Disclaimer: Do I have to write I don't own Naruto? I don't. Please, I'm practically broke!
Naruto sat at a table at Ichiruki's, folding a napkin repeatedly in and out of the shape of a paper crane while he waited for Sakura and Sasuke to show up in time for them to get to the lesson a good hour before Kakashi-sensei would arrive.
No doubt that he's probably forgotten us while he's reading that dirty book of his! Naruto thought with a snort and slurped another bite of ramen before returning to folding the crane again. In the distance, he thought he saw Sakura talking to Sasuke and he fought not to glare. It wasn't fair that Sasuke had every girl in Konoha liking him while Naruto normally was lucky if any of the girls would even talk to him without wanting to beat him up.
Especially anyone he liked. Like Sakura.
He looked wistfully at the crane and an idea struck him from a story that he remembered seeing in a book Konohamaru had brought him to read when they were playing the other day. Or in Konohamaru's case, he was trying to sneak away from his tutor. Not that Naruto could blame him. The guy was creepy, and probably another closet pervert even worse than Kakashi. But the story had been good. Something about making a thousand paper cranes to be able to get your wish.
A thought struck Naruto suddenly and he called chakra to his hands, focusing all of his energy into the jitsu he was about to call on the tiny crane.
"Kage Bunshin No Jitsu!"
An army of tiny paper cranes filled the empty bowls in front of him and covering the table in lines.
"Yes, now I'll get my wish!" Naruto crowed as Sasuke and Sakura walked in.
"Come on, Naruto. We need to get to the lesson. What have you been doing here?" Sakura asked, tilting her head as she picked up one of the tiny cranes. It vanished.
Sasuke gave a small dark smile and grabbed another handful before giving Naruto a flat, rather exasperated look. "If you keep wasting your chakra on stupid stunts like this, you'll never be good enough for me to fight."
"And that is why I'm going to kick your ass! Believe it!"
In a wave of his hands, the jitsu dissolved, leaving the tiny crane behind, next to the money that Naruto had left as payment before leaving.
They headed off, and Naruto wondered just how long it would take a paper crane jitsu wish to come true.
Although it might have to wait until he beat Sasuke, he thought. That was fine with that though.
Sure as Gai-sensei would wear green spandex, it would happen someday. He believed it.
A/N: This probably seems like a very strange idea, and honestly, it is. The idea popped into my head after I switched teaching assignments and my students presented me with a giant paper crane which they had made during class. It was adorable, and when I was working on School Daze- which will be updated soon, I promise- this would not leave me alone. Especially since the student who presented the crane to me was a pure cross between Shikamaru and Naruto- and yes, he truly does have Naruto's energy level and personality. And given Naruto's persistence with wanting Sasuke to acknowledge him, wanting to be hokage, and wanting to go out with Sakura when he's younger which seem to be rivaled only by his love of ramen, practical jokes, and trying to figure out what is behind Kakashi's mask (love that episode!!!) it seemed apropos. So, hopefully the plot bunnies quit mauling and I can go back to my main stories soon.