Disclaimer: Naruto and its characters are created by Masashi Kishimoto, but the new plots (meaning the ones you don't recognize!) are mine. This fanfiction had been written for entertainment purposes only and without intention of infringing upon any copyright.
Title: The Ultimate Technique
Summary: Sequel to The Little Get-Together. Naruto shows off his new jutsu. The result is not quite anything Itachi or Sakura expect to see.
Theme: 50-shinobi Theme 31: Sexy-No-Jutsu
A/N: This one-shot follows the Riverside Serenade and the Little Get-together, but can stand alone. It's a very lighthearted piece, so please don't take it seriously. For those of you who is following Truth Behind the Mask, I'll update within the week. In the meantime, here's the one shot for your reading pleasure…
The Ultimate Technique by elle6778
Itachi stood at the door leading to the kitchen, watching his mother bustle around preparing breakfast for her family. This very ordinary sight never failed to comfort him. After a long grueling mission, there was nothing better than coming home. However, at the back of his mind he realized that this would not last forever. At some point, he would be expected to marry and have his own family, sooner rather than later if the Elders had their say. His wife would be the one to provide him with some level of comfort then.
"Good morning, Okaa-san," he greeted as he entered the kitchen.
Without looking away from the pot of soup she was stirring, Mikoto called out, "Come in and sit down, Itachi. Breakfast will be ready shortly."
"Thank you," he murmured as he took a seat at the table.
"So how was your mission?"
Thinking of the mission he had just returned from late last night, Itachi replied briefly, "It was successful."
"Good," Mikoto said, smiling at him over her shoulder. "Do you have another one coming up?"
Itachi shook his head. "I would be making my report to the Hokage today but I should have several days free."
His mother switched off the stove and began to set the table. Noticing that she only prepared three place settings, he asked, "Only three?"
"Yes. Your father won't be joining us this morning."
Itachi expanded his senses. True enough, Fugaku's personal signature was absent from the house. "Military Police business?"
Mikoto nodded. "Sasuke should be waking up soon. I'll let him sleep a little longer."
Itachi refrained from informing his mother that her youngest son had been absent from home at midnight last night and therefore, was unlikely to awaken until an hour or two later. At seventeen, Sasuke was no longer a child but he should understand that their mother would worry if he did not keep her updated with his whereabouts.
He reached out again, this time locating Sasuke's presence within his bedroom. As he had expected, his little brother was still asleep. However, before he abandoned the sensing technique, he detected something else. A pair of very familiar presences moving towards them. He was not surprised when a few seconds later, knocks sounded from the front of the house.
His mother glanced up just as she placed steaming bowls of rice and soup in front of him. "Someone's at the door."
"Aa. Sasuke's teammates."
Her expression brightened. "Carry on with your meal. I'll let them in."
Wiping her hands on her apron, she left the kitchen. Itachi could hear the sounds of muffled conversations and laughter growing increasingly distinct as his mother and the two seventeen-year-old chuunin came closer. And then he heard Mikoto calling out to Sasuke, informing him that his teammates were here.
Moments later, the two members of Team 7 appeared in the kitchen, walking just ahead of his mother. Itachi inclined his head at them while Naruto waved and Sakura smiled.
Gesturing to the table, his mother urged, "Have a seat and I'll get the tow of you some breakfast in a minute."
Pleased, Naruto beamed widely. "Really? That's great. I'm so hungry! And Sakura's starving too."
Sakura elbowed Naruto in the ribs before saying demurely, "Thank you, Mikoto-san."
"Did you two leave home without taking breakfast again?" she chided. "Honestly! You should take better care of yourselves. Tsk… All that training takes a lot out of you and you should know that without me lecturing you."
The two chuunin grinned sheepishly.
Itachi could not help but wonder why his mother found it necessary to feed them every time they stepped into this house. Neither of them appeared as if they were lacking nourishment. Naruto was unmistakably robust and healthy, more than anyone else in Fire Country, Itachi would guess, despite some of his more unsavory habits.
And Sakura? His gaze swept over her figure, taking care to refrain from lingering improperly. She had been overly slender in her younger years but that was not the case now. Whilst in no way one could describe her as plump, she certainly possessed some eye-catching curves. Combined with her unique pink hair, her sharp intelligence and skills as a kunoichi, she could easily captivate any man.
