Chapter Fifteen: The Lucky Charm
The gang watched amusingly as Naruto's "bodyguard" emits an invisible protective shield around them with a touch of darkness to scare away anyone within a twenty-foot radius.
"Man, your girlfriend is awesome." Kiba shook his head in disbelief.
Naruto grinned proudly, stuffing his mouth with fried chicken. "I know."
"Thanks, guys." Sakura held her head high.
A group of naive, freshmen girls had the nerve to step within the radius; Naruto's first thought was to run away until Sakura glared viciously in their direction and mouthed out something along the lines of 'I'll kill you, bitches.'
They quickly scurried away in fear.
"Sakura, I love you so much!" Naruto exclaimed as he scooped her into his arms and tightened his grip on her.
His girlfriend's devious mood instantly vanished and was replaced by a smile. "If I see anyone come near you, I'll fuckin' rip their throats apart." she said as casually as any normal, evil-minded girl would.
That was possibly the scariest thing Shikamaru has ever heard. "So, Sakura..." he watched the beauty from across the table slap Naruto's back violently while he choked on his chicken. "I'm glad you finally decided to hang with us."
"Yeah. What took you so long, Haruno?" Neji smirked at her.
She shrugged. "No offense, but I wasn't about to hang out with a bunch of losers just because my former pretend-boyfriend was."
Shino didn't look offended, but in his mind he released an entire army of killer bees on her head.
Naruto frowned. "Sakura!"
Sakura laughed. "I'm just kidding! You guys aren't losers. Weirdos. But definitely not losers."
Lee's eyes sparkled as he clasped his hands together. "That's the nicest thing you've ever said to us."
Kiba slobbered next to her and gazed into her radiant, emerald eyes. "And I take no offense."
Ino finished sipping her soda and turned to Shikamaru. "That's right. Besides, now that Sakura and I are friends again, she won't have to be stuck here by herself with lazy ass, fat ass, dung beetle, air bud, Yoko Ono, and Frida." she smirked respectively at all five boys around the table.
Kiba was ecstatic. He loved that movie so he took it as a compliment. "She called me air bud." he nudged Naruto.
Neji blinked. "Okay, you're definitely Frida, but how the hell am I Yoko Ono?" he looked at Lee.
Lee shrugged. "I thought I was air bud."
Shikamaru 'accidentally' shoved a piece of fried chicken on Ino's lap with his elbow.
"Nice. Real Nice." Ino rolled her eyes and threw the piece at Chouji (who impressively caught it with his mouth).
The gang, which now included Sakura and Ino as the newest members, laughed vigorously and continued their light banter. Naruto smiled at the sight before him; he never thought everyone would get along so well. He secretly frowned knowing there were only two people missing from this vibrant scene. Two people he cared about a lot...
The gang fell silent when they heard the soft and sweet familiar voice.
"Hinata!" Sakura immediately stood up with wide eyes.
The purple haired girl stood dubiously still, holding a tray full of food. "I was wondering if...I could join you?"
Kiba abruptly shoved Shino to the ground. "Sit here, Hinata-chan!" he begged with his eyes. This is will be the first time he'll be able to smell her hair up this close.
Her white eyes blinked in surprise as she accepted Kiba's offer.
Shino grumbled under his breath and dusted his bottom off, sitting by Chouji and glaring at Kiba who didn't seem to mind at all.
Naruto jumped out of his seat and rubbed Hinata's shoulders enthusiastically from behind. "Glad to have you back, Hinata!"
"Thanks, Naruto-kun." her face reddened, turning to both Ino and Sakura.
They smiled at her, and she smiled back.
It was unspoken, but they knew their friendship was back on track.
Neji groaned. "You guys can't be serious. Am I really supposed to hang out with my cousin now?"
"Shaddap, Neji!" Kiba barked and he scooted closer to the female Hyuuga. "You're gonna scare her away!"
Hinata smiled sweetly and giggled. "I'm sorry, Neji nii-san. Please don't throw water balloons at my head like you used to."
Everyone looked at Neji with judging eyes and he flushed. "I never did that."
Sakura laughed and hooked her arm around Hinata's, forcing her to stand up. "Come on, Hinata! You forgot to pick up your desert."
"I'm coming too!" Ino quickly pushed Shikamaru out of her way (unnecessarily) and followed her fellow goddesses.
"Wait!" Naruto called out to Sakura in panic. "How the effin' fuck are you supposed to protect me all the way over there!"
Sakura turned around and stuck out her little, pink tongue. "Don't worry. Nobody'll touch you while I'm in here." she winked and turned around as the three giggled.
Naruto slouched into his seat and shrugged.
It was true.
When Shikamaru decided the goddesses were out of hearing range, he leaned in and gestured everyone to get closer. "Now about my idea."
"I say it's suicide." said Chouji, grabbing Shikamaru's unattended chocolate pudding.
Naruto stroked his chin in thought. "It is pretty risky."
"Please, Naruto. If it's a risk, I know you'll take it." said Neji.
"True." the blue-eyed mischief nodded. "But the risk involves me getting killed by a mob of students without Sakura's protection."
"I will protect you with my life, Naruto-kun!" Lee pumped a fist in the air.
"Lee, get real." Kiba rolled his eyes. "You couldn't even save me a seat from a tiny, fourteen year old girl at the Breaking Dawn premiere."
Lee shuddered at the memory.
Neji shuddered at the memory of agreeing to watch Breaking Dawn.
"Just face it, guys. This plan won't work without Sakura's help, and she DEFINITELY won't help." said a disappointed Naruto.
Everyone's spirits fell.
"There's actually another alternative." said Shino as he straightened his dark sunglasses.
The gang looked at the bug-lover in surprise.
