It was a struggle but i managed to finish this right now time. I'm letting you know now that i'll be updating this fic every friday.

I LOVE my beta for being about to get this edited on time! (Even if she is changing the format of the writing :P)

Well there's 6k+ words this time around but i felt like there wasn't enough plot in here... this whole chapter spanned maybe 2-3 hours. I don't know why but this chapter stretched itself out longer than i thought it would. Hopefully you guys don't think it's too dragged on (My Beta didn't so you shouldn't :D). There's also some issues i want to mention about this fic but that can wait till later chapters.

Disclaimer: 'You know, like if this place had that 'Thumbs up/down, like/dislike' rating system...' Huh? damn stop pestering me already! I don't own Naruto!

She couldn't believe her eyes. The very same boy who had saved her, in what she thought was a dream, was now standing in front of her class, as a new student. Now she knew it was all real. That last night did happen, and she was saved by a cool strong ninja.

"It's him! It's really him!" Ino whispered loudly, as she shook her rival's arm.

Sakura struggled under the blonde's grip, but managed to free her weary arm, "Jeez, Ino," she whines while rubbing her sore biceps, "What are you talking about?"

The blonde leans forward, and points to the new kid, using her arms to line up to Sakura's vision, "That new kid! He's the guy who saved me last night!" She said, a bit too excitedly.

The rosette hooked an eyebrow. A pair of emerald eyes leers down towards the front of the class to inspect the new student. What she saw was a plain looking boy, with tan skin and a sloppy grin, "That's him? He looks kind of goofy,"

The way the blond grinned dumbly made Ino wince, "Well he looks cooler in his ANBU outfit," she defended. But her thoughts were honest.

Unlike last time, the whiskered boy wore a simple white t-shirt with a orange swirl logo on the front. Under that he had a tight fitting black long sleeve shirt, that did well in hiding his toned arms that only Ino suspected were there. A pair of khaki shorts, and sandals finished his ensemble. He did not look like a well trained ninja.

Down below, Naruto looked up at the large classroom happily. He couldn't have gotten a better mission. Even if he did have to pretend he was someone else, the boy was still glad to be around kids his own age. He could finally have a taste of what being a kid in the village would be like.

Iruka placed his hand on the boy's shoulder, getting his attention, "Okay Naruto, why don't you introduce yourself to the class?" The instructor gave the boy a light push towards the center of the class.

The whiskered boy took a step, and continued gazing at the class, feeling all the eyes of the room stare at him. Yet even then, he managed to stay unaffected… until his own eyes met pale blue ones.

'Shit! That's that girl from last night!' He did his best to keep his cool, and not react at the discovery of the young blonde obstacle. The boy took a deep breath, and refocused, "Hi, I'm Uzumaki, Naruto. I was born in Konoha, but I've traveled most of my life with my father, and his caravan. Now I'm staying in the village to learn how to be a ninja. My dream is to become a strong Shinobi and defend Konoha,"

The scar-nosed teacher smiled at his introduction, "That's a very noble ambition you have, Naruto. I'm sure you'll grow up to be a strong ninja. I know you might be behind our curriculum, seeing that most of the children here are at graduating age, so feel free to ask me anything after class,"

Naruto did his best not to snicker. Not that he was being smug, but it was silly for him to think that he, of all people, needed to catch up to his peers. "Thanks, Iruka-sensei!"

"Well class, please take care of your new classmate. Naruto, go ahead and take any of the free seats," He responded, as he turned back towards his podium.

The blond spotted an empty seat on the third row, and made his way towards it, doing his best not to look at the pair of eyes watching him like a hawk. How could one girl's stare make him so nervous? Then again, this girl knew his secret.

"This seat taken?" he asked the boy sitting nearby. The dark-haired student kept his head tucked under his folded arms in a comfortable manner. Naruto was tempted to ask again, thinking the kid was either asleep, or didn't hear him the first time, but he got a reply soon enough.

"Yeah, it's free," he yawned, whilst stretching his arms above his head. He turned his head towards the blond and nodded, "Name's Shikamaru," he greeted. The lazy kid then leaned back to let the whiskered boy see the chubby kid next to him, "and that's Choji,"

The boy smiled at his two new classmates, "I'm Naruto, but you already knew that." He had a feeling that this mission was going to be a fun one.

