Disclaimer: If I owned Naruto and its associated characters I would be retired on a private island instead of writing fan fiction.
As one might have gathered from its name, the Forest of Death was a particularly unpleasant place. Most of the local wildlife was large and carnivorous or small and poisonous, and the trees were so thick that only the barest amount of sunlight could penetrate to the ground. To make matters worse, the forest had recently acquired a population of seventy or so hostile genin, one psychotic jinchuriki, and an S-ranked criminal, almost all of who wished Team 7 varying levels of harm. Two thirds of said team had already been rendered unconscious by the last of those hazards, leaving a pink-haired girl by the name of Sakura Haruno to watch over them.
If anyone just looked at the basic outline of my mission records they would have some very strange ideas about how good of a ninja I am. Sakura mused while keeping watch over her unconscious teammates. I got through the entire mission to Wave Country without a scratch while Naruto ended up fairly battered and Sasuke-kun nearly died, and now we just had a fight with an S-Rank criminal and once again I get through it without a scratch while my teammates are both knocked out. People who don't know that the reason I don't get hurt is that I don't ever actually fight probably think I'm some sort of scary super-ninja since I keep coming out of crazy situation unscathed.
Sakura giggled at that thought; sleep deprivation does strange things to the mind.
If someone had approached Sakura Haruno the day before she went into the Forest of Death and told her that by the end of that she would call Sasuke a coward she would never have believed them. And yet, when faced with Orochimaru Sasuke would have just surrendered if Naruto hadn't shown up and fought, prompting her to point out that, for all his faults (idiocy and pervertedness being foremost amongst them) at least he wasn't a coward. That at least shamed the Uchiha into fighting, but by the end of battle Sasuke and Naruto were both unconscious, leaving Sakura with the duty of tending to her wounded teammates.
Or rather, Sakura realized to her sudden shame, tending one of her wounded teammates and leaving the other one on his own. It was natural for her to be more concerned over her one true love Sasuke than for her annoying teammate, but not to the point where she completely ignored Naruto. Granted, the Uchiha boy was obviously very ill as a result of the bite mark from Orochimaru while Naruto could easily be mistaken for as just peacefully sleeping, but the fact that Naruto was still unconscious after so many hours was a worrying sign.
Feeling a twinge of guilt for neglecting him for so long, Sakura turned her attention to her teammate. She'd already confirmed that there weren't any obvious bleeding injuries when she gave the boy a cursory inspection before tending to Sasuke, but even her relatively basic knowledge of ninjas and first aid was enough for her to realize that there were plenty of dangerous injuries that weren't accompanied by torrents of blood. A quick check of his head confirmed that he didn't have any injuries or bumps, though Sakura suspected that hitting the thick-headed boy anywhere on his skill wouldn't really inflict a serious injury anyway. Brain damage only matters to people who actually use their brains
Thinking back to the fight, Sakura remembered that Orochimaru had knocked Naruto out with a blow to the stomach, which made it rather obvious where she should start any sort of examination of the boy. Blushing slightly and praying the boy didn't regain consciousness in the next few minutes, Sakura hesitantly pulled off Naruto's shirt to check the location where he'd been struck. She had expected to see a bunch of nasty bruises, or possibly some sort of injury from whatever jutsu Orochimaru had used on the boy, not a mass of complex symbols on the boy's stomach.
Sakura studied the markings with a frown wondering what they could possibly be and why they were on Naruto's stomach. The only part of it Sakura could make any sense of were several marks that seemed very similar to the three on Sasuke's neck; the skin around the symbols seemed inflamed, and she vaguely recalled Orochimaru calling the jutsu he used on Naruto a five-pronged seal.
So if those marks came from Orochimaru, what's the rest of this? Why would did Orochimaru use a sealing jutsu on Naruto anyway? And why did having a sealing jutsu used on him knock Naruto out?
