Thanks for those who reviewed I really appreciate it. Get ready because this story is about to get juicy… in matters of the main couple. Lee and Sasuke's fight will take a few moments but Naru/Hina all the way. Those of us who love Hinata can rejoice in the fact that she's alive!! XD Anyways thanks a lot to my beta for helping me out in both of my stories, he's a life saver.

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto


Chapter 21: Raw Speed

The three males in the room stared at the timid girl who was currently resisting the urge to tap her fingers together but she still blushed from the attention she was receiving. She never thought the decision to go home would fall to her; she wanted to go home and relax even if the village was in turmoil but she wanted to stay longer and spend more time with the blonde of her life who was gazing at her at this very moment with concern. She knew he wanted to get home to help in the reconstruction of the village as she knew he felt guilty since the attack was for him alone but her heart was selfish and wanted more blonde time but there were her teammates as well so she obliged to go home.

"I-I'm okay so let's go home" Hinata said as the heat on her face did not let her meet with anyone's eyes "We have to help the village… right?" she asked timidly as she glanced up to see all of her friends smiling gently… well she felt Shino's smile anyway.

"Hinata… it's okay if you feel like you're not ready, we can wait" Shino said as he glanced at her with his dark glasses. "We're here to see if you feel better" he added.

"Yeah what he said Hinata…?" Kiba said with a grin and Akamaru's bark was heard as he agreed with his master. The two members of Team 8 nodded and the Hyuuga girl smiled at them for their support and caring.

"Hinata-chan… we're not pressuring you, we'll leave tomorrow though" Naruto said as he prepared to leave. "Seeing as you can move and walk we're going to leave tomorrow morning but I want you to rest your body a lot or I'll have to carry you" he added the last part teasingly and watch with sudden horror as the girl fell to the floor with a red face. Shino caught her before she hit the floor though and sighted.

"Naruto… please don't make comments like that, you know she's a bit fond of you" the bug-user said as he dropped the unconscious girl to the bed.

"She gave us quite the scare, I know she's a bit fond of me but the question is why" Naruto stated as he turned a left the room leaving the two males to ponder what he said.

Night fell and as expected the desert was ice cold during the night and the two male members of Team 8 were inside their hotel room pondering the why of Hinata's affection and Naruto's knowledge of the former. Naruto entered the room with a flushed Hinata in tow and the two looked happy… way too happy to be friends (inside their minds).

"So, no problems in getting out of the hospital?" Kiba said watching the two shake their heads but still was suspicious.

"Hinata and I saw a couple kissing and I just started to point out a few things of the subject since I learned a lot in those three years I thought Hinata could use the info" Naruto said dismissively as the shy girl behind him blushed even harder.

"I-It w-was u-useful" Hinata stuttered and poked her fingers with obvious embarrassment.

"Well Hinata your room is two rooms away from ours so please get some rest" Shino said and said girl nodded and turned to leave.

"I'll go with you Hinata, there's something else I wanted to tell you" Naruto said as he left the room with the shy girl. "Listen Hinata… I just wanted to say thank you, you've been there all these years and I've never had the chance to say it" he said as he walked besides the unspeaking girl towards her room.

"T-Thank y-you Naruto-k-kun but it is I w-who needs to s-say thank you… you've help me through so much all these years" Hinata stuttered a bit but felt confident as she heard her love saying those things to her that nervousness went away… partly.

"I don't know how but I'm glad… you've become such a strong person" Naruto said softly as he opened the door for the girl and she stepped in "Good night Hinata-chan" he added with a smile that made the girl blush and her heart pound.

"G-Good n-night Naruto-kun" Hinata stuttered softly as the door closed and she almost slid to the floor as the weaken knees she had after the smile her love threw at her, taking it slowly she took her clothes off and went to bed. Images of a certain blue-eyed shinobi dancing in her head.

"Damn… she looked so gorgeous back there" Naruto thought to himself as he walked ever so slowly to his own room. "What the hell is wrong with me… is it the way she looks at me or her kindness?" he thought with a frown as he entered his room, this night was going to a long one.


Battle field at the border of Fire country

"You've improved a lot in the past years Lee" Sasuke said as he stared at the green-spandex-wearing shinobi in front of him. He made a few dashes to see the level of his speed and even with his weights on he was fast enough to keep up with him, a thought that slightly worried him.

