Naruto: An Intervention
Andrew J. Talon
DISCLAIMER:This is a non-profit fan-based work of prose. Naruto is the property of Shueisha, Viz Media and Masashi Kishimoto. Please support the official release.
In that interminable time between the end of the Chuunin Exams and Sasuke leaving for Orochimaru, Team Seven had returned to a sort of normalcy. Running D-Ranked missions for the purposes of making extra money and helping to repair the village. Naruto, thanks to his Shadow Clone jutsu, had been really raking in the dough allowing Sasuke and Sakura time to themselves.
Something the latter was naturally far happier about than the former.
However, in an effort to escape the affections of the smitten fangirl, Sasuke had taken to observing Naruto closely. It was only natural-The orange clad buffoon had triumphed where the blue clad avenger had failed. When pressed about it, Naruto had just shot Sasuke a disbelieving look and laughed it off. So Sasuke observed Naruto, hoping he would give himself away.
At the moment, they were in their downtime after another completed mission. Naruto sat on the grass on the far side of the bridge that was their meeting place. Sasuke leaned against the bridge proper, eyes firmly on Naruto.
"Avenger's log, supplemental. Target is looking wistfully up at the sky while the wind blows his hair in an almost artistic way. Still no signs of his incredible hidden power. Will continue observations until change, or dinner," Sasuke spoke.
"Er... Sasuke-kun, who are you talking to?" Sakura asked. Sasuke's eyes widened and he slowly looked over at Sakura.
"... Hn," Sasuke decisively said. Sakura blinked a few times, then shrugged.
"Hey, if you're talking to yourself, that's fine! I do it frequently, actually! I mean, I haven't been diagnosed with anything... Not that I've worried I'm crazy, because ha, who worries about that in this business?" She laughed a bit awkwardly. Sasuke blinked at her, before returning to his vigil on Naruto. Sakura sighed.
Maybe I should go on that medication like mom and dad want...
What, and lose me? Come on girl, I'm your advantage! Inner Sakura loudly proclaimed. Who let you break out of Ino's mind jutsu, anyway?
Yeah, how did that happen again? Sakura asked.
I dunno. I guess you're crazy, Inner Sakura said. Sakura rolled her eyes. Still, onto more important things... Why is Sasuke checking out Naruto?
I guess Naruto is being kind of weird lately, Sakura admitted, following Sasuke's gaze to the usually hyperactive blonde. And Sasuke really is interested in him...
Why couldn't he be interested in Neji? Whined Inner Sakura. That would be so hot...!
This is serious! Sakura told her inner.
So am I!
We're focused on Naruto right now!
Sasuke and Naruto would be pretty nice, actually... If Naruto took off his headband, it'd be even-
No no no! Sakura argued back. I mean, why is he acting so weird?
Oh. I dunno. It does make him look more attractive-
Sakura sighed. Inner was on one of her tangents again. She supposed she could just go and ask Naruto why he was acting so weird.
And if Sasuke's macking on him! So not fair! Why can't Sasuke be into girls! Or at least let us watch-!
"Hey squirt!" Shouted a familiar voice. Naruto immediately perked up, as Sasuke and Sakura blinked and watched as Anko Mitarashi ran up. Naruto shot to his feet and grinned.
"Hey! Let's go get some ramen, eh?" Anko asked. Naruto nodded happily.
"Yeah! Ramen's awesome!" He grabbed Anko's hand and dragged her off. The older woman laughed.
"Hey! No need to be so pushy!"
"Oh, right, sorry!" Naruto said.
The two ran off. Sasuke and Sakura blinked in unison.
"Wasn't that... The crazy examiner lady?" Sakura asked. Sasuke slowly nodded.
Sakura shook her head and took off a few steps. She looked over her shoulder.
"Come on Sasuke!"
Sasuke sighed. Well, he was curious... So with that in mind, he followed the pink haired girl to find out what was going on with the blonde idiot enigma.
He needed to put something in his Avenger's log besides purple prose...
