Ch. 3 Re-Written
'Damn... it's Saturday.' Sakura thought as she rose out of bed, Fox was a no-show for the meet the night before which led to Kiba calling the guy a wuss and other things that fell into that category. Sasuke kept an indifferent facade at the fact his new rival did not come the whole night, a few brave ones, or stupid ones, ended up coming to the Uchiha for a race, Sasuke smoked all of their asses by a good 20-30 second margin as a way to vent his frustration. This showed those who thought Sasuke was slipping because of that Fox otherwise.
Sakura to had her share of races from the ones who thought she was now beatable. Before Fox had come along, Sakura had a long winning streak and that shed off a lot of competitors in thoughts that they did not stand a chance to her record. Since Fox had shattered that unspoken record, other riders thought that she wasn't as unchallengeable as before so she enjoyed the night suddenly racing 9 different people instead of one or two. Sakura knew that a lot of her friends had work on Saturday, this was to help pay off the costs of gas and other personal expenses, she and Kiba usually have work together at a clothing store on Sundays at the mall. Sasuke didn't work, and neither did Hinata, this was mainly due to the fact that both come from a prestigious and wealthy family.
'Lucky asses.' Sakura thought to herself as she hopped into the shower, 'This date is probably gonna be a bust...' She began to lather soap onto herself when another thought crossed her mind. 'Wait... I might get a chance to see who Fox really is today.'
It was a genius thought that brought a clever smile to the Haruno's face.
In a certain warehouse another teen began to stress about the same date that would happen in a few hours.
'SHIT! She might figure out who I am today.' Naruto thought as he went about looking for a good disguise, 'I'm such a fucking genius. I want a fucking date with this chick as a prize for winning the race'
"Argh!" Naruto ran his hand through his hair several time in frustration, if others had seen him do so it would probably make them think he was about to go bald.
It was now four in the afternoon and Naruto needed something to cover his face, he tried the sunglasses but his birthmarks were too noticeable and he knew that Sakura would notice it right off the bat.
"Dammit..." Naruto began pacing about the warehouse before coming across a white mask sticking out of a box labeled 'Junk'. It was a white porcelain mask with a fox face on it. 'Oh yea, my old Halloween costume.' Naruto looked over the fox mask, it covered his cheeks and eyes, only his mouth area was exposed when he put it on.
"Perfect." Naruto then set out in loose jeans, white v-neck, his black leather jacket with the orange design in back, and his bag containing a little something that went perfectly with the rendezvous with Sakura.
Sakura was at the park first before her mysterious date, she wore black bicycle shorts and white skirt over it, she had on a plain pink shirt and her white bike jacket on. She looked at the time, it was 5:58.
'He should be here soon.' The pinkette sighed, she didn't tell a soul about her date with Fox today, and she was feeling a bit guilty about it 'A bit? This is like cheating on Sasuke practically.' She exclaimed in her head, it was practically a date, practically. 'You'd think that he'd be a gentleman and show up before me.' Sakura rolled her eyes at the thought.
Soon the familiar YZF rolled into view and came up next to Sakura.
"Ready?" It was the same gruff voice from last week.
"As I'll ever be." Sakura sighed as she mounted her bike.
"Follow me, we're going on a picnic." Fox instructed as she let her beast spring to life.
"Whatever you say." Sakura sighed again, it was true when they say happiness escapes you with each sigh, Sakura Haruno was starting to detest the whole deal as she followed the mystery man.
'Hope I don't screw things up...' Naruto was a bit nervous, but as Fox he just wouldn't show it. As Fox, Naruto was able to be who he wanted to be, to express what he wanted to express. To allow his heart to be true, even though Naruto himself didn't really notice.
Sakura got a pretty good view of Fox's leather jacket as she trailed him to their destination. His jacket bore an orange spiral in the back, she was curious if the spiral stood for anything, like Sasuke's fan, Kiba's paint job, and Shikamaru's logo. Sakura began to notice now that they were now riding near the out skirts of town and heading to what seemed to be the top of monument which held the founding father's of Konoha faces. In other words, a bunch of dead important guys that Sakura would need to remember for her test in history which would be that up coming Tuesday.
As the road began to wind up the incline, she watched as Fox worked his own magic as he used an apex turning technique and carved through the zig-zag as if it didn't exist. Sakura refused to be shown up as she imitated the orange rider, though in her perspective she did it much better. As if to respond to her challenge, Fox cornered the next uphill incline by leaning his bike into the turn all the way, which was unnecessary if you didn't mind losing your speed and momentum. Dragon Blossom merely gassed her Honda and took the turn at a higher speed which caught her up to Fox where she then opted to ride side by side with him.
'Competitive like the big boys.' Fox thought as he shot ahead of his companion through the next zig-zag, Sakura merely mimed his actions but took it a step further as she over passed Fox on the next corner.
This escalated into a high speed competition of who could out do who as the two bikes seemed to dance together on the mountainous road, Fox had a huge grin underneath his helmet that managed to emit itself as Dragon Blossom wore the contagious smile as well.
The sky was beginning to be tinted with hints of orange by the time Fox stopped his bike. The two were now on the top of the monument which over looked all of Konoha. Sakura looked over the place with nostalgia, the last time she came up to this very spot was with her father.
Sakura Haruno held on tight to her father as he rounded the steep roads to the top of the Monument, she wore his helmet while her father enjoyed the feel of the wind through his face. Her mother awaited for them in the Shopping district while Kouki decided to take Sakura with him to kill time while they awaited for Mrs. Haruno to finish her important business.
