Sakura sighed inwardly. It never failed. No matter how much she practiced, she still couldn't get good at kunai throwing.

Maybe it's because you spend so much time looking at Sasuke-kun. The snide little voice holed up somewhere in her head mentioned. A bit of annoyance flickered on her face, and she gave up, deciding to do what she did most of the time, look at Sasuke-kun. As usual, he was the image of perfection, throwing 10 kunai and hitting 10 bulls eyes.

Sakura thought for a moment and then had an idea. Maybe, if she got good enough that throwing kunai, Sasuke-kun would notice her. She put on a determined face, grabbed a kunai, and threw. And missed. Not just the target. The post.

"Failure as usual Sakura." came a voice from behind her. Sakura clenched her teeth. Obiki. And no Ino to protect her today. "You always were a failure," she continued with a little wave of her hand, "You're not cut out to be a ninja. You're all brains and no skill."

Sakura balled her hands up in the fists, ready to punch Obiki in the mouth. Until a voice came out from somewhere farther along the field.

"Hey! You leave her alone!" Sakura groaned. Not Naruto. Anybody but Naruto. Obiki just laughed.

"Oooooooh, Sakura," she said, her tone sing-song and mocking, "you got a boyfriend?"

"He's not my boyfriend." Sakura said through clenched teeth. "I think he's annoying."

Pathetic. Thought the voice in her mind. Absolutely pathetic. Now quick, punch her while she's not looking. Sakura looked over forlornly at Sasuke, hoping he might come to her rescue. But no such luck. He was ignoring them with his usual calm indifference.

She turned her mind back to reality where Naruto, with his usual up in-your-face style was yelling at Obiki, who was just laughing through it all. Iruka-sensei still hadn't noticed it, as he was busy helping Chouji with his technique. "Naruto," Sakura muttered miserably, "go away. You don't have to defend me." Naruto looked over and beamed in his stupid way.

"Don't worry Sakura-chan. I'll make them go away." Obiki laughed.

"And how will you do that? With your terrifying ninja skills?"

"Hey! You better watch it, 'cause I'm gonna be the Hokage one day!" Naruto shouted. But this just made Obiki laugh harder.

"Like a pathetic ninja like you could ever be Hokage!" She said, almost tearing up from laughter. "See Sasuke? He's going to be Hokage. You're nothing. You're a loser." Naruto lglared at her, rage on his face. She had struck a nerve.

"Please Naruto. Don't do something you're going to regret later." Sakura whispered, but it was obvious that he either couldn't hear or didn't care. He balled up his fists and struck Obiki hard in the mouth. She fell over on her butt, real tears in her eyes now, and screamed out.

"Iruka-sensei! Naruto hit me!" By now everyone was looking, and Sakura was so embarrassed that she could've died. But inwardly she was happy, and she knew it. As Iruka dragged Naruto away, she bent down close and whispered something only he could hear.

"Thank you."