A. N. I am back, finally!

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Enjoy the new chapter, people!


Emphasis on the word or flachback

Chapter 9 the bonds

The birds loudly chirped from above the trees and the slight whisper of leaves filled the silence of the forest. The sun was high, but only the strongest of rays reached the surface of the ground, creating lights and shadows of different forms under the feet.

Hiding behind a trunk of a tree, the black haired boy quietly observed his teammates, watching as under the larger tree, they kissed and embraced each other. Their hands were touching their faces, as they kept their eyes closed, and he couldn't stop the pang of jealousy in his chest from reminding him that he agreed to this.

It started with an innocent peck on the cheek, a reward for Naruto, praise for his progress, as Sakura said. She was amazed at how quickly he was getting stronger, better, and that small compliment was the proof of her pride. Naruto said that he reached the highest heaven with her words, and just to prove him wrong, the girl gave him a firmer kiss, starting the long and sensual moment of intimacy, in which the pair lost themselves, not noticing that their third teammate was a witness.

He knew that time after time it would come to this, but he didn't expect himself to be affected so strongly. A strange painful stinging in his stomach surprised and at the same time terrified him.

He closed his eyes and turned away, leaning on the tree with his back.

No matter how hard he tried to get closer to Naruto's heart and body, Sakura was never left behind. As if she felt that her leash on the blond was getting longer, and she took her time to reclaim his mind and heart, and like the idiot he was, Naruto was only happy to oblige. As a smart girl, she knew that it wouldn't take much to have him under her heel again. One wet kiss, two good words, three sways of her hips, was all that had to be done. Since when has their war for love turned into the battle of getting the blond? Naruto didn't have to fight for anything…but he didn't have an idea that there was a fight, so all he truly did, was let his teammates do as they pleased. And then again, he wouldn't lose in this battle whatsoever, because he seemed to like the both of them…

He heard a gasp and hesitantly but stealthily turned to look.

He saw the back of the blond, as he slowly kissed the skin on the neck of the girl. He was pressing her against a trunk and holding the fabric of her dark red shirt, pulling its collar down. Her lips were parted, and she encouraged Naruto by pulling his hairs and drawing him closer.

He watched them intently and wondered if he made any mistakes. His plan was perfect, give everyone a chance, and do all in his power to make Naruto fall in love with him. It should have been easy, because he was sure that Sakura would never return Naruto's feelings.

But for some unknown reason, she did.

And he had to act fast before there came a moment when they told him that they were fine together, without him. He knew there was a possibility that they will come to that conclusion and that's why he kept an eye on them. Maybe he looks at it from the wrong angle? Changing tactic would be a good idea. Maybe… he shouldn't fight with Sakura but… with Naruto? Sakura got used to the fact that he was after their blond teammate, and Naruto didn't expect him to change directions…

That could work. It sure would bring back the competition between them, and add some… spice to their relations.

Making his decision and faintly smirking he left his hiding spot and strolled to the pair. Hearing his steps on the grass, the blond frowned and opened his eyes to glance sideways.

He continued to kiss Sakura and his lips were on her jaw line, when Sasuke moved closer and started to nibble her ear.

Surprised at first, Sakura gasped widening her eyes at his presence, but then, placated by his ministrations, she started to moan in pleasure, overwhelmed by attention the boys paid her so suddenly. Her hands found themselves in their hairs and she absently noticed that Sasuke let his hands wander under her shirt, stroking her stomach and ribs.

Naruto didn't stop enjoying his special moment with the girl, but he couldn't help but notice that Sasuke was more forceful, more daring with his touches. And he wasn't surprised by this, after all, he was the same when it concerned him, but the fact that Sakura wasn't confused by his actions at all, made him think. He turned a bit aside, letting Sasuke have the half of the spot by the girl, and noticed that the raven was slowly lifting her red shirt.

It partly shocked him, and partly… pleased. Sasuke would always do what he himself was afraid to. He felt that maybe it wasn't appropriate, but Sakura didn't protest, right?

