Well, I wanted to try something new, and this is the creation I came up with. I haven't been updating my other fanfics lately, but I think it's because I'm bored with them.

So I wanted to try something new, and that new thing is the couple. I usually write NaruSaku, but I wanted to put Naruto with my second favorite kunoichi this time; Karin. Yes, I like Karin. She's awesome. I like her and Sakura the best. :p So if you don't like her, don't read this.

Anyways, this just stems off from what if it was Naruto that saved Karin, instead of Sasuke? I liked the idea, so here it is. I hope you enjoy it! It will be pretty lengthy I say.

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.

Flames & Whirlpools

~Chapter 1~

The water felt cool against Naruto's skin, clinging to his body as he came out from underneath the water. Sasuke threw kunai at three fish, pinning them against a nearby tree. They were in the Chunin Exams, the Forest of Death to be exact. They being himself, Sakura, and Sasuke.

Naruto came out of the river, excited that he and Sasuke had caught themselves a decent meal.

"Sasuke-kun, we need a fireball please!" Sakura called, her pink hair now short from her previous battle with the three Oto shinobi. The raven-haired shinobi made the correct hand signs and soon enough, he produced a good sized fireball from his mouth, effectively staring a fire.

They all sat around the fire, silence weighing down on them heavily. Sasuke and Sakura looked to be deep in thought, but Naruto eyed the fish hungrily, preoccupied with thoughts of devouring it. The fish were impaled by sharpened sticks, roasting over the fire, the smell wafting in mid air above the three.

"Four days have passed... We still need a Heaven scroll," Sasuke spoke up, his eyes meeting both Naruto and Sakura's.

"Many teams have already passed. That means..." Sakura's voice trailed off, the thought of their team not passing sunk into her as they sat in silence again.

Sasuke clenched the Earth scroll in his hand. 'This is getting bad...'

Another Konoha team sat against a large tree trunk, weary and exhausted from their desperate search for the Heaven scroll. "There's probably no one left to go after... What should we do?" A boy with light hair and sideburns said.

"Most of the teams have probably already passed..." Another boy pitched in. His hair was short and dark, unlike his other dark-haired teammate.

"Yeah, it is the fourth day..." A boy with long, dark hair said. "Anyway, it's noon, let's get some food." He started to walk away from his team. "You guys rest up. I'll go look around."

The light-haired boy turned to his teammate. "Hey..." His teammate turned to him. "Yeah?"

"I say we should take a peak at what's inside this scroll. I don't think we'll find a Heaven scroll anyways. We're pretty much screwed." His teammate nodded, but still looked uneasy about the ordeal.

The light-haired boy, fearlessly, began to unravel the scroll. It seemed to take hours, but the end of the scroll soon came.

They looked into it.

Naruto bit into the cooked fish, savoring its taste slowly, admiring how good it felt for his empty stomach to receive food after a long awaited time without a source of fuel.

"You know... There may not be anymore Heaven scrolls..." Sakura put down her half eaten fish in her lap, looking at Sasuke with an anxious expression.

"What do you mean, Sakura?" Sasuke chewed his food with no expression present on his face, almost as if he didn't care about what she had just said.

Sakura's explanation involved percentages, and as soon as he had heard it, Naruto tuned out her voice. Instead, he imagined her confessing her undying love for him. His face flushed as he imagined her moving in to kiss him on the lips.

But that fantasy was ruined when he remembered that Sakura had a huge crush on Sasuke. Naruto chewed his food harder at the thought of this. He wouldn't lose to Sasuke in anything! Not even Sakura's heart!

"Naruto, did you hear me?"

Reality came crashing back down on to the blonde.

"U-uh, what did you say, Sakura-chan?"

The pink-haired girl gave him a glare with her emerald green eyes as she moved into give him a smack across the head, but stopped, as she put her hands in her lap in an effort to control her anger.

"I said, the amount of teams that are able to pass has dropped by one, according to the percentage Sasuke-kun and I figured out," she blushed, smiling softly at Sasuke, though he ignored her blatant loving stare.

"And we can't be sure that the rest of the scrolls are in tact. If one of the scrolls is destroyed, that makes the other half meaningless." Sasuke declared, eyeing the Earth scroll that was on the ground near them.

"Since parting with our Konoha comrades, we needed two days to heal our injuries... But we have to be more active now..." He glared at the scroll.

"Either way..."

"The next enemy is our last chance." He looked at Naruto and Sakura, his face turning serious at what he had said.

"I'm going to get some water." Sasuke abruptly stood up and started to walk off.

"Wait! I'll get you some water, Sasuke! I'm thirsty too!" Naruto stood up and snatched the canteen from Sasuke's hand.

'Maybe if I get Sasuke some water, Sakura-chan will think I'm a gentleman and she'll think I'm much cooler than the teme!'

He went towards the river across from them and dunked the canteen in the river. "Dobe, that's salt water. We can't drink that," Sasuke reprimanded.