"Heh, you've improved greatly yourself Uchiha… but you know I'm faster and stronger than you" Lee said smiling a bit and tensing knowing pushing the wrong buttons would lead him to literally be playing with fire.

"You're right, but you lack the only thing that makes a shinobi powerful… chakra" Sasuke stated coldly as he kept staring "You're useless Lee, you keep relaying on Taijutsu, one shinobi will kill you right up the bat one day" he added without emotion while the Taijutsu specialist seethed.

"That's where you're wrong!" Lee exploded as he charged forward in almost blinding speed "I'll prove that someone can be a shinobi by using one skill alone" he added as he made a couple of barrages that Sasuke blocked. The Taijutsu specialist punched and kicked while the Uchiha prodigy mirrored his moves one by one, Sasuke wasn't copying his moves but he could keep up with him at the moment and could block or evade everything thrown at him.

Sasuke was slowly feeling the effects of using such speeds as he was out of breath while Lee looked normal. Cursing, he knew that he wouldn't win in a Taijutsu match against the weird boy so he opted for a quick and painful solution for his opponent, making hand-seals he inhaled a powerful breath and "Fire style: Fire Dragon" he breathed out a huge ball of fire with the shape of a dragon directly at the Taijutsu specialist who dodged it. Lee smirked at the descending Uchiha as he was vulnerable in mid-air but didn't count on seeing four members of Konoha shinobi gang up on him and in a flash they were crashing on the ground.

Sasuke smirked as he used his Chidori Current to dispose of the flies that tried to gang up on him for an easy win. Sasuke suddenly heard two huge crashes and saw Lee glaring up at him and he disappeared, even with his Sharingan he couldn't keep up with such speed. The Uchiha suddenly was kicked in the gut and thrown back but was punched in the side and suddenly he was being dragged on the field like a pinball. Finally crashing to the ground, Sasuke found this as an opportunity to breathe a bit and tried to find a way to stop the incredible Chuunin from doing anything more. Getting up he saw that the spandex-wearing shinobi was panting a lot and that made the Uchiha smirk as he charged up a Chidori and extended its length, catching Lee by surprise and managing to stab him in his left leg, but still the Chuunin stood.

"You see… nothing but a weakling" Sasuke taunted as the lightning blade continued to numb the Chuunin's body ever so slowly "You cannot be saved now… the others are unconscious and you're about done" he added with his never changing smirk.

"That's where you're wrong… Sasuke-san" Lee said panting and fighting the pain of the electricity in his leg "I'll show you a trick that no Uchiha could copy… since you need strength and power to do it" he added as he concentrated and veins appeared in his forehead. Suddenly Lee started to yell and blasts of chakra started to flare around him, his skin turned red and his screaming louder until a huge blast of chakra made the ground shake and break "Six Gates Release: Gate of View" he yelled and the lightning blade stuck in his leg dispersed, then he bolted from his spot disappearing completely.

Sasuke widened his eyes in shock as he completely lost sight of the raging Chuunin, his Sharingan could see the chakra but it couldn't keep up with it. Bracing himself for what he knew was coming; he powered his eyes to the Mangekyou to at least have a bit of edge on catching the speedy Chuunin in a Genjutsu. Suddenly he felt an immense force nearby and the ground exploded, the smoke cloud suddenly extended like a path and Lee was standing with a leg extended while Sasuke was on the ground with pieces of rubble on top of him. Opening his eyes a bit he barely had time to see the Taijutsu specialist disappeared and he quickly back-flipped to dodge a huge punch but the attack was followed with a kick that he poorly blocked, breaking his forearm. Cursing under his breath, he knew that if this went on any longer he would lose as he didn't had a curse seal anymore to get a power up. Suddenly the image of the Chuunin blurred and Sasuke felt a kick in his abdomen, lifting him into the air and then a barrage of kicks and punches followed, sending him crashing to the ground with a thunderous "Hidden Lotus!!!"

The explosion shocked the members of Team Hawk that were "trying" to watch the fight but having little to no luck since the fight was being fought at such speeds that it was impossible. Karin on the other hand could track them down with her ability but her eyes couldn't follow the movements while Juugo and Suigetsu juts stared ahead at the destruction that unfolded in front of their eyes. A huge dust cloud rose as a raggedly breathing Lee came out with a serious yet happy expression while sweat poured down his forehead. It seems that the attack took a lot out of him. The crater on the ground couldn't be seen clearly as the debris and dust covered it but suddenly a pebble moved, then a bigger rock and before long the area where the crater was cleared showing a bleeding and bruised Sasuke glaring at the Chuunin. Lee couldn't believe what he was seeing, someone took a direct Hidden Lotus and stood up in the same fight… he narrowed his eyes to try and figure out the guy in front of him who seemingly got out of his ultimate technique.