Wasn't it a glint in the eye of his teammate? Sasuke pulled the red shirt up and Sakura complied, helping him take it off almost in a daze. The raven immediately caught her lips and started to dominate in the triangle, showing that he was in control. He dropped the cloth and the thumb of his left hand trailed up her side, stroking her smooth, silky skin.

The blond frowned and didn't know how he should react. There was a slight anger at the raven for interrupting his personal moment with a girl, but he also knew that Sasuke had a right for that…

The difference between them caught him off guard, when he realized that with all his carefulness and lingering, he was losing a chance to build a strong relationship with Sakura; and Sasuke, who did not hesitate to take control of events in his hands, had more chances of having her love all for himself.

With resolve and a pointed glare directed at Uchiha, the blond leaned closer to the girl, and with the nuzzle, planted soft kisses on her shoulder and neck, noticing with a smirk that she had a pink bra with pretty red heart shaped buttons on the front…

On the face of the girl formed a smile and she caught Naruto's head with a right hand, feeling all of a sudden mighty, powerful and more beautiful. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that she was loved by not just someone, but two boys, and her teammates, and they seemed to fight for a piece of her attention. On her left was a boy of her dreams, a beautiful prince with a name, power and money, and on her right was a boy that was completely opposite to him, without name or history behind, but with a heart and love.

That just sounded like a fairytale, or worse, a soap opera.

But she wasn't one to complain. She had more than she would ever ask for.

Sasuke inwardly smirked, knowing that his devious plan worked. Naruto was not only angry, but jealous. And he just had it in his character to fight, instead of giving up. That meant that he would fight with Sasuke, remembering that getting Sakura's affection wasn't easy. And that meant that he had no escape from Sasuke's grasp… as long as he was in love with Sakura.

Becoming even more daring, the raven let his left hand wander down, and his fingertips gently brushed the inner thigh of the girl, which sent shivers down her spine.

She was in her own little heaven, and at last, Sasuke was all hers. There would be no one to take him away, and if he tried to step back from this relationship, she could always threaten him with revealing his secret love for the blond to the villagers… little devils kept whispering in her head, as she was slowly giving in.

-"…Didn't you think that we could do that before the exams?"-She asked in a barely heard whisper. At her words Sasuke continued to suck onto the skin of her neck with a small sound of acknowledgement, while the blond froze in his tracks and stared up at her, utterly stunned. She noticed his unexpected reaction and blinked, wondering what surprised him, he couldn't be that innocent? It was Naruto. He created the 'sexy jutsu'!

-"I think… it's too early to think of that Sakura-chan."

The raven frowned and looked to the other side of the girl to see the startled Naruto. He raised his head.-"Hnn, are you scared or something…? Don't worry, I'll be gentle."-He said with a smirk, wanting to tease his teammate. The blond looked at him dumbly for a short moment and then unfazed, turned back to Sakura.

-"It's just that we're young, we're genin… and we really shouldn't be so hasty about this. After all, we don't even know each other that well. I mean… we just started…"

The girl tilted her head questioningly and asked.-"What do you mean 'we don't know each other that well'? What is there to know more, Naruto?"-She smiled thinking that he was too shy and afraid, or really cared about his teammates.

-"Well… we don't know everything about each other, right?"

The raven sighed and pulled a bit back, to lean on tree with his side; he stared at the blond seriously and at the same time puzzled with Naruto's behavior. –"What do you want to know then, about my brother, my parents? It's not important now since I care for what happens here and now, and not there and then."

-"Huh, you had a brother?"-Asked the girl looking at him sharply, clearly surprised.

-"I still have. He's the one who… killed the Uchiha clan. And I want to get a revenge on him."

The girl slowly, thoughtfully nodded, showing that she understood, which made the raven grateful that she didn't ask more questions, for a example, why his brother did this, or why he was still alive himself then, because these were questions he wasn't sure he knew the right answer to.

