Hey! This story has been on my mind for a while, so I decided to go ahead and start it. I hope you enjoy reading it! Peace ;)
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. However, I do own this plot idea.
"And then," exclaimed an excited soldier with deep blue eyes and spiky blond hair, "I pointed my sword at the thieves threateningly. You should have seen them run, Teme! One minute, they were making a quick get away, and the next minute, they were running for their lives from me!" the blond boy beamed, pointing a proud thumb at himself.
"And they thought they could get away with such a heinous crime," he continued, looking to the boy sitting beside him. "Hey, are you even listening, Sasuke?"
Said boy was leaning his head against the side of the royal carriage, his spiky, raven hair swaying slightly in the wind from the open window. His dark black eyes were gazing out over the countryside of the Earth Country, and his mouth was set in a permanent bored expression. Despite the incessant rambling of the blond soldier next to him, he had, unfortunately, been paying attention.
"Yes, since stealing ramen is such a horrible crime, Naruto," Sasuke responded sarcastically. Naruto did not seem to catch the sarcasm.
"I know! I couldn't believe they would do such an evil thing myself, but someone had to be there to keep the ramen safe! Thank goodness I was there, or they might have gotten away with it," Naruto stated proudly.
Sasuke rolled his eyes. "Tch. Dobe."
Naruto scoffed. "What's got you in such a bad mood, Sasuke? I mean, I know that you're normally a bastard, but today you seem to be in an extra bad mood. If you glare at the countryside any harder I think it actually might cower in fear. And that would be pretty hard to accomplish, seeing as how landscapes don't actually experience feelings."
"Hn. Nothing," Sasuke said, trying to end the conversation quickly. But the blond soldier wasn't satisfied.
"Don't you 'Hn' me, Teme. This is serious. As your bodyguard and best friend, it is my sworn duty to look out for you."
"Which explains why you were more concerned with catching ramen thieves then protecting me," Sasuke added sarcastically.
"Hey! Ramen is like, the epitome of all that is good in this world! It is not my fault that such a delicious food was created. It is only my goal to protect it.," Naruto retorted, waving his arms around to emphasize the "greatness" of ramen as he spoke. "And besides, you're the Prince of the Fire Country. You can watch out for yourself while I dispose of such criminals." Becoming annoyed, Sasuke once again turned to look out of the window.
"And hey, you're getting married, Teme! To a beautiful princess, or at least that's what I've heard! What's so wrong about that?" Naruto asked encouragingly. Sasuke shot him an annoyed look.
"Everything," Sasuke responded, letting the word come out with more force then he intended.
"Everything?" Naruto inquired, suddenly very serious.
Sasuke sighed deeply. "Yes, everything, Naruto. I don't want to be married, especially to some girl I don't even know. She'll probably be some crazed, deranged fan girl anyway. That's probably why she agreed to this marriage," Sasuke admitted, disgust evident in his face.
Naruto shook his head sympathetically. "I don't know, Teme. It was the King who contacted your father and arranged it, so how do you know that the princess truly wants to get married?"
"Because I just know, Dobe. All girls are the same. She just turned eighteen, the same age as me, and the same as most of the other brainless fangirls I've met. This one won't be any different."
"Whatever, Teme. I'm just saying – maybe this girl will be different," Naruto offered optimistically. "Let's at least meet the girl before we judge her."
Sasuke just scoffed and returned to glaring at the passing fields. Naruto sighed, wondering if his best friend would ever learn to care about someone else.
Several hours later, the vast fields and hills had transformed into a village bustling with life and activity. Villagers looked over at the carriage curiously, peering into the windows in hopes of catching a glimpse of the passengers. Sasuke simply ignored their curious stares, unlike Naruto, who soaked up the attention and was practically leaning out of the window to wave at the villagers. Sasuke tried even harder to ignore the gossiping whispers as they passed.
"Who is that?" asked one village woman.
"Most likely another suitor for the Princess," a man answered.
