They were lucky; no one came after them for several hours. Yugito picked up the scent of one of Kumo's hunter nins, in addition to the scents of three other ANBU members that she knew. She immediately informed Naruto of this.

"Okay, time to start setting the stage," Naruto announced calmly. With that, he took out his scroll and unsealed another scroll from it. From that scroll he unsealed a large amount of kunai, ninja wire, and other items. He had practiced setting up traps in a mountainous area, so he quickly found spots to hide some kunai traps. "I've never gone up against ANBU before, so we need to take them by surprise as much as we can," He told her.


The four ANBU members looked down into the small crevice. At the bottom, the leader could see Yugito and the blond boy laying on the ground in awkward positions. The boy's bag was open and some of the scrolls in it had spilled onto the ground.

"It looks like they fell into the crevice by mistake," he concluded. The other three nodded their agreement. "All right, you three wait here, I'll go get them and bring them back up." He jumped down into the gap, aiming to land right behind the two children.

He never even noticed the trip wire.


His three comrades watched in shock as an explosion went off right where their captain had been. After a few moments, the smoke cleared enough for them to see to the bottom again. Naruto and Yugito were on their feet, looking at the charred and partially destroyed body of their captain.

"Only one of them?" Naruto wondered. "That's kind of annoying."

"Damn you!" Kira yelled in anger. He wove a quick set of hand signs then held out one hand towards the children. A bolt of lightning shot out of his palm, headed for Naruto. The boy's eyes widened in surprise, but he was too slow to avoid it. The lightning bolt hit him head on, and another explosion struck, blowing away the two Jinchuriki.

"Hey, we were supposed to apprehend them, not kill them!" Ikkaku snapped angrily at Kira.

"Yeah, well-" Kira suddenly stopped talking as a cloud of smoke appeared between them. Ikkaku heard a gurgling cry as he and Renji leapt away from the smoke. It cleared quickly to reveal Naruto standing over a dead Kira, whose throat had been cut open.

"Bunshins!" Renji exclaimed angrily.

"That's right," Naruto confirmed as he began to weave hand signs. Ikkaku and Renji readied themselves for a jutsu. They were taken by surprise when Naruto and Ikkaku both vanished in a puff of smoke. Renji instantly realized what was going on, so when Naruto reappeared where Ikkaku had been, Renji easily blocked his punch and grabbed his wrist. Lightning shot out of his arm and flowed through Naruto's body, electrocuting him.

Naruto vanished in another puff of smoke.

"No way!" Renji exclaimed. "He was a Kage Bunshin!"

"Kira was our tracker," Ikkaku pointed out. "I know I won't be able to find them. Can you?"

"Probably not," Renji admitted. "I'm a combat specialist, not a tracker." Ikkaku swore loudly.

"All right, we'll return to Kumo and report what's happened. Raikage-sama has to know how dangerous they are so we can capture them." Renji nodded in agreement.


Naruto waited until the two shinobi left to breathe a sigh of relief. He ducked back into the small cave Yugito had found and grinned at her.

"It worked!" He told her ecstatically. Yugito laughed and hugged him happily. He hugged her back, smiling. They broke apart after a few moments.

"So, where do we go from here?" She asked him.

"I figured we could go to Wave Country," he told her. "It's kind of close to Fire Country, but we can always run away on a boat if we need to."

"Okay, that sounds good to me," she decided.


Six months later

"Hey, Kaiza!" Naruto spoke up during lunch. The dark-haired man looked over at him and smiled.

"What is it, Naruto?"

"Can you teach me how to fish?" The blond-haired boy asked.

"Of course. I was planning on going fishing later today, you can come too."

"Can I come too, daddy?" Inari asked.

"Sure, we'll make it a party," Kaiza said happily. "Do you want to come, Tazuna?" He asked the old man.

"No thanks, I just went fishing yesterday with Giichi," Tazuna declined. "Besides, someone has to stay and keep Tsunami company." Kaiza nodded in agreement; they all already knew that Yugito was coming, since Naruto was. The girl had a real appetite for fish too.