Uncomfortably aware of the direction of his thoughts, Itachi returned his attention to his half-finished bowl of rice. He had been finding himself inappropriately paying far too much attention to Sakura for the past eighteen months, ever since he had caught Team 7 and their band of friends reveling in this house while his parents were away. It had been increasingly difficult to ignore her presence each time she visited and with Sasuke as her teammate, she visited often. His awareness of her disconcerted him because it made him feel like a lech, which was the last thing he wished to be described as. Shisui probably would find this entertaining but Itachi had no intention of allowing his cousin to find out about his dilemma.
Sakura and Naruto took the seats opposite him.
"Good morning, Itachi-san!" Sakura greeted cheerfully.
"Morning!" Naruto followed with a wide smile. "Just back from your ANBU mission? Usually you're not here when we come to get Sasuke." His brows scrunched. "But I guess we're a bit early today."
"I returned last night," Itachi answered mildly.
Sakura's ran her practiced eyes over him. "Are you alright? I mean, did you sustain any injuries?"
"Only minor ones," he told her, touched by her concern. Though it could simply be her medic side responding to any nin returning from missions, he appreciated her consideration.
"I can help heal you if you like," she offered. "It won't take very long and you'll be more comfortable."
He gave her a small smile. "Thank you for your offer but that would not be necessary."
"What's taking Sasuke so long?" Naruto grumbled.
Footsteps approached. "I'm here, Dobe."
Itachi darted a glance at the sleep-ruffled teenager standing at the doorway. Scowling darkly at his teammates, Sasuke came to the table and sat down on the empty seat opposite Naruto. Mikoto came and deposited steaming dishes in front of the three of them.
"Why are you having breakfast here again?" Sasuke asked bluntly.
Sakura blushed lightly as Naruto replied, "Because your mother is a fantastic cook!"
"That doesn't mean you should freeload, Baka!" Sasuke shot back.
"Hey, I'm not freeloading," he objected. "Mikoto-san invited us! Your mother is the best!"
Said mother chuckled as she served them each a cup of tea. "Don't bicker now. There's plenty of food. Eat."
Sakura smiled, lighting up her face and drawing Itachi's attention to the brilliance of her eyes. He quickly looked away before someone noticed the direction of his perusal. Whatever this interest was, he only hoped that it would blow over before anyone found out otherwise it would be uncomfortable for all involved.
"Arigato, Mikoto-san," Sakura said as she picked up her chopsticks.
"You're welcomed, Sakura-chan. Now eat, before everything gets cold."
Itachi continued to eat as the members of Team 7 chattered boisterously. Based on their usual behavior, it was difficult to believe that these three formed the strongest chuunin team in Konoha. Sasuke was often moody and blunt to the point of rudeness, Naruto was hot-headed and reckless, and Sakura was… well, volatile. In addition to their individual quirks, as a group they had little respect for authority and tended to be inappropriately and loudly vocal with the Hokage. Still, no one could deny their effectiveness as a team. No one doubted that they would pass their jounin assessment in a few months' time. Itachi could imagine that in several years, they would be in the ranks of Konoha's elite ANBU.
But in the meantime, the most promising chuunin team in Konoha was more interested in bickering over the breakfast table. They never seem to run out of things to debate between them. This time, it was about Naruto's claim of creating a perfect jutsu.
"Not another one, Naruto," Sakura groaned.
"It's all he can do," Sasuke supplied snidely. "He can't come up with anything better than that stupid technique."
Naruto shot Sasuke an offended look. "Hey! What do you mean by that? This brand new, improved Sexy-No-Jutsu will blow anyone's mind away," he declared, waving his chopsticks around.
"Watch it, Naruto!" Sakura cried irritably. "Stab me with your chopsticks and I will punt you to the end of the village."
And she was well within her capabilities to see through such a threat. Itachi watched with amusement as the pink-haired kunoichi swatted her blond friend's hand away before the wooden sticks could stab her in the eyes. Sasuke simply huffed with a mix of exasperation and resignation.
"I mean it! This one is way better than the old ones!" Naruto insisted indignantly.
"So you say, Naruto," Sakura muttered.