"There's one other, besides your girlfriend, who has complete control over the student body..." Shino explained, noting the confused expression on the gang's faces. "But it'll be hard to convince him; he doesn't quite enjoy abusing his natural born power like Haruno does."
A light bulb flashed over Naruto's head, giving him an immense feeling of hope in the pit of his gut.
Perhaps their little scheme might work after all.
"This movie fucking sucks." Sasuke Uchiha rolled his eyes at the stupidity of it all.
"Tell me about it!" Naruto threw his arms in the air in a fit of anger. "Dammit, why does this always happen! Why does the bad guy always end up doing something good and then we have to feel sorry for him when he dies?"
Sakura agreed. "It totally ruins everything."
"It's like they purposely make us hate him, and at the end, we don't get the satisfaction we want watching him die a slow and painful death." Naruto wanted to punch something.
"Yeah! Why can't they make a story where the bad guy's an asshole...and he fuckin' dies an asshole!"
The couple immediately stops and gazes ironically at Sauske.
"What?" the dark eyed boy snorted.
"I guess it applies in real life too."
"Can't argue with that." Sakura turned off her TV.
Sasuke rolled his eyes and threw a piece of popcorn lightly in the air, catching it with his mouth.
"Psh. Weak." Naruto grabbed a bunch of popcorn. "You have to throw ten at least five feet in the air and catch it all with your mouth-"
Sakura glared. "Naruto, I swear if you dirty my sheets, I'll-"
"Pull my underwear over my head, take a picture, and post it on facebook?" Naruto smirked. "It's the tenth time you told me that today and you still haven't followed your threat."
Sasuke also smirked. "I'm beginning to think she's losing her touch."
"You two...are so...ugh!" she threw her pillows at the smug looking boys.
The trio made themselves comfortable on Sakura's queen sized bed moments ago, watching a rented movie on her brand new HDTV set Tsunade bought for her.
"You get good grades on your report card and baa-chan buys you a TV." Naruto said bitterly. "I get good grades and ero-sennin makes me read his stupid porno book."
Sakura rolled her eyes. "Naruto, when in your entire life did you ever get a good grade?"
"Hey, C's are consider golden in our grading system." said Naruto with pride.
Sakura and Sasuke looked at each other, laughing at the blue-eyed boy with their eyes.
"Seriously, Sakura? You're the desperate one who needed my lucky kisses-"
"Okay, I'm gonna grab a drink." Sakura purposely interrupted her boyfriend. She pulled herself off the bed and stopped at the door. "What do you guys want?"
"Coke." said Naruto. "And a bowl of ramen!"
"Water." said Sasuke blatantly.
"Then get it yourselves!" Sakura teased and shut the door behind her.
As soon as Naruto could no longer hear her footsteps, he sat up with a spark of excitement in his eyes. "So, what do you say, teme?"
Sasuke leaned against the post of Sakura's bed and huffed. "It's a stupid idea."
"So you in?"
"Why not?" Naruto loudly complained.
Sasuke let out an irritated breath and crossed his arms. "Because if Sakura's finds out I helped you, she'll kill me. So what we both have power to control the student body? She could still beat me to a pulp if she wants to."
Sasuke Uchiha. The god of Konoha High. The one who stands equally in power with the pink haired dictator amongst the students, yet unequally against her.
The two sat there in silence, emitting heated stares at each other.
"Okay, how bout a bribe?"
Sasuke snorted. "What could you possibly bribe me with? You should know by now that I'm fucking loaded."
"Fine! What if I tell you my deepest, darkest secret?"
"If it's good enough." Sasuke smirked.
Naruto's eye twitched. He couldn't believe he was about to give his secret away to the 'other' devil, especially watching him smirk like the antichrist, or what he always imagined looked like the antichrist. But on the bright side, who the hell could he possibly tell? Sasuke has no other friends. HA!
"Here it goes." Naruto lets out a deep breath.
Sasuke actually leans in. If Naruto's making a big deal out of this, it must be good.
"I...er..." he gulps.
Sasuke raises an eyebrow.
"I sleep with a stuffed froggy-bear."
Naruto grits his teeth and pulls out a deformed looking animal out of his orange backpack.
Sasuke catches the doll in midair and takes his time to stare at it. For the first time in his life...in his dreadful, boring, overbearing life...
He laughed hysterically.
Naruto's eye continues to twitch. "Yeah, yeah. Laugh it up."
And so he did. Actual tears of laughter formed at the corner of Sasuke's eyes; his gut couldn't take the pain and he fell over; he felt like he was literally dying of laughter. "This is...your dark...PFFFAAAHAHA!"
Naruto was beginning to think he should call the psychiatric ward.
After about a couple minutes of trying to compose himself, Sasuke sat up straight and got a few more laughs out of his system.
"So are you gonna help me out or what!" Naruto shouted angrily.
Sasuke wiped his teary eyes, not entirely able to give him a straight answer. "I'll think about it. There's a good chance I might though."
Naruto didn't know if he was happy or permanently disturbed. "Damn, teme. Remind me to never try to make you laugh again. You seriously scared the shit outta me." he clutched his heart in exaggeration.
Before Sasuke could make a presumptuous remark, Sakura opened the door with a cup of coke and ramen in her hands.
"What the hell is going on up here?" she scolded. "Naruto, I could hear you laughing all the way from the kitchen. My god, even the neighbors came over and asked if someone was dying a painful, excruciating death." she handed Naruto his bowl of ramen and coke.
Although he was happy to see his girlfriend with a bowl of ramen, Naruto still looked offended. "It wasn't me!"
"Who the hell else would it be!" she glared at him. "Sasuke? At least give me a believable lie, like it was the boogie man under my bed!"
Naruto looked at Sasuke, and he shrugged innocently.
Well, he knew it was pointless trying to convince her...and he'll probably never look at Sakura's bed the same way again. The other thing that frightened Naruto most, besides girls and ghosts, was the boogie man.