Three months later

Naruto and Yugito sat on the dock, watching the sunset. Yugito had her head on Naruto's shoulder and one arm around him. Naruto also had an arm wrapped around her. He glanced down at her peaceful face and smiled happily. Whenever she was happy, so was he.

"Naruto-kun," Yugito said softly.

"Yes?" he spoke just as quietly.

"Will you look at me for a moment?" she asked. He turned his head to look fully at her. She lifted her head off his shoulder and smiled at him.

"What is it?" he wondered.

"I just wanted to do this," she whispered. With that said, she leaned forward and kissed him. She pulled back after just a couple of seconds and looked at him hesitantly. He was gazing at her in stunned silence. "Naruto-kun?" she asked cautiously. He blinked, then seemed to come out of his daze.

"Yugito-chan," he trailed off.

"What?" she asked, a slight trace of worry in her voice. She was taken aback when he leaned forward and kissed her back. She returned his kiss eagerly, and for a few minutes they passionately made out in front of the fading sunset.


Tsunami and Kaiza smiled as they watched the two young shinobi kissing.

"It sure took her long enough," Kaiza muttered. "I thought we would have to just spell it out for Naruto so they would get together."

"That's not very nice," Tsunami reprimanded him. "She had to tell him herself."

"I guess so," he shrugged. "Looks like whatever she said worked though."


Two months later

"Hey, careful Inari!" Naruto warned the boy. Inari glanced at him, embarrassed.

"Sorry, nii-san," he apologized. He moved back a little bit from the edge of the pier and watched Kaiza's boat going farther out.

"You really want to be with them, don't you Inari-kun?" Yugito asked. Inari nodded.

"Yeah, I want to help this village like my daddy has!" he said with a big goofy grin.

"I'm sure you will, someday," Naruto told him, grinning back. "And if you're really lucky, you'll even get a great girl like Yugito-chan to fall in love with you." Inari made a face.

"I still don't get what the big deal about girls is," he muttered. Naruto chuckled.

"It took me a while too. You'll understand, eventually," he assured him.


Four months later

"Oh, crap!" Naruto yelled. Everyone else at the breakfast table jumped and looked at him in surprise.

"What does it say?" Tsunami asked, pointing at the letter Naruto was reading. Yugito peered over his shoulder at it and gasped.

"Kumo's found us," Naruto explained. "And now they're sending hunter ninjas to come get us. My spy there found out and sent this as soon as possible, but they left yesterday."

"You have to leave as soon as possible then," Kaiza declared. "I'll help you get all your stuff together and you can escape on a boat."

"Wouldn't they expect that though?" Tazuna asked. "I mean, Naruto's been living here for more than a year, taking a boat is the first thing he would think of doing, so the boats are the first thing they'll check out when they arrive."

"We can let them use a private boat and not record that it left," Kaiza offered.

"That would probably work," Tazuna agreed. "Let's get to work. I'll start asking around to see if anyone has a boat they can do without. Kaiza, Tsunami, you two help them pack."

"All right," Tsunami stood up and hurried upstairs. "Come on you two, let's go!" She called over her shoulder.


An hour later, all six of them were at the docks. Kaiza and Tazuna were getting the boat ready to go while Naruto and Yugito were saying their goodbyes.

"You are going to come back someday, aren't you?" Tsunami asked.

"Of course we are, this is the best place I've ever stayed!" Naruto said, hugging her fondly. Yugito embraced Inari.

"Nee-chan, why do you have to leave?" He asked tearfully.

"I'm sorry, Inari-kun. Naruto and I are being chased by some bad people, and we have to leave before they get here. I promise you we'll come back someday." She hugged him tightly, then let go and smiled at him. "Don't worry," she assured him. Naruto reached down and patted him on the head.

"She's right, we will come back to see you."

"You'd better, nii-san," Inari demanded. Naruto grinned.