With a start, Sakura realized that she couldn't quite see all of the design's on Naruto's stomach, as his pants covered up the bottom part of the mass of symbols. Curiosity fought a brief war with decency, and Sakura rationalized that she needed to inspect the rest of the symbol if she wanted any answers about Naruto's current condition. Maybe if she saw the whole design on Naruto's stomach she would be able to make sense of things and have an idea about how to treat his condition. She redoubled her fervent prayers that Naruto wouldn't wake up to find her yanking his pants down, even though it was only a couple inches, and added a prayer that nobody would happen across them in the next few minutes.
"Is she taking his pants off?" Zaku asked rhetorically. The trio of Sound ninjas had been watching the girl for the last few minutes; their orders were to kill Sasuke Uchiha, but Dosu had decided that there was no harm in waiting until the girl guarding his unconscious form was completely broken by sleep deprivation. The fact that both her companions were knocked out while she appeared unscathed was a warning that she was not to be trifled with, but even the most deadly elite ninja needed sleep.
"Looks like it." Kin answered dryly.
"Huh." Zaku grunted. "Why's she doing that?"
"Those two don't matter." Dosu cut off his temporary teammates. "Our objective is Sasuke Uchiha.
"Yeah." Zaku said uncertainly. "But she's ripping that kid's clothes off while he's knocked out. Is she going to just strip him naked?"
"If she's going to stripping someone it should be the Uchiha." Kin muttered under he breath, but not quite as quietly as she had thought..
Dosu and Zaku stared at their teammate.
"What?" Kin asked defensively. "He's hot."
"He's not that good looking." Zaku scoffed. "Hell, I look better than he does."
"Keep telling yourself that." Kin said with a smirk.
"Stop getting all hot and bothered over him, Kin." Zaku shot back. "Remember, our mission is to kill the brat."
"I know that." Kin snapped.
"Besides, I think he's gay." Zaku added.
"What?" Kin asked, sounding shocked.
"Well think about it." Zaku began. "How many smoking hot girls have you seen practically throwing themselves at him just during the Chunin Exams? And he just seems annoyed by it every single time. Gay."
"He is not gay!" Kin growled at her teammate.
"I'd have a better shot at getting a kiss out of him than you!" Zaku teased.
"Shut up." Kin grumbled.
"I bet he's a bottom." Zaku said with nasty chuckle. "Probably for blondie there." He added, waving a hand at the other unconscious boy.
"I said shut up!" Kin snarled.
"Quiet!" Dosu ordered his two teammates. "We don't want to give away our presence until we're ready to strike." This is why tossing together a team just for this mission was a bad idea; our team dynamics could use a lot of work. I've only been with them for a day and I already want to kill both of them.
"COME! OFF!!" The kunoichi emphasized each word with another tug on the boy's pants, which remained stubbornly in place.
Sakura soon discovered that adjusting Naruto's pants so that she could see the rest of the seal on his stomach was easier said than done; his jacket had a nice zipper on the front that had made removing it relatively simple, but the pants lacked such a convenient feature. To make matters worse, Naruto's dead weight made simply pulling the pants down impossible; Sakura had attempted to maneuver the boy into a better position for pants adjustment, but moving the limp boy into any sort of position was almost impossible, and all she had managed to do was flip Naruto over onto his stomach, which hadn't really helped matters.
Even when he's unconscious he's pissing me off! Sakura was tempted to clobber Naruto on general principle, but knowing her luck that would wake him up, and then she would have to explain why she had stripped him half-naked.
"Turn over you idiot!" Sakura growled, lying on the ground behind him and pulling on the boy's shoulder with both hands in an effort to get him on his back again. After several seconds of stubborn resistance, Naruto's weight suddenly tipped over, catching Sakura off guard as the boy's body pitched over on top of her, and before she had time to make her escape she had a half-naked Naruto lying on top of her.
If I scream or hit him he'll wake up. If I don't get him off me, he'll eventually wake up. If he waked up while we're in this position I'll die of humiliation. Or worse, Sasuke-kun could wake up and see the two of us like this, and then he'll think… "GET OFF!" The girl screeched shoving the unconscious boy off of her with desperate strength.