Twenty minutes had passed, and Ino couldn't seem to focus on the lecture. Every time her eyes headed towards the front board, they end up falling on the blond boy sitting two rows below her. It was simply too hard to ignore his presence. Especially when there was so many questions running threw her brain about the boy.

After a few more minutes of shuffling, she ripped a piece of paper from her notebook and began to write, 'I'll just write him a note and ask him then,' The girl knew waiting to talk to him at free time would kill her.

Hey it's me, Ino

You remember me don't you? Well you should. I'm the girl you rescued last night ^_^. Anyways I have a whole bunch of questions I wanted to ask you. I could ask you now, but I think it'll sound better if I ask you in person ;P. So I guess, I'll just ask what you're doing here. Aren't you in ANBU? I saw your mask, and you had the same vest as those other ANBU guys. Are you on a mission? You probably are. That whole thing about being a merchant's son was a lie, huh? I bet you are under cover! Hey do you have a girlfriend? I'm just wondering that's all, so don't get too suspicious! I'll ask you more stuff later.

You better write back :p

Ino let out a long breath. She began to feel silly about how nervous she was, just writing the dang note. It's not like it was a love letter, or anything, at least that's what she kept telling herself. The kunoichi in training shivered the nerves out of her, and re-steeled herself. A quick whisper to a classmate sent the note down towards its target.

Naruto looked around the room, feeling bored. It turned out the academy wasn't as fun as he hoped it would be. A quick glance to his right, showed that his fellow student felt the same. He set his elbow on the desk and rested his chin on his palm. The boy could have easily been asleep, listening to Iruka lecture about science of chakra flow, something he learned years ago, when he felt a tap on his shoulder. The blond turned his head around to see an arm extended towards him. At the end of the dangling limb was a note.

He gave the young brunette a questioning look, "For me?" he said pointing at himself.

The girl nodded and pointed over her shoulder. The whiskered boy followed the finger's direction, and saw his blonde obstacle, waving friendly at him with her fingers. Unsure how to react, he took the note and returned with an awkward grin. He turned around nervously, hoping she wouldn't do more to get his attention.

Azure colored eyes looked at the folded piece of paper. There wasn't any real reason he shouldn't open it, but there was always the safety of ignoring it. The influence of temptation soon won out, forcing him to read the paper's content.

'Damn. I knew it would've been too much to hope she'd forget everything that happened,' he knew better than to give up, and just expose everything to her. He was a Root officer, handling a twelve year-old girl shouldn't be a problem. He pulled out his pencil and prepared to reply to the note. Well, that is until he was interrupted by his neighbor.

"You're actually going to reply to her? I'd just leave her alone, if I were you. She's way too troublesome," he warned.

Naruto quickly fell in guard, wondering how the boy had read its content without him noticing. But that didn't last long after hearing the next comment.

"Well maybe he likes her, Shika. Hey Naruto, if you like her, then you should tell her," his chubby friend suggested.

Now he was really confused, 'Who says I like her?' in reality he knew nothing about the girl, aside her name, and after a brief discussion with Fu, the fact that she was a Yamanaka. Then it struck him, 'Why the hell didn't he warn me she would was in the same year?'

But to be fair, Fu didn't even know about his mission until after they talked. The blame later fell onto him, for not expecting this as a possibility. He was again broken from his thoughts by his lazy classmate.

"Hey, if you accept her love letter, don't say I didn't warn you," he could care less about his family friend's love life, but he did care about his peaceful lunch time. The lazy genius assumed Naruto would be sitting with them, and the last thing he wanted was a shrieking banshee chasing all the clouds away.

'Love letter?' In essence, he knew what it was, but he was sure the note he received wasn't a love letter… right? He shook the weird thoughts forming in his head and wrote down a simply reply.

It didn't take long to write down his words. When he finished, the note was neatly folded into its original shape and flattened it to the palm of his hand. Naruto subtly began a small chain of seals then put his hand to his mouth and started his jutsu. A small breeze blew through his mouth and sent the note drifting lightly through the class. To any child, the jutsu looked really cool, though it was a bit misleading.

