DISCLAIMER: I do not own "Naruto" and am in no way associated with it's writers or producers.
Before Naruto and team 8 made back to the village, Naruto was walking with his head down most the entire trial back. Shino and Kiba didn't say much because they didn't really know what to say.
Hinata kept looking over back and forth at Naruto the entire time. All she could think about was how sad she felt for Naruto. The entire mission was her idea; Naruto had dreamed for so long of finally finding a way to track down Sasuke; they had the mission won; they had the Bikochu right where they wanted it and were only two hairs away from finishing the job……. and they still failed. Naruto felt like it was all his fault.
"Umm…. Na-Na-Naruto…." Hinata finally spoke to him.
Naruto turned his head to her. "Huh? Hinata?" he said.
"You….. you're not still….." Hinata tried to find the courage to say something to make him feel better. "I mean, I'm just….. I hope you're not still upset."
"What?" Naruto was surprised by how worried Hinata seemed.
Naruto tried to put a big smile on his face. "Oh don't worry Hinata! It's not your fault" he said. "I'll be okay."
Hinata acted surprised, but wasn't convinced at all.
"I mean things happen, right?" Naruto tried to stay positive. "We'll always get more chances after this. I'm sure by tomorrow we'll all just have a good laugh about this!"
"Ye….yeah!" Hinata tried to smile back. "I sure hope so."
But Naruto still sighed as his smile disappeared. He still felt blue because he still felt too guilty.
Hinata meanwhile was thinking back to the rest of the mission: about Naruto groping and hugging her in excitement, how close they were when she ran into him at the hospital, him almost seeing her nude in the river that night, how determined he was to rescue her from the others, her waking up in his arms after defeating all the bugs. They all made her blood race in confusion and excitement. She kept blushing and smiling about him the entire trip.
"YOU DID WHAT?!"
Sakura heard about the mission; that Naruto accidentally farted in the bikochu before it could catch Sasuke's scent. Now Sakura was on her rampage chasing Naruto through the village to beat his lights out.
"I told you, I'm sorry Sakura!" Naruto shouted. He was running for his life.
Despite his efforts to run, Sakura caught up to him at one point and pounded him hard in the head.
"Ouch! Please Sakura! Forgive me! It was an accident!" Naruto pleaded.
"I'm never gonna forgive you for this Naruto! Never!" Sakura screamed white-eyed and angry.
"I said I'm sorry!" Naruto cried.
As she continued to chase him, Naruto ran faster and faster. He jumped from building to building hoping to lose her, but Sakura stayed right on his trial, determined to kill him.
Naruto ran around the corner of one building and created a shadow clone. The clone continued to run, while Naruto focused his chakra to his feet and ran up the side of the building. Down below Sakura chased the clone Naruto.
Naruto reached the top of the building, and collapsed. He held his arm to his stomach hoping to regain his composure. He was out of breathe. He was breathing hard trying to figure out why Sakura was so mad and why shy won't listen.
But before he knew it, he recognized a shadow looming over him.
Sakura was ontop of the roof, staring at Naruto with her white eyes, her angry face and her fists. Naruto just looked at her in shock.
"Gimmie a break Sakura!" he yelled with a frown. "How long are you gonna keep this up?!"
"NarUTO! I'm gonna DESTROY you, you bastard!" Sakura just yelled.
She immediately ran towards him and tried to punch him. Using all his strength, Naruto leaped up to dodge it and run. He jumped off the building as far as could, Sakura jumping right behind him.
"Sakura STOP!" Naruto yelled. "Why won't you listen to me?!"
"You're the one who ruined the mission Naruto!" Sakura just screamed. "NO! I'm not gonna stop!"
Naruto couldn't believe this. Normally by now, Sakura would've let all her anger out and left Naruto alone; but she was just too anger, too selfish, too hateful and disrespectful to stop.
She continued to chase Naruto down an alley. Naruto finally decided this was getting ridiculous. He was on his last leg, out of energy.
"Sakura!" Naruto yelled. "If you don't stop chasing me, you're gonna leave me with no choice but to defend myself!" Naruto warned her.
Sakura just ignored him, determined to beat him to death.
"NEVER!" Sakura screamed back.
"Fine! You asked for it Sakura!" Naruto, stilling running put his hands together. "Shadow clone jutsu!"
Naruto created one shadow. Running together, the two Narutos began putting their hands together to form the enormous blue spinning ball; the 4th Hokage's jutsu.
Sakura looked and gasped out loud.
Naruto, with the small rasengan in his hand screeched to a halt, thinking Sakura was still running right behind him, he spun around to thrust it out!
"RASENGAN!" he yelled.
But by the time he did, it was too late.
Sakura had already stopped, frozen in shock eyes wide open and jaw-dropped! Her and Naruto were standing a great distance away from each other now. She stared at Naruto in shock and disbelief that Naruto wanted to use that on her!
Naruto just glared at her with a frown, breathing heavily, out of breath, still holding the rasengan out in front of him.
"Well? What are you waiting for?" Naruto said. "Aren't gonna attack? Beat me into a bloody pulp, just like you wanted to?"
Sakura still stared shocked.
"Naruto?" she whispered.
Finally the rasengan dissipated.
"Well?!" Naruto shouted, still standing his ground.
"I didn't mean…" Sakura began to cry. "I didn't mean it like that Naruto! Did you really have to go that far!" she shouted.
"You said yourself Sakura you wanted to kill me!" Naruto yelled. "All because of a stupid mistake I made on the mission, and after I said I'm sorry and begged you to forgive me!" he cried outloud. "If I can't convince you, all just have to defend myself then!"
The wind blew in the area between where Sakura and Naruto were standing.
"Naruto I'm sorry." Sakura pleaded with a frown.
"Things happen Sakura!" Naruto said.
"Yeah" Sakura said. "And they always happen to YOU, Naruto!"
Sakura ran away, about to put her face in her hands crying.
Naruto just stood there all alone now. Still breathing hard, he finally sat down by the wooden fence to catch his breath. He couldn't believe what he had just done; being pushed to the edge, to prepare to defend himself in a fight against her?! He to finally broke into tears.
Naruto was angry that Sakura would go to such extremes. He cared for Sakura but she didn't care for him. But Sakura had reminded Naruto of what he felt earlier: that the Bikochu mission WAS a failure. And that it was HIS fault. Why does he always have to screw up? And after they've come so close?
That same afternoon, Hinata was at her home with the Hyuga family.
"So the mission was a failure huh?" Hinata's father asked.
"Yes" Hinata said. "But it's okay. All that means is that we'll try better and train harder next time." She smiled.
"I sure hope so" Neji said. "You all sound like you did extremely well and came so close."
"Yes" Hinata answered. "Thank you."
But Hinata looked down. Still I wonder how bad Naruto is still feeling, Hinata thought to herself. He was so upset, despite how well we did and how close we came. I only wish I could've had more to say to make him feel better.
Naruto finally went home that night. He tried everything he could to go to sleep, but he couldn't. He had too many things on his mind. The failed mission with team 8. All the times he and Hinata had out there. About how disappointed everyone was. He couldn't believe he finally reached the point where he'd have to attack Sakura…….his own teammate…... the girl he had a crush on for so long…… who all he wanted was for her to like him, even though she always through it in his face and beat him. Who was of now help to Naruto when he got back from the missions.
Realizing he couldn't sleep, Naruto finally got out of bed. He went for a walk into the night.
TO BE CONTINUED