Ichiraku Ramen: Home of the Bacon Bowl. Ayame Ichiraku was the only cook on duty at the time, and upon hearing the familiar tread and shuffling of Naruto's sandals and track suit she looked up with a smile.
"Hello Naruto!" She said with her usual bright smile at her favorite customer. The bright beam dampened slightly as she saw his companion. "Mitarashi-san."
"Hey there, hon," Anko said with a wink. "I see you're not limping anymore."
"Eh? What's she talking about, Ayame-nee-chan?"
"Oh, nothing, nothing!" Ayame said frantically, waving her hands with a blush. "What can I get you two?" She shot Anko a deadly look, which the infamous kunoichi smirked back at.
"Fufufu...I'll have whatever Naru-chan's having," she said with a purr to her voice as they sat down at the bar.
"'Naru-chan?'" Sakura questioned, watching this scene from a nearby rooftop. Sasuke sat next to her, frowning as well.
"One of everything! For me!"
"The same," Anko said with a wry smile.
"Coming right up..." Ayame said as she continued giving Anko a deadly expression. Naruto settled into eating his ramen happily the moment the bowls were served, ignorant of Ayame and Anko's tension.
What's that all about...? Sakura thought. It was almost like... They're fighting over Naruto?
Lucky bastard, Sasuke thought. Hey, he liked women, not fangirls, and Naruto having not one but two hot older ladies having sexy tension around him? And him not even reacting? It was really just not fair...
Anko ate a few bowls of ramen, before she sighed and leaned back. She smiled over at Naruto, who was of course still going.
"Hmph, you're lucky I'm paying for this. You can have my other bowls, brat," Anko said.
"Really?" Naruto asked, starry eyed.
"What the... Why is she doing that...?" Sakura asked with a frown.
She's treating him like her puppy, Inner Sakura commented, an association that was strengthened when Anko ruffled Naruto's hair affectionately. Sasuke's own scowl grew.
"Thanks Anko-nee-chan! You're the greatest!" Naruto said cheerfully, as he chowed down like a ramen eating machine.
"What I want to know is ...Why Naruto?" Sasuke asked with a frown.
"Well... They are very alike," Sakura commented. "I mean, they're both loud, annoying, loners, socially awkward..."
Sasuke imagined a Sexy Jutsu version of Naruto in Anko's usual outfit... And cursed fate that such a hottie had to be the cheap jutsu of an idiotic male.
"But paying for ramen...?" Sakura asked. "She must like him a lot..."
"So, do you want to sleep over at my house tonight?" Anko asked. Ayame dropped a ramen ladle, as Sakura and Sasuke both gaped in disbelief. Naruto grinned back at Anko with a hopeful gleam in his eyes.
"I can?" Naruto asked, almost squealing.
"Sure, I've been kind of lonely without you around..." Anko said, again a purr in her voice. Ayame's hands rose to her cheeks, which were turning bright red.
"Ahem... Naruto?" Ayame managed. Naruto turned back to his other big sister figure and grinned.
"Oh it's great, Ayame-nee-chan! Anko-nee-chan is so nice, and we do stuff all night...!" Naruto said enthusiastically.
"Sl-Sleepover?" Sakura gasped, eyes swirling. Inner Sakura provided a few mental images of what those sleepovers might entail, but Sakura squashed them.
"No way," Sasuke cursed.
"We can even have some... Fun," Anko said as she wagged her eyebrows.
"Fun...?" Sakura choked. The mental images came loud and clear, Inner Sakura cackling.
"...I'm not seeing this," Sasuke muttered.
"What? Jealous, Aya-chan?" Anko asked, a teasing lilt to her voice. Ayame, flustered, poked her fingers together.
"I uh... N-No! But um... Out of curiosity, what does she have you do Naruto?
At this, Naruto became withdrawn. He averted his eyes.
"Er... Well.. Um... Lots of things..."
Anko wrapped an arm around Naruto's shoulders and grinned.