Shikamaru couldn't help but notice the small movements on his right. When curiosity pushed him to investigate he saw what looked like Naruto blowing a kiss. His head turned away, pretending he didn't see anything, though Shikamaru wasn't alone in his error.

Ino was watching Naruto excitedly, the moment he began writing on the note, so it was inevitable for her to see the young boy blow her a kiss. Her face lit up in red, as she watched the small piece of paper gently land on her table.

'Did he just blow me a kiss?' She knew it couldn't be that… could it? The thought that his gesture was deliberate made her very nervous about reading his reply. What could he possibly have to say, after doing that? Sadly, she wasn't the only person to see the blonde's bold move.

"Wow, Ino. Not wasting time chasing after your hero, huh?" Sakura snickered, "But as long as you stop chasing after Sasuke, I'm okay with it. Don't want to be greedy right pig girl?"

The blonde girl pouted, "Shut up, Billboard Brow! It's not like that." She screamed, involuntarily gaining the classes attention. Seeing her teacher give a warning glare, she sunk back into her seat and cursed her rivals mocking words. She took one last glance at the people around her, making sure she no longer held any attention before peeking at the note.

Within five seconds, Ino went through becoming instantly relieved then felt a bit of disappointment, following a great frustration. She re-read his reply and frowned.

Sorry, I don't know what you're talking about.

What the hell does he mean, he doesn't know what she was talking about? What kind of game was he trying to play anyway? She was still a bit relieved, there wasn't some kind of sudden confession, but that also made her disappointed in a way. Even more so, that he's pretending that last night never happened. But that cause more frustration than anything else.

The blonde student folded her arms on the desk, and rested her chin on top. Her blue gaze leered at her fellow blond, 'What are you trying to hide?'

It wasn't long till the class was released, and moved to the indoor training area. The large class began lining up around the edge of a large rectangular boundary. At the other side of the boundary, a good twenty yards away, were three stumps with targets attached. That only meant one thing.

"Okay class, today we'll continue doing shuriken throwing practice." The scar-nosed teacher stated.

The group quickly gathered into a single file line, just like they always did for practice. Shuriken, and kunai throwing lessons were usually the class' favorite activity. So along with the quick assembly to start, there were always a couple quarrels, to who would go first. No surprise, that a particular someone managed his way onto the front of the line.

"Go Sasuke-kun!" Came a few coos from the audience.

Sasuke grumbled. It's not like he hated their support, rather he just found it very annoying with its persistence. He took a deep even breath, and targeted the three stumps. His hands grabbed three shurikens each, double than what he was meant to take, and let them fly. Sure enough, each stump had two shurikens embedded, barely making it inside the bulls-eye. It was a little showoff-y, but a decent testament to his skill.

The girls around him began to swoon.

"That was amazing Sasuke-kun!" His biggest pink-haired fan squealed.

Ino, on the other hand, was more excited about seeing the guy behind him perform.

As the dark-haired prodigy stepped out of line, the whiskered blond made his way to the front.

'C'mon Naruto-kun, Show 'em how good you really are!' Small trails of goose bumps began to appear, as she anticipated seeing his amazing skill once more. However, she was very disappointed at what she got instead.

Naruto took three shurikens and expertly aimed them precisely where he wanted them to. However the bulls-eye was not his target.

"He missed!" Ino cried out loud.

Sakura shot her a haughty grin, "Looks like your hero can't match up with Sasuke-kun's skills." It simply confirmed her thoughts that Ino's story was just a dream, or a lie.

"Shut up, Forehead!" The blue-eyed student yelled, instinctively.

But, that just made the pink-haired girl wonder why she was so angry. Up until now, she thought Ino was only curious about the blond kid, because of her weird dream. She didn't really think her rival liked him more than Sasuke.

It didn't take long for Ino to catch her slip, "O-of course, Sasuke-kun did better. He's the best, isn't he?" The lie left a bad taste in her mouth.

Sakura still wasn't sure what to think of Ino, but decided to dismiss it for now. She did, however, take notice of the forced look on the blonde's face.