"Hey...where's my water?" Sasuke demanded out of the blue.
"Oh, I forgot. Sorry." she plopped onto the bed next to Naruto, and threw him a cheeky grin.
Sasuke glared. 'Okay bitch.' he turned to Naruto and gave him a nod. 'Dobe, I'm in.'
Naruto gave him a secret thumbs up as if reading his mind.
A short boy with brown spiky hair and dark eyes slumped his shoulders in disappointment and kicked the smooth ground beneath his feet in failure.
Naruto firmly gripped the boy's shoulder. "Ahh, it's alright, Konohamaru."
Konohamaru pouted. "Naruto nii-chan, I totally suck."
"That's not true!" the senior loudly protested. "Okay, so your prank didn't work out the way you planned."
Konohamaru wiped his nose. "But you knew it wouldn't all along, didn't you?"
Naruto shrugged with apologetic eyes. "It seemed a bit outrageous...even for me."
The freshman boy threw his arms in the air. "Inventing a potion that turns humans into monkeys isn't outrageous!"
"It got even worse when you tested it on the cheerleading squad and they ended up growing an extra limb." Naruto shivered.
Konohamaru's face turned ghostly white. "Sheesh. It's only as long as my pinky. All you have to do is get it surgically removed. Those pussies."
"Well, just to let you know, you'll probably get sued for that."
Naruto and Konohamaru walked along the empty halls of Konoha high and talked about possible 'practice' pranks they could successfully pull on the principal, Tsunade. She was probably the easiest target of them all aside from Kakashi. Just when Naruto finally had an ideal prank that was up to Konohamaru's par, his eyes caught dark hair tied in two buns and beautiful chocolate brown eyes.
"Tenten!" he grinned widely and jogged up to the beauty.
Tenten jumped in surprise and flushed. "Naruto, what are you doing here? It's the weekend."
The boy she cherished the most laughed sheepishly and rubbed his neck - the many little things she loved about him.
"I was chaperoning Konohamaru's prank and well..." he cleared his throat. "If anyone asks, we were never here."
Tenten nodded and inwardly rolled her eyes at him.
"But anyway, what are you doing here?"
Tenten pulled out a cheerleading uniform out of her bag. "I'm late for cheerleading practice."
The two boys looked at each other with wide eyes.
"I didn't know you were a cheerleader." said Naruto.
Tenten snorted. "How could you when all you could do was give your attention to Sakura." she said so softly, neither boy was able to hear.
"Hey, you two!" shouted the coach for the cheerleading team at the far side of the hall.
"Anyway, don't drink the gatorade, alright!" said Konohamaru in panic.
"Just trust us!" Naruto exclaimed.
"Nii-chan, let's make a run for it!"
"Gotcha!" they sprinted towards the exit. Naruto turned his head and gave Tenten a wave. "See ya later, Tenten!"
"Yeah." Tenten blinked in confusion.
She watched them disappear in the distance and ruefully fell against the lockers,
still madly in love with him.
"Get in line. It's not your turn." Saskue muttered darkly, staring down a mousy, frightened junior girl.
"S-Sorry, Sasuke-kun, but I really need to hurry. I have AP classes and they start earlier than regular classes. And it's finals week!"
The raven-haired boy glowered. "You think I don't know that? Get back in line."
"Okay, next!" Kiba shouted from behind the table.
Sasuke stepped aside and idly let the girl slip by.
"Yay!" she squealed.
The gang, which apparently now included Sasuke Uchiha, stood near a small booth with a big sign up above that read,
NARUTO'S LUCKY KISSING BOOTH
Being the genius he is, Naruto and the gang set the booth in the haunted courtyard where no teacher would think to find him. Or Sakura, who knows Naruto swore he would never step foot on these grounds as long as he lived. Well, desperate times. The only other people, save for Ino, Tenten, and Hianta, who knows about the booth are the students, and word spreads quickly in the halls of Konoha high. Everyone was surprisingly smart enough not to let the goddesses in on the secret,
that would lead to Sakura finding out,
and that would lead to everyone's death.
Along the table sat the mischievous fox himself smack dab in the middle, Shikamaru and Chouji on his left, and Kiba and Shino on his right. Sasuke stood in front of the booth and served as the bodyguard/protector of the Lucky Charm; if it wasn't for him, people would be fighting and clawing their way on top of each other to get to Naruto's face. He kept everyone in a perfectly straight line.
The girl in junior year eagerly ran to Naruto and dived in for a kiss until she felt a pull on the collar of her shirt.
"Sorry, Aiko-san. You must pay first." said Lee, Naruto's second bodyguard.
"I can't believe you're making me do this." Neji, the third bodyguard turned around and rolled his pearly white eyes at Naruto.
The boy could only grin.
Neji stood next to Sasuke and couldn't help but feel small next to him. The so-called 'god' had an air of superiority that drove Neji crazy. First Naruto expects him to hang out with his weirdo cousin, and now he wants him to hang out with the arrogant Uchiha? What the fuck, man?
Aiko handed Shikamaru the money and he gave her his nod of approval. "Alright, make it quick."
Naruto nodded toward the girl and she leaned in. Their lips touched for a brief moment.
"Time's up." said Chouji, eyeing his stopwatch.
As Naruto tried to break apart from her, Aiko grabbed his head and pushed him in further.
"Whoa! Can we get some security over here!" Kiba shouted.
Lee grabbed the girl around the waist and dragged her away with surprising difficulty.
"Thanks, Naruto!" she shouted with a grateful smile.
Naruto chuckled sheepishly and waved. "No problem, Aiko." he glared at the guys beside him who were trying to hold in their laughter.
"She's the sixty-ninth." said Shino, the only one who had no trouble hiding any signs of amusement.