"Too many things to talk about. Why, sometimes we're up until the sun comes up!"
"Oh my God..." Sakura gasped, as Sasuke sputtered next to her.
"Yeah! Lots of awesome stuff!" Naruto said cheerfully.
"Remember last time? Man, I thought I wouldn't be able to see straight for days," Anko laughed, patting Naruto on the shoulder. Naruto laughed.
"Oh yeah! That was great! I was really sore afterwards though..."
"Well, the harder stuff will always leave you feeling sore. But hey, you make up for it with endurance," Anko purred. Naruto laughed again, as Ayame looked about ready to faint. Sakura wasn't much better.
"But... But... You... I...?" Ayame tried. She looked between them and her gaze settled on Naruto. "But you're... Naruto! I-I think you're a little... Young for that kind of stuff!"
"I am?" Naruto asked, confused.
"Nah! He's much better at it than you'd think! Maybe you should join us next time, mm Aya-chan?" Anko asked teasingly.
"J-Join you?" Ayame squeaked. Up on their lookout post, Sakura was twitching and Sasuke looked as though his soul was halfway out of his body.
Naruto finished his ramen with a flourish, setting down the final bowl. "Mmm... Done! Thanks Ayame-chan! That was great!" He turned from the silent Ayame to Anko. "Let's go, Nee-chan!"
"Alright. Let's get you your stuff and then over to my house!" Anko said enthusiastically.
"Okay!" Naruto cheered. They headed off, leaving four very disturbed individuals... Though at least Hinata Hyuuga had fainted dead away to spare herself further trauma.
"... No wonder he's been acting so weird much lately! He... He's... She's...!" Sakura's keen mind brought up every bit on psychology she could remember, and she gasped in horror.
"She's using ramen to turn poor Naruto into her sex slave!"
Sasuke slowly nodded, his own eyes wide in horror.
"I can't believe this... I-I should've seen it coming! He kept hitting on me no matter how many times I hit him..." Sakura's green eyes nearly popped out of her skull as the horrible truth hit her.
"I did this! Oh God, I played right into her hands! Nooo!"
Sakura's imagination painted a vivid picture of the horrible things Naruto was no doubt undergoing, being turned into Anko's plaything...
"...L-lucky..." Sasuke managed.
"WHAT?!" Sakura screamed. She stared in outraged horror at Sasuke. Sasuke coughed, and looked away.
"Oooh...!" Sakura snarled, shaking her fist at her crush. "Naruto is one thing-He's stupid and innocent and easily manipulated with ramen! BUT YOU?! I-I can't believe you! Doesn't it bother you that he's been turned into the private pet of a psychotic, sadistic kunoichi?! She was Orochimaru's student for crying out loud! Who KNOWS what she might be doing to him!"
Ooh! It actually sounds kind of hot-
"QUIET YOU!" Sakura snarled.
"Who are you talking to-" Sasuke tried.
"NEVERMIND!" Sakura growled. "We've got to do something!"
"Let's go find Kakashi then," Sasuke suggested. "If you're so concerned."
"Good idea!" Sakura cried. She held her hands to her chest. "Oh Naruto, you poor moron... Don't you worry! Help is on the way!" She leaped off.
"Hn," Sasuke sighed. Honestly, this was why he preferred older women... And envied Naruto so much.
"I'm coming, I'm coming," Sasuke grumbled as he followed. He slid to a halt on a rooftop when he caught sight of someone pale, curvy, and blue haired. "Hey, hold up!"
"What?" Sakura asked. Sasuke pointed down at the alley way, and Sakura gasped.
"Oh no! Hinata!" She sprung down and shook her. "Hinata, wake up! What's wrong with her?"
"She probably saw the same thing we did," Sasuke said dryly.
"Well why would that affect her?" Sakura asked innocently. Sasuke stared in disbelief at the pink haired girl.
"... And you call yourself a girl," Sasuke snorted.
"What? What?" Sakura demanded. Sasuke sighed.