"Actually," interrupted another woman, "I heard that the Princess is finally betrothed to someone. That must be the Prince! The wedding must be coming up soon."
"And isn't that the Uchiha symbol?" asked another. Sasuke knew that they were referring to the carriage's flag.
"Oh yes!" responded another. "It must be Prince Sasuke from the Fire Country!"
There were many more excited whispers and shouts as the carriage wound its way up to the grand castle. Sasuke rolled his eyes grudgingly, and then silently began thinking of ways to foil the marriage arrangement.
But for a moment, Sasuke was truly taken back by the picturesque castle that seemed to sprout up proudly from the ground. Its iron gates were covered in vibrant green ivy plants, and the tall stone walls and towers were adorned with majestic white flowers. A never-ending expanse of flowers and gardens decorated the colorful lawns.
Such vibrancy, of course, only made Sasuke scowl more. The castle just seemed to scream "happiness." Even birds chirped all around them. Naruto, however, seemed to immediately connect with the jovial atmosphere.
"See, Teme, this place doesn't look so bad," exclaimed the now extremely hyper and excited Naruto.
"Hn," Sasuke answered, hiding any emotions he might have held for the area.
As their driver came to a stop, Sasuke caught sight of a thin woman with graying hair waiting for them on the front steps. She had thick glasses on, and she adjusted them as the driver opened the carriage door.
Naruto stepped out of the carriage first, his entire demeanor changing as he resumed his duty as Sasuke's bodyguard. Sasuke waited for Naruto to make a quick check of the surroundings before climbing out of the carriage himself. He tried to ignore the way that the gray-haired lady stared at first, or how some of the garden maids squealed. Clearing her throat, the gray-haired lady walked up to them, bowing slightly.
"Prince Sasuke," the woman began, adjusting her glasses once more, "My name is Kitsune. I serve as the royal adviser to the Haruno family. Please, right this way."
Sasuke nodded, and he and Naruto followed Kitsune into the large castle. She led them through the hallways, every now and then exchanging polite pleasantries. Sasuke responded only when needed, and with as few words as possible. He smirked when he noticed how this angered the woman, and her face would scrunch up in frustration at his simple answers. She also, on the other hand, appeared to be highly annoyed by the boisterous, loud blonde next to Sasuke. Naruto never did know when to shut up.
"I trust, Prince Sasuke, that your travel here was comfortable?" Kitsune asked as pleasantly as possible.
"Ah," he answered, appearing bored. Kitsune coughed lightly.
"Well, I'm sure you will like it here," she stated. "The Earth Country is known for its welcoming atmosphere."
Sasuke rolled his eyes. By the way she had welcomed him, he could tell that she was just doing her job, and was not heartfelt about the situation.
"If you don't mind, Prince Sasuke, we'll be meeting with the King and Queen right away. Princess Sakura will accompany us soon after."
"Hey, Kitsune-san," Naruto asked, "What's the Princess like?"
Kitsune's brow furrowed. "Well, the Princess is a very, um, interesting young woman." She seemed to pause, having difficulty explaining the Princess' traits. "In fact, you'll probably never fully understand her."
Sasuke, although he wouldn't admit it, was instantly intrigued. He could tell Kitsune was trying to hide something about the Princess, but he didn't know what it was just yet. But before he could ask his own questions, Sasuke found himself standing before the grand door to the throne room.
Two Earth guards slowly opened the doors, and Sasuke could see two figures sitting at the far end of the room. Sunlight peered in through tall windows as Sasuke stepped forward confidently, motioning discreetly for Naruto to follow after. Their footsteps echoed in the great room as they approached the King and Queen.
King Haruno was a tall, broad man with fiery read hair and an intense stare. His wife was the ideal picture of a Queen – beautiful, proper, and proud. Her silver-blonde hair reached down to her waist, and her face displayed a comforting smile. Sasuke immediately compared them to his own parents, and he got the feeling that King and Queen Haruno were no less stubborn than his own.