"You see… Lee… I casted a Genjutsu… right before you could land your… final attack" Sasuke wheezed as he tried to stay conscious as the pain was too much "The attack… failed… and you die" he growled a bit but he smirked as he saw a shadow above him. Juugo was going straight at Lee with a transformed arm ready to pummel him. Lee widened his eyes as he saw the incoming shinobi with a huge fist but when he tried to dodge he found out he couldn't.

"Damn… the Gates did a good job of messing me up and adding whatever Genjutsu Sasuke created is just adding wood to the fire." Lee thought as he flinched from all the muscles of his body screaming at him to move but at the same time to stay put. "Shit!" he thought as the huge fist came at him. Juugo smacked the ground and cracked it and the fist made contact with its target but he widened his slightly as he saw splinters flying everywhere.

"Substitution? he can't use jutsu" Sasuke exclaimed as he narrowed his Sharingan activated eyes and saw the mokuton user holding a very relieved Taijutsu enthusiast.

"He can't… but I can" Yamato said as he made a set of quick hand-seals and yelled "Wood style: Spike Rising River" and suddenly the ground began to tremble and large wooden spikes began to shoot out of the ground in a rapid progression towards Team Hawk's position. In less than thirty seconds the area was covered in a gigantic pincushion of fifteen foot tall wooden spikes. Sasuke panted on a nearby branch as Juugo saved him just in the nick of time while Suigetsu scanned the area with ready for a threat.

"They got away Sasuke" Karin said as she finished tracking them. "They left underground… but three shinobi are heading this way" she noted and as in schedule three Iwa shinobi landed on a tree branch in front of them.

"Well it seems you stole our thunder… Akatsuki" one of the shinobi said as the other two readied their weapons "Enough, we can't match them and besides… this proves good news to us since you can destroy Konoha and leave the path clear for us" he said smirking but suddenly a lightning blade pierced his chest and he talked no more.

"You are a fool… you other two should leave now" Sasuke whispered loudly in a tired voice. "Let's leave" he added and the three of his "friends" nodded and disappeared in a cloud of smoke leaving behind two shocked shinobi.


"Lee, even though I appreciate what you did back there… Gai would kill me if he knew that you fought Uchiha Sasuke and almost got killed" Yamato lectured the Taijutsu specialist lightly as the rest of the surviving group gathered in a cave a couple of miles away from the has been battle zone.

"I know Yamato-Taichou but I wanted to bring him back so that Naruto-kun and Sakura-chan can finally be happy" Lee said as he breathed a little hard and flinched every now and then because of the intense pain his body felt.

"I knew that something like that would be your motive. Listen Lee, Naruto has trained incredibly hard to get him back and if you or anyone else brought him back then all his effort has been for nothing… it's his fight" Yamato explained wisely as the Chuunin nodded.

"Yamato-Taichou… do you think it was purely coincidence that they appeared here" one of the other shinobi asked as he bandaged his right arm. "You don't think Akatsuki has anything to do with this war… indirectly of course"

"No… it was pure coincidence" Yamato said calmly. "They wouldn't send a guy like Sasuke to his death like this… he maybe skillful but he's not all powerful" he added easing the minds of the other shinobi in the cave who perked up at the question.

"That's good. I don't want to be in the same room as Naruto when he finds out Sasuke is in Akatsuki" Lee stated with a slight shiver as he imagined the blondes anger, rage and finally disappointment. "Despite all of my training… he beat me up with a Genjutsu. It seems I have got a lot more to learn" he thought as he closed his eyes to take a much needed rest.


Hours later at the gates of Sunagakure

The Konoha team were preparing to leave after a much needed rest after defeating a group of Iwa shinobi at a nearby town. They were at the gates of Sunagakure seemingly waiting for something… or someone. Shino, Kiba, Akamaru and Hinata stood at the gates looking at the village in search of someone who hasn't appeared since this morning. Hinata had her Byakugan activated and was searching for a certain blonde man with intense ferocity for several reasons. One, to report the whereabouts of said blonde and secondly, to spy on him even if a little. The Hyuuga Chuunin suddenly saw a flock of yellow hair pass by the corner of a building and she pressed on and couldn't begin to imagine what she saw behind those walls… Naruto was peeping?