-"It's not just about you, Sasuke. I have secrets too. And I am sure Sakura could share with us about some things as well."

For a minute there was silence between them and the blond thought that it would be a right moment to digress and leave this topic for another day. He started to make a step away when Sasuke spoke.

-"All right, shoot."

He stopped and gazed at his teammate's serious expression and felt something akin to a doom that will soon grace him with its power. Then, under the strong stares of both of his teammates, he was forced to stay and move back, also refusing to be a coward that runs away. They waited for him to start his confessions but he couldn't find the words to speak.

-"Well, are you going to share with that 'badass' secret of yours or are we going to beat it out of you? I doubt it could be as troubling as your expression. You tend to overreact at times…"-Mumbled Sasuke watching as the blond scratched his cheek a bit in nervousness.

-"I don't know where to start or how to say this…"

The girl sighed, placing her palm to her forehead with her eyes closed and spoke.-"Just start from the beginning and try to make the long story short, Naruto."

The blond nodded.-"Ok."-He made a deep intake of breath and looked down on the ground so that he didn't see their expressions.-"Ok, so… the day I was born the Forth placed in me the nine tailed fox."-He closed his eyes to feel like he could hide from the emotions that his teammates felt. He didn't want to see what they thought of it, not the fear, anger or, god forbid, hatred.

In silence that reined after that proclamation, his teammates stared at the blond disbelievingly. There was something wrong with what he said. It was unreal and there was no proof he said the truth. After all, if there was a demon fox that was still alive, then everybody would surely know of this.

The raven raised a brow and blinked.-"That doesn't sound convincing, Naruto."-He said and the blond looked up, surprised.

His teammates stared back at him unperturbed. He almost felt like he said something stupid, and they looked at him with the look that said he was an idiot.

-"You don't make sense."-The raven boy added, tilting his head slightly.

-"Huh…uh…that's… not the reaction I expected from you guys…"-The blond muttered, confused.

Sakura blinked.-"Are you serious?"-She asked quietly, and Naruto scratched the back of his head in the mix of embarrassment and apology.

Sasuke looked at the blond, and then he looked at Sakura with all the calm and seriousness he could muster. He gulped turning his gaze back at Naruto and parted his lips to speak, pausing, before the words left his mouth.

-"Are you sure… that this wasn't some… joke?"

The blond sighed, resigned, and let his hands fall at his sides and his eyes drop. –"I'm sure."

Sakura widened her eyes at his tone and felt something inside of her shatter. Partly, that feeling was a concern for the boy; he looked so defeated that she had the urge to ease his pain and make sure he didn't suffer. But another part of her said that the feeling inside wasn't a concern …but fear.

A sudden realization that her teammate was a beast inside has shaken her, and she wanted to leave, before her emotions took control over her actions.


That was all Sasuke could think of, trying to digest the information, and the picture of a huge nine tailed animal didn't fit his knowledge concerning his teammate. It was like making a statement that Kakashi would convince Mighto Guy to reach the highest snow covered mountain together only to shout a stupid joke with the youth' stuff while on the top of it just for the sake of it.

Simply impossible.

Meanwhile, Naruto was waiting for the inevitable, his teammates' reactions. He never expected this moment to come so fast and so early. He was supposed to tell them a lot, lot and lots later. Now he had no choice in the matter, and if they decided that they didn't trust him then he had to live with it. And he couldn't blame them too, because they had a right to know and to do what they wanted to and thought of as right. If they wanted to avoid him or wanted him to leave the team then… fine. It was his fault that he couldn't keep his mouth shut.

-"What proof do you have, since when do you know of this, from whom?"-Asked Sasuke bewildered.

Naruto was quiet for a moment, forming a response, and then he answered softly.-"I… was born on the tenth October, that's proof enough. And as for who told me, then it was Mizuki, Mizuki-sensei."

-"He's… not the academy teacher anymore… I wonder why…"-Mumbled the girl, fidgeting.