"That jutsu is useless," Sasuke pointed out. "Like its predecessors."
"It's NOT useless!" Naruto defended heatedly. Pointing a finger at his dark-haired teammate, he yelled, "I've used it, and it works like a dream!"
"Only against idiots."
"It even worked on jounins!"
"Who?" Sasuke asked, raising a brow.
Naruto stabbed a finger in the air. "Ebisu! Kakashi! Iruka! Kotetsu! It even worked on Jiraiya! I can name so many more!"
Opposite him, Sakura shook her head. "Everyone knows they're perverts," she pointed out.
"Meaning that it won't work on normal people," Sasuke added smugly. "Give it up, already."
Naruto glared at him and then, something devious flashed across his expression. Much to Itachi's bemusement, the blond's attention turned to him. His finger followed soon afterward and Itachi found himself staring at Naruto's weapon-oil-streaked nails. He felt the urge to plunge the boy's hands into a sink of soapy water.
"I bet I can even distract Itachi-san with this jutsu!"
He could? Itachi took his gaze away from Naruto's nail to raise a brow at him. Sasuke snorted loudly beside him while Sakura dropped her chopsticks as she choked. Calmly, his mother patted Sakura on the back until her coughing fit subsided.
"Now, now, there's no need to get so worked up," Mikoto murmured. "It's not as if you're not used to their antics."
"Thank you, Mikoto-san," the pink-haired kunoichi muttered as she picked up her chopsticks.
Ignoring the commotion, Naruto smirked at Sasuke. "Your brother won't know what hit him!"
"Then prove it," his foolish little brother challenged with an unholy gleam in his eyes. "I dare you. Prove that you can distract him long enough to grab his kunai pouch from him."
"Of course I can, dattebayo!" Naruto cried out and then stabbed the chopsticks in his direction. "Itachi, I challenge you to a spar! I'll prove to everyone that you're not immune to my brand new sexy-no-jutsu! Yosh!"
Itachi stared at him, fighting a smile. One could not accuse Naruto of being lacking in enthusiasm, that was for sure. But should he accept the challenge? On one hand, he was quite interested in observing Naruto's creation in action. On the other hand, to accept would make it appear as if he was taking this… seriously. And that would surely affect his reputation.
Sasuke gave him a smirk. "Surely you can't be so uptight that you would refuse such a simple challenge, Nii-san."
Itachi's eyes narrowed a fraction. His impertinent brother thought to manipulate the situation, did he? Perhaps he should simply refuse. Why should he give Sasuke the satisfaction of getting his way? But then he caught Sakura's expression. She was broadcasting a mix of curiosity and feigned indifference. Ah, so she was interested in the result of this potential 'battle'.
Like a fool, Itachi found himself saying, "When would you like to commence this spar, Naruto-kun?"
Hollering a premature victory cry, Naruto jumped up. "Yeah, I knew you'd accept! Now be prepared to see the greatness of my latest invention! We'll do it right after this. There's no time like the present, right?"
"Baka!" Sakura barked, slapping him up the back of his head. "Calm down a little. It's not as if you've won already."
"He will lose," Sasuke pronounced confidently.
Naruto glared at him. "Hah! If I win, you'll take my turns at guard duty for the next two missions."
"You two idiots," Sakura muttered, shaking her head disapprovingly as she finished the last bite of her breakfast.
Naruto stood up and cracked his knuckles. "Ready, Itachi-san?"
Picking up his breakfast dishes, he brought them to the sink. Only then did Itachi turn to give the hyperactive blond a nod. "After you, Naruto-kun."
"All of you be careful," Mikoto called out as they left the house.
A quick journey followed where they made their way across the Uchiha compound. Naruto and Sasuke were walking ahead, absorbed in their bickering as per usual. Itachi glanced to the side to Sakura, the only member of the team who seemed to possess the maturity level suited for her own age. She caught his eye and gave him a small smile.
"I hope you won't hurt him too badly, even if he deserves it after challenging you," she told him quietly.
"You need not worry."
Her smile grew wider, displaying her relief and Itachi found himself fixated on the fact that he had placed the arresting expression on her face. It appeared that his infatuation with her was worsening. She was only seventeen and being five years older than her made him feel as if he was being an old pervert. The best thing to do would be to minimize their interaction but it was surprising just how difficult it was to tear himself away even now.