Naruto poured the water back in the river, blushing in embarrassment as he avoided Sakura's gaze. 'She probably thinks I'm an even bigger idiot now!'

"Then where do I get water from?" The blonde asked.

Sasuke pointed behind them. "There's a pond back over there somewhere. I saw it as we were passing."

Naruto nodded and went over to where his shirt and jacket were. He put his black shirt on first, then his orange jacket before he made his way in the direction Sasuke had pointed out.

He couldn't believe how lucky he was. He managed to take a weak team by himself, and by chance, they had a Heaven scroll in their possession.

Now him and his team could advance to the next part of the Chunin Exams! He rounded the tree that his teammates were at. "Hey guys, you won't believe what I found!" He came to a stop.


He dropped to his knees, his fists digging into the ground. His two teammates were passed out on the ground. He grit his teeth when he noticed the scroll next to their unconscious bodies.

"Those idiots..." He choked out in frustration, They obviously opened the scroll. Finally when they had obtained the other scroll, his teammates had to be dumbasses and open the Earth scroll.

He can't pass the exam if his other teammates weren't present, and it wasn't likely that they would wake up...

Naruto jumped from tree branch to tree branch , keeping an eye out for any body of water that may of been nearby. He jumped to another branch, then another, and another. He looked down below him, and then off into the distance in front of him.

"Stupid teme! He told me there was a pond around here!" He sighed, sitting down on the branch he was currently on. "Man, I'm thirsty." He took another look around in hopes of somehow spotting a body of water.

A scream pierced the silence of the vast forest. A roar soon followed afterwards.

He stood up immediately. "What was that?" Again, a scream was made.

The blonde ran to the area of which it came from. The screams were becoming louder, and louder, and louder...

He landed on another tree branch when he saw it.

A giant bear was standing on all fours in front of a girl. The girl was holding an Earth scroll. "Where are you guys?" She screamed as the bear prepared to swipe his paw down at her.

Naruto jumped off the branch. "Kage Bunshin no jutsu!" Two clones appeared in mid air beside him as the three of them kicked the bear in the head. The impact of the bear hitting the ground caused the girl to get knocked over on to the ground, her glasses falling off as well.

He kicked it hard enough to knock out the bear, much to his relief. Naruto jumped down from the bear's head and landed beside the girl.

'Woah...' He took notice of the girl's appearance fully. 'She's really cute, even cuter than Sakura-chan...' The girl had bright red hair, almost a scarlet color. It was medium in length, so it was longer than Sakura's, but on one side it looked a bit messy, but on the other it looked straight and neat.

But what caught his attention the most was the fact that her eyes were the same color as her hair. The only person that he had seen with red eyes that was natural were Kurenai-sensei's, but this girl's were much brighter and prettier.

"Are you alright?" He asked, genuine concern laced in his voice. The girl put her glasses back on and fixed them before looking at him. "Yeah, I am." She stared at him, her face turning red for some reason.

He put a hand on her forehead. "You sure? Your face is turning red." Naruto said, oblivious to the fact that she was blushing.

"Of course I'm sure!" She swatted his hand away from her forehead and huffed in annoyance. Her face was as red as a tomato by then.

'Her personality already seems to be a lot like Sakura-chan's.' He couldn't help but think.

"Hey, well, I'm Uzumaki Naruto!" He laughed, scratching the back of his head in an awkward gesture. She looked surprised that he was still being friendly with her after she had basically reprimanded him.

"I'm Karin." She looked crestfallen at how rude she was to this kind boy. But she might as well be nicer to him, since he's already nice to her.

He gave her a huge grin and stuck his hand out. "Well it's nice to meet ya, Karin!" She looked at his hand, the blush on her face was still apparent as she took it and shook hands with him.

"So where are your teammates?" He asked, taking a look around them as if he expected to see them coming down to check on Karin.

"We went off in different directions in search of a Heaven scroll..." She clutched the Earth scroll tightly in her hands, a frown gracing her pretty face. He watched as she brushed a few strands of hair off from her forehead, revealing a Kusagakure headband on her.

Naruto watched her face contort into a pained expression. He felt bad for her. Her teammates were gone, and she had almost gotten killed by a giant bear. There was nobody to protect her. He couldn't just leave her to fend for herself...

"The next enemy is our last chance." Sasuke's words echoed in his head perpetually as he took his words into consideration. The girl, Karin, had an Earth scroll, so she wouldn't be able to give them a Heaven scroll, but she was still considered an enemy since she was from Kusagakure...


The red-haired girl looked up.

"I'll help you find a Heaven scroll." Naruto said.

Either way, he knew he wanted to help Karin.

Some of the dialogue came directly from the manga! So yeah, just thought I'd let ya know. But I hope you enjoyed the beginning of this fanfic! I'm sorry for any spelling mistakes or errors... :x

Happy Valentine's day people!

I don't have much else to say, so please r&r! :D Review inspire me to write, so please review! xD I would like at least 10 reviews, so that I know that people actually like my story... :x So 10 reviews please! and I'll update faster!