OK Folks, Here it is! Barking up love, A NaruSaku story.

I'd never really seen this idea done, so I wanted to take a shot at it. This got done alittle faster than I thought it would, so I'm submitting it about a week early. The second chapter shouldn't take much longer, I've already got alot of the story planned out, chapter by chapter.

I'd also love some feedback! Comments, concerns n' such. I've got a cover art comming for this story as well, so you guys'll enjoy that too ^.^

Well, lets hope I can keep this up! Enjoy!

Beta reader = the awesomeness Darkofthenight


Some days start with the sun, breeching a painted horizon of greens and pinks, while others start with the bland eye sore of sand, blazing and dull. Inhaling the suffocating heat, Sakura looked out over the vast sea of grain, gritting her teeth and mentally scorning herself for passing up another nights stay. Fingertips pushing a stray strand of pink hair over her forehead protector, the girl turned, just in time to watch her yellow haired counterpart trot up with bounding enthusiasm.

Smiling at the familiar faces that stood at the city gates, Sakura gave a last wave and shouted "Take care, Garra! And Temari, I'll see you at the conference next week!" Slightly deflated at the absence of Kankuro, the ninja turned and began the trek through sand.

Naruto gave Sakura a wide, toothy grin before placing his hands casually behind his head. "Well, that was fun!" he laughed, "But I don't think I want to visit the 'Desert Caves of Sand' again."

To this, Sakura chuckled. "I'll agree, it's not worth the hassle. Who knew Sand had 'desert spiders?" Her eyes shot towards Naruto, who had immediately grimaced and tucked his hand deep into his pockets.

"Spiders freak me out," He grumbled, kicking a large sand clump from their path.

"I know. Don't worry, mission's over. Now it's time for a much needed week of rest. It was nice seeing everyone again. I mean, I know Temari visits Shikamaru pretty often, but I miss Garra and Kankuro. He didn't come to see us off…" She rambled, fingertips tapping on her bottom lip before shrugging it off and trekking onward.

"So, breakdown. Mission was a success. We even got done a few days early…"

"Yeah," replied Sakura. "And I got to talk to Temari about Shikamaru."

Naruto grinned, jumping in front and facing her, walking backwards.

"They're dating, aren't they? He wouldn't tell me anything!"

Sakura just batted him with her hand and laughed.

"Well, you know how he is. And yeah, Temari's still gonna be Leaf's Sand representative, but she may be moving! Isnt that great?"

Naruto just made a scrunched up face and took his place back beside Sakura. " Uh…"

"What, you don't like Temari? I though you had a crush on her!" Sakura teased, giving him a playful grin.

"Yeah right. All I said was that her hair was nice. How is that even a compliment?"

The two newly appointed jounin officers slowly made their way towards the outer tree line of Sand, rambling on about 'Ino's new crush' or the new ramen flavor at Ichiraku's. They chatted and touched like long time lovers, and to the untrained eye, it would seem harmless and coy. However, the tension was thick, and there was an air of mystery surrounding as to what and who these two were.

She would graze his bare arms with want, but jump at his soft, clever glare. Yes, these two, they were complicated.

But complicated is what makes for an interesting story.


Naruto was nervous, but kept it under wraps for the time being. They had been traveling for a few hours, and at first, nothing seemed out the ordinary. However, an instinctive feeling of obscure doom began lingering. It felt as if they were being followed, perhaps from a good distance away because the only chakra signals he sensed were animal.

It was when they reached the tree line that he decided to say something.


"I know," she said.

"Wait…what?" Naruto's face fell into confusion, while jumping in front of her, causing the female ninja to stop. Irritated, she pushed him to the side.

"Something's been following us, but it's small, and really confusing in it's movements. Whatever it is…" She explained, stretching her arms up. "I'd say its untrained and no match for us."

Seeing the small smirk that played on her features, Naruto relaxed, and rolled his shoulders. "Yeah, we'd take him." He then crouched down, as if he were about to pounce "And we'd tear him apart!"

Sakura just laughed at the still very immature antics of her best friend. "Yeah yeah, we aren't the deadly duo for nothing. Come on, letss find a spot to settle down for the night. It's getting dark, and I'm exhausted from coming through all that sand. I don't care how many times we have to go to Sand, I'm never going to get used it."

"Aw, Sakura. I was just playin' around." At this, Naruto began an infectious grin that traveled to his counterpart quickly. Sakura just leaned over and gave him a nudge on the arm, before instructing him to unpack and set up camp.