The King spoke first. "Welcome, Prince Sasuke, to the Earth Kingdom. My wife and I were delighted when your parents accepted our proposition." Sasuke noted how Queen Haruno smiled nervously when there was no mention of the princess. Sasuke cleared his throat.
"It is an honor to meet you, both of you. I should probably be honest, though, and express my mixed feelings in this arrangement. It is the wishes of my parents and older brother that has brought me here and nothing more," Sasuke stated, keeping the same blank, emotionless face he always wore.
The King and Queen seemed shocked at his audacity, and they exchanged skeptical looks with one another. Naruto discreetly elbowed Sasuke in the side, giving him a 'what the fuck are you doing' look. Sasuke ignored this.
"Well," began King Haruno, "This arrangement between our two countries is permanent. I'm sure that you are just nervous. My daughter will be here momentarily, I'm sure, and then I'm sure everything will be more at ease." The King looked to Kitsune expectantly, who had silently approached the throne. She shrugged her shoulders, and the Queen looked troubled. There were several minutes of awkward silence before the King spoke again.
"Kitsune, just where is my daughter?" he asked, irritation evident in his voice. Kitsune looked around nervously.
"Her maids said she would be here momentarily, Your Highness. She should have been down by now," Kitsune ended, feeling nervous. The Queen put on a bright smile.
"Well, what about we all take a walk and go meet her. I'm sure she just got sidetracked by, er, her royal duties," the Queen said standing up. Everyone nodded, and Sasuke waited until the King and Queen had exited to follow after.
They walked through several halls before finally climbing a flight of stairs. A very nervous maid greeted them at two grand doors, which Sasuke assumed led to the chambers of the Princess. Naruto and Sasuke exchanged questioning looks. Just what was everyone in this castle nervous about?
King Haruno walked through the doors first, followed by the Queen, who began to call out for her daughter.
"Sakura, Sakura," she called, glancing around the large room, "we have guests." There was no answer. The King noticed another maid standing on the opposite side of the room, looking like a deer in headlights. She had long, dark indigo hair, and large white eyes. Sasuke noted how she fiddled nervously with the hem of her apron.
"You, servant girl," the King addressed. "Where is the Princess?"
The girl answered nervously. "Um, w-well, you s-see…s-she is, um…w-well…"
Just then, the strangest thing happened. A loud bang could be heard, followed by a faint "ow," and then a figure came crawling through the window, jumping in almost silently. Sasuke and Naruto watched from the far side of the room as the figure shrugged off a gray cloak and hood, revealing a petite girl with pink hair.
"Oh, Hinata-chan, good. I must not be too late. I just lost track of time, and then I was in such a hurry to climb up to the window, that I hit my head on the window sill," the girl rambled in a bright, cheerful voice. "I nearly completely forgot that today was the day that the Prince was coming. Ino told me he was a jerk. Anyway, I guess I need to hurry and get dressed, ne? My parents would probably have a fit if they found out I had left the castle again…"
The girl's back was still facing us when she noticed Hinata's nervous appearance. "Hinata-chan? What's wrong? Why so nervous?" The pink-haired girl put a concerned hand on the maid's shoulder, and the maid nervously looked past her. And then the pink-haired girl seemed to understand.
"They're right behind me, ne, Hinata-chan?" said girl asked knowingly. Hinata nodded faintly, and the pink-haired girl spun around quickly, a bright smile on her face. Sasuke tried to ignore the way her emerald eyes sparkled.
"Mother, Father…" she trailed off, acting as innocent as possible. "Er, what brings you to this part of the castle?" She smiled sheepishly, still not noticing the presence of Sasuke and Naruto. That is, until Sasuke spoke.
"They wanted you to meet the jerk."
Sakura's eyes flashed toward Sasuke, and understanding washed over her face. Naruto briefly thought that he had never been in a more awkward situation.
So, that was just the first chapter. Like it? Love it? Hate it? Please review! Thanks.