Sakura was almost tempted to give up the entire enterprise, get Naruto's shirt back on, and then beat him back into wakefulness so he could properly appreciate the experience when she beat him back into unconsciousness. However, that would mean giving him the satisfaction of winning,, although he would never know about any of this if she had anything to say about the matter she wasn't about to be beaten by a knocked-out idiot's body.
With an enraged snarl, Sakura grabbed the waistband of Naruto's pants and yanked on them with all her might while practically shouting "Come off you stupid pants!". She had originally only planned to move the pants down a couple inches to see the rest of the design on Naruto's stomach, but her pissed-off full-strength yank pulled them clean off the boy's body, and the triumphant girl held them up over her head like some sort of trophy, celebrating her victory over stubborn, heavy, knocked out boys with pants that remained stubbornly in place. "Take that stupid pants that won't come off! You're no match for Sakura Haruno! CHA!"
Then she realized that in the midst of he righteous rage against stubborn and uncooperative articles of clothing she had not only ripped off his pants, but his underwear as well.
With a horrified shriek, the girl quickly tossed Naruto's pants back over his body, and backed away to the opposite end of their small camp. She was briefly tempted to just flee the scene entirely, but there was no way she could abandon her comrades when they were injured. However, if Naruto ever found out she'd stripped him completely naked she knew she'd never hear the end of it. Naruto would almost certainly run around telling everyone a very distorted version of what had happened, and she could only imagine how much mockery that would open her up to, not to mention ruining her chances with Sasuke; he wouldn't be interested in a shameless woman who had molested Naruto in his sleep.
So, Naruto and Sasuke could never know about any of this, which meant she would have to get all of his clothes back on him, and then do her best to forget that any of this had ever happened. "Dammit! I spent all that time getting his pants off, and now I have to put them back on again!"
She regarded Naruto's prone body, trying to figure out how to accomplish her goal. Trying to maneuver the boy into position hadn't worked too well when he still had clothes on, and any awkward and compromising position the two ended up in would automatically be twenty times worse if he was naked. There was no way to know when either of the boys would wake up, but every second that she spent coming up with a plan only increased the risk of one of them awakening. So, by far the safest route to take was the direct approach; the sooner Naruto had pants back on the better..
She went up to the boy, and was about to retrieve his pants when she realized that the only thing remotely preserving his modesty was the face that she'd frantically tossed the pants over his waist when she realized what she had done. I don't want to look at Naruto's … thingie. Maybe if I keep my eyes closed… Sakura closed her eyes, and blindly groped for Naruto's pants. While she eventually did manage to find his pants, as she taking them in hand her fingers brushed against something warm and dangly, and she gasped in sudden horror upon realizing what it must be. Sakura's eyes snapped open to confirm her fears about what had happened; when her worst fears were realized, the shrieked in dismay, and quickly shut her eyes again.
To make matter infinitely worse, Naruto gave a sleepy mutter of "Sakura-chan…"
Oh shit. Sakura froze in terror while some tiny part of her mind the retained the capacity for rational thought desperately begged her to at least assume a less compromising position than having her hand in contact with Naruto's penis. Fortunately for the girl, Naruto settled back down after a second or two, and Sakura decided that it had probably just been him having a dream and talking in his sleep. If he was having a perverted dream about me … it's probably my fault for touching him there, and he'd still be much less of a pervert than I'll look like if I don't get him dressed before he or Sasuke-kun wake up or someone finds us.
Well, there's no way I can do this with my eyes closed, and there's not really any point in keeping them closed when I've already seen and … touched it. The girl shivered in moderate revulsion at that thought; even if she was gradually accepting that Naruto was not nearly so terrible as she had once thought that didn't mean she wanted to do that sort of thing with him.
Hesitantly, the girl opened her eyes and regarded the prone Uzumaki, only to flush in embarrassment and clamp her eyes back shut. She repeated this process several times, each time managing to last slightly longer before her modesty overcame her. On the sixth try, she'd finally become somewhat inoculated to the sight, and was able to more or less function despite the fact that she was seeing certain parts of Naruto's anatomy that she repeatedly told herself that had absolutely no desire to see.