Ino turned her head away from her rival. The last thing she wanted was for that girl to take advantage of her confusion. Then, her eyes found the object of said confusion.

'Why aren't you doing great like before?' Her frown worsened, 'But, if you wanna play like this, I'll just have to beat you at your own game,' It didn't quite occur to her, that there may have been a very important reason he was hiding his skills.

After about a dozen students finished their turn, Ino stepped in front for her round. She made a quick side glance towards her blond target, when an idea popped in her head. A sly grin crept to her face, as Naruto became a target in more than one way.

'If I can force you to dodge this then it'll prove you're not just an ordinary academy student.' Her thoughts were broken by the sound of her teacher.

"Ino, did you hear what I said?" he frowned.

She replied with a blank stare, "Uh yeah! Hit the targets and stuff. Got it Iruka-sensei,"

The man's frown grew deeper. Obviously she wasn't really listening. He said that these shurikens are not dulled and would cut skin if not handled properly, "Just be careful, okay?"

The blonde gave another nod, and stepped onto the throwing line. She made one last look to her left, and saw Naruto standing near the water fountain with no one around him.

'Perfect,' the girl took a breath to calm herself and let the shuriken fly.

Naruto was very much aware of the projectile speeding right towards him. He had two choices. Either dodge, and possibly create some suspicion on how he was able to move so quickly, or he could do this.

Within fractions of a second, he estimated the trajectory of the shuriken, and subtly move his head away. Avoiding a lethal blow, but not enough to escape a small cut along his cheek.

"Naruto! Are you okay?" Iruka called out. He didn't know what the heck his student was thinking, throwing the shuriken way off target. It was only by luck that it didn't cause any major harm.

The undercover shinobi pretended to look dumbly at his teacher. His hand reached towards his cheek and felt the sticky red liquid begin to seep through the cut.

"I'm okay," He grinned, to prove his point.

Ino gulped, at what happened. Part of her was scared with what could've happened, unaware that the shuriken wasn't blunted. Then she was worried, about what would happen to her. And finally she felt even more frustration that the boy had, somehow, foiled her plans. She felt stupid that one stupid boy could invoke so many emotions with such little effort.

"Ino," Iruka said, "I told you to be careful! Did you hear me when I told the class we were using real ninja tools today? You could have really injured someone with your carelessness," he scolded.

She casted her eyes down, "But Iruka-sensei-"

"I don't want to hear it. You're sitting out for the rest of this activity. Now go apologize for your mistake." He commanded.

Ino gave a defeated 'okay', and walked towards the other blond.

Naruto wiped the blood off his cheek and looked for something he could use to cover the bleeding. It was then that a silver-haired academy teacher came by to hand him a napkin. The young ANBU froze for a second, before returning back towards his disguise. He couldn't let his target feel suspicious of him.

"Here, this should help with the bleeding," he gave the young boy a friendly smile.

The boy returned with a fake grin, "Thanks, uh..."

"You can call me 'Mizuki-sensei'. And, think nothing of it. It's kind of my job," he joked, 'Just until I finish my task and get the hell out of this place.'

It was ironic, that the same boy he was currently helping, might just have to kill him in the near future. It all depended on whether the chuunin was in association with a certain rogue-nin, which he was. Unfortunately for him, he would never suspect this child, of secretly being an ANBU, or even that he was the Kyuubi's jinchuuriki. As far as the entire village knew, the jinchuuriki was sent away from Konoha, to live at a remote village in Fire Country. No one knew of Naruto's true existence, except for the members of Root, the village elders, the Sandaime Hokage, and one other.

As soon as the silver-haired chuunin turned his back, Naruto slapped a frown on his face. Even though he was his target, he didn't have any emotional grudge towards the guy. It was just that after talking to the guy for five seconds, he immediately didn't like him. The vibe he sent to him seemed too… fake, and deceiving. It was easy to say, that Mizuki did not leave a good first impression.

Ino wasn't sure how she should approach the guy. In the off chance that he wasn't really the guy who saved her, what would she do? The blonde cleared through the small crowd of students, and made her way towards the whiskered boy. She didn't see Naruto talk to the teacher's assistant, but it seemed like they did, considering he was … glaring at him? She nearly flinched when he turned his glare from the older man to herself.