"Naruto-kun's peeping?" Hinata though in desperation and slight anger (if you can imagine) at seeing the blonde she loved actually peeping at women in the bathhouse. Suddenly, she saw, Naruto got up from where he was sitting with a slight disappointed look on his face "Why is he like… huh?" she thought as she saw an incredible reaction the male body has and she suddenly saw darkness.

Half an hour later she came to and found herself surrounded by the concerned face of the blonde she saw moments earlier peeping. He smiled at her a gentle smile, glad that she was awake and healthy. She wanted to be angry at him for doing such acts but suddenly the image of a well "risen" part of his body came to her mind and blood came from her nose and fainted yet again.

"Seriously Hinata-chan… you got to stop doing that" Naruto said as he carried her bridal-style through the desert as the others had a more occupying job. Shino scouted ahead with his bugs to tell him of incoming threats while Kiba and Akamaru kept their noses and ears sharp for anyone who would try to sneak up on them.

"Naruto what did you do that made Hinata faint again?" Shino asked a bit intrigued at the whole situation. He knew from early years that Hinata had a crush on the blonde comrade but he never had the nerve to say so and it was rather amusing to see her go all red and faint whenever she tried to talk to him.

"Nothing… I smiled and then she spurted blood from her nose and fainted" Naruto practically yelled as he panicked as he tried to wipe the blood off. Shino came at his side and saw the face of a very well pleased Hinata that despite all the blood had a tiny smile on her face.

"My bugs tell me that she's not suffering from a disease… she fainted out of nowhere when she tried to track you half an hour ago. She saw something that made her spurt blood from her nose, blush and of course faint… you don't happen to know why, Naruto?" Shino said stoically as he presented as much evidence as he could at the moment to make the blonde nervous.

"She tracked me, then that means she saw me peak in to those baths… this is bad" Naruto though frantically "I didn't want to do it but the voices were too hard to resist and I did say that I would continue the Pervy-sage's work. That means that she saw me in there and with those special eyes she saw my… SHIT!" he thought in panic as the thought of Hinata peaking at his "part". "Wait, if she says anything I just tell her she saw me too and then she'll stay quiet… Hehehe… perfect plan" he thought deviously.

"Well she may have seen something she wasn't supposed to see… I mean those eyes see through stuff maybe she "accidently" saw someone in an indecent position or something" Naruto state calmly and shrugging managing to appear normal.

"You may raise a very good point" Shino state while Kiba looked doubtful but kept going. "I'm watching you Uzumaki… don't hurt her" he added in a threatening whisper as he kept walking in the infinite sand scape.

"I dodged that one… once Hinata wakes up I've got to talk to her" Naruto thought as he too kept walking forward, keeping in mind the nice sand-less terrain on the other side.

Unknown to the Konoha team, four shinobi shadowed them carefully as they added various Genjutsu of all kinds so that tracking techniques wouldn't work on them. The team of shinobi caught sight of the limp form of the Hyuuga in their possession and smirked as they knew that after their mission was over they would be rewarded greatly.

"So that's them huh? the Konoha team that defeated our comrades in the nearby town?" one of them asked in a whisper while another just hummed him the answer.

"This was made easier now that those eyes are out" a female voice sadistically. "Even if the Hyuuga was awake, the reports say that she's weak" she added with a smirk.

"Regardless… they have an amazing team. An Aburame, an Inuzuka, a Hyuuga… there techniques are as dangerous as they are infamous. So don't make any mistakes." One of the shinobi stated with a growl.

"Well if you forget… the reports said that the blond was the main fighter and most powerful. When the time comes… we kill the blonde first and then kill the others" another said in a commanding cold voice while the others gave their silent affirmations. "Konoha will soon die… kill their savior and the village goes with him" he thought with malice as a sadistic smirk played on his face.


Wow… I took a very long time to write this. Sorry for the delay but college got my attention for a while, I managed to complete this in a hurry so I hope some are not disappointed about the outcome of Sasuke v Lee fight. The manga get's interesting every time and it's a shame that crucial things happened and this story is a bit left out… but I'll managed somehow XD

Next: terrible news