Changes in the chapter, including the main planned pairing

Chapter 5

"Oy, you, make up face, you'd better put the hokage's grandson down, you do not want an international conflict that could lead to war do you?" snarled Naruto.

Sakura came to a halt beside Naruto. The boy was growling.

The 'make up face guy' who was still holding Konohamaru paled. The little boy in his hands smirked a bit.

"Let him go, Kankuro."

It was a girl speaking. She was thin, dressed in a kimono type dress with fishnet underneath. Her hiate, Suna Naruto noted, was tied around her neck. She had dirty blonde unruly hair tied up in 4 short pigtails on her head. Her silvery bronze eyes were narrowed in anger and...anxiety?

"Pfff, fine.." grumbled the boy named Kankuro and unceremoniously dropped the boy on the ground. He was dressed in waht Naruto could plainly point out a cat suit. His face was a contrast with all the black he wore, it was porcelain white with the purple 'make up'.

He looked ridiculous.

The girl beside him let an audible sigh and turned to them.

"Then again, maybe you do need a good thrashing!" the boy growled and lowered his fist to the little boy, quivering on the ground.

Konohamaru's eyes widened but before the fist could even reach him, he felt someone blocked the punch with such a force that the sand nin was sent flying. He landed painfully on his ass beside his sister.

Naruto nii-chan is awesome, how did he get to me so fast?

The rest were thinking the same,including the two individuals in the tree and the three hidden ones.

Naruto ignored them and quickly jumped back to his place beside Sakura, Konohamaru secure in his hands.

He then turned to the 'Kankuro' person, who gulped. The look the blonde haired boy was giving him sent shivers all over him, like when Gaara was around.

"Don't you ever try to harm my precious people, or you will regret it." he snarled.

Sakura was staring up at her teammate in awe. Sure she and Sasuke had noticed the slight change in him, but this? The last Uchiha, who was crouching on the tree frowned in jealousy.

How can the dobe be this strong? He had gotten better at taijutsu too. No, thats not possible. He is the dead last after all..."

Kankuro placed his hand on the bandaged figure on his back, smirking.

"Why, you wanna fight? You leaf gennin are weak."

"Kankuro, stop, there is no need.." tried the girl, but was ignored.

"kankuro, stop. You are embarrassing us"

The two sand nin froze in their places, paling. All the member of team 7, plus Konohamaru looked at the tree where the voice came from. Saskue blinked. How could he miss someone who was so close to him? He handn't even noticed him there!

The girl was hanging upside down. She had blood red hair, that cascaded in slight waves to the ground,, her loose, creamy brown clothes hanging off her as she glared at them. Her most noticeable features were the absence of eyebrows, the pupil-less blue green eyes, that seemed to shine with emotionless hatred, and the kanji for 'love' tattooed on her forehead. He was leaking killing intent small , but it was there, like a constant flow. Naruto got a strange feeling when he looked in those eyes. They were so...empty.

The redhead disappeared in a swirl of sand and reappeared beside the other two sand nin. From the looks of their faces, it was evident that they were scared, the make up guy a bit more then the dirty blonde.

"G-Gaara...i wasn't..." the boy stuttered.

"Shut up, or i'll kill you."

The boy closed his mouth that instant. The girl named Gaara faced Naruto and Sakura.

"What is your name." it was a statement, rather then a question. This was directed to Naruto, who frowned.

"It is polite to give your name first when asking someone," he said coolly. Sakura blinked. Her mouth was slightly open.

This was Naruto?

When did he get the communication skills?

Sasuke was thinking along the same lines, but let it drop for a while.

"Sabaku no Gaara."

"Uzumaki Naruto"

"And you?" this was directed to the tree. Sakura gasped when Sasuke jumped from there to stand beside his teammates. She had no idea he was there, hidden. Naruto however, was not surprised. He had sensed him. But only him, damn he had to work on his sensing skills a bit more. He didn't sense Gaara.

"Uchiha Sasuke"

"Wait, are you here for the chuunin exams?" asked Sakura.

The girl laughed.

"Yes, we are representing Sunagakure no Sato."

"What are your names?" asked Naruto. This surprised everyone. The girl, however, focused her attention on the blonde. She had to hand it to him, he was handsome.

A slight blush crept on her cheeks.

"Sabaku Temari, and this is Sabaku Kankuro"

They met at the academy the next day. All of them were prepared, it was no secret that the boys of team 7 wanted to become chuuini, one to get closer to his lifetime goal, the other to test himself against more powerful opponents.

When they entered the building, they noticed quite a few people gathered by the entrance. It was guarded by two gennin, who looked vaugely familiar to Naruto.

One of them hit a bot dressed in a green spandex. When he got up, the bruise had vanished. The boy behind him, obviously a Hyuuga, smirked. A bun haired girl helped the boy up.

"Genjutsu" whispered Sakura.

Sasuke only smirked. The teme knew. Naruto however, didn't. His eyes widened.

"So they are testing us? Then those two have got to be Izumo and Kotetsu for sure 'ttebayo!"

The other two looked at him, one with slight awe, but tried ti hide it, the other with a smirk.

"Hn, the exams are going to be interesting"

"Maaa teme, you worried?"

All he got as answer was a smirk.

They didn't tell about the genjutsu, but Naruto could see the Uchiha wanting to brag about it. After he and Sakura tried to convince him that if they stay quiet, the competition will lessen and the weaker ones will not be there, he gave in, but he made it look like he himslef came to the conclusion. Sakura bounced beside him as they made their way up. There, by their assigned door was their jounin sense, reading his beloved orange book.

He looked up and eye-smiled.

"Good, you are all here"

"What do you mean sensei? asked Sakura

"Well, if one of you didn't come, then i wouldn't have let you go past this door. You had to make the choice for yourselves, individually. I knew that you Sakura would be easily influenced by Naruto and Sasuke. Anyway, well done team 7."

The three of them beamed. Sure, Irukas test was a bit off, but they were here, and now, they were going to rock the world! At least that was what Naruto (and Sakura) were thinking.

"Now, got there and make me proud" the jounin ruffled the blonde and raven locks wile eye-smiling "all three of you, and be careful"

"Hai" came the collective reply of the three.

They looked at each other, then Sakura flanked both of their arms and they entered the room.

As you can all see, i have slightly edited this chapter. truly i was planning a fem haku/naru pairing, but when i reread this..i kind of settled on a female gaara. naruto being with a redhead just seems right.

ja ne