"Sorry," she quickly apologized.

His face softened at the sight of her, "Huh? Oh. Yeah, it's okay. I'm sure it was an accident," he said, half-heartedly. They both knew it wasn't true.

"Does it hurt?" She pointed to his cut.

Naruto shook his head, "It's fine. I heal pretty quickly."

Too bad Ino would have none of it, "C'mon, I'll take you to the nurse," She reached for his wrist, but he pulled back defensively.

"No really, this is nothing,"

The blonde let out an annoyed sigh, "I already said I'm taking you to the nurse, so stop acting so difficult!"

The powerful Root operative pouted, "You're the one acting difficult." he murmured.

"What'd you say?"

"Nothing," he gulped. How a little academy student was able to strike some fear into a fearless warrior was beyond him.

Without further resistance, she grabbed him by the wrist, and led him out of the room, "Then let's go."

He begrudgingly let himself be led by the persistence little blonde.

Now Naruto had a general knowledge of the school's layout so he knew where all the more important landmarks were. So when the pair turned a corner and walked down another hallway, he knew something was off.

"Hey, isn't the nurse's office the other way?" He suddenly had a bad feeling about her.

Ino looked over her shoulder and pulled the straggling boy through a door, leading them to the stairway. When she felt the area was secure enough, she closed the door behind her. It was then, that Naruto felt the most worried.

The blond girl brought her hands to her hips, and stared at him, "Why didn't you dodge my throw?"

Naruto mentally groaned, 'Should've seen this coming,'

"How was I supposed to know you were going to throw it at me? I was lucky it didn't cut me more!" he argued.

"But I saw you fight before! You were great! You dodged that big rock, and beat up that creep! So I know you could at least dodge one stupid shuriken. Are you just pretending because you're undercover? You can tell me, you know! Last night I told you I could keep a secret if it's really important." Throughout her speech the girl's face began to soften until it was practically begging him to just let her in on the cover.

For a second, the young shinobi was tempted to just tell her, that is until ninja logic came knocking his head over. There was a quietness that lingered the air, whilst the blond boy thought up a response.

"Look... Ino, right? I really don't know what you're talking about. I just came to this village recently, and I've never even been in a real fight with a ninja before. I'm sorry, but you've got the wrong guy,"

Ino frowned. 'Could he really be telling the truth? I mean it does make sense… but the mark on my arm. And, he looks exactly like the guy from my dream. Wait! No, not dream. It was real, and this guy has to be him!'

This time she was less sure of this, than she had previously. Before she could argue further the door suddenly swung open.

"Ino? Oh, and the new kid… was I interrupting something?" Sakura said, slyly.

The blue-eyed girl glared at the intruder, "Yeah, you kinda were! What are you doing here anyway?" She no longer cared what the pink-haired girl thought… well not at the moment.

The rosette couldn't help, but keep her smirk from falling off her face, "Well for your information, Sasuke's having a free spar outside. But, it's not like you care. You're too busy with your boyfriend now," she gave a wink to the only male in the room, as she continued down the stairwell. Soon enough the room was filled with excited little girls running down the steps.

Naruto, carefully, turned towards the door, "Um, I should get going now." But his hope for escape was dashed.

"Nuh-uh, you're coming with me."

Now he could have protested, if he wanted to. But, from what he had learned of the blonde girl, arguing with her was useless.

When they managed their way onto the outside training ground, Naruto was surprised to see that the small lot where the training stumps stood was empty aside one dark-haired boy. The female students that littered the sides of the building and hid behind the foliage didn't escape his attention.

It didn't escape Sasuke's attention either, "If none of you are even willing to spar with me, then get the hell out!" He shouted.

The young Uchiha should have been used to this kind of torment, but its hard getting used to something as annoying as rabid fan girls.

It was then, that Ino came up with one last scheme. 'If Naruto wants to keep this fake act up then I'll just use Sasuke to lure him out.' Two days ago, if anyone were to tell Ino she would soon use Sasuke as a tool for her own deeds, she would have surely beat them up for the accusation. Funny how one night could change a girl.

She looked over her shoulder, to make sure the blond boy was still there, before she made her move, "He wants to spar!" and that was her move.