"Are we almost there Papa?" Sakura turned her head a bit so that she could catch a glimpse of her father, but the helmet cut out that part of her vision so that all she saw was how big of a drop the road was. Quickly the small child put her eyes forward before she let her nerves get the better of her and she tightened her grip on her father's arm.
"Almost Kura-chin, don't worry; Papa's got you. I won't let anything happen to you" Kouki Haruno dropped his left hand to his daughter's shoulder in comfort, it was through this gesture that Sakura could feel her father's smile emit from behind her.
With the assurance of her beloved father, Sakura took a deep breathe and looked out to the side again, this time she couldn't take notice of how far up they were. Instead it was the view that made her eyes go wide as she saw how perfectly the forest seemed to frame Konoha and how her building's failed to reach higher than the Konoha Monument. The land that kept this wonder city glimmered with gold as the gentle orange sunset set the fierce spring skies a blaze.
Kouki gently brought his bike to a halt, carefully he put the stand down and lifted his daughter off the machine. Sakura began to unfasten the helmet herself as she noticed her father taking a knee to get it off for her, Kouki smiled as he watched his Kura-chin take the helmet off herself. Carefully the older Haruno led her closer to the edge of the Monument, taking care that no incident will rob him of his precious blood.
"What do you think Sakura?" Kouki plopped down to the ground while Sakura remained standing with her mouth agape.
"I-It's so cool!" She squealed in delight "It's pretty- no wait, better than pretty! It's prettier then pretty, it's... it's..." The five year old girl struggled to find the right word and soon a pout replaced the joyous smile.
"Beautiful?" Kouki offered.
"Mhm!" Sakura's smile came back once more as she looked out at the view "It's beautiful Papa! Like Mama!" Kouki chuckled at youth's innocence.
"One day you'll be beautiful like Mama" With swiftness, he grabbed hold of his daughter and set her on his shoulders which cause the young Sakura to squeal in delight as she ran her hands through her father's coarse hair. "But for now, you're my pretty Princess."
"And you're my big and strong and smart and taaaall and strong and incredible Papa!" Kouki watched in amusement as Sakura's hands flailed about with what she was talking about.
"Papa loves you Kura-chin." The older Haruno felt a small kiss planted on top his head as he said this.
"Kura-chin loves Papa too!"
Sakura took a deep breathe before she could let her emotions wrap it's solemn grip on her. She could feel her face heat up a bit, but it is thanks to cool breeze the mountain offered that it would settle down.
'Kami... it feels like that happened in a different life time now.' The Haruno traced her sights to where her father and a younger Sakura once stood as they watched the sunset fade into darkness.
"It's a great view." Sakura whipped her head around as she heard the gruff voice no longer muffled by a helmet, this was her chance to finally see who rode behind the guise of Fox. There stood Fox, in a porcelain mask which concealed his face, save for his mouth.
The rose colored teen sighed as she missed her chance while thinking of a treasured memory.
"Halloween passed a long time ago." Sakura retorted in an annoyance to shield what she truly thought at the moment, and that was Kouki Haruno.
"And yet people still wear masks everyday." Fox took off his backpack, the comment genuinely took his companion off guard.
"What's that suppose to mean?" Sakura raised a brow as she watched him pull out a bento, two cans of soda, a blanket, and a small mp3 set. Fox left his iPod plugged into the set as the speaker's played what ever was on the play list, Sakura did not pay much attention to this.
"Everyone has something to hide, so they wear a mask. They hide what they really feel with obnoxiousness, boredom, annoyance, and so on." Fox spread out the blanket and took a seat on it, Sakura opted for standing as she watched him open the bento, revealing some assorted sushi rolls. "C'mon now Sakura, I don't bite." Fox wore a friendly grin as he patted to the ground next to him.
"So no outing in town?" She kept her distance from the masked man as she took a seat as far away as possible while still remaining on the blanket. He had a gray beanie on as well that kept his hair out of sight, although she could spot his blond side burns sticking out from under the disguise.
"Nah, it'd be a bit awkward for me to walk around with this mask on in public." Naruto replied as he ate some sushi, "Try some, it's not that bad Sakura." He held out the bento with a smile that seemed genuine to the Haruno.
"...Fine." Sakura reluctantly took a roll, she hid her surprise when she tasted the morsel of food, it tasted as if it were made by a sushi chef at a restaurant. It was determination that she kept the same monotonous expression as she swallowed the tasty roll.
"Well Sakura... at least tell me if you like it or not." Fox sighed as he ate another roll "I'd appreciate any compliments you know." The whiskered host watched as she reached for another roll. "Oh? So it's good then?" he mused as he pulled the box out of her reach.
"It's decent, okay?" Sakura reached over for the bento, but the rider kept up this game of keep away. He let out a chuckle before finally letting Sakura have some more, unknowingly she began to smile during their little game.
'She's... kinda... well, cute.' A certain blond finally admitted as she saw how her eyes sparkled in delight.
"So... does that Falcon guy cook for you?" He questioned out of curiosity as the two continued eating.
"Not really, Sasuke takes me out to eat at Konoha's finest restaurants." Sakura answered as she reached for another sushi roll.
"I see... " Fox took a roll that Sakura was about to reach for, she glared at him while he merely smiled back at her in playful delight "Uchiha right? So his brother must be the Itachi Uchiha?"
"Yeah," Sakura felt comfortable with the subject of Sasuke, anything that had to do with Sasuke she felt very comfortable with. "Itachi is pretty famous for being one of the youngest owner of such a successful Security Firm."