Doing so quickly, they worked in a comfortable silence before settling down before a fire pit.

"Alright, I'm going to find a spring nearby and bathe, I've got sand everywhere." Sakura spoke as she stood.

"Yeah, that's fine," Naruto agreed, scratching the back of his head as he observed their campsite one more time to finalize it's design. " I'm gonna build us a fire and think of dinner."

"Sounds good," she murmured, grabbing her pack and heading off the trail towards the smell of water. Stopping, she turned. "And save the ramen for another day, Hopefully if the food we have lasts long enough, we won't have to eat it." Disappearing before he could answer, she couldn't help but laugh out loud as Naruto's familiar cursing followed her towards the stream.

Finding the water didn't take long, since the path from Leaf and Sand virtually followed it. Finding a quick spot to set her things, Sakura quickly stripped and made her way into the cold water. Grimacing at it's temperature, she worked fast to get her bath over.

Being spring, the air was wonderful and warm, but had yet to heat the water up, making bathing on missions one of the more difficult tasks.

"Ugh." She inhaled deeply. "Why does it have to be so cold?"

Diving into the stream, Sakura worked fast. Retreating from the stream, Sakura moved to grab her towel, before stopping abruptly.

There, sitting on her towel, was a small white animal.

Staring at it for a few seconds, eyes wide, she then did what any other highly trained ninja would do.

She screamed.


OK, so before the story goes on any further, I guess I should explain myself, and give you a little introduction. The story isn't too long, just a typical god falls from the radar kinda thing,

First off, I'm Cupid.

Yes…That Cupid. Bow and arrows, tiny hearts, kid in a diaper.

The Romans never could get their ideas straight, but that's beside the point. I'm not here to give you a history lesson. Well, not a large one, at least.

OK, rundown of what I am. Initially, I am the essence of love, taken physically form. What you have to understand, is that I am not a part of nature. Zeus did not create me.

Man did.

When Adam met Eve, Bam! I existed.

Fast forward. Many different cultures have worshipped me. I never really got into it like the others, not really my style. I was created to do something. Not sit around and be fawned over.

After the fall of the roman empire, the Byzantines stepped in and I lost my place in the books, so I took to a life of solitude, and basically traveled around quietly, seeing the world, enjoying the small things.

I don't do much work anymore. I'm getting kind of old, so my judgment's a little off. I don't even carry around my arrows. There's really no need.

Men nowadays have learned to swoon a women in so many different ways. It's amazing. It's like watching a cavemen grow up to be Casanova. All in all, I am quite proud my job has become a bit easier.

But as time moved on, traveling the world was getting a bit hard to do. You get a lot of questions asked when you're a tiny cherub.

So I decided to ask Zeus for a favor. He owed me…a lot. Zeus was rather promiscuous.

Zeus said the best way to walk around Earth was to take the form of a human. I didn't like that idea. I enjoy flying under the radar. So he gave me a spell that would turn me into a dog.

Great trick, huh?

Turns out, I can't change back.

Zeus thought it was funny as hell.

Moral of the story, Zeus is an ass.

So now I'm stuck on Earth as a dog. A very adorable dog, mind you. A purebred westie.

I'd met one awhile back while in the area helping out King William the second with a 'woman' issue.

So, when I left Olympus, I wasn't too happy. Basically a tiny, white, terrier looking for some ankles to bite. But, I decided to travel east, and ran into this place called Sand.

I'd heard of the eastern gods and demons before, but the leader of this village had one locked inside of him. One of the deadly nine. Wicked bad guys if you ask me. From what I understand, those nine demons are what chased the Titans our way.

But he sympathized with me and gave me a place to hunker down.

A couple years in Sand and I was dog tired of the place (Get it? I'm a dog! Oh, you're gonna love me by the end of this story.), and was looking for a way to exit.

That's when I met Naruto Uzumaki and Sakura Haruno.

Maybe I was just eager to get out of the Hidden Sand Village, or maybe I'm just getting old, but when I saw them, I knew I had to act.

But see, most people can't see through the art of match making. It's not about pointing a love arrow at someone and hoping the next person they see is you.

No! It's got finesse, timing, ability! It's passion and poise!

Match making is like a game of chess. Every move calculated ten steps ahead.

So, while following them through the desert, I planned.

And now, as I sit atop the female's only towel, I move my first pawn.

Let the games begin…