde wasn't able to set himself free as of the moment. He was beginning to get nervous when all of a sudden he felt a certain pressure coming from his back. It was Anko's soft ample breasts. Naruto didn't want to think any perverted thoughts but with Anko's forwardness…he tried hard, very hard, to concentrate not to do so.

"Anko-san" said Naruto. This time he was in control.

"Hm," inquired Anko. From what she could tell, Naruto was not under her charms anymore. He was much calmer than awhile ago. Heck, he couldn't even say Anko's name properly. But now, the Naruto she was clinging onto was much more resolved.

"I don't want to be rude but…could you please let me go?" said Naruto.

Anko smiled as she let him go and Naruto saw her smile. "You're quite a gentle man…" said Anko then she paused. "I hope you don't mind if I called you Naruto-kun, right?" she added with a smile on her face. Anko noticed the paper in Naruto's hand and said: "You're lost, aren't you?" said Anko.

It wasn't just a mere question, heck, it was a fact. The 'Great' Uzumaki Naruto was really lost. Unknown to him, he blushed in front of Anko due to embarrassment. He couldn't say yes since it was obvious.

"I think I'll take that as a yes…" said Anko. She paused for a while and then finally she said: "Do you want me to take you around the village?" offered Anko.

Naruto didn't want to be rude but there was something else on his mind. "It depends…"

Naruto's answer made the female Tokubetsu Jounin raise her eyebrow. 'So he's playing in my game now eh…' this made Anko smile deep inside. "It depends?" repeated Anko, in a questioning tone.

"Well, you see, I already have a tour guide and she's right behind us." said Naruto.

Anko moved her head. There was indeed someone, probably, watching them from behind. But what surprised her was their spectator, it was Kurenai.

"Yo!" greeted Anko.

Kurenai only replied with a nod. There was something on her face that says --- back off, Naruto --- and Naruto could tell it was really directed to him since she was giving him the 'silent treatment'. He really didn't have the slightest clue as to why was Kurenai got suddenly so mad at him. Naruto only let her ignore him until she finally calmed down.

"Hey, Naruto-'kun', do you wanna come with us? We and the rest of the guys are gonna go and eat dinner." said Anko.

Unknown to them, Kurenai was a bit shocked not just because Anko invited Naruto for dinner but because she called Naruto with a –Kun at the end of his name. For Kurenai, it was something important. Letting someone call you by your first name, and not to mention, letting someone add a –Kun at the end of your name. It was like, you and that person shared something special.

Naruto, who saw Kurenai's distressed face, spoke: "I don't now…, Anko-san. I am a bit hungry since I haven't eaten ever since I got out from the passenger's ship."

"Then, you must come! After all, we kinda tire you off. Besides, there are a lot of delicious restaurants here in Konoha and you can get to meet Kurenai's students, their Chuunins by the way." said Anko.

Naruto smiled at Anko's enthusiasm. It was not hard to smile or even to laugh on, and so, he decided to go to lunch with these women. "Okay-okay…I'll come but don't---" Naruto didn't get to finish what he was trying to say when all of a sudden Anko pulled/dragged him all the way to Ichiraku's Ramen Bar, one of Konoha's finest, while Kurenai walked her way to the said Ramen Bar.

"Here we are…" exclaimed Anko. Everyone in the group looked at the said Tokubetsu Jounin then to this unfamiliar guy beside her. After a second or two, Kurenai came.

"Finally, we thought you guys weren't going to show up." said Gai as he welcomed the new comers.

"We wouldn't be late if one of us had a sense of direction." said Kurenai.

Both Anko and Naruto looked at the said kunoichi. "I wouldn't be lost if you just helped me in the first place." replied Naruto.

Kurenai couldn't reply since she knew that Naruto was right.

"Jii-san, one miso ramen please." someone said from the farthest part of the bar. Kurenai saw Naruto looked at the woman who was buying the said miso ramen. He had a shocked expression in his eyes even though he didn't show it directly it was there in his eyes. Now, Kurenai couldn't help but to wonder who this woman was. By the time the said woman turned, she said: "You…"

She almost dropped the ramen she brought but thankfully Naruto caught it just in time. "Wow… you're here."

"Oi, who's she, Naruto-kun?" asked Anko.