"He's good with that Private Military Firm of his, a lot of other companies always want his men as bodyguards." Fox nodded his head in agreement.
"Sasuke prefers Security Firm."
"Just because it sounds more 'friendly'?" Another grin, Sakura kept her temper in check.
"Anyways..." Sakura sighed and finally took the time to look over her date, now that she thought about it he didn't seem much older than her. "So... are you a high schooler?"
"I'm sixteen, my birthday is in October." He answered.
Sakura furrowed her brows in frustration. "Do you go to the Academy?" She tried once again. The masked man flashed her a fox-like grin that seemed vaguely familiar.
"Just because I'm sixteen doesn't mean that I'm in school Sakura." Sakura sighed, at least she knew his age.
"Just call me Sakura." She told him as she reached for the bento, there was no more sushi left as the two ate it all over that 30 minute duration.
"Didn't notice that." Fox tapped the empty bento before putting it away, he picked up the two soda's and handed one to his companion. "So when's your birthday?" He looked out at Konoha and then at her.
"It's in March on the 28th." Sakura answered smoothly, even though he wore a mask, the guy was pretty easy to talk to.
"Haru no Sakura..." The masked rider chuckled at the thought. "How original." His chuckles wore on before Sakura slapped his arm. "You brute, I'm not gonna be able to ride anymore if you keep that up." He rubbed his left arm.
"Oh stop being a baby." Sakura hit his arm once more before taking a sip from her drink. The phrase reminded her of something, she just couldn't put her finger on it.
"Honestly, I don't know what that Sasuke guy see's in you. To me your just some violent person who hurts people that do good things for her." Naruto mused with a silly grin.
"Sasuke thinks I'm a great girl with a lot of character thank you very much." She pouted and Naruto's grin turned into a chuckle.
'I think you're the best girl ever.' Naruto faltered as the thought crossed his mind, quickly he shook his head as a means to avoid the thought.
"You okay?" Sakura was a bit curious as she saw the way the usually confident rider seemed a bit uneasy.
Fox nodded "Yea, just remembered something..." He coughed "So Sakura..."
"Yeah?" Sakura brought her legs to her chest and looked out at the view.
"What got you into street racing?" Fox began to lay down all the way as he awaited a response.
"Mmm... Sasuke did actually." She began as she looked down at her companion "I've known Sasuke since elementary school, the same with most of the people I hang out with at school too. Though when we got into Senju Jr. High, that's when I kind of noticed Sasuke in that way." Fox nodded as he waited the rest of her story. "Then things happened, I almost lost my best friend because we were both into the guy, but thankfully we worked it out. Then after that Sasuke and I became official when we entered our Freshman year at the Academy."
"When was the first time you got on a street bike?" The light turned fierce as it sank into the horizon.
"While I was five, my dad was into the whole street racing thing as well." Sakura looked a bit down as she mention her father, but her date's sharp eyes managed to catch this.
"What happened to your father?" The voice was genuine in its tone.
Dragon Blossom took a deep breathe "He died on the job, he worked for the same Private Military Company that Sasuke's family owns." The long silence cause Naruto not want to continue on the subject
"What about you?" Sakura questioned. "What got you started in street racing?"
"There used to be this guy that would take care of me when I was 7, he is a well respected racer to this day." Naruto smiled fondly as he recalled the many hard times he has been through with his caretaker "He kept my interest sparked in these things and it has carried on with me even after I was left in Suna so that I could get on with middle school and then high school. But it's also because of that same guy that I almost killed myself with my best friend trying to imitate or figure out some of his techniques that he used on his bike." Fox shook his head "I almost hit a car straight on while practicing my downhill apex turning... and this has happened several times and I swear that each one gets more scarier than the last."
Sakura went into a fit of giggles as she noticed how you can tell what Fox felt by the way his lips moved "I'm surprised you're not crippled."
"If you knew everything I did you'd be surprise that I'm still alive and kickin" Sakura just shook her head and muttered something about boys.
"Of course" Sakura tucked in her legs as Fox stretched out a bit and looked out as the last of the sun's now gentle rays seeps into the darkness. The two have been up on top of the monument for some time already. Sakura watched in amazement as the night life of Konoha sprang to life, street light's glowed with a fireflies spirit, and the building lights dressed the city in diamonds.
Sakura proceeded to get up and walked over to the spot where Kouki once stood, she slowly stepped into where she felt he once stood and took a good look at what Kouki saw the last time she was there. Suddenly a soft and gently melody floated through the air, Sakura widened her eyes as she recognized the beautiful key progressions.
"You listen to Yiruma?" Sakura spun around in a bit of excitement, she had never dared to tell a soul about her secret obsession with the beautiful music made by this wonderful pianist.
Fox nodded his head embarrassingly "Yea... I know it's kind of old fashioned to be listening to this kind of music, but I thought you would know by now that I was just playing instrumental music this whole time."
Now it was Sakura's turn to be embarrassed "To be honest, I never really paid attention to what you were playing."
"I guess that makes us even." Eyes began to glimmer under the porcelain mask and Sakura instantly knew that he had something in mind. She stayed where she stood as the rider stepped gently into her comfort zone and held out his hand. "May I have this dance?" Sakura smiled and shook her head as she just processed the whole event, if it was Sasuke, he would have found a more classier and elegant manner to take her dancing as he had done in the past when Itachi's firm had a big banquet.
"If you know what song this is." Sakura replied.
Fox smiled as he pretended to give much thought to the melody. "Dream by Yiruma."