"He's always like this, leaping in before he thinks thing out and one day, it's going to get him into trouble," she grumbled, thankfully unaware of his inappropriate thoughts.
"Aa. His emotions govern his actions."
Throwing her arms up in the air, she exclaimed, "Tell me about it. And Sasuke encourages him to misbehave all the time. One day, both of them will get themselves hurt."
"You will be there to assist if and when such a day occurs," he told her.
She rolled her eyes. "They hardly need me to help."
He stopped to face her, sensing a very mild hint of bitter sorrow in her tone. "You support the team in many ways, Sakura. Not only in a medical capacity. They rely heavily on you to keep the team running smoothly. Without you, Team 7 will crumble."
Her lips parted as she stared at him in surprise. "Oh."
Hiding a smile, he reached out to tap her forehead lightly. "You shouldn't underestimate your role in the team."
She nodded once and then a large grin lighted up her face. Itachi felt as if he could easily become addicted to the expression.
"Thank you, Itachi-san. I needed to hear that."
Discomfited suddenly by the personal direction of their conversation, he turned away abruptly to continue walking. He truly needed to take control and limit their interaction to the absolutely necessary ones. He did not need to grow more attracted to her.
They continued the rest of the journey in silence. The next thing he knew, he was standing in the training yard at the edge of the compound with the three members of Team 7. By now, Naruto was practically vibrating with excitement. Sasuke stood by his side with a disturbing gleam in his dark eyes while Sakura just looked worried. Itachi could not help but wonder if she was just a little worried for him.
A second later, he was chastising himself for his idiocy.
Rubbing his hands together with unmistakable delight, Naruto strode to the centre of the training space and exclaimed, "Yosh! Are we ready to go?"
Joining him at the centre of the grounds, Itachi nodded. "Aa."
To his surprise, Naruto created a clone, and then stepped aside to join his team members. "My bunshin will do this. I want to watch," he said mischievously. "I get a better view from here."
The younger shinobi's gleeful expression made Itachi wonder he really shouldn't have agreed to this. Unwittingly, he darted a quick look at Sakura to find her giving him an encouraging smile, and he knew without a doubt that he had made the right decision.
"Good luck, Itachi-san," she called out.
Facing Naruto's clone, he inclined his head. "Begin."
In an unsurprising move, Naruto charged him straight on. It was clearly a technique meant to distract him so that when Naruto finally executed his main technique, Itachi would be caught off-guard. Mentally shaking his head in amusement, Itachi performed a simple substitution jutsu, leaving Naruto's clone to run into a log.
"Itai!" the clone cried out in pain but did not disperse.
A moment later, he charged again. They continued to trade blows but the spar was certainly on the light side. Was Naruto attempting to lull him into complacency? If that was the case, the blond was certainly more devious than he appeared. Or perhaps he should expect devious tactics from Naruto considering how people could never predict what prank he would execute next.
Itachi observed as Naruto leapt into the air, kicking out in his direction. Just as he sidestepped, his eyes narrowed on the blond's hands.
And the next thing he knew, Naruto landed on the ground before him with smoke enshrouding his entire form. As he watched warily, the misty white cover gradually dissipated to reveal the form hidden behind it.
Itachi's eyes widened in disbelief.
Standing in front of him, with wisps of smoke curling around her to protect her modesty, stood a figure that he found himself hard-pressed to remove his gaze from. His full attention was locked onto her, even though he could hear the gasps of shock from the other Team 7 members.
It was Sakura.
In all her naked glory, modesty only preserved by those insubstantial wisps of smoke. Itachi could swear that he could almost make out the darker shade crowning the tip of her breasts, almost revealed by the thin smoke. And it was worse further down, where the juncture of her legs was covered only by her slender hand.
To his absolute horror, he found himself unable to tear his eyes away from the indecent form displayed in front of him. And worse still, he could feel the telltale pressure at the bridge of his nose which told him that he was about to embarrass himself further. A nosebleed at this point was something he would never live down.
The ruckus between Team 7 continued in the background, with Sakura grabbing her blond teammate in a chokehold, but Itachi only noticed their interactions out of the periphery of his vision.