"I lost count after thirty." Shikamaru smirked.
"Damn! Sixty nine girls purposely going over the time limit." Kiba half laughed, half cried. He truly wished he were in his friend's shoes.
Naruto sighed knowing fatigue will soon take over; it's going to be a long day. "Whatever. Just call the next one in line."
"Next!" Kiba shouted.
Sasuke turned around with a smirk. "Brace yourself, Naruto. It's a guy. And he's big." he stepped aside to show him a three hundred pound football player making his way over the table.
"Aw!" Naruto exclaimed in discontent as he snapped his head back. "Alright, bring it on!"
He was insanely bulky and smelled like beef jerky; a jock who used to beat him on Tuesdays and Thursdays,
"What's up, Haruma."
and oddly enough, is now one of Naruto's friends.
"Nothin' much, Naruto. Need a lucky kiss though."
Haruma groaned. "I don't understand a damn thing going on in his class."
"I'm sure nobody does...except nerd-boy over there." Naruto whispered and pointed his thumb at Sasuke's back.
The two laughed.
"I heard that, dobe." Sasuke murmured.
Naruto straightened his posture and got down to business. "Chouji! Time this shit, and you better not make it go over the limit again!"
"I don't know what you're talking about." Chouji shrugged innocently.
"I know you set the time longer when I'm kissing dudes, you sick freak." Naruto muttered accusingly at the big boned boy.
"Okay then! Are you ready?"
Naruto cracked his neck.
"You guys notice anything weird happening today?" Ino eyed a few students who purposely tried to avoid their gazes.
Hinata arched a suspicious eyebrow. "Something definitely doesn't seem right." she watched a group of sophomores hanging around the lockers run out of sight when she saw the three girls approach.
"If something weird's going on, you have to know by now that Naruto's behind it." Sakura casually remarked. "Whether on purpose or not."
Before she could grab some random kid by the collar, he/she was quick enough to evade her action and run away.
"Wow, Sakura. You're usually quicker than that." Ino's blue eyes sparkled humorously.
"It's been a long day!" she shouted excuses in frustration. "Kakashi's final exam nearly killed me; I have no energy to torture the truth out of anyone today."
Hinata looked at her shoes as they walked toward the exit. "Why don't you ask Naruto?"
"Yeah, you can torture the truth out of him." suggested Ino.
Sakura blabbered incoherent nonsense under her breath before fully containing herself. "I can't torture him. For some reason, he's not afraid of me anymore."
Hinata smiled sadly. "Don't be so disappointed, Sakura." she said. "It just proves to show how much he's grown in love with you."
Sakura couldn't help but beam. "You always know what to say, Hinata."
Ino placed a hand on Hinata's shoulder and smiled sympathetically.
Naruto, Kiba, and Konohamaru stayed behind after school and devised their next prank specifically directed at Kakashi for making an exam nobody liked. They sat comfortably by Naruto's locker with a huge piece of paper spread across the floor.
"Why the fuck do we need the kid for?" Kiba threw the brown haired boy an incredulous look.
"I'm Naruto nii-chan's protégé, you stupid dog's ass!" Konohamaru glared.
Taken aback, Kiba opened his mouth, speechless for the first time in weeks. A rarity in his case.
"Will you guys quit it? This prank is top priority!" Naruto shouted.
"Aren't you a little too old for pranks?"
Naruto turned his head and found Tenten's face dangerously close to his. From behind, she placed her chin on his shoulder as her eyes scanned the blank piece of paper.
"Aren't you supposed to be twirling your pom poms or whatever the hell cheerleaders do?" Naruto smirked in response.
Tenten snorted and lifted herself off the ground. "I'm taking a break." she shoved his shoulder playfully. "Want me to take you home after I'm done?" it was obvious she was hoping he'd accept the offer.
Naruto looked apologetic. "Sakura's picking me up in an hour."
"Oh." Tenten was clearly disappointed.
Kiba and Konohamaru exchanged glances with each other.
"Okay, I'll see you later then." she backed away.
"Break's over. I gotta get back to practice." she walked away without looking at him.
The trio of pranksters sat quietly for a moment, lost aimlessly in their own thoughts. Naruto crumpled the piece of paper on the ground and subconsciously started ripping it apart, throwing it into the air.
"That lesbian is still nuts for you." Konohamaru broke the silence with his usual odd choice of words.
"What am I gonna do about her?" Naruto threw the rest of the paper ball over Konohamaru's head and leaned back against his palms. "I feel so bad when she's...when she's..."
"Pining over you like a bitch to her pimp?"
Naruto snorted loudly while Kiba slapped the boy's back and laughed. "Nothing like that, Kono. But thanks for the distraction."
"Here's the deal, Naruto. You wanna get rid of Tenten, right?" asked Kiba.
"That sounds kinda harsh." Naruto muttered.
"I just don't want her to get hurt over me."
Kiba beamed and slammed a fist into his palm. "Then we'll set her up with someone else!"
Naruto considered this. "If she doesn't go for Sasuke, what makes you think she'll go for any other guy?"
"Duh. We'll set her up with a homosexual."
"Great idea! Have you seen any homosexuals around lately?" Naruto asked sarcastically.
"The muscular cafeteria lady with the unibrow looks like she could be one." Konohamaru's face distorted.
Kiba smirked. "Think about it. Who are the only openly gay people in our school?"
"Tenten..." Naruto distinctively remember seeing a certain face more times than he should have.
"Sasuke, next!" Kiba shouted.
The onyx-eyed boy turned to the next person in line and narrowed his eyes.
Naruto held his head high to see what was taking so long and gaped widely when he saw who was causing the hold up. He shrunk in his seat.