"Then you may." She held out her hand and Fox took it gingerly, lightly the two stepped in unison to the melody.
It was obvious that Fox did not know of any formal dance forms as he led the way.
Sakura smiled in delight as they song went into it's pleasing measure while unconsciously the two began to progressively step closer to each other. The rose ride didn't even notice the non-existent distance until the song ended and another Yiruma piece came into play, before she could say anything she felt Fox's cold mask touch her cheek lightly "Kiss the Rain." He whispered the title in a voice that struck a chord within her, she knew this voice from somewhere.
Before she could continue the thought she was over come by a fresh forest-like scent, she noticed how Fox smelled so fresh, so masculine in it's own way. If there was scent to freedom then it would be Fox's scent.
Gently the masked man dropped his light grip from her arms and down to her waist, but it did not stop just there as he slowly wrapped his hands around the small of her back. In return the petite woman snaked her arms around his waist and she rested her head on his shoulder and took note of the way his heart would race.
'Heart...' Sakura then looked up in a daze.
It was obvious that Fox was not Sasuke Uchiha.
"Wait... no, this is wrong." Sakura broke away from his embrace as Fox simply gazed at the confused teen "This... is all so wrong." Naruto watched in horror as tears threatened to spill from her gaze. "I don't even know your name!" She exclaimed, Fox looked out at the city as if it held the answer to this problem.
"I think this date is over." Fox's same rough voice returned as the music stopped playing. "I had a nice evening Sakura."
"No! Tell me who you are!" Sakura grabbed his arm, she was tempted to grab the daunting mask and put an end to this mystery. Slowly she reached for the dreaded disguise as Fox did nothing but stare at her. As her hand came in contact with the cold and lifeless item, the smaller rider suddenly noticed fierce eyes that glowed under the moon light.
It is in this second that she noticed the sadness that gleamed from them, and it is then that Sakura realized a crucial thing. "This is as real to you as it is to me... isn't it?" Somewhere in that time frame the two spent together this payment turned into the genuine thing.
"We both have our own definition of real." Fox replied as he removed her hand from his mask "You wouldn't like what you see behind this." The two rider's realized just how close they were to each other now as he rested the cold mask on her warm forehead allowing his lips to dangle centimeters from her own.
Silently he stepped away and mounted his bike, his back turned as he removed the mask in exchange for his helmet. Sakura watched still in a daze as the engine roared to life, it's rider turned to look back once more and the tribal tattoo of the beast gleamed in the light as it sped down the mountainous road.
'We almost kissed...'
Sakura remained in a daze as Monday morning came around, she spotted Sasuke as he pulled into the parking lot, a lot of girls began to call out his name as he wheelied through the lot. Sakura watched, a bit unimpressed by his actions.
'Fox... what is he...' she was too absorbed in her own thoughts to notice her boyfriend come behind her, quickly he enveloped her into a hug and she gave off a squeak.
"Geeze Sakura, it sounds like you've seen a ghost." Sasuke wore a smirk as he bent down and stole a kiss from her.
'Fox almost did that...' Sakura registered after feeling his lips on her own, the Uchiha realized just how out of it his girlfriend was and let go of her.
"You okay Sakura?" Sasuke questioned as Sakura's eyes met his own, she quickly looked away and Sasuke grasped her shoulders "What's wrong?"
"It's nothing Sasuke... my mom and I just got into a fight last night is all." She covered, Sasuke frowned and looked at her.
"You know that Itachi doesn't care if anyone comes over Sakura." He offered, right now Sasuke Uchiha would do anything to keep Sakura happy.
"I know Sasuke, and it's fine really." Sakura forced a smile, a bit disappointed that he did not see through her lie while Sasuke had a relieved look etched on to his face.
"Really now Sakura..." Sasuke wrapped his arm around her as the two walked into the school.
'Sasuke can be really caring at times.' Sakura smiled to herself as she leaned in a bit closer to the said teen as they continued walking down the hall. Any thoughts or doubt from before seemed to disappear as she stayed in his embrace, soon she found herself in front of the door to her classroom.
"I'll see you later Sakura." She nodded as he left her to go to his classroom, Sakura took a deep breathe and entered her class. The first thing that caught her eye was how down cast her blond friend was. She took a seat and looked out at her classmate, his face seemed worn for wear and it looked as if he did not get enough sleep the previous night.
"Naruto?" He didn't look up, she tried again, still no response. She touched his shoulder and he jumped and looked up in surprise at her.
"Hehehe... hey Sakura." Naruto put on a cheery face as soon as he caught sight of her. She frowned a bit, she remembered what Fox said to her on Saturday.
"Something wrong Naruto?" He leaned back in his seat with a casual look.
"What makes you think that?" He forced a grin and she knew it.
"Naruto." Her voice threatened, "I called your name and you wouldn't even budge." He sighed in defeat, he knew that this was coming one way or another.
"Well... it's kinda complicated Sakura." Naruto unconsciously felt for his keys in his pocket as he said this.
"I'll be the one to judge that." She replied as she sat down in her seat.
"You see..." Naruto wasn't sure how to put this. "I've got this friend and-"
"You've been thinking about her a lot?" Sakura interjected, she should have known it was a girl problem, Naruto smiled sheepishly as he nodded his head, he managed to get past that. "So what's stopping you then?"
"She's kind of outta my reach..." Naruto trailed off.
"Is she from your old school or something?" She remembered that Naruto was a transfer student from somewhere.
"Yeah, something like that." He replied.