"Thank you so much for everything you've done for us," Yugito said to Tsunami, standing up and hugging her. The woman hugged her back fondly.

"It was our pleasure dear," she told the girl. "You're like family to us now, we're happy to help you." Yugito's eyes suddenly became watery and she hugged Tsunami more tightly.

"Thank you," she choked out. "I-I've never had a family before." Tsunami patted her on the back gently.

"Well, you're my daughter and son now, and I'm very proud of you both." She reached out and pulled Naruto into their hug. Kaiza came up next to them after a few minutes, and cleared his throat.

"I'm sorry to interrupt, but the boat is ready to go," he told them. Tsunami nodded as she let go. Naruto and Yugito let go regretfully and pulled back.

"Okay," Naruto said, wiping away his tears. "It's time to go. We'll come back as soon as possible, kaasan," he told Tsunami, smiling. He turned and walked onto the boat. Yugito smiled sadly and waved goodbye. Kaiza hugged Tsunami and ruffled Inari's hair fondly before following them onto the boat. He cast off as Tazuna raised the sails and turned the ship to catch the wind.

"We're going several miles north," Kaiza told them. "There's a beach that I've been to a few times and there's a cave that I sometimes have to camp out in, so I know you can hide in there. We'll leave as soon as possible, so it's up to you after that," he warned them.

"We'll take care of it," Naruto assured his surrogate father.


It only took them about two hours to get to the beach. Kaiza led Naruto and Yugito into the cave, then gave them each a quick hug goodbye.

"We probably won't be back for a year or two," Naruto told him. "You'll all be under suspicion by Kumo, so we can't come back until they're not monitoring you anymore."

"I understand," Kaiza said. "I look forward to seeing you again though." He smiled, and waved goodbye as he walked out of the cave.


Naruto took a bag of kindling out of his scrolls and Yugito set it on fire with one of her Katon jutsus. With a deep sigh, he took out a few rations bars and gave some to Yugito.

"We've gotten really accustomed to better food," Yugito muttered as she chewed the disgusting bar. "This is going to be annoying."

"Yep," Naruto agreed. They ate in silence, taking sips from water bottles. When they were done, it was dark outside. "Time to go to sleep," Naruto muttered, unrolling his scroll to find the sleeping bag.

"Um, Naruto-kun," Yugito said.

"Yeah?" He looked up at her curiously.

"Could we, ah, sleep together tonight?" She asked nervously. He blinked in surprise, then smiled and nodded.

"Sure, of course we can," he told her. He found the sleeping bags and took one out. He used a wind jutsu to put out the fire, then unzipped the sleeping bag and got into it. With only a moment's hesitation, Yugito slid in next to him. Naruto wrapped an arm around her and pulled her closer so he could zip up the sleeping bag. He chuckled slightly.

"I can hear your heartbeat, Yugito-chan," he said teasingly. She blushed.


"So you seem really excited." She blushed deeper, but before she could reply, Naruto kissed her. "So am I," he whispered. He put both arms around her and closed his eyes. "But we do need to get some sleep," he added. She nodded and returned his embrace as she let herself drift off.


One year later

Naruto smirked as the four hunter nins landed in front of them.

"It's about time you got here," he told them. "I almost fell asleep." They all glared at him under their masks. "Now then, before you say anything, neither of us has any interest in going to a hidden village or being killed, so why don't we skip the boring talk and just kill you?" Next to him, Yugito chuckled.

"Don't listen to him," the leader said. "He's just trying to upset you." Naruto smirked again.

"You're kind of smart. Well, at least you're a little smarter than those other fools." One of the 'other fools' growled and slid into a combat stance.

"I said don't listen to him!" The leader barked.

"In any case, all of this talking is wasting time," Naruto said. "So say your prayers, cause you're about to meet a Shinigami."


All four hunter nins felt their eyes widen in shock as they heard the unmistakable sound of a blade stabbing through armor and flesh. They spun around to see a second Yugito with her sword impaled through one of the hunter's hearts. She quickly yanked it out and jumped away from the retaliatory barrage of shuriken and kunai.