"Okay, Sai." said Sasuke, crossing his arms with authority. "You've been at this booth more than ten times today. Unless you actually have that many classes a day, get the hell out of here."
Sai presented his best fake smile. A feature he was particularly good at. "I actually have have a hundred and twenty four classes a day."
Sasuke stared at his look alike (who truly paled in comparison). He bent down to pet Kiba's incredibly huge dog, Akamaru, and pointed at Sai. "Sick 'em."
End of Flashback
At that moment, Naruto could openly admit that he greatly appreciated Sasuke's friendship
"...and then there's Sai." his insides quivered. "But-"
"Folks, we have ourselves a winner." Kiba flashed his white, sharp teeth.
Konohamaru also seemed entirely lost. "I don't get it."
"Hello, brainless! It's the perfect solution! They're both homosexuals!" Kiba held out a fist, waiting for someone to bump it.
Naruto looked blankly at him. "I don't think you understand the concept of-"
"Naruto, think about it." Kiba interrupted, lowering his fist. "Tenten's a homosexual. Sai's a homosexual. They have so much in common, it's bound to work!" he cried with reason.
The blond haired boy cupped his chin and threw his friend a nod. "You know what, it kinda makes sense when you put it that way!"
Konohamaru actually didn't understand anything, but nodded his head enthusiastically so he wouldn't be left out.
"So it's settled!" Kiba, once again, held out his fist.
"Yeah!" the three performed a three-way fist bump.
The booth continued prosperously the next day, and Naruto's lips were beginning to noticeably swell up after a few hours.
"We have so much money." Shikamaru leaned over, recounting the profits again and again. "And it's only the second day of exams."
Naruto messaged his lips. "I know. Don't remind me."
"Bring in the next one!" said Kiba.
Sasuke let a female figure pass through and the gang immediately perked up.
"Now this is what I'm talkin' about." Kiba eyed the girl hungrily from head to toe.
The girl had long legs, a curvy body, and wavy dark locks that reached her waist; a possible candidate for a goddess. She purposely bent over for Naruto to reveal a slightly unbuttoned collared shirt with cleavage nearly the size of melons. Naruto twitched at the enclosing proximity between them. He once had a nightmare about his face being wedged between Tsunade's breasts, and they suffocated him to the point where his lungs collapsed and eventually died.
Which is probably the reason why Naruto highly preferred Sakura's average ones compared to these abnormally large ones.
"Chouji, make this one quick!" Naruto hastily whispered.
'You're insane.' Kiba mouthed, eyeing the girl's breast.
"Hi, there, Naruto." she sexily flipped her hair aside and smiled seductively.
"Uh, hi, youuu." he didn't quite know her name. "Ready to get this over with?" he hoped to god her boobs won't come in contact with his face.
The girl frowned, a little offended. "Get this over with? It's like you don't want to kiss me at all. Or any girl for that matter."
Naruto grinned boyishly and laughed blushing. "There's only one girl I like to kiss."
The girl blinked in surprise; a light shade of pink tinted her cheeks. "That's actually...incredibly sweet."
The girl giggled and shook her head at his naiveness. "Never mind. How about that lucky kiss?"
"Five bucks." said Shikamaru.
The girl's eyes widened. "For a stinkin' kiss!"
"An A+ kiss!" Naruto corrected.
Her eyes narrowed in thought and she tapped her fingers against the table separating herself and the Lucky Charm. "You drive a hard bargain, Uzumaki. You're lucky you're cute." she reached into her shirt and pulled out a several dollar bills much to Kiba's life fulfilled pleasure.
She pressed her glossy lips against Naruto's and Chouji carefully timed it.
Naruto pulled back and gave the girl a wide grin. "Thanks for your service."
"I'll be back tomorrow." she winked and made sure she impressed him by walking away with emphasis on her voluptuous body.
Everyone behind the table watched her walk away with mouths wide open.
Naruto slowly peeled his eyes away from the dark haired girl and turned to the voice.
"AH!" he nearly fell back.
With her fiery, green eyes and voracious pink hair, Sakura Haruno, the girlfriend, crossed her arms glaring at Naruto like he was about to die.
The rest of the guys heard Naruto's scream and turned their heads to find the vision of a she-demon.
"AH! they actually fell out of their seats.
"Well, well, well...what do we have here?" her face was expressionless, which is the worse expression that could ever be expressed by her.
"Uh, Sakura. This isn't what it looks like." Naruto held his hands up in defense.
"This looks oddly like a kissing booth." her eyes wandered up to a big sign above. "But not just any kissing booth, it's 'Naruto's LUCKY kissing booth'." her fists clenched.
"How did you find out?"
"How do you think? I chased a freshmen boy down the hall and pulled his underwear over his head."
"Okay, Sakura, let me explain." Hearing silence on her part, Naruto continued. "People are gonna kiss me whether I like it or not. So, I might as well charge them while they're at it, right?" he watched her demon form worsen.
"Oh, shut up. You've had a taste of kissing other girls and now you want more!" Sakura's eyes blazed.
Chouji literally had to run away because she was upsetting his stomach.
Naruto looked at the love of his entire life in confusion. "Sakura, the only girl I want to kiss is you. I've been in love with you practically my whole life, why would I want to kiss anyone else?"
The girls in line gushed heavily at the sentiments.
That Naruto. He probably doesn't even realize how great of a sweet talker he really is.
Sakura softened dramatically; she couldn't quite help melt at the palm of his hands. "So what are you saving up for anyway?"
Naruto released all of his anxieties and stood up, pulling her closer. "I'll tell you later." he kissed her lips. "And that one's for free."
Everyone watched as Sakura walked away in silence, occasionally looking back to see Naruto smiling at her from the booth. When she was out of sight, it was back to business.
"By the way, teme, thanks for the warning." Naruto threw a quarter at Sasuke's head from the cash register.