So that's what one looks like. Sakura had academic knowledge of male anatomy, but there was a big difference between reading about it in a book (even one with pictures) and seeing the real thing in the flesh. Sakura took a moment to look over the symbols that had prompted her initiate this entire unfortunate string of events, but seeing the rest of the marks provided no sudden insight into Naruto's condition. I'll have to remember to mention those to Kakashi-sensei, or maybe that crazy proctor lady running the exam; Naruto getting knocked out probably has something to do with these symbols, so they're probably important. Plus, I have to wonder what the deal is with them..
She was about to set to the task of re-dressing the unconscious boy when a sudden mad thought burst into her mind. I wonder how he compares to Sasuke-kun? An instant after the thought occurred to her she was horrified by it. How could I even have such a horribly perverted thought. Besides, Sasuke-kun would obviously be much, much more well equipped than that idiot Naruto.
Satisfied with her reasoning, Sakura gave a quick nod to herself and dismissed the matter from her mind. Even if Sasuke was unconscious and would never know if she did decide to get a look at his undoubtedly wonderful body and amazingly many manhood, she just wouldn't do something that perverted and wrong. She would never, ever abuse his trust and their bond as teammates in such a blatant and immoral way. It was just wrong.
One minute later…
"But … Sasuke-kun…" Sakura gasped, her voice laced with bitter disappointment as she studied his wedding tackle. Contrary to her expectations, Naruto had proven to have a significant advantage over the Uchiha, whose equipment was substantially below average.
Looks like I picked the wrong boy to crush on. No wonder Hinata likes him so much; with the Byakugan she probably already knew about how well-equipped Naruto is. An instant after that occurred to her Sakura shook her head in angry denial. Alright, so maybe Naruto is…larger than Sasuke, but aside from that what does he have going for him? Well, he's a lot braver that Sasuke, and I suppose he is kind of cute in an annoying idiot who makes me want to kill him kind of way. And he's pretty nice when he's not being stupid or trying to be funny … and I suppose he actually is somewhat amusing every once in a while. Alright, but aside from being brave, cute, nice, funny, and possessing a reasonably large penis for his age what does Naruto have going for him over Sasuke?
Increasingly annoyed by this entire line of thought, Sakura angrily dismissed it. None of this matters. I'm not some shallow, flighty little girl who will immediately change her affections just because Naruto happens to have a larger set of equipment than Sasuke.
"Did she just…?" Zaku asked, regarding the pink-haired girl in shock.
"Yeah." Kin said dully, considering the Uchiha. "Wow, I kinda expected him to be … better."
"That's how you know he bottoms." Zaku responded with a playful smirk. "No way he could be a top with that tiny little needle-dick."
"It's not that small, and I already told you he's not gay!" Kin snapped, flushing with anger. "Besides, he's only, like 12 or something, it'll get bigger."
Zaku suddenly stilled with a thoughtful frown. After half a minute of silence, he hesitantly said. "You know guys, we're sitting in the woods watching a 12 year old girl molest a pair of unconscious boys."
"What's your point?" Dosu asked wearily. The bandaged man had already come up with half a dozen good ways to kill his teammates, and was finding the thought of putting one of them into action increasingly tempting as he was forced to spend more and more time in their presence.
"Well, isn't that kind of weird?" Zaku asked.
"What do you mean?" Kin inquired, sounding confused by his question.
"I'm just saying, we're just sitting her in the woods, watching that girl molest the two of them. I mean, doesn't that seem kind of messed up to you." With a disgusted grimace, Zaku added, "I mean, it's like we're pedophiles or something."
"We're not pedophiles." Dosu assured the worried ninja. "We're just carrying out our mission."
"Besides, they're not that much younger than us." Kin said defensively.
"Yeah, but it's still kind of weird that we're just sitting here, watching." Zaku asserted.
"It is." Kin agreed. "But that's our mission."