-"He was a traitor, and… he broke the law, speaking about the fox aloud. He… told me of this truth."-Naruto said and his teammates gazed at him frowning.-"It happened the night… after the genin exam I failed. He… wanted to use me and… kill me. I… won't go into details, but, just know that Iruka-sensei saved me and I… I passed."

Very slowly, feeling almost numb, Sakura started to walk away and she felt as the gazes of her teammates followed her. Stiffly, she picked up her discarded shirt and continued on her way. She was utterly confused and unprepared for all of this…

-"S… Sakura-chan…?"-The blond asked weakly.

The girl paused and the boys could see that she was slightly shaking. Reluctantly, she turned her head to glance at them.

-"I need… some time to think this over… ok?"-She breathed in deeply and moved away, shocked by revelations she was exposed to today; she didn't see the hurt look Naruto sported when she turned around. His eyes were closed and this time he didn't hide the pain he felt at her apparent rejection, no matter how careful she was about the words. He could feel it, her fear, doubt and the sudden distrust.

The raven boy scowled watching her go, and his fists clenched when he noticed his teammates' behavior. What was wrong with them? So what if Naruto might have a demon inside? There were people far scarier, stronger and more dangerous! His brother, for example! And the bastard was from a noble clan! She shouldn't judge Naruto just because she learned of something she didn't know before. At least, he was brave enough to tell them. She should respect that and think things over before displaying such apparent… apparent emotions… What was she… scared of? Naruto has never ever given them any signs of being any sort of a demon, treacherous, dangerous, two-faced or deceitful. It even looked like he was hurt himself, if his expression was anything to go by.

He looked at the blond and Naruto looked up to meet his gaze. The blond made a stupid grin to assure him that he was fine and scratched the back of his head sheepishly, as if he was embarrassed by something.

But Sasuke was no fool. He learned to see behind that and noticed that the blue eyes that entranced him so often were wetting. With a sigh Sasuke made a short step forward and his left palm found its place on the side of Naruto's face, comforting him with care and understanding. The smile disappeared from his face awkwardly, and unable to hold the gaze they shared the blond let his hands fall at his sides and looked down, now obviously upset; Sasuke embraced him softly. Naruto didn't fight, freezing for a short moment instead. He didn't expect his teammate to be so caring at that moment, especially after what had just transpired. But it appeared the raven had real feelings for him, and didn't lie to him when he said he liked everything about him… Now that he knew the truth, he didn't walk away, and proved that his feelings were stronger.

Sasuke frowned hearing a quiet sob and guessed that Sakura's reaction stabbed Naruto quite deeply. His shaking form in his arms reminded Sasuke that his teammate was still easily affected and disturbed, no matter how hard he tried to seem strong and unbreakable. That caused Sasuke to get angry with the girl even more, since she should have known what her behavior could do to the blond. Naruto was very emotional, to the point of being unstable. Being that careless was mistake on her part. He remembered the time of the mission in wave clearly as if it was yesterday, and the distress Naruto displayed then was a dangerous thing. He admitted himself that he could kill anyone who dared to hurt his teammates and even though he was shocked after what he has done, he quickly learned to live with it, hiding his tears and sorrow in his pillow, when he thought that no one could hear him. If not for all the trouble they went then to help him, he would be an emotional wreck by now, scared of any kind of relationships, blood and ninja world as the whole.

-"Sakura needs some time. Let's not be too hasty, she's the smartest one, remember? I am sure she didn't mean to react this way."-The raven whispered, and the blond nodded, still hiding his face in Sasuke's chest. He stiffly raised his arms and embraced Sasuke back, finding comfort in his presence and touch.

–"Shhhh…. you're just Naruto, and that is all. This changes nothing."-The black haired boy assured him and smiled, noticing that the blond ceased crying, and even seemed to snuggle to him. How could someone so sweet and, dare he say, cute, have a demon inside?

It wasn't panic.

It wasn't anger either.