He dodged the flying coin easily and shrugged with a smug look on his face.
A middle-aged man with gray hair looked cross as one of his regular costumer sat on the table eating something out of a small bowl.
His costumer lifted her head when she realized the man was staring at her. Her eyes narrowed.
"You know what." the man 'hmphed'.
The girl slammed her chopsticks on the table and gave the man an appalling glare. "Teuchi, for the last time, I don't like ramen!" her emerald eyes mocked him.
"Naruto! Get this traitor outta here!" Teuchi turned around and shouted.
Naruto revealed himself in an Ichiraku Ramen uniform and held two bowls of ramen in his hands. He placed it on the table for the waitress and frowned.
"I can't! She's my girlfriend."
"I don't care! She always comes in here with her dumb takeout from the competing restaurant across the street and flaunts it in my face every time she's here!" the gray haired man grumbled.
Sakura shrugged and continued eating from her takeout.
"Hey, Sakura, can't you at least order something on our menu?" Naruto came out of the kitchen again and brought back two more bowls of ramen.
She scoffed and went silent for a while as if considering his idea. "Fine, I'll have a glass of water."
"Argh!" Teuchi gave up and stomped back into the kitchen.
Naruto shook his head shamefully and leaned against the counter Sakura was eating on. "Don't you ever get tired of teasing the old man?"
Sakura giggled and picked at her umeboshi. "Nope! It's so funny when his face turns purple like that."
"You're ruthless, Sakura."
She turned to the voice sitting next to her. "Samui, isn't it about time you head back to Kumogakure already?"
A girl about Sakura's age sipped the last of her soup and placed it gracefully on the table for Naruto to pick up. She sported a skimpy top that revealed most of her bulging cleavage, but still somehow managed to have an air of sophistication about her. "I'm not done yet. Naruto, another bowl. The usual." she said.
"Thank you, Samui, for being a true Ichiraku costumer." Naruto glowered teasingly at his traitor of a girlfriend.
Sakura threw a chopstick at his back. "So anyway, Samui, when are you graduating from Kumo high?"
"About a week after Konoha high's graduation." she plainly replied.
"Just like Red, huh? He goes to Sunagakure."
"Some freak. I wanted Naruto to pull a prank on him during the ceremony."
Samui made a noise that was very similar to Sasuke's 'hn'. "It sounds like something he would do."
"Only, he doesn't want to do it. Something about me being spiteful or whatever."
"You have to admit-"
Samui was cut off when she heard a screeching, female voice coming from the entrance of Ichiraku Ramen. The two turned around and found a beautiful dark haired girl in a shimmery dress stomp into the restaurant.
"Where the hell is he, Sakura!" the brown-eyed girl demanded.
Sakura turned to the kitchen and shouted, "Naruto! I think your plan backfired." she sang, as if knowing it would happen all along.
There was an extremely long pause before Naruto hesitantly forced himself out of the kitchen. He slapped on a goofy smile and laughed nervously. "Oh, helloooo, Tenten-"
"Don't hello me, you little..." she hastily took off her earrings as if indicating a future wrestling match. "I know what you were trying to do, you stupid idiot!" she kicked off her heels.
Samui found herself completely enamored by the girl's fiery spirit.
Naruto mentally kicked himself. Okay, the plan didn't work. Thanks a lot, Kiba.
"Hooking up two homosexuals of the opposite sex is a stupid and idiotic idea, even for you!" she hitched up her dress, ready to engage in a fight.
"Uh, Sakura-?" he turned to the pink haired girl.
She scooted away. "You're on your own." she betrayed him again. First the ramen, now this.
"Tenten, I'm sooooorrry!"
She chased him around the restaurant with waving fists.
Samui watched the scene in bemusement. She especially had her eye on the girl running around with a heel, a new weapon, in her hand. "That's the girl Naruto's always talking about?" she asked curiously.
"That's the one." she flinched when Tenten caught Naruto in headlock.
Samui pondered to herself. "He didn't say anything about her being a lesbian."
Sakura sighed with her cheek in her palm. "Bisexual. But the only boy she has the hots for is Naruto."
That was clearly obvious.
Samui played with a strand of her blonde hair, still looking as stoic as ever. "You know, there aren't a lot of openly gay girls in Kumo..."
Sakura poked a hole through an umeboshi with her remaining chopstick. "I'm pretty sure Tenten's the only lesbian in Konoha."
"And she's really beautiful, too." Samui's eyes wandered on the angry girl's face.
Sakura raised an impish eyebrow. "Are you trying to tell me you're a...?"
Tenten ordered an extra large bowl of ramen and pulled up her hair in two buns; although a bit uneven, she was so frustrated she didn't even care.
Samui watched her in fascination. "So what was all that about?"
Tenten was about to tell her to stuff it and it was none of her business, but when she turned to face her, she couldn't help but admire the girl's crystal blue eyes and silky blonde hair.
It's like she sees him wherever she goes!
"That idiot..." she said, gesturing towards Naruto.
He sat way on the opposite end of the restaurant, with Sakura rubbing his shoulder with one hand and slapping a slab of frozen meat on his face with the other. "Ow!" they heard him yell. His girlfriend laughed.
Tenten scoffed. "He told me he was taking me out to a restaurant, but when I got there, I was seated at a table with frickin' Sai. That gay little weirdo said he thought HE was going out on a date with Naruto. He double crossed the both of us." Teuchi placed a bowl of ramen on the table and handed her chopsticks. She viciously stabbed the noodles.
"...Naruto only did it because he loves you." Samui sipped her cup of tea.
Tenten pretended not to care.
"I've been a regular at Ichiraku Ramen for about a month now. Whenever I'm here, he's always telling me, 'How can I make Tenten happy?' or 'What can I do for Tenten?'. The same goes for cotton candy over there."