"How the hell did you hide your chakra signature so well?" the leader growled at her.

"Easy, I just used this." She held up her left arm to show a metal bracelet on her wrist. The three remaining hunters could see that there was some kind of seal carved into it. "It prevents my chakra from leaving my body. Of course, I can't use jutsu while I'm wearing it, but it's a fair trade-off for killing one of you." With that, she snapped open the clasp and tossed the bracelet aside. The leader spun around as he heard a noise and saw Naruto charging at him with a kunai in each hand. He leaped forward and demonstrated remarkable agility in avoiding both kunai stabs and then kneeing him in the gut. He was unsurprised to see the boy vanish in a puff of smoke. The Yugito that he'd seen earlier had already vanished.

"Back to back!" he yelled. He and his two subordinates backed up against each other, to make sure they wouldn't be surprised. "The boy's probably got one of those seals too. Don't let your guard down."

"Kind of foolish, if you ask me," Naruto said, coming out from behind a tree and removing his own bracelet. "I mean, yeah, you won't be caught by surprise, but now you can't run." He made a hand sign and four Kage Bunshins appeared in a puff of smoke and spread out, surrounding the hunter nins before they could react. On the other side of the clearing, Yugito was momentarily surrounded by blue flame-like chakra. "Fuuton!" All five Naruto announced at once as they began weaving hand signs.

"Katon!" Yugito announced as she made a tiger sign. All three hunter nins began quickly weaving hand signs.

"Renkudan!"(Drilling Air Bullet)

"Kaiten Shuriken!"(Rotating Shuriken)

"Daitoppa!"(Great Breakthrough)

"Shinkugokyu!"(Vacuum Sphere)

"Reppusho!"(Violent Wind Palm)

"Hibashiri!"(Running Fire)

As the five Narutos charged up their attacks for a moment, a stream of blue fire came out of Yugito's mouth and formed a circle around the hunters. All three hunters finished their techniques at the same time, and two circular walls of earth rose up around them, along with a wall of water on the outside.

Then, the five separate wind attacks were unleashed at the same time. A spinning ball of wind, shuriken covered in wind chakra, a focused blast of wind, small spheres of wind chakra, and a kunai powered by a concentrated blast of air all hit the circle of fire. The fire seemingly joined with the wind jutsu, making them all far stronger, so that all five busted through the water wall with ease. The first earth wall crumbled as if it were just dirt, but the second one stood its ground against the Daitoppa and Reppusho attacks. The Shinkugokyu broke the wall but was too weak to do any more, whereas the Renkudan and Kaiten Shuriken techniques broke through the wall and struck their enemies. One of the hunters screamed in agony as his left arm was almost completely severed. Another one was struck by the Renkudan and blasted backward into the remains of the earth wall, knocking him unconscious. The leader managed to avoid the shuriken and his subordinate's flying body.

"Dammit, I thought I could get you all with that," Naruto complained.

"Doton: Doryuso!" Naruto and Yugito felt a massive spike of chakra underground and leaped into the trees just in time to avoid the dozens of stone spears that erupted beneath them.

"Fuuton: Daitoppa!" Naruto unleashed another blast of wind, but the hunter used the stone spears to hide behind.

"I'll take care of it," Yugito said.

"Be careful, Yugito-chan."

"Don't worry, Naruto-kun," the girl kissed him on the cheek. "I'll be fine." She jumped down and landed on a spear as blue fire poured out of her seal and covered her in a catlike shroud, complete with a tail.

"Katon: Gokakyu No Jutsu!" She yelled, making a few hand signs. A globe of blue fire twice as big as her erupted from her mouth and rushed forward. The heat it gave off was so intense that dry leaves began to catch on fire. The hunter desperately attempted to perform a defensive jutsu, but the fire struck him before he could finish. He let out a single yell of pure agony, then died. Naruto jumped down as Yugito repressed the Nibi's chakra. In just seconds it was all gone. Naruto embraced her happily and she returned the hug.