Naruto then found himself pushed into the middle of the training area faced with a mean looking Uchiha. "Wait, I wasn't volunteering." He really didn't want getting any more attention.

"Well then, I'm challenging you. Don't tell me, you want to back down from a challenge?" he egged the newcomer.

The blond turned to look over his shoulder, to see that Ino was still there, most likely to make sure he couldn't escape. With an exasperated breath he nodded, "Fine. Not like I have much of a choice," he grumbled.

Sasuke stood into his typical position, while Naruto slumped into a sloppy version of his usual stance. The dark-haired boy smirked at his opponent.

'This won't last long,' Sasuke judged.

Oddly enough, the whiskered boy had similar thoughts. 'Don't want to drag this fight too long.' He didn't want to look suspicious.

After a few seconds of staring each other down, the two shot into a run towards each other. Sasuke was the first to throw a punch, but Naruto instinctively side-stepped the attack. Two more sets of punches, and a low sweep was sent; but again, they were parried and dodged. The feeling of frustration began to build, as Sasuke went with a high knee kick which, again, was dodged by another side-step. This went on for almost a minute, with Sasuke barely making glancing blows, and Naruto clumsily dodging, and parrying everything that came his way.

The top-ranked student let loose his aggravation with a spinning back fist to feint low crescent kick, hoping to catch his opponent off guard with a strong belly kick. Again, it proved ineffective, as he parried the first two strikes, and dodged the last with a back bend.

Sasuke quickly took advantage of his foe's vulnerable position, and sent an axel kick down to his chest. When the boy finally felt he was able to land a good blow, the blond dropped to the floor and rolled out of the way just in time. That was the last straw.

"Quit running, and fight me!" He shouted in anger.

Naruto realized he may have been over doing the fight, but he was having fun with the ace academy student. He chuckled in his head deciding to go ahead, and go with his opponent's suggestion.

Sasuke was surprised by the sudden strike to his face, but managed to duck out of the way. With the new kid's back turn towards him, he sent a strong kick to his back. When it connected he was surprised that he managed to do it so easily.

Ino's frown began to shift into a big smile, as she watched her blond hero go toe-to-toe with the best in the class. The rest of the female spectators were beginning to feel somewhat impressed that the new kid managed to stay on his feet for so long, but only Ino was surprised to see him suddenly fall on his face.

The blond slowly got up, and dusted his clothes, "Agh, okay, you win."

Sasuke was not satisfied. For some reason he felt like the kid let himself lose on purpose. "Let's have a rematch," he said with a bit of gruff in his voice.

The blond rubbed the back of his neck, "Yeah, maybe some other time..." He quickly left the site, before he could get dragged into another fight. The boy only hoped he didn't over do it. 'But I did let him win and all…'

When he turned the corner his eyes fell upon blonde hair and a blank face, "You lost,"

His shoulders slumped, "Sorry, I did my best though. That guy is just too good." He pretended to act innocent. Lucky for him, it sort of worked.

This time it was her turn to apologize, "No, I should be the one who's sorry."

A moment of silence passed by.

"You're… you're not him are you?" She sounded really disappointed.

He did his best to act the part, "No. I'm not some ANBU guy you think I am," he referred back to the note.

She sighed, as she walked to a nearby bench. The girl sat down, and patted the seat next to her gesturing to him to come over, "I really thought you were him,"

The blond sat next to the dejected girl, "Why did you think I was him?" It sounded stupid to him, but it did help to make him look more innocent.

Pale blue eyes peered to her left, to get a good look at her neighbors face, "You look just like him. The guy that saved me had blond hair, blue eyes and I thought I saw marks on his face like yours," her hand began to drift towards his face, wanting to feel the little scars. When her fingers brushed the side of his jaw she realized what she was doing, and recoiled her hands. "Maybe I was wrong. I just… it's just that, I really wanted him to be you."

He blushed, "Um, why?"

She sighed again, "I don't know. I just really wanted to see him again. I mean, he was handsome, and strong. He saved me from this crazy guy. I didn't really get a chance to even talk to him. He just left me in the forest. Now, that I think about it, he could have at least walked me back to my house. Or something..."