"Well you-" The bell signaling the start of first rang and Naruto began to sit forward facing the teacher. Sakura followed the suit and listened to their teacher drown on about the founding fathers of Konoha. Sakura's thought's began to wander off and soon came off to a certain rider. Unknown to her said rider kept looking back and forth at her as he battled whether or not he should tell her that he's Fox.
'Well if I do then maybe I'll have a shot at her,' He mused 'But then what was the point of having this identity then?' another voice inside his head screamed.
'It's too keep attention off of you.' he reasoned with himself. 'But who was it again?' A snake seemed to snap out at Naruto as he thought of who that person was. 'Oh yea...' Naruto sighed, he was pretty positive that this guy was still after him, or to be more precise, what hung around Naruto's neck.
The blond took out a small, plain looking ring that did not seem very special, but if you looked closely at the inside of the ring intricate patterns revealed themselves and a few microscopic chips gleamed in the crevices of the ring. The technological work of art hung on a reliable chain around his neck, Naruto tucked the ring back into his shirt.
'If he finds me, then this key is his.' Naruto dropped his head in defeat, no matter what he will stay away from that bastard who killed his parents. 'Dammit Sakura, there's just so many things I wanna tell you.' Naruto glanced over at her with a defeated expression, at least he still had Fox.
Naruto sighed as he heard the bell for lunch ring, at least he found some resolve within himself. He found Sakura waiting for him at the door of the classroom.
"Feeling any better?" Sakura questioned, Naruto flashed her a genuine smile.
"Much." And with that the two headed off to the cafeteria to grab lunch.
As usual, with summer just right around the corner the weather proved to be great for the group to sit outside for lunch. Naruto was a bit surprised to find Shikamaru already at a table outside with his head down.
"Oi, Pineapple." Naruto called out, he didn't budge at the name, instead the Nara flipped Naruto the birdie and the blond grinned. "Aww c'mon Tactics, what's up?" Shikamaru raised his head lazily and looked up as Sakura and Naruto took a seat at the table.
"Ehh... might have to go to summer school." Shikamaru stole a orange off of Naruto's tray and began to peel it.
"Why? Your like the smarted guy I know." Naruto exclaimed, Sakura shook her head at Shikamaru.
"I cut one too many classes, they said I'll have to go to two Saturday schools in order to make it up, and I can't ditch any more of my classes." The teen debated whether or not he should light a cigarette on the spot, but a near by teacher told him other wise. "What a drag." He sighed as he split the orange and began to eat half of it.
"Well it's either that or summer school Shikamaru. Really now, what the hell do you do when your cutting class?" Sakura lectured, Shikamaru looked up at her with the same nonchalant expression.
"Sleep, smoke, and sleep." Came the reply, Sakura grumbled in disappointment and began to eat her food.
"Well if you get summer school it's on your head, and not mine." Came Sakura's retort, a few minutes later Ino and Hinata join the trio with their lunches. Ino gave Naruto a nod that puzzled him to no end, but he let it go as he took a sip of his drink.
"Hey Sakura." Ino greeted as they sat down, Naruto and Shikamaru watched as the girls seeped into their own conversation.
"Damn, can't believe those two left me with this." Shikamaru complained.
"Where are Chouji and Kiba anyways?" Naruto questioned as his friend sighed.
"They had to help out with our club today, but I'm here because our adviser banned me due to this whole attendance issue." Shikamaru began to chow down on the orange as Naruto mouthed and 'Oh'. The three were part of the soccer club, and at the end of the year all the clubs would take part of the Academy Festival so it was normal for everyone to be so busy around this time of year.
"What about you three?" Naruto turned to look at the three before him.
"We're part of the tea ceremony club." Ino answered, Naruto burst into laughter. Sakura gave her friend a puzzled look as Shikamaru shook his head, the whiskered teen was in for it.
"What's so funny about that?" Ino raised her voice.
"Hinata I can understand, but you two? In the tea ceremony club?" Naruto's laughter continued on as the two began to glare at him. "I mean, isn't the tea ceremony about elegance and and what not? You two are-" He never managed to finish his sentence as both girls kicked his shin under the table. Shikamaru sighed and promptly took Ino's apple as the whiskered teen went on about violent girls in a tea ceremony club.
"Have some class Naruto." Ino huffed as the said teen's pain subsided "We are the essence of elegance and class for your information, the whole school thinks so as well." Naruto some what agreed to that, from the time he's been at the school his heard plenty of guys talk about the three beauties before him, Hinata with her shy girl attitude and busty body. Ino with her daring attitude and flirtatious mouth. And finally Sakura... Naruto sighed as he was still at a loss of words from Sakura, much of this is due to the event that happened on Saturday.
Naruto vigorously shook his head, Ino noticed how worried the whiskered teen look, but she decided to keep her mouth shut on this one since Shikamaru noticed it as well and mouthed her the word 'No'.
"So how come you three aren't busy with club activities then?" He inquired as he took a bite out of his lunch, it calmed him a bit.
"O-our club usually meets after school on Thursday." Hinata answered "B-but with the Festival coming up we're going to start to meet more f-frequently."
"So what are you planning to do for the festival then?" Naruto was fairly interested in the up coming festival.
"We h-haven't really decided yet." She fidgeted a bit under Naruto's gaze, but settled down enough to finish "But Ino and Sakura suggested doing a joint performance with the karate club." Naruto raised a brow.
"Sounds pretty interesting already." Shikamaru nodded his head in agreement as he finished off an apple he took from Ino earlier. Now Naruto had more to look forward to as the school year comes to the end.