"I get that." Zaku said. "But I'm starting to feel a little uncomfortably just sitting here, watching this going on . I think we've waited long enough, let's just go ahead with the mission already."
"The girl's not nearly tired enough." Dosu disagreed with a shake of his head. And she must be even stronger than I expected if she's willing and able to abuse her teammates with such impunity.
"So what do we do then?" Zaku demanded. "Should we just site here and watch like a bunch of pervs while she rapes a pair of knocked-out kids?"
"Our mission is to kill Sasuke Uchiha, not preserve his innocence." Dosu answered.
Silence reigned for a few seconds, and then Zaku declared. "You know what, I just have to say something here. I'm not comfortable just sitting in the woods watching this go down. If we're not going to do something about it then I'm leaving; those guys aren't going anywhere any time soon, so there's no reason we can't just leave, then come back in a couple hours when she's done raping them."
"She's not raping them." Dosu declared flatly.
"She's not raping them yet." Zaku shot back, placing heavy emphasis on the last word.
"It doesn't matter!" Dosu snapped. "Our mission is to kill Sasuke Uchiha, and we can't do that until we make sure that the girl won't be a threat to us. We're not leaving and giving her a chance to relocate or either of the boys a chance to wake up, even if she's molesting them. Even if she rapes them, we will remain in position and prepared to carry out our mission. Even if, after she rapes them, she takes advantage of their unconscious state to force their bodies to perform gay sex acts on each other for her own twisted amusement and pleasure, we are not moving from this spot." Dosu gave a nod of satisfaction, glad that he had finally made the situation clear to Zaku.
"Oh no…" Zaku said, looking even more horrified and disgusted than he had before. "You don't think she'd really make them have gay sex after she rapes them, do you?"
Dammit. Dosu silently cursed, realizing that Zaku had completely missed the point.
"You know, Zaku's got a point." Kin unexpectedly agreed with her teammate. "I'm not comfortable just sitting in the woods watching her rape those guys either, it's just weird; we should leave."
"Seriously?" Dosu asked dully. "You want us to abandon an excellent strategic position and possibly compromise our entire mission and offend Orochimaru-sama just because you're feeling uncomfortable?"
"Yes." Zaku and Kin said almost simultaneously. "I'm just really uncomfortable watching boys be sexually molested and not doing anything about it." Zaku added.
"Is it because of Orochimaru-sama?" Kin asked sympathetically.
"I don't like to talk about it." Zaku said flatly.
"Is that why you ran away screaming when we saw that one-eyed snake earlier?" Kin inquired, still sounding very sympathetic to her teammate's plight.
"I don't like to talk about it!" Zaku hissed under his breath with a haunted look on his face.
"Oh … poor thing." Kin cooed to Zaku, before turning a fierce glare on Dosu. "How can you be so heartless! I can't believe you would make him watch this and force him relive all his bad memories!" The kunoichi demanded. "You should be ashamed of yourself. Let's just go already!"
"Fine." Dosu answered in resignation. There's obviously no point in trying to make reason with the pair of them, and I can't do this mission by myself. Oh well, back to happier thoughts, like working out how I can hide small paper bombs in their food; if I do it right they won't notice the bombs while they're eating, but a couple hours later … boom. Or I could kill them by…
"Owwww." Naruto groaned as he slowly regained consciousness. It took him a couple seconds to make sense of things and recall why he was in the middle of the forest; the last thing he remembered was fighting some weird snake guy (or was it a girl? It'd been kinda hard to tell) and Sasuke proving that he was just a total wuss, but giving Naruto a chance to make a really badass entry to save the day. Then he'd gotten really pissed at the snake person and things got a little fuzzy, but he remembered getting hit really hard. That was pretty much the last coherent thing he remembered before waking up here, though he'd had a pretty strange dream while he was knocked out…
Suddenly, Naruto was enveloped by a fair of slender arms and his vision was filled with a mass of pink hair. "Oh Naruto-kun, thank goodness you're alright! I was so worried!"