"I'm glad," Naruto whispered.

"Glad about what?" Yugito asked, still hugging him.

"Well, everything," Naruto began. "Everything in my life is going great for once. I'm not tied down by Konoha, I'm strong enough to take care of myself, and I have you with me. Really, I have everything I could ask for." He leaned up to kiss her on the lips. They kissed each for several long moments before breaking apart. Yugito hugged Naruto to her tightly.

"I feel the same way, Naruto-kun," she told him.


One year later(A/N: Naruto is eleven and a half years old, Yugito is twelve and a half)

Naruto and Yugito were in River country, staying in a hotel for once. Even though they were far too young to get a room normally, all it took was a simple Henge for them to appear to be adults. At the moment, they were making out on the bed. Yugito was laying on top of Naruto, her tongue down in his mouth as she gently rubbed her hands over Naruto's chest, which was quite muscular for an eleven year old. Naruto's hands were running up and down Yugito's back, pulling her as close as possible to him.

Eventually, Yugito broke the kiss off. Naruto wrapped his arms around her and she lay down next to him, resting her head on his shoulder as she put her arms around him.

"I love you so much, Yugito-chan," Naruto told her. He kissed her cheek gently.

"I love you too, Naruto-kun," she whispered, returning the kiss. They lay there for a few minutes before Naruto spoke again.

"We'll start heading across the desert tomorrow," he stated.

"Yeah," Yugito agreed.

"I wonder what this Gaara kid is like," he murmured.

"The stories don't make him sound as nice as you or I are," Yugito pointed out.

"True, but most people don't like Jinchuriki. I wouldn't be surprised if people have exaggerated how terrible he is."

"Same here," she mumbled as she closed her eyes. Naruto reached down and pulled the blanket over them both.

"We'll find out in a few days," he said as he closed his own eyes.

They drifted off to sleep holding each other.


Two days later, Naruto wasn't in such a good mood. He and Yugito had gotten into Suna with no trouble, thanks to the forged orders from the Wind Daimyo. They had also had no trouble finding the Kazekage's mansion and getting to talk to his son, Gaara.

Then they had found out that people had, if anything, understated how bad Gaara was.

"I love only myself and fight only for myself," he told them as he glared with cold eyes. "In doing so I achieve true strength. That is the way I live my life."

Naruto and Yugito shared a look. That one look communicated everything that needed to be said between them. Naruto turned back to Gaara.

"Gaara, you're a damn moron," he spat derisively. He was given the rare privilege of seeing a surprised Sabaku No Gaara. The cold blue eyes widened almost comically and he actually flinched back a little bit.

"What do you mean by that?" the red-haired Jinchuriki growled as soon as he'd recovered.

"I mean that it's absurd to think you can ever be truly strong by relying only on yourself. The only way to gain true strength is to trust others. You can never become really strong without the help of others."

"You are wrong, Uzumaki Naruto. You may think you have become strong because the two of you are together, but you could become far stronger if you were on your own."

"You're the one who's wrong, Gaara," Naruto snapped angrily. "If I left Yugito-chan I would be nothing."

"You say that because you love her," Gaara stated. "Love is nothing but a weakness. It makes you vulnerable to others and to your enemies. I love no one, so I have no such weakness."

"Shut your mouth, teme!" Naruto was shaking with anger. How dare Gaara call Yugito a weakness? "Don't you ever say crap like that again, you asshole!"

"You have no right to tell me what I can do," Gaara snarled.

"You don't have the right to call Yugito-chan a weakness!" Naruto retorted.

"You're only proving my point. I wasn't even trying to insult her and yet you're letting your emotions get control of you."

"Gaara, what happened to you?" Yugito asked.

"What do you mean by that?" the redhead asked irritably.

"People aren't just born thinking like you are. Something must have happened to you to make you believe that love is a weakness. What was it?" the boy locked eyes with her and they stared at each other for several long moments. Finally, Gaara spoke, using a much different tone of voice than he had used earlier.