The shock she was in had reasons, and she slowly looked into them, trying to understand the matter at hand, the people around her, and herself.

Sakura sat on the wooden bench that was not too far from the academy, the one she used to occupy in the free time, to chat and gossip with other girls her age. Now it was empty, quiet, and seemed abandoned. The street in front of her was under some spell. It had to be, because she didn't recall ever feeling this lonely while being here before. People disappeared, and the sound of the soft wind that traveled that path only darkened the mood she was in. The warmth of the day did not stop the shiver from crawling up her skin at the memories that appeared before her eyes.

-"Don't get close to that boy, Sakura."-Her mother said loudly, gesturing at the child that was walking by with her hand. The boy was short; he had bright yellow hairs, and looked very sad and gloomy. Little pink haired girl tilted her head and asked with the curiosity in her eyes.


-"He's a very bad boy, understand? If you speak to him or even stay in his presence, I will punish you, no toys and no sweets!"-The woman said sternly. Surprised, the girl turned to her mom with widened eyes.

-"No! I'll be a good girl, mommy please!"-She whined and the woman nodded, stroking her head. She was satisfied now, knowing that her daughter will be safe if she stays as far from him as possible.

Sakura unwillingly flinched at that. Why didn't she think of it seriously then? Sure there must have been a reason for her mother to act that way. But then again, she was a small child, and she had little care in the world what her mother meant. It could be anything, really. If she thought of it long and hard, she would come to a conclusion that the boy's parents were some sort of traitors to the village or were disgraced by some important public affair.

But never in her wildest dreams would she think of something like this! The Kyuubi? The demon that attacked their village and killed the Forth Hokage? That sounded surreal, but no one would ever make a joke of this stuff. Not even Naruto.

The older academy students stood in the courtyard before the start of the lessons, they noticed that the yellow haired boy walked to the main doors and started whispering. They raised their hands and pointed at him, trying to be quiet but sharing with the gossip still. He ignored them and even smiled, for no reason, and it seemed to irritate them. They grimaced glaring down at him and Sakura tried to recall what he did in the past to make others recognize and dislike him. Maybe he insulted someone?

Remembering the past, Sakura became ashamed of herself. She knew now that what Naruto said was true, and that many people in the village knew of his secret too, but it didn't mean that she had come to conclusion that he was a bad person, or that he was inhuman now. Naruto proved that he's as human as any other person, and is capable of caring and loving others. What confused her though was a way people treated him, not knowing him and not giving him a chance. But… she shouldn't be surprised. She herself barely tolerated him in the academy, and she didn't even know why.

The soft steps alerted her and she glanced aside from the corner of her eye.

He stopped by the bench and she waited for him to say something. He kept his hands in his pockets and his sad expression said that he was disappointed. She didn't move, afraid that it will make her look weaker. She wanted to show that she was ready to face him.

Sasuke was still for a minute, and then, deciding not to avoid the confrontation, he gracefully moved closer and sat by her.

They were quiet, waiting for the other to be the first to speak. The wind blew by them, shifting their hairs, and Sakura's lips trembled, when she realized that her feelings were messed up.

-"You're an idiot."

Stated Sasuke. His tone was cold and reprimanding.

-"He's hurt."-He continued, and she turned her head away from him, raising her left hand to her lips and covering them. The moisture gathered in the corners of her eyes.-"If you don't fix that, Sakura, then I will. But know, that it would mean that everything between us, you and me, you and Naruto, is over."

She gasped, and quickly turned to look at him. Expectantly, he looked back and she inwardly flinched at the coldness he expressed.

She knew he was angry with her, but she was relieved he gave her a chance. After all, he could use the opportunity to break up with her and stay with Naruto. He had a right to do that because even if she didn't say it out loud, she rejected their teammate. She broke the unspoken rule of their relationship. And the fact that Sasuke came here and let her fix that before everything was gone said that he took into account her feelings too, and of course their teamwork. It shouldn't be affected by their emotional trouble or quarrels.