"Eh … Sakura-chan, is that you?" Naruto asked, still disoriented from waking up.
"No, it's some other pink-haired girl who looks exactly like me and is wearing my clothes and has my voice." Sakura told the boy, pulling back from the hug to smile at him. Seeing Naruto's confusion and concern at her remark and realizing that detecting sarcasm might be beyond his mental capabilities, Sakura clarified. "That was a joke."
"Oh." Naruto said, still not entirely clear on what was going on. "Uh … why're you being so nice to me all of a sudden Sakura-chan?"
"Well, after everything that's happened I had a chance to see something, um, see some things more clearly that is, and … well…" Sakura trailed off blushing, and muttered something under her breath.
Naruto was about to continue his efforts to figure out what was going on with the pink-haired girl when Sasuke woke with a pained groan. There were weird marks all over Sasuke's skin, but after a few seconds they faded away as he turned to regard his teammates. "Naruto … Sakura … what's going on?" The Uchiha asked brusquely.
"Oh, you're awake." Sakura declared disdainfully. Naruto stared at Sakura, surprised by her sudden reversal of position on Sasuke, and Sasuke himself was regarding the girl with suspicion. Returning her attention to the blond boy, Sakura asked, "So how're you feeling Naruto-kun? You were so brave fighting that Orochimaru guy, and I was so worried when I saw how he hurt you. Is there anything I can do to make you feel better? I would be happy to do anything to help you." The stress the girl put on the word "anything" and the fanatical gleam entering her eyes was almost disturbing.
"Uh … Ramen?" Naruto said hesitantly, asking for the first thing that came to mind.
"I saw you packed some instant ramen with your supplies, I'll go get the water, then start a fire and fix it." Sakura assured him. The girl gave him another hug, then trotted off into the forest, sparing Sasuke a disdainful glance when she passed by him.
"Well that was weird." Naruto declared to his other teammate once the kunoichi was well away. "I mean, it's great that Sakura-chan likes me now, but still … the whole thing was kinda weird."
"I don't think that's actually Sakura." Sasuke declared, quickly checking his equipment pouch. "She's acting way too differently from how she normally is." She's treating me like Naruto and Naruto like me.
"You don't think it's a guy transformed to look like Sakura do you?" Naruto asked, looking disturbed by the thought. "And anyway, what's so weird about Sakura-chan liking me?"
"You do realize that any time she spends more than thirty seconds around you she ends up screaming at you and beating the crap out of you, don't you?" Sasuke asked. "Suddenly acting nice and practically throwing herself at you like that isn't exactly normal for her."
"Yeah, but she said after that fight with the snake man … girl … thing that she'd realized I was pretty freaking awesome, and now she likes me." Naruto explained.
"Right…" Saauke replied, his skepticism obvious from the tone of his voice.
"I guess you can ask for that password you came up with when she comes back." Naruto suggested before suddenly perking up. "Hey, hey! That reminds me! I had this really weird dream about Sakura while I was knocked out. It was really weird, 'cause Sakura was in it, well, that's not so weird, but what was weird was that I was all naked and stuff, well, half-naked at first, but then she took off my pants, and she was totally checking me out, then she checked you out, and she was all, 'Yeah, Naruto's better.'" Naruto paused in thought for a moment, then added. "It's weird, usually when Sakura's in my dreams she's the one who's naked, and she's feeding me ramen." A blissful look passed over Naruto's face as he recalled the best part of that dream. "And not just any ramen, it was Ichiraku special super-ramen that was made with all kinds of rare ingredients, and it was so awesome that it took three ninja-chefs just to prepare the noodles. It was like, the best ramen ever! Oh, and did I mention that the ramen…"
"Naruto you jerk!" Naruto's cup of instant ramen came flying out of the woods to smack in the forehead, followed shortly by enraged Sakura. "You go on and on about your damn ramen and barely even mention the fact that I was naked! You didn't even think to say one word about how beautiful and womanly I was!? I'll kill you!"
"Guess that is the real Sakura after all." Sasuke muttered to himself.