"When I was six, I thought the same way you did," he began. "I thought that friends were important, and that having them would make my life better. But everyone was afraid of me, and they never let me play games with them. Even my own father and my brother and sister avoided me. The only person who cared about me was uncle Yashamaru. I believed he really did love me. He would tell me about my mother, his older sister. She had been sacrificed to seal the Shukaku inside of me when I was born. He told me what a kind and wonderful person she had been. He looked after me, and when I was unable to control the sand, he would stop me and make sure I didn't hurt other people. I truly loved him." His voice trailed off and he looked to be lost in thought. His cold eyes had become quite sad as he spoke.

"So what happened to him?" Naruto wondered when Gaara had been silent for several minutes.

"One day, I tried to play games with some of the other children. As soon as I approached them, however, they ran away from me. I called out for them to stop and told them that I just wanted to play with them. But I accidentally attacked them with the sand. Uncle Yashamaru stopped the sand before it got out of control. He took me home, and later talked to me about my mother. After we had talked, I thought I truly understood what it meant to love people. Yashamaru gave me a jar of wound ointment and I tried to give it to the boy I had accidentally hurt earlier. But as soon as I opened the door he told me to leave, because I was a monster. When I was alone that night, I was attacked by surprise. The sand protected me, and I attacked the ninja who had tried to kill me, and fatally injured him in return. Then, when I took off the cloth he had worn over his face, I saw that it was Yashamaru." Naruto and Yugito both felt sick.

"Your uncle tried to kill you?" Naruto whispered, imagining what it would have been like if the Hokage had attacked him.

"But it must have been under orders," Yugito protested.

"That's what I thought, but Yashamaru told me that he had willingly accepted the assignment to kill me. He admitted that he had never truly loved me, but that he had merely pretended to for the sake of his older sister. He said that my name, Gaara, was given to me by my mother to spite the village, and that he believed even she had never loved me. When he was finished, he detonated a number of explosive notes strapped to his chest. The sand protected me again, and from that moment on I chose to never love anyone ever again."

A stunned silence met his words, and stayed there for several long seconds. Eventually, Naruto broke it.

"I think it's terrible that that happened to you, but refusing to love anyone else is cowardly." Gaara's eyes became cold and hard again as he glared at Naruto.

"What do you mean by that?"

"You don't want to take the chance of loving someone and then having it backfire on you. I understand why, seeing what happened with Yashamaru, but if you aren't willing to open up your heart to anyone else, you'll go through life lonely and miserable, and that's something no human being should have to endure. I don't want that to happen to you Gaara. We're both Jinchuriki, and I know firsthand how cruel a village can be to us. What happened to you could have just as easily happened to me, but I was lucky enough to have someone who cared about me, even while I was in Konoha. When I found out about the Kyuubi, I decided that one person's kindness didn't make up for the whole village's hatred, so I left. Since then, I've met Yugito-chan and Sasori-san, and I've learned what it means to put others ahead of yourself."

"Why are you telling me all of this?" Gaara growled angrily. An odd feeling was rising in him, and part of him wondered if it was jealousy.

"You haven't had that. You don't have any friends. I want to change that Gaara. I want to be your friend so you can learn what it's like to have a precious person. I was alone for almost a whole year before I met Yugito-chan. I wasn't doing anything at the time, I was just existing. I traveled to different villages, lay false trails for the hunter nin, and made sure I wasn't recognized as a Jinchuriki. But I had no purpose, I was living for the sake of living. If I had kept going like that much longer, I would have snapped and probably killed myself or else a whole lot of other people."

"That is how I felt too," Gaara told him. "I decided that my purpose in life is to kill all humans other than myself. Killing others makes me feel more alive than anything else."