Tenten's body perked; her eyes eventually wandered to Naruto and Sakura.
"You have a very special place in his heart, you know."
The two girls looked at each other and smiled.
"And another thing." Samui continued to sip her tea without looking at the beautiful brown-eyed girl. "If you're ever interested, I think I'd like to take you on a date."
Tenten froze, snapping her head toward the busty blonde high school girl whose body matured beyond her teenage years. "You're...?"
Samui's dull blue eyes held a glint of flirtation.
Tenten dropped her own brown eyes and blushed.
It's true, this girl from Kumo is extremely beautiful, but...
Once again, her attention was on Naruto. She watched him rub his neck and laugh sheepishly at something Sakura said. His boyish grin made her heart melt a thousand times over.
"I'm sorry." she couldn't tear her eyes away from him. "If you asked me months ago, I would've definitely said yes." she finally forced herself to look away. "But unfortunately..."
Naruto made odd gestures to amuse Sakura, which consequently led him to fall on his butt.
"I'm in love with an idiot."
Samui nodded her head in apprehension and lifted herself up after finishing her tea. "I understand." she smiled. "I'm surprised I haven't fallen in love with him already. He's really cute." she chuckled teasingly.
Tenten returned the laugh.
"Bye, Tenten. I have a pretty long drive to Kumo." she kissed Tenten's cheek and walked out of the restaurant.
The brown haired girl touched her cheek and blushed.
"Heeeeey. So how did it go?" Sakura tiptoed to Tenten's table, eagerly sitting next to the blushing girl.
"It was...pretty good." her blush intensified.
Sakura hugged Tenten's shoulders. "I knew it would work out! When Samui first got here, I thought she was just trying to flirt with Naruto. But you know, she's actually a pretty cool-"
"I turned her down."
Sakura released her grip and frowned, clearly disappointed. "Why would you do that? She's insanely hot."
Tenten shrugged. "I know, but...I still..." her head turned to see Naruto safely seated on the other side of the restaurant, waiting for angry-Tenten to calm down.
Sakura's eyes dulled and she could only nod.
"But thanks anyway." Tenten smiled at her. Sakura couldn't help but embrace her again; it's been so long since she's last seen her best friend smile. "At least you tried to hook me up with someone I could possibly date. Naruto tried to set me up with Sai...GAY Sai." she gagged. "He thinks I'm ugly!"
"I will never understand Sai." Sakura frowned. "He thinks I'm ugly too!"
"Naruto thinks you're still mad at him." said Sakura, picking at her leftover umeboshi. "Even though his idea was stupid, he did it for you."
Tenten wiped her tears of laughter and looked affectionately at the boy who stole her heart. "I'll be right back."
"Go already." Sakura pushed her lightly.
As she watched Tenten slap Naruto around a little, this time with fondness, there was a tug on her heart that made her think this year had been the greatest time of her life. She has all her friends now...the love of her life...
this is true happiness.
And Naruto felt exactly the same way.
Something inside him stirred. It was an odd feeling, but an incredibly strong one. At first he blamed it on something he ate this morning...but this was entirely different.
He knew what it was...
Naruto abruptly stood up, pushing his chair away with extreme force.
The gang looked up at him in shock; the sudden impact gave them a temporary scare.
"What's wrong?" asked Shikamaru, raising his eyebrow at Naruto from his seat.
"It's gone." he quietly said.
"What is? The money! Shikamaru what the hell!" Kiba barked.
"The money's right here, dumb-ass." Shikamaru muttered.
"Well, thank god, then. Naruto, what the hell, man?" Kiba complained.
Naruto slowly sat himself down, staring aimlessly at the ground. "My luck. It's gone."
Sasuke had long since left his post and huddled in with the rest of the gang for their secret meeting. The crowd of students impatiently waited their turn for a kiss behind the caution tape. "How do you know?"
His blond friend shrugged. "I just know."
If Naruto was this stirred up about it, nobody made an attempt to question him.
"So what now?" asked Neji.
"I guess I'll have to tell everybody." Once again, he got up on his feet and straightened his posture.
"They'll kill you, Naruto-kun! I bet nobody studied for the exams; they'll expect a lucky kiss." said a worrisome Lee.
"He's right. I don't think I can hold them back when they find out." said Sasuke. "Contrary to what people think, I'm not a god."
Neji sighed...he was also very satisfied about the guy finally admitting he wasn't so hot. "Uchiha has a point. Maybe you should make a run for it."
Naruto shook his head. "I can't do that. I have to tell them."
"Fine. Tell them, and then make a run for it." Shikamaru proposed.
"It seems like the only alternative." said Shino.
"Chouji, what do you think?" Naruto turned to the big boned boy.
He froze. "I think whatever Shikamaru suggests, you should do it."
"Running away is so troublesome." Naruto grumbled.
"You sound like me now." Shikamaru scoffed.
Lee nodded. "We'll hold them back as long as we can, Naruto-kun."
"Do you really think people will beat him up for this? He's the most popular guy in school." Kiba looked incredulous.
"I'm pretty sure his popularity has more to do with him being a lucky charm rather than Naruto being Naruto." said Shino.
Sasuke inwardly snorted. They truly underestimated they way Naruto affected these people. He was surprised he was the only one who had faith. "I changed my mind. Naruto, just tell them. You don't have to run...everyone will understand."
The gang looked at the infamous Uchiha in disbelief.
Naruto allowed himself to take in Sasuke's advice and finally worked up the nerve to take action. "Okay. Let's do this!" he jumped confidently onto the table, hoping to catch the crowd's attention. "People! There's something I have to confess!" he shouted.
"Naruto, what's taking so long!"
"I have to take my exam soon!"
Naruto gestured them to calm down. "Alright, alright! Hear me out first; it's important!"
