Naruto was always happy. Always encouraging. Always persevering. Always smiling. Not even Tayuya could resist succumbing to the pleasant cheerfulness that permeated the very air around that loud, blonde ninja. Naruto/Tayuya NaruTayu One-shot.

Tayuya awoke with a scream.


Her chest ached in a dozen places where she had hit different branches flying back after that fucking blonde kunoichi's wind attack. Her arms were sore from futile efforts to move the giant tree that pinned her legs to the ground. Her head throbbed with the dull pain that was the symptom, no doubt, of a moderate concussion, no surprise after falling several stories from a tree.

But her legs. Oh fuck, they hurt like they had been dipped in molten steel. The weight of the entire tree sat on her legs, the bones of which had been shattered into pieces when the tree first hit her. And now the tree continued to cause Tayuya agonizing pain, as the tree, kept slightly off the ground by her legs, pressed the whole of its enormous weight onto her already-broken limbs.

Silent tears ran out of the corners of her eyes. Not because Tayuya was sad, or because she was some sissy girl who couldn't stand pain. But holy shit if that tree wasn't the most painful thing ever to happen to her in her entire fucking life. The tears came out despite her best efforts to hold them in. Tayuya refused to scream, but couldn't help but allow her mouth to remain open in a silent shout, in between her various curses against everyone she knew that was associated with Konoha, Suna, or trees in any form.

Of course, there was no one to hear her scream. No doubt Tayuya was screwed her until she died of thirst. And she knew that. It was unfortunate that her kunai pouch had been blown off in that last attack, since that would have enabled an easy, relatively painless suicide. Tayuya didn't feel like attempting to bite off her own tongue, since that was a horrible way to die, and there was a slight possibility that her body's involuntary reflexes would save her, leaving her in even worse pain, and without that ability to call for help, should anyone decide to come by.

Not that she expected any of her teammates to look for her. If they were still alive, which she doubted, after seeing the amazing abilities that even the lazy guy had at his disposal, Tayuya knew they wouldn't come back for her. Out of concern for her, or laziness, she knew now which. Because Tayuya knew that Orochimaru had no use for crippled kunoichi. Heck, he had even sacrificed a healthy kunoichi, Kin or whatever her damn name was, in the battle back at Konoha. If Tayuya had somehow gotten back to Sound, she could hardly have hoped for anything better than a quick death, since the alternatives were the rather cruel experiments that the Otokage conducted in the back rooms of the base.

Really, Tayuya supposed, she was waiting for death to come to her, in the form of a voracious thirst that would eventually let her drift into unconsciousness and death. But Tayuya knew that she shouldn't give up like this. All of the time she had spent in Sound, she had wanted to be the best ninja there, in spite of her gender. All of those misogynistic pigs had brushed her aside as just 'some girl' who had somehow become. Tayuya had proved them all wrong, becoming one of the elite, a member of the Sound Five, shrunk to Four after Kimmimaro's quick decline in health.. She had been one of the best.

But now she was back to square one. No doubt those idiots back in Sound would say to themselves that it was her own fault, trying to be a ninja, a woman in a man's profession. Tayuya hated to lose to them like this, but what other option did she have?

"God fucking damn it! I want to live!"

"Nani? Who's there?"

Tayuya's eyes widened until they were as large as saucers. She had heard that voice before. That annoying blonde idiot that had been with the lazy guy's team. With the shit-eating grin and those weird whisker marks.

Suddenly her legs screamed in agony as fresh pain shot through her lower body. Naruto peered over the tree, and saw her pinned underneath, even as Tayuya realized what the blonde shinobi had unwittingly done.


Naruto quickly hopped off, landing next to her with practiced ease. "Hey, you're that girl from earlier, with the flute or whatever. I found it back there, you know." He pulled it out of his pouch, showed it to her, and then put it back.

"Hey! That's mine, motherfucker! Give it back!"

"I think you're going to need a lot more than a flute to get out from under there, Tayuya. I'll help, alright?"

"I don't need your fucking bastard! I just want my flute back!"

Naruto gave a foxy grin. "Of course you need help. You said you wanted to live, right? I'll help!"

"You idiot. I'm an enemy ninja!"

Naruto laughed out loud, which just made Tayuya even angrier. "Sh-shut up! Don't laugh at me, you man-whore!"

Naruto turned his laughing gaze onto her angry face. "Don't get all mad, uh, it's Tayuya, right? I just want to help! Even if you're an enemy, you're still hurt, and as a guy I should definitely help out other people who need it. Especially since you're a girl and all..."

Tayuya snarled. "I don't need your pity! I what does being a girl have to do with it, huh?! You think I'm inferior to you male bastards, thinking with your dicks instead of your brains?!"