The rest of the school day proved to be uneventful as Naruto and Sakura did not say much to each other since the two were absorbed in thought about what happened on Saturday. Of course Sakura thought that Naruto thought about his little dilemma that dealt with his mystery girl, which was correct in all sense of the sentence, she just didn't know that this mystery girl was in fact her.
'Oh the fucking irony.' Naruto thought as he looked over at Sakura's zoned out face, the bell rang which ended the day.
After school it was only Ino and Sakura heading out to the parking lot, Hinata was picked up by her family's driver for what ever reason it was that needed her home so early.
"Sakura, about what you told me last night." Ino found out from her best friend about her little date with Fox, from what she heard the pinkette was utterly confused as to what she should do. "I think it's down right dirty that you thought you couldn't trust me with this." Ino crossed her arms to emphasize her point.
"I'm sorry Ino, it was just... humiliating to me at the time, but after Saturday, I just don't know anymore. I feel dirty... but in a good way." Sakura sighed as she consoled into her friend.
"Still Sakura, just keep in mind it's okay if it's just harmless flirting or whatever, in this case there is the exception that this was some kind of wager since you lost to him." Sakura shot her best friend a dirty look as she stressed that word she hated. "Besides, you don't even know who the hell this guy really is." Ino added on.
"He's sixteen and really buff." Sakura mused, Ino cracked into a smile.
"And here I thought Sasuke was the only guy for you." She was glad her friend was not stressing out as much as she was the day before.
"Well, I am the best friend of Mind Games, the biggest flirt in this town." Sakura mounted her bike and placed her helmet on.
"Of course Dragon Blossom, you learn from the best around." Ino placed her helmet on and got on her bike, the two were going to go on around town for a little bit. Both girls knew that this would probably be the last time they'll have time to spend together, after all the Academy Festival was one of the biggest festival's Konoha had.
After school, instead of taking the bus, Naruto headed on over to the parking lot structure that he saw on his first day at the Academy. He took extra care to come early to school as to not arouse any excitement. The Yamaha was parked on the top floor next to the stairwell so that it stayed in the shade while he was at school, since the parking structure was 6 stories high, the top floor remained as desolated as ever. Plus it didn't hurt that most, if not everyone, hates to leave their car in the sun in fear of sun damage or the fact that they don't take too well to the idea of driving all the way to top.
Naruto on the other hand, didn't mind it one bit. The blond checked his phone as he threw on his favorite bike jacket, he sent a quick reply to the text before mounting his machine. With that the engine echoed off the structure and the beast pulled a wheelie out of it's slumber as it's rider began cornering his way down the spiraling structure. The bike shot out of the lot so fast that anyone near by didn't have much time to look and see who it was.
'Hope this ramen place is good.' The blond rider thought back to last night when Konohamaru called him about the grand opening of a ramen shop near the Shopping District.
"Boss!" Konohamaru was already waiting for Naruto outside of his home, the ZXR was already out of the garage and he had his helmet on. Naruto took off his helmet and gave a skeptical look to the impatient eighth grader.
"I don't know Konohamaru... I think it might be better if you just ride with me." With that the two males exchanged an awkward glance that was cleared by both boys clearing their throats.
"C'mon Naruto, please." The young middle schooler begged, Naruto wasn't sure if he wanted to take the risk of having Konohamaru riding the Kawasaki to the shopping district.
"Wel..." Naruto was debating how the transportation should go.
"Boss..." Konohamaru pleaded, he was thinking about resorting to his last weapon, the look. "C'mon Nii-chan, pwease." Naruto sighed, he was most definitely not riding double with the boy after that.
"Alright fine, but please stop the look, it's starting to look weird on you." Naruto slipped his helmet back on and Konohamaru mounted his ZXR.
"What ever you say Boss." And with that the younger rider trailed the older one as they rode out to the new ramen shop near the shopping district. The ride was easy, but Konohamaru found just as invigorating as the last time he took the Kawasaki out, perhaps it was because he could get caught at any moment for riding without a license that fueled his adrenaline.
Naruto rode easily into a parking space that was right in front of the ramen shop, he took note of the name: Ichiraku Ramen Bar. His Jr. High companion pulled up next to the orange Yamaha, the thing with bikes is how easy it is to find and share parking with other riders. Since it was pretty easy to keep an eye on the bikes, Naruto opted to leave his helmet with his machine and Konohamaru followed his suit.
The place was still bustling even though the lunch rush ended two hours ago, but the pair did not wait long to be seated.
"So does the Old Man know your out?" Naruto questioned as he looked over the menu. Konohamaru gave a nod. "What about your parents?"
"They're coming home late again." Konohamaru replied, "It's their anniversary of something."
"Oh, so that's why you wanted to take the bike out." A fox-like grin took place on the blond.
Konohamaru returned with an equally devious grin "Yup."
"So, what are you gonna get?" The older teen asked "I think that I'm going pork ramen."
"I'm thinking beef ramen." Konohamaru replied after thinking it over. The waitress came around to take the two's order and to Naruto's surprise it was his classmate.
"Eh? Naruto?" Ayame looked down at her customer in surprise.
"Uhh... Ayame, right?" Naruto took off his bike jacket and set it down on his lap, he was glad that she did not take much notice of it.
"Yup!" She responded with a charismatic smile, Ayame then turned her attention to Konohamaru "Who might this be?" She pointed at his younger companion.