"Uh…well, she's---" started Naruto. "She's um…" Naruto couldn't finish since he didn't know the woman's name in the first place. He turned to her and said: "What was your name again?" asked Naruto as he rubbed the back of his neck.

"Kazehana Fuuko" answered Fuuko.

'Kazehana…' "Uzumaki Naruto, nice to meet you." said Naruto as he offered his hand for a hand shake.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Uzumaki-san…um…uh…, Uzumaki-san?"

"Yes?"

"My hand…" said Fuuko

"Right…your hand…" said Naruto as he quickly let her go.

"Well, see ya!" said Fuuko. As everyone watched the woman left, Kakashi walked up to Naruto's side and suddenly he grabbed him by the neck and started to rub his spiky hair.

"Who's she?" asked Kakashi as he continuously rub Naruto's hair. This was something unexpected especially coming from the lazy copy ninja.

"She works from the passenger's ship I took." Naruto replied.

Once Kakashi was done, he led Naruto to his students. "This is Haruno Sakura. She's also a medical ninja…"

"I've heard about you especially from Tsunade-sama and Shizune-chan." said Naruto to the blushing kunoichi.

"And, this is Uchiha Sasuke." introduced Kakashi. The said avenger only looked at Naruto and at his hand.

"O-kay… um… this is Sai and we're Team 7" said Kakashi.

Naruto looked at Sai as he too was looking at him. Naruto offered his hand for a hand shake which the guy silently shook. He was about to say something until Gai pulled him in front of his team.

"Naruto-kun, let me introduce to you my precious students… this is Ten-ten, she is an weapons' specialist, and next, is my precious Neji, he is from the Hyuuga Clan as you can already see from the obvious, and last but not the least is my beautiful Lee…" said Gai.

Once Gai was done, Naruto was pulled once again but this it was Anko. She dragged him once again but this time towards Kurenai. "You're next, introduce him to your students." said Anko.

Kurenai only sighed at her energetic friend but what else could she do. "Fine… let's start with Hinata, she's from the Hyuuga Clan as well but her family is from the main branch unlike Neji's. Next to her is Inuzuka Kiba, he fights along with his dog, Akamaru. Last is Aburame Shino, he controls bugs." said Kurenai.

Naruto, again, offered his hand for a hand shake. By the time he was in front of Hinata, the said kunoichi was flustered. "Ano, are you alright?" asked Naruto. He looked at her flustered face which eventually made Hinata more flustered.

"I-I'm f-f-fine…" answered Hinata. She was avoiding Naruto's gaze at the moment. It was hard, knowing that his face was inches away from hers. Naruto noticed her avoiding his gaze. He guessed that she was starting to feel uneasy. If he stared long enough Hinata would have fainted in front of everybody.

"If you say so…" said Naruto. He moved away from Hinata and suddenly he was dragged again by Anko. This time he was in front of Asuma. "Oi, Asuma, you're next. Introduce your students, Naruto-kun." said Anko.

Asuma just stood up and looked at Naruto for a couple of second, then, he walked in front of his students. "These are my students…" he said. "The blonde one is Yamanaka Ino, the red-head is Akimichi Chouji, and the lazy looking guy is Nara Shikamaru. They are the sons and daughter of the former 'Ino-Shika-Cho'." said Asuma.

Naruto walked in front of Team Asuma and greeted them just like what he did with the other Chuunins. When he was about to shake Ino's hand, she greeted him with a smile on her face and said: "So, Naruto, are you here for the upcoming Jounin Exams?" asked Ino. Her conversation didn't go unnoticed by Sakura, Ten-ten, and even Hinata who was listening from her seat.

"Kind of…" said Naruto.

"So, who's training you? Is it Asuma-sensei, Kakashi-sensei, or Kurenai-sensei?" asked Ino again.

"Uh…I'm not taking the exams if that's what you're trying to ask a while ago. Actually, I'm one of the examiners." said Naruto.

"Eh?-!" shouted Ino.

Sakura heard their conversation and so did the others. At this point, Sakura joined in the conversation. "If you're one of the examiners then you must be at least a Jounin or even a Tokubetsu Jounin." said Sakura.

"But…you look just around our age." said Ino.

"True." replied Naruto.