Ino smiled as she began to reminisce, and daydream about all the romantic things that could have happened that night. Then, Naruto remembered something he was curious about from the previous night.

"Hey, can I ask you a question? Why were you out in the forest?" It was just one of those random thoughts that came to mind, but he hoped it would at least change the topic to something that wouldn't bring up his exposure.

Ino thought it was a weird question, but complied anyways, "It's kind of a long story. Basically I got in a fight with my dad, so I went to the forest to grow some silver moon daises to prove him wrong,"

"As in Kumo's silver-lined moon daises?" The fact that he knew the flower shocked Ino.

She stared at him dumbly, "Uh… yeah. You know about them?"

He smiled in his response, "Not much, just that they're rare, and really expensive."

Finally,she let herself feel comfortable, "Yeah, they kinda are. Do you garden too?" How else would you have known about the rare species of flower?

"It's kind of a secret hobby of mine. I used to have a small garden where I lived," His mind thought about the small plot behind the tower, where he used to live. Unfortunately, he didn't realize the slip he had been trying to avoid all along.

Ino's smile began to turn into a smirk, "How long have you had your garden?" She baited.

And he bit, "For a really long time, why?"

Her smirk grew bigger, "But, I thought you said you travel a lot with your dad? How could you maintain a garden, when you're constantly on the move?"

Naruto's eyes snapped open, 'I'm the worst ninja ever,'

"Um well I had a friend help out." He lied.

Ino beamed, as he stumbled with his words, "You're lying," She said in a sing-song voice. "You're not a merchant's son,"

"What? No, really I-" He was cut off again.

"You're a ninja… a ninja in ANBU, aren't you?"

"Look, Ino, this is all a…" It was useless to argue.

"You are the guy who saved me!" She yelled, as she lunged at him.

Naruto turned red, when he realized he was enveloped into a crushing hug, "Agh, what are you doing?"

The blonde girl snapped out of her thoughts, and hopped back to her side of the bench, "Oh haha, I'm just glad that I wasn't going crazy!"

She stuck her tongue out at him. Then she hit him over the head.

"Ow! What was that for?" He rubbed his now lumpy head.

"That, was for making me think I was going crazy! So Mr. ANBU, what kind of mission brings you to the academy?"

Naruto panicked and looked around paranoid. "Shh! Keep it down, will ya? Just 'cause you figured it out, doesn't mean anyone else should know." His hands inadvertently landed on the girl's own.

She blushed, but didn't bother moving them, "I told you already, I could keep a secret. But you'll owe me." Oh, she was playing a dangerous game.

His eyes steeled into mission mode, "Why should I owe you anything? If you endanger my mission, I have every right to kill you."

It was a bluff.

A bluff that she called. "Okay then, go ahead,"

The Root operative snagged a hidden kunai, and brought it up to her neck in a flash, "I'm serious,"

The blonde didn't give him an inch, "So am I!"

He glared at her, and she glared back. After a moment of intense staring, the male gave up, "That's a mean tactic you're playing." he said, defeated, putting the kunai back to its hiding spot.

"No, I just knew you didn't have the heart to go through with it," She smirked. Her tiny hands wrapped around the boy's wrist, as she pulled his body up on his feet, "C'mon, break's almost over, and like I said, you owe me for keeping such a big secret. And, I already have your first task!"

He felt a fit of depression hit him, "What do I have to do?"

Ino smiled, "First thing you have to do, is wait for me after school,"

The blond hooked an eyebrow, "What for?"

"To walk me home."

Naruto sighed. It was only his first day and already he's forced to be a slave to a twelve year-old girl for the sake of the mission, 'I'm a crappy ANBU ninja aren't I?'

Yeah yeah i know! Ino isn't doing her fangirl thing as hard as she would but hey, i say she's more enthralled with Hero-worship than her crush with Sasuke. Plus i felt like Ino's crush on him was due to him being cool, aloof, and strong, as well as the rivalry with Sakura that came with it. So if someone (Naruto) shows up who's just as cool and even stronger i say why couldn't Ino crush on him?

Agh, but i'm just babbling. GO REVIEW!



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yeah i got tired of the kunai