"I'm Konohamaru, the younger brother of the best ri-"
"One beef ramen and one pork ramen please." Naruto quickly interjected and shot Konohamaru a quick look. Ayame was a bit puzzled, but after realizing just how many people there were in the restaurant she quickly jotted down the pair's order and moved along.
"Boss, what was that for?" Konohamaru was confused, Naruto sighed.
"Listen kid," Naruto began after looking around to see if there would be anyone that mattered who could hear him. "You know how I told you that Fox is my street name right?" Konohamaru nodded "Well... no one except for you, the Old Man, and a few others know that I'm Fox... and I want it to stay that way, ok?"
"I got it Nii-chan." Konohamaru looked at his older brother figure in amazement. "But that's pretty cool though Boss, I mean, you having a secret identity and everything. It's like that one guy, super... super..." Konohamaru thought for a moment as he struggled with his train of thought.
"Superman?" Naruto offered in amusement, his companion snapped his fingers in agreement.
"Yeah him, when you think about it the warehouse is like your secret hide away, and Fox is your secret identity, and being 'Naruto'" Konohamaru used air quotes for this part which received a light hearty chuckle from the blond as he listened him go on "is like being that boring reporter Superman pretends to be."
"I'm boring now?" The supposedly least amusing of the two identities raised a brow at Konohamaru.
"You? Boring? Never!" Konohamaru exclaimed "You're Superman! You can never be boring."
"HA! A guy with no class like him Superman? Not a chance." Konohamaru looked off to the table next to them, he went a bit wide eyed when he saw a cute blond and an equally cute rose haired girl.
"I-Ino? Sakura?" Naruto was confused at the sudden appearance of the two girls. "What are you two doing here?" 'And when in the hell did you two walk in?'
"Well, Ayame told me about her dad opening a new restaurant over here so I thought me and Ino would go and check it out. Looks like I wasn't the only one thinking about it." Sakura replied, Ino raised a brow at Naruto's confused look. The whiskered teen quickly took note of the Yamanaka and quickly regained composure.
"Kami Boss, so many lady friends." He whispered, Naruto sighed as he glanced over at his two classmates who went back into their own conversation. "So do they know?" The older teen shook his head as he noticed Sakura's attention was back on the two.
"Konohamaru, introduce yourself." Naruto tapped the younger boy's shoulder and gestured to his classmates.
"Hehe, sorry Boss." Konohamaru faced the two girls "I'm Konohamaru Sarutobi." He greeted sheepishly, the girls giggled and Konohamaru felt a light blush creep upon his cheeks.
"Hi Konohamaru-kun, I'm Ino." Konohamaru's blush grew a bit as he gawked at her.
"And I'm Sakura, Naruto's classmate." Sakura giggled a bit more as Naruto's companion's face turned beat red.
The Uzumaki chuckled along with his friends as they lightly teased the young Sarutobi, the whiskered teen coughed as if to snap Konohamaru out of his daze.
"R-Right, nice meeting you ladies." Konohamaru managed out, he leaned in closer to Naruto once more. "Which one?" Naruto was a bit taken back by the question. After about five seconds of fully processing the question it was now his turn to blush.
The older boy shook his head, but the younger gave him a look as if he had been caught. Finally Naruto sighed in defeat and leaned in closer to the younger boy "Sakura..." he muttered. Konohamaru wore a big goofy grin as he heard the reply.
"Here you boys go!" Ayame placed two bowls of ramen in front of the two.
Naruto grabbed his chop sticks "Thanks Ayame, it looks delicious."
"Hope you enjoy it." She replied cheerfully, "Sakura, Ino!" The girl finally took notice of her friends "I'm glad you two came by."
"Of course Ayame-chan, we were pretty hungry after all" Ino said as she diverted her attention from the menu to her friend.
"Wow Ayame, this place seems pretty busy today." Sakura greeted.
"It sure is." Ino added as she went through the menu. "Me and Sakura will take two miso ramen." Ayame nodded and jotted the order down.
"I know, my dad has been dancing around with all the business." Ayame shook her head as she recalled going into the kitchen and hearing him sing about having a great retirement. Another table calling for the bill was heard. "Man is it busy, well I'll see you two tomorrow at the tea ceremony club then." She hurried off to the table calling for the bill.
"So how's the food?" To Ino's surprise the two boys have already polished off their bowls of ramen. "Damn you two are fast." The Yamanaka looked took note of just how big the portion was.
"Boss is a machine when it comes to eating." Konohamaru reached for some money in his pocket, but said teen stopped him.
"It's cool Konohamaru, I got it." Naruto took out his wallet out from his bike jacket that he still kept on his lap under the table, he took great care that the other two, Ino especially, didn't take notice of his unique clothing.
"But Boss-" The younger rider began.
"Really Konohamaru, just think of it as an apology for not coming out to visit for so long." Naruto gave a brotherly grin and Konohamaru nodded his head in understanding.
"Alright Nii-chan." Naruto payed the bill and motioned to Konohamaru that it was time to go, before the two stood up he passed his jacket to Konohamaru under the table and shot him a glance that the young Sarutobi understood at once. Ino kept her eyes on Naruto as he left, but she did not take notice of what his little companion held in his hands.
"So do you think Fox is in here?" Ino questioned as she scanned the room after watching the two step out.
"Well that was his bike and helmet next to that green ZXR." Sakura commented as she too looked around, she looked outside at the parking space once again to see just in time the two bikes pull out. "Dammit." She clenched her fist as the two bikes shot out of view.