The shouts and complaints eventually died down and their attention was focused entirely on the Lucky Charm himself; Naruto was finally allowed to speak.
"You'll probably hate me for saying this, but before I do, please avoid bruising my face. I don't wanna look like the asshole that got himself beat up the day before graduation." he laughed and rubbed his neck nervously.
There was a scatter of chuckles and smiles amongst most of the crowd. They patiently awaited his confession.
"Well, anyway..." his chest heaved. "I lost my luck!"
The abandoned courtyard fell silent.
"I don't have it anymore. If you kiss me now, it'll be for nothing." he didn't even bother to observe their reaction. "If you want to beat me, I understand. I would too...especially when something important like exam week is at stake." he closed his eyes and waited for the first hit.
After seconds of waiting, he slowly opened his eyes thinking, 'What gives?' Instead of pain, he heard everyone laughing in manner that made his ears split. He looked at everyone in the gang and they were just as confused as he was.
"He really is an idiot, isn't he?"
"Thank god he's good looking."
"Hey, Naruto! What makes you think we'll beat you up?"
"I think he forgot we're all friends here!"
The crowd of students slowly began to disappear, many of whom decided to give Naruto a slap on the back or a kiss on the cheek. Either way, Naruto was beginning to compose himself.
Sasuke leaned against the booth and smirked.
He knew it all along.
The courtyard soon cleared until the only people present was Naruto, the gang,
and all four goddesses.
They saw the four walking toward the booth looking oddly pleased with themselves. Sakura made herself comfortable sitting on the booth where Naruto stood, and he soon followed suit.
"Well, I guess you're no longer my Lucky Charm." she linked her arm around his.
Naruto smiled sadly. "Yeah." he said. "Disappointed?"
Sakura failed to hide her smile. "You know what? Your luck was actually beginning to piss me off. I'm glad it's gone; watching you kiss all those girls was a pain in the ass." she kissed his lips. "If anyone ever kisses you again, I'll cut them to pieces."
Naruto's heart nearly beat out of his chest. He now loved it when she said those things.
"So do you know what caused you to lose your luck?" asked Ino in curiosity.
Naruto hung an arm over Sakura's shoulders and tightened his grip affectionately. "I really don't know. I'm guessing it's because I don't need it anymore." he looked at Sakura. She smiled tenderly at him.
"Then maybe you've unintentionally passed it down to someone who desperately needs it more than you do!" Kiba wondered in thought. He looked at Hinata with frisky eyes; he wiggled his eyebrows. "Hey, Hinata. Wanna test it out?" he puckered his lips.
Hinata giggled and playfully shoved his face away.
"By the way, I've been wondering..." said Naruto. "...how come you guys never tried to kiss me?" he asked suspiciously.
Sasuke rolled his eyes.
"Shut up, teme."
Shikamaru smirked. "We got to know you more than anyone else in this school. The idea of kissing you is fucking unbearable."
"After today's exams, let's celebrate at Ichiraku's! It's on me." Sakura unexpectedly announced.
Naruto couldn't love her anymore than he did now. "Uh, guys, do you mind?" he signaled his friends.
Tenten pushed the girls back into the building and gave Naruto a wink. The guys gave Naruto a mental thumbs up and finally left the couple to themselves.
Sakura blinked in confusion. "What are you up to?"
After precious moments of staring into each other's eyes, Naruto finally broke apart and reached for something in his pocket. He kept his hand in there for the time being and breathed nervously.
"What's going on?"
He cleared this throat. "Uh...you know I love you right?"
"Of course. You've made it very clear at prom." she teased.
"And you love me too right?
"More than anything." Okay, this was getting a little serious. What is he getting at?
He finally pulled his hand out of his pocket and pulled out a small, black box made of velvet. He held it out for her to take and she gasped.
"It's the diamond earrings I wanted for my birthday!" she squealed happily. "So that's why you set up the kissing booth." she didn't open the box but instead held it fondly against her cheek.
Naruto's blue eyes lit up. "Yeah! I actually ended up getting too much money, so I donated the rest to the animal shelter down my old street."
"I thought it was weird how they named the shelter after you all of a sudden."
Naruto nudged her arm with his elbow and gestured toward the box. "Open it."
Her smile brightened. "Okay!" she quickly opened the box. A few seconds passed, and the longer she stared at the opened box, the more she realized the diamond earrings she wanted for her birthday...
wasn't diamond earrings.
Naruto looked away and grinned slyly. "An engagement ring."
Sakura snapped her attention away from the ring and widened her deep, emerald eyes at her boyfriend.
He rubbed his neck. "I just thought..." he began. "...I love you more than anything in the world. I've always wanted to marry you, Sakura; I was seven and even then I knew you were the only one for me." with the back of his heel, he kicked the booth in embarrassment.
"What about all those years you hated me?"
"I already decided to block those years out." he laughed.
"You're proposing to me..." she looked teasingly into his mischievous blue eyes. "...in the haunted courtyard?"
A cold, eerie wind blew by and Naruto pulled Sakura closer to his body. "Hehe. I couldn't wait anymore. So, how 'bout it?"
Sakura broke their gazes. "Hmph. 'How bout it?'" she scoffed. "Someday, our children will want to know how you proposed to me, and I'm gonna have to tell them it was in the haunted courtyard behind Konoha high, and your father said 'How bout it?'" her radiant smile finally broke free.
Naruto's eyes widened. "So does that mean...?"
Sakura shrugged, struggling to hide her smile. "Might as well."
Naruto locked her into a tight embrace and kissed her.
They definitely didn't need a lucky charm anymore.
A/N: Thanks so very much to all those who supported this fic, and especially to those who stuck with it from the beginning!
And as for the Lucky Charm sequel...
Tell me what you think and VOTE now on my profile page!