"What the hell, Naruto!" Sakura shrieked.
"Dobe, stop that right now! It's disgusting!" Sasuke hissed.
Keeping the choking Naruto in her hold, Sakura snarled at her other teammate, clearly offended, "Sasuke, you'd better not be saying what I think you're saying!"
Sasuke returned, "I'm not saying anything."
"Naruto, drop the technique!" Sakura warned. "Or I'll break your neck. Right now!"
"L-Let… L-et me g-go…" Naruto sputtered.
She released him.
Naruto panted harshly. "Guys, look at his face!"
There was an odd buzz of silence and then Itachi felt their gazes upon him.
"Itachi, what do you think you're looking at?" Sasuke snapped.
"I told you it would work!" Naruto crowed. "And see? He's not asexual after all. He's practically drooling. I'm SO going to win this!"
A tug at his leg shocked him out of his immobility. Reacting automatically, he twisted around and kicked out. Another of Naruto's clone flew off and exploded in a cloud of smoke as he hit a tree while the real Naruto groaned in disappointment. A brief glance downwards confirmed that his kunai pouch was still intact and when he lifted his eyes once more in the direction of the indecent figure, he was relieved to find that it was gone.
A curse bubbled up his throat but he clamped his lips shut. Disbelief and horror were foremost in his mind. He had frozen, something he had never experienced before. But then again, he had not been placed in a similar situation in the past. All he knew was that he never wanted to go through such a thing again. Especially not while he was being watched.
"Aw, that was close!" Naruto complained. "Now I have to do guard duty."
"I told you, Dobe. Your technique is useless."
"Naruto…Before I kill you…" Sakura growled. "What possessed you to use ME to distract Itachi?"
Itachi turned towards the blond, careful to keep his eyes away from Sakura. There was no need to feed his imagination further after all, but he would like to know the answer to Sakura's question. Surely his… preoccupation with Sakura was not so obvious that the usually oblivious Naruto could see it. That would be galling.
Scratching the back of his head as his eyes creased with his wide smile, Naruto replied, "Well, I didn't choose you, really."
"What do you mean?" Sakura asked warily, with a little hint of disbelief in her tone. "Are you lying or something?"
"No! What I meant is, the jutsu chooses the person by itself. I have nothing to do with who pops out."
Itachi stilled as the implication of Naruto's words hit him. He had chosen Sakura? Could it be true? Had Naruto somehow managed to design his technique to operate based on the target's desire? His admiration for Naruto's feat in creating such a jutsu warred with disgust at himself that he had been susceptible to it.
Not far away, Sasuke and Sakura hissed simultaneously, "What?"
Naruto's grin died suddenly, to be replaced by a thoughtful frown. Then, as if something had just dawned upon him, the blond spun around to glare at him. All traces of playfulness were gone now, only to be replaced with indignant anger and protectiveness.
"You!" he snarled. "How dareyou think of Sakura like that? You pervert!"
Sakura grabbed his arm before he could charge forward. "Naruto! What are you doing?" she snapped.
"Itachi wouldn't see you unless he wanted to."
Sakura looked confused. "Eh?"
Sasuke was quicker on the uptake this time. "What Dobe meant was that the jutsu only comes up with whoever the target wants to see." He glared at his brother. "It looks like Itachi's lusting after you."
Sakura's eyes widened in shock while Itachi wished himself to be far, far away from this particular conversation. Clearly, he should not have involved himself in Team 7's shenanigans. He should have expected it to backfire on him. Their antics usually resulted in unpredictable outcomes.
"The jutsu replicates the person he finds most distracting, and that means the person he likes the most," Naruto growled darkly at him. "What the hell? You can't think of Sakura like that! It's wrong! WRONG!"
The look on Sasuke's face was just as condemning. "Nii-san. Why?"
Sakura could not even meet his eyes.
Itachi bristled indignantly. They made him sound like a pervert. But he could not deny that he found her attractive and had done so for a while despite the fact that he had done nothing about it. On the other hand, he was a red-blooded man in his early twenties and he should be noticing attractive females. It just so happened only one caught his interest.
Deciding there and then that there was no shame in coming clean, he admitted unapologetically, "I find Sakura attractive."