Naruto rolled his eyes, and kept smiling. "Guys are just supposed to help girls, that's all. I would have helped you if you were a guy, too, you know, so don't get all weird." Forming a single seal, the blonde ninja created several dozen clones all around him, which immediately took up position all around the tree.

Tayuya just watched in amazement as this pathetic, orange-clad shinobi-wanna-be lifted a tree that had to weigh several tons, and then oh-so-very-carefully moved her out from under it, taking special notice of her shattered legs.

Tayuya was pleasantly surprised, but then she saw where this was going. "Wait, you idiot! You can't help me! If you take me back to that shitty leaf-village they'll lock me up and hurt me even worse!"

The red head suppressed an urge to sit up and knock the blonde upside the head when his shocked expression told her that this had never occurred to him. Her legs and chest would have killed her to sit up, and besides, he had offered to help, so she shouldn't just beat him up...

Then Naruto was all smiles again. "Well, if you promise not to hurt anybody, Tayuya, we can leave your hitai-ate here and I'll just way you're a random person I found crushed under a building in the village. As long as we don't run into Shikamaru or someone who went on the mission to get Sasuke," his face darkened slightly, but he still smiled as he continued, "you should be just fine! We have great medics back there, and they should be able to fix you up just fine!"

Tayuya just stared. Was he really offering to help her to such an extent?

Now he looked a little nervous as his clones set the tree back down onto the ground and dispelled themselves. "You know, Tayuya..." The sound ninja's chest tightened in anxiety. Was he second-guessing himself now? Now that she had her hopes up? "It was hard enough getting you out from under the tree without hurting you. I don't have a stretcher or anything, so I think the easiest way to get you back to Konoha would be to... um..."

So relieved that he wasn't giving up on her, Tayuya interrupted. "Just do whatever you need, blondie!" She hoped her voice didn't show her eagerness, and her fear of being left here.

"Good! I'm glad you understand, Tayuya!"

Naruto picked up her head, and began feeling along the back of her neck. "Let's see, where was it?"

As Tayuya suddenly realized what he was doing, Naruto squeezed a bundle of nerves on her neck, and the red head fell into pleasant, painless darkness.

Tayuya awoke in room with white walls, and a white ceiling. A hospital. So that blonde brat had kept his word.

A nurse, standing over in a corner reading some graphs and charts, noticed her open her eyes. "Oh, you're awake, Naruko!" Tayuya had repress the urge to flinch at the name. Didn't that idiot have any imagination? Then remembering what an idiot he seemed to be, Tayuya guessed that she should just be thankful he had remembered to get a different name at all.

The nurse checked over all the bandages Tayuya wore, nodding in approval. "You're healing very well now. That nice boy even got a medic ninja to come and help, so you should be ready to leave tomorrow. They already healed all the bones in your legs, and your broken ribs, and helped with the concussion. As long as you don't do any very strenuous activities for a month or so, everything should heal completely. For now, just rest, and I'll have someone come in in a bit to run some final tests before we release you tomorrow."

The nurse walked out of the room, and spoke to someone standing outside. "She's awake, and seems to be doing fine. You can go in and talk to her, as long as you're quiet."

Naruto walked into the room, closing the door behind him. He spoke in a low voice, quiet, but laced with his usual level of excitement. "So you're okay, Tayuya?"

The red head smirked as she saw Naruto smile at her, and she could even hear the smile in his voice. Such a cheerful, idiotic guy.

"Yeah. They said I could leave tomorrow."

Naruto's face lit up at the news. "Great!" Startling even himself with the loud reply, he glanced around, as if some nurse might pop out of nowhere to shush him. "I'm glad you're alright."

Tayuya's face shifted into a true smile. Even if he seemed stupid, he was such a nice guy, and his good mood was...


She could hardly stop herself when she next asked, "So, could I stay with you until I find a place to live here?"

Naruto gave her a huge grin. "Of course! That's what friends are for, right?"

Tayuya laughed as her smile widened to match his. Even if he was such a simple shinobi, he was a great person, helping her when she was at her worst, overlooking her former status as an enemy.

It was hard to believe that just the other day, Tayuya had been contemplating killing herself, and wondering if she could really ever hope to fulfill her dream of becoming a great kunoichi.

But as she found out, staying at Naruto's apartment even long after she could have gotten another place, and training in secret with him even though they both knew the trouble that would come if they got caught, Naruto perseverance limitless.

And Tayuya soon found that she, too, began to share his urge to help others, his perseverance, and the simple happiness that seemed to permeate the very air around him.

It was infectious.

So yeah, this actually turned out sort of like I had envisioned it. I hope you liked it. I wrote it for the many NaruTayu fans that requested more of same from me. Yes, I can be bribed with reviews to write certain stories. Especially with pairings I like.

So review and let me know what you think of it.