Gathering what little strength she had at the moment, she managed a short nod.

He nodded too.-"Make sure it is the first thing you do in the morning. Right now he left somewhere, wishing to be alone. I doubt we'll be able to find him. See you."-He said with finality in his voice and stood up to leave.

-"Sasuke…"-She called in a whisper.

He paused and glanced behind his shoulder, looking at her trembling form without compassion.

-"Thank you."-She said sincerely, and acknowledging her response with the grunt, he left.

The door opened with the creak and the short steps broke the silence. The room was dark, and the only source of light was the moon outside. It illuminated the walls and the floor, entering through the opened window.

The bare feet paddled on the creaking wooden floor.

With a sigh, the blond haired boy lay on the unmade bed and comfortably placed his head on the pillow. He didn't take off his clothes, didn't wash his teeth and he didn't really care. He was tired. After today's events he wandered in the forests, visited the Hokage Mountain, trained himself to exhaustion, and still he couldn't stop thinking.

The look in her eyes.

It hurt so much seeing it.

She will never love him. Never look at him in the way as before.

And the only ones to blame for it were the fox and the Forth. The first was responsible for all the pain and sorrow he was in, and the second for making it happen to him. Each time he had a chance for something, this secret, this fact, this curse, took it away from him.

Sasuke was a blessing, but he couldn't protect him from or give him everything.

Eventually, this thing was going to destroy his life completely. What has he done in the previous life to deserve this?

He closed his eyes and tried to stop his thoughts from roaming. It hurt only more, thinking of his trouble too much… What wouldn't he give just to be a simple human being… Maybe not even a ninja, but just some random guy. A man that wasn't a monster in other people's eyes… But what can he give? He doesn't even have anything, beside his body, heart, soul, mind and pride. And these were things that aren't considered as item for exchange. He was in the dead end. He was lost. He wasn't given choices. What a pathetic and… troublesome existence.

...He will rely on Sasuke. He could trust him. And Sasuke could understand him. He gave him what no one ever did…

The feeling of cold made a shiver crawl up on his skin and he frowned, realizing that he left the window open.

The strange sound coming from not too far away from him was confusing, and he sleepily opened his eyes, expecting to see his bedroom.

The wall and the water were a strange sight. He perked his ears hearing a drip.

And then this sound again, similar to a hissing.

Similar to an angered hissing.

He realized his clothes were wet, and he stood up, noticing that the dim, dirty water reached his knees. He was in some sort of the corridor, and it was dark, apart from the red light in the end of it. He frowned even deeper and had a bad feeling. As if from a fire, he felt the heat from that light in front of him, and seeing as he had nowhere else to go, he decided that he will feel better warming himself, and he didn't want to come back to the feeling of being cold. With that he nodded to himself, justifying his actions, and walked in direction of light.

The sound was becoming more sinister, and with the cringe, the blond formed an idea in his mind of what could be the source of it. He didn't want to believe it but there was no way he could have simple nightmares that creepy.

With the last step he entered the wide and gigantic hall, full of the negative energy. He saw the bars and had to admit he was impressed. The low growl caught his attention and with morbid, at least to him, curiosity, he looked inside the enormous cage. He was met with menacing white canines, and a pair of red, mad and frightening eyes.

His body shook with fear but he couldn't stop himself from being fascinated with the power the beast possessed. In awe, he watched its tails hit the floor, and its claws graze the metal bars, that were stopping it from attacking.

A shaking grin formed itself on Naruto's face and he looked in the eyes of the demon.

-"We finally meet…. Kyuubi."

End of chapter 9

Important A. N.!

The time has come for me to acknowledge my mistakes and I am... looking for a BETA! If you like my stories, wish to help me make them better, let me know! I am new to this stuff so I hope you'll take this into account)))) PM me or leave a review))) Oh, and don't forget to read the rest of my stories, you better know what you get yourself into... (romances, drama, tragedy, sick humor, dark humor, mystries, yaoi...)

Thank you for attention!