"Looks like he left." Ino sighed, the two missed their chances of uncovering the mystery that was Fox's identity. "Wonder who the other rider was..." Ino pondered a moment as to who rode the ZXR.
If only they knew just how close they were to the truth.
"That's pretty cute of Naruto though." Ino commented as the two left the restaurant.
"What is?" Sakura questioned.
"To take his little 'brother' around." The two giggled, Sakura would have never guessed Naruto to be the brotherly type.
"That's true, maybe if we call him 'Nii-chan' he'll take us shopping." Sakura joked as she and Ino continued to walk around the Shopping District.
"How close was that Boss?" Konohamaru questioned the two sat down on his front porch.
Naruto sighed again, he could have sworn the he lost at least five years of his life to the situation "Really, really close. I think Ino is starting to suspect that something is up, but if that were Shikamaru I think that my cover would have been blown a long time ago."
"So... when can I finally come out with you to a meet?" The young Sarutobi inquired.
"Honestly, it might be a while." The Uzumaki looked down at the helmet next to him "If you show up with me to a meet, then you will be challenged for sure. Knowing you... I just don't want you to get hurt." He admitted.
"Nii-chan, please? Can you just bring me to one small meet? I promise I won't race." The middle schooler was more than eager to see his idol in action.
Finally, the rider sighed after a few minutes of silence between the two "I'll call you up one day, but you are not leaving my sight when we go to a meet."
With that, Konohamaru began to jump around in delight as Fox himself shook his head with the biggest grin on his face.
'I remember being like that every time when I first started out.' The rider thought as he kept staring down at the tinted visor 'One day... I hope that everyone will know the true identity behind this helmet.'
It was a shot in the dark, a fool's wish for gold, but it was of Naruto Uzumaki's few hopes in life as he hid a name, a legend that everyone thought to be long gone and dead.
The great legend that is Konoha's finest Hokage to grace her streets.
It is the legend of Minato Namikaze, or better known as the Yellow Flash.
Naruto reached for the ring he held close to him at all times, the intricate patterns and the microscopic chips that gleamed within the crevices made the inside of the ring glow under the sun light.
'This ring... this key... I still don't think that it's worth killing for.' The young Uzumaki sighed heavily.
If his father died for what ever the ring unlocked, then there is no chance in hell that he would lose this ring to anyone.
"You can come back here all you want, but you will never get in." The voice was low and menacing as it belonged to a masked man in a long dark coat, but it did not phase the man who stood in front of the vault's door way. The place was shrouded in darkness as the only light source available to them was the mechanical neon blue glow of the vault's security system, if the two men wanted any more lights, they would need the key for that.
"I'm just making sure that everything is fine here." The figure was wrapped in a dark over coat as he stood in front of a sealed entrance.
"We're famous for our security here." He watched as the man began to touch the device that would unlock the first half of the inner mechanisms of the vault "It's a shame that you didn't know about the second half of the lock."
"Ku..." Sharp menacing eyes pounded at the entrance in frustration, the one watching remained quiet as he mused to himself.
"Let me guess, you hit a dead end... again?" The next hit to the sealed entrance was much louder than the last. "Guess you're not getting those contracts then."
"I was a fool to think that he would be so easy to crack" A loud angry hiss echoed in the solitary room "And you're sure that we can't just blow the thing up?"
The one that stood by whistled low "Well, he did have the thing set it up so that anything and everything inside would be destroyed if the vault was... tampered in anyway it shouldn't be."
Again the dark figure pounded on the door "If only I didn't have both of them kill..."
The taller man of the two patted the shoulder's of the slimmer one who pounded on the door once more "I could have you killed by now you know." The pounding stopped and the slim figure faced his enemy, the orange mask that glowed in the dim lighting seemed to mock him in every way.
"And I could have you killed as well." The masked man remained undaunted by the threat "Kukuku... but we both know we can't kill each other, not just yet."
"Touche," The masked man looked over the vault "I could care less about what's inside that thing... but I do care what's inside that head of yours." Another man stepped out from the darkness.
"It can't be done at the moment." The new figure wore a coat similar to the masked man.
"I knew it, you sure are a tricky bastard Orochimaru. Let's go Zetsu, we have some cleaning up to do." He began to turn to take his leave to the outside world "It's a long ride back to Amegakure."
"Tell me Tobi, why were you here?" Orochimaru slumped to the ground as a few of his subordinates also stepped out of the shadows, it has become apparent to both men that their lives were in danger by each other.
"To see if I was right about something."
Orochimaru's eyes went wide in rage as he understood the meaning behind those words "Where is the boy?" The hissing words echoed through the room.
A smirk was heard through the darkness as the foot steps faded behind the clamor of a heavy door being shut.
"In due time Orochimaru."
Naruto (Fox)- Yamaha YZF600
Sakura (Dragon Blossom)- Honda CBR600
Sasuke (Falcon)- Suzuki GSXR1000
Ino (Mind Games)- Kawasaki ZX6R
Shikamaru (Shadow)- BMW K1200S
Kiba (Fang)- Ducati 1000DS
Chouji (Muscle)- Yamaha Road Star Warrior
Konohamaru- 1994 Kawasaki ZXR 400
So there it is, the first three chapters re-written. I'm up for any and all suggestions on nicknames for future characters, even though it doesn't really appear that I made much changes in these first few chapters. As most of you know, I've taken down chapters 4-9 because of the major changes in the story line. I've noticed how flat my writing seemed to be so I changed a lot of it as you can see in this chapter. Once again, I hope that past followers have completely re-read the first and second chapters because I did make small, but key changes.