"Well I met Yugito-chan," Naruto said. "And I decided that my purpose in life was to be her friend. I spent time with her and we talked to each other about everything. I actually looked forward to waking up, because I would get to go and see her. When I had to leave Kumo, she came with me and we worked together to stay alive, but for each other's sake rather than our own. She is my reason for living, she's the reason I haven't died yet or gone on a mindless killing spree."

"I do not agree with you," Gaara intoned. "I refuse to believe that trusting others can give one strength." Naruto sighed heavily and looked to Yugito. She nodded once and they turned back to Gaara.

"All right. If you won't change your mind, we'll have to change it the hard way," he stated. Before Gaara could say anything, red chakra surrounded Naruto and fiery blue chakra surrounded Yugito. They dashed forward at the same time and each threw a punch directly at his face. Sand shot out of his gourd and blocked their punches, but the shield cracked under the force of the blows. The two of them jumped back and watched him warily.

"If you want to fight, you only needed to ask," Gaara told them as sand poured out of his gourd and hovered around him.

"Gee, thanks," Naruto remarked. He suddenly shot forward even faster. The sand moved as well, but it was too slow. Naruto's fist slammed into Gaara's stomach and sent him flying backward into the wall. Before he could counterattack, Yugito seemed to materialize in front of him and performed a perfect spinning kick that knocked him through the wall, bringing down a good portion of the wall itself.

"What the hell is going on here!"

All three of them turned around to see a boy with face paint and a strange black outfit standing in the doorway, staring at the three of them with shock and horror written all over his face.

"Sorry about this," Naruto apologized. "But it seems logic and reason doesn't mean anything to your little brother. So we're having to beat some sense into him."

"You should probably leave before you get yourself killed," Yugito added.

"Die!" Gaara yelled, sending his sand forward in two streams to try and catch them while they were distracted. Naruto and Yugito both dodged and moved away from him.

"Gaara, don't –" Kankuro began to say something before Gaara cut him off, screaming loudly.

"SHUT UP KANKURO, AND GET OUT OF HERE BEFORE I TEAR YOU APART!" The boy paled and ran, calling out to the other inhabitants of the house to leave.


Five minutes later, most of the ninja in Suna were watching the most dangerous battle they had ever seen. The Kazekage's mansion had been demolished in the first few minutes, and the fighters had taken to the streets. Naruto and Yugito were both surrounded by a solid cloak of chakra, Naruto's red in the shape of a fox and Yugito's fiery blue in the shape of a cat. Gaara's left arm was covered in sand that had taken on the appearance of Shukaku's arm, and the sand demon's tail had formed as well. His left eye was yellow and the pupil was diamond shaped. He was breathing heavily, bleeding out of his right arm, and unleashing enough killer intent to make most Chunin feel sick.

Naruto and Yugito, by comparison, were breathing a little heavily but feeling just fine.

"How can this be!" Gaara shrieked at them. "How can you be so much stronger than me!"

"Idiot," Naruto spat. "Use your eyes and figure it out for yourself."

"Shut up, Uzumaki Naruto!" Gaara launched himself forward as the sand wrapped around his right arm and upper torso. He struck at both of them, but Naruto caught both of his fists with his chakra cloak as Yugito leaped over him to deliver an axe kick to the top of Gaara's head, knocking him to the ground. They both backed away as Gaara rose shakily to his feet. He now looked almost entirely like Shukaku.

In his mind, Gaara was going crazy. It just didn't make sense to him. He'd used more of Shukaku's chakra than ever before, and yet he couldn't even land a solid blow on either one of them. Every time he attacked, Naruto would block his attack while Yugito counterattacked. Even when he was attacking Yugito, Naruto would stop him. And there was never any hesitation from either of them. Yugito never made a move to try to block his attacks, and Naruto never attempted to attack Gaara while Gaara was attacking them.

"I will not lose to you," he growled. "You will both die!" He lifted his arms up and sand rose above him in a huge cloud. He unleashed it at them as a huge wave, hoping to be able to catch and crush them.