Sasuke and Naruto glared at him even harder, if that was possible.
He risked a glance at Sakura to find her blushing becomingly. In a strange way, that gave him some hope. But hope of what? Was he truly considering courting her now that the truth was out in the open?
Sasuke stalked up to him. "You can't do this, Nii-san!" he ground out into his face. "She's ours."
Itachi raised a brow. "Is that so?"
"Yes! She belongs to Team 7!" Sasuke declared. "Not to you!"
"Exactly!" Naruto interjected loudly. "You can't have her. She's ours!"
And that was when Sakura slapped her blond teammate hard over the back of his head, causing the blond to yelp in pain as he dropped to the ground. "Itai! That hurts!"
"I'm not an object, idiot! I don't belong to anyone!" she snapped. Turning to pin a murderous look on Sasuke, she continued, "And you'd better remember that as well before I punt you across Konoha."
Itachi stifled a smile as a scowling Sasuke looked away from his female teammate. It was amusing to see just how easily Sakura handled her male teammates.
Itachi blinked, realizing that he was now the focus of a pair of flashing green eyes.
Cheeks reddened, she pointed a finger at him. "I know you're sometimes awkward at social communications, but you don't just say things like that out loud for everyone to hear. That sort of stuff is private!"
Both Sasuke and Naruto snorted at that, causing a furious Sakura to turn on them. The next thing Itachi knew, she had caught them both by the back of their collars and thrown them across the training grounds. The two forms flew over the boundary fences to crash some unseen distance away, drawing a wince from Itachi. That would hurt.
Warily, he slid a glance at Sakura to find her glaring in the direction where she had thrown her teammates. Would she decide to do the same to him now?
"You know they deserved it," she muttered without looking at him.
What could he say but, "Aa."
Itachi kept his eyes on her as they stood in silence in the training grounds. For a long while, he simply observed as she chewed on her bottom lip thoughtfully. He had no doubt that she was mulling over what he had declared earlier. Truthfully, he did not know what he should do next. Was he to wait for her to form some sort of response, or should he attempt to discuss the issue further? It seemed that she had not been wrong to accuse him of being socially awkward.
Finally, she darted an uncertain look at him. "I didn't expect that."
"That I would find you attractive?" he asked.
She looked away and shrugged. "You're… popular… with the girls, I mean."
She gave him an incredulous look and then rolled her eyes. "Don't tell me you didn't notice them throwing themselves at you."
"They don't." At least, not that he could recall.
"Alright, maybe they don't. I guess they're too scared of you to do the stuff they do to Sasuke. I think someone might have mentioned that she found you intimidating," she said wryly.
He felt a spike of anxiety. "Do you think find me intimidating?"
"Me?" Her face scrunched up. "Not really. But then, I see you almost every time I visit Sasuke. I'm accustomed to seeing you."
It was bewildering just how normally they were conversing with each other despite his earlier revelation that he found her attractive. All in all, he was relieved that she did not seem at all traumatized. Did he dare to press his advantage further? Perhaps it was time to take a risk.
In a voice which sounded much calmer than he felt, he asked, "In that case, do you object to seeing me more frequently?"
Her lips parted and her eyes widened. In the next moment, she averted her eyes to stare at the ground. Standing in front of her, he waited with bated breath. He expected her to give him a response but when the seconds ticked by without an answer, he began to doubt the wisdom of his decision. Perhaps he should have waited until she was older, or better still, retreat while he could to salvage whatever that was left of his pride.
He was about to apologize for his forwardness when she finally looked up. The deadpanned expression on her face gave him pause.
"It's not that easy, Itachi-san."
He blinked uncertainly. "Pardon?"
To his astonishment, she grinned before saying, "You've got to do better than that, I'm afraid."
Better than…? His eyes widened in comprehension. "I see," he murmured. "I will… consider it."
Watching him with a pair of twinkling eyes, she said, "I guess I'll leave you to it, then."
She brought her hands together and with a flare of chakra, burst into a cloud of pink petals. Itachi stood watching until the petals settled down and blanketed the ground with a carpet of pink.
A smile gradually made its way to his lips. If a hunt was what Sakura wanted, that was what she would receive.
A/N: And… that's it for this one-shot. Hope you liked it! As always, please review if you could.