Ino was about to ask another question when someone came inside the Ramen Bar and said: "Hello!" It was Jiraiya, who greeted the group, behind him were Tsunade and Shizune and Ton-ton. The said pig jumped away from Shizune's arms then ran towards Naruto.

"Oi, Ero-Sennin, where the heck did you run off to?-!" shouted Naruto.

Jiraiya was about to say something when all of a sudden Tsunade broke in. "Don't worry too much, Naruto-kun. We're keeping an eye on him, right Shizune?" said the Slug Sannin.

"Right..!" exclaimed Shizune.

"Let's go and eat!" yelled Tsunade which made everyone to cheer in delight, well, not everyone.

'I'm doomed…' thought Jiraiya as he sulked on the table.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Dinner went by easily. None of them realized that it was almost pass seven, and so, most of them went on patrol while some headed straight to their homes.

At this moment, Naruto was still standing in front of Ichiraku's. He hadn't moved a single step for a couple of minutes now.

'Even if it's already night time, the streets are still crowded.' sighed Naruto.

"Mind if I take a look at that piece of paper?" Someone asked from behind.

Naruto turned around and was surprised to see Kurenai standing right behind him. He just handed the piece of paper to the said red-eyed Kunoichi. To his surprise, Kurenai looked dazed at the said piece of paper.

'There should be a mistake!? This is where the Yondaime used to live.' thought Kurenai; she was still contemplating whether this little piece of paper was a lie of some sort. "A-are you sure this is where you're going to stay?" asked Kurenai.

"Yes. Kakashi-san said so himself…" said Naruto. It was until that moment that Naruto noticed the look on Kurenai's face. "Is there something wrong?" asked Naruto as he walked closer to the (still) stunned kunoichi.

"Nothing!" said Kurenai as she waved her hand in the process. "Anyway, we should go!" said Kurenai. She just walked her way to the busy streets on Konoha while Naruto followed from behind.

After ten minutes of walking, none of them had talked nor even paid attention to one another. They're like two opposite beings.

"Kurenai-san, are we there yet?" asked Naruto. They were still walking along a very familiar path.

"We're here…" she just replied, obviously annoyed by the blonde stud next to her.

"Whoa..." was Naruto's reaction.

In front of both ninjas was a huge wooden gate. It's probably one-third of the village's gate just as Naruto thought.

"Do you have the key to open this gate?" asked Kurenai pointing at the gate's lock.

'…The key…' Naruto searched through his pockets and wondered where he could possibly put that little troublesome thing. It took him fifty seconds flat just to find the key to his newly acquired house. Naruto opened the gate, and to say the least, he was astonished at the scene being presented to him.

"It's huge…" said Naruto, obviously mesmerized by the huge compound. "…I never knew he used to live in such a place…" whispered Naruto.

Although Naruto's last statement sounded like a whisper, Kurenai was able to hear it loud and clear.

'Does this guy know the Yondaime?' asked Kurenai to herself.

"Thanks for today, Kurenai-san." said Naruto with a smile.

Kurenai only gave Naruto an 'hmph' with both of her arms crossed. She hasn't forgiven Naruto for what he did back when they first met. She didn't know why but she was just too stubborn to do so. Generally, she would just forgive and forget, but now, she really had a hard time about it.

Naruto, being Naruto, didn't get a single hint of Kurenai's irritation towards him. Though, he found it amusing to see Kurenai with such a face. He couldn't help but to smile even more. He just walked closely to the red-eyed beauty in such a way that even Kurenai didn't notice.

"…I had fun today…" Kurenai heard him say, just then, she felt something warm connected on her cheek. Her train of thoughts suddenly stopped in a brief moment when she heard a loud click coming from Naruto's gate. That was the same moment when realization struck Kurenai, real hard.

'He… he… he kissed me!' screamed Kurenai in her mind.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

A/N:
Don't get confused with the story. Although the Jounins in the story were instructors here, they're not exactly the Jounin instructors of the Rookie Nine like in the show. They're like the senpais of the Rookie Nine in the story. So, the age gap is just around 2-3 years. Aside from that, all Rookie Nine (except for Naruto since he's replaced by Sai) are around 18 years of age. While Naruto, he's a 19 years old stud in the story. And the rest which also includes the OC (Kazehana Fuuko), Shizune, and Kazehana Koyuki; they're around 19-21 years of age.

Disclaimer: Naruto is not mine.