An arm of red chakra shot out from Naruto and latched onto a tall building while Yugito launched a huge ball of blue fire at Gaara. A moment later, Naruto grabbed her and the chakra arm retracted, pulling them both away from the sand and to the top of the building. Gaara crossed his arms in front of himself to block the fireball, and the sand wave smashed down on nothing but bare street. Gaara, meanwhile, howled in pain as the heat of the fireball reached him even through the sand armor. When the jutsu died down, his arms had turned to glass. He angrily used the sand to tear off the outer layer of glass and then reform the arms of Shukaku.

"Come on Gaara, how long is it gonna take for you to admit that we're right?" Naruto asked him.

"Shut up! You cannot be right, I know I am right!"

"Gaara, in case you hadn't noticed, you're getting your ass kicked right now. And we've hardly had to use any jutsu."

"I can still kill you!" He howled in rage as he jumped up at them. They both sprang forward to meet him, only this time Naruto attacked, extending the arms of his chakra cloak to punch Gaara in the face without getting too close. Yugito raised both hands over her heard, laced her fingers together, and brought her fists down on Gaara's head. At the same time, he tried to attack her with his claws, but Naruto's tail wrapped around Yugito and blocked the attack. Gaara was struck head on and smashed into the earth like a meteor. Naruto and Yugito landed on the ground in front of him as he pulled himself up.

"Gaara, we don't want to keep fighting you," Naruto told him. "We just wanted to prove our point to you, that cutting yourself off from people will only hurt you."

"You are wrong," Gaara growled. "I am strong. I trust no one!"

"You're strong, but not strong enough," Yugito said. "Naruto and I trust each other, and we're much stronger than we would be otherwise. We're not even fighting to kill, and we're beating you. You keep on attacking us over and over, but nothing is changing. You can't beat us, no matter what you try."

"I can!" Gaara yelled. "I have always been strong enough! I won't lose to the two of you!" He was caught by surprise when Naruto punched him in the gut, hard enough to crack the sand armor.

"Gaara, stop being a moron. You can't beat us no matter what you try! You aren't strong enough to beat us because you're only fighting for your own selfish ideals. You say your purpose in life is to kill everyone else? Well guess what? You're getting your ass handed to you by two people who don't even want to hurt you!"

"I have not used my full strength yet," Gaara growled. "I can still kill you!" Without warning, sand blasted into the air, forcing Naruto and Yugito to jump away from him. They ran down the street as sand continued gathering around Gaara. When the rumbling stopped, they found themselves staring at the full form of Shukaku.

"This is just annoying," Naruto muttered. "I'll go for his left leg, you take out his right. Then we'll attack his head."

"Sound good to me," Yugito agreed. The two of them ran forward.


That night, Naruto was in an even worse mood, as he found himself in a cell with shackles and chakra suppression seals. Yugito was in the cell across from his, and he could tell she was really ticked off.

"I guess we could have been more conservative with our chakra," Naruto offered, several hours too late.

"Well, we needed to prove our point," Yugito added.

"Except for the whole imprisonment thing," He pointed out. "That sort of screws up everything else, don't you think so?"

"Do you have to be so pessimistic? We might still have a chance to escape."

"Get real," their guard told them. "You'll be delivered to the Raikage and Hokage, and that's it. There's no way out." Naruto was about to retort when they all heard a door open down the hall. Their guard turned around. "Who's there?" he called out. Without warning, a stream of sand shot down the hallway and struck the guard in the chest, carrying him all the way down the hallway until he slammed into the wall in the back.

"Sabaku Kyu," A calm voice intoned. A second later, blood flew into the air as the guard was crushed.

Gaara walked out of the shadows as he approached his fellow Jinchuriki.

A/N: I got some inspiration for this story, and since I haven't gone to my writer's group for weeks, I'm stuck on my novels. Hope you enjoy it!

Also, about the bit with Naruto and Yugito in the hotel room, I think that if they have no company other than each other for such a long time, they would get pretty close. In more ways than one. However, they will not do "it" for some time. It will probably happen when they're both fifteen.