"Nevermind... Let's just get her somewhere so she can recover... And won't try to murder anyone."
He'd seen Hinata in wrath once. He shuddered for the first time since Orochimaru had bit him.
Yeah, he was just going to go back to repressing that too...
At this very moment, Ino Yamanaka, blonde babe of the Konoha Twelve, was searching for her friend and teammate Chouji Akimichi. She grumbled, irritated.
"I've checked every restaurant in Konoha's east end," she muttered. "I mean geez! How much diversity in his diet can he have?!"
Ino Yamanaka still underestimated the determination of Akimichis to enjoy food as much as possible. It was what had turned Konoha into not only an economic powerhouse of ninja but also of fast food franchises.
She turned a corner and found herself at the Ichiraku Ramen Stand. She sighed.
"Well, on the plus side, I might get to see Sasuke if he's with Naruto," Ino said with a smile. Admittedly, her ardor for Sasuke had cooled off quite a bit, but he was still pretty to look at. And Naruto too, sometimes... Maybe if he wore different clothes. And was quiet.
"Uwah..." Ayame moaned. Ino blinked as she saw Ayame in the middle of a full blown blue screen of death. Concerned, Ino reached across and touched her hand. Ayame twitched.
"...You alright?" Ino asked.
"I... Ino! Oh Ino, it-it's horrible!" Ayame gasped. Ino smiled comfortingly, and decided to try for a joke to lighten the tension.
"What is it? Naruto decide he doesn't like ramen?"
Ayame broke into tears and grabbed Ino's shoulders. She hugged Ino across the bar with frightening strength.
Urk! Bad idea, bad idea! Ino mentally gasped.
"No, worse! He... Mitarashi's gotten her hooks into him and is-is making him do things for her!" Ayame pushed Ino back and shook her by the shoulders. "Do you understand me?! She's taking advantage of him! Making him into her sex slave!"
Ino stared at Ayame in total silence for about thirty seconds. Not that she timed it or anything but over a minute of silence outside of ninja missions just wouldn't be like her.
"..Wow, does she have bad taste..." The full implications of what she'd heard hit her, and her eyes widened. "WAIT WHAT!?"
"You can switch minds with people! Go after them and STOP HER!" Ayame insisted. "Free my poor Naruto from her evil sexy control!"
"Uhh... Ayame, I'm a genin and Anko is like... Well..." A special jounin who made most of the jounins nervous and frightened. Even hers. Not just because of power, but because of crazy.
Which with ninja was often a dead on correlation.
"Please! For me?" Ayame sniffled. Ino sighed.
"I'll... I'll go see what I can do," Ino said, defeated. Ayame smiled brightly.
"Don't worry! I'll send you back up as soon as you can!"
"Please do," Ino sighed. She turned and headed in the direction of Anko Mitarashi's home, grumbling.
Oooh... Naruto, you moron, you are so going to owe me for this...
In a ninja village, much like every other human community, rumors spread like wildfire. While Sakura was not as socially adept as Ino, she knew well enough to get juicy news out. And this was particularly juicy.
This served Sakura's purposes nicely though. After all, no other kunoichi had been nearly as adept at laying traps in her year as she was. And she knew her quarry quite well.
Well, not that well, but well enough. Sasuke had gone off to get their other friends to help, leaving Sakura to deal with the big fish. With Hinata's Byakugan to help, she was able to find Naruto's perverted sensei at a hot springs, giggling over bathing beauties.
They crept up on him from either side, Hinata surprisingly eager to help with saving Naruto. She guessed Hinata liked him after fighting Neji on her behalf or something. Hmph, and Sasuke said she wasn't a good girl! What did he know? His conditioner wasn't nearly as good as hers...
She held her hand up, and raised three fingers, knowing Hinata could see her. She lowered one finger, then two, then formed a fist.
"AHA!" Sakura cried, exploding from her hiding place. She dove for the back of the red clad old man. Jiraiya swung around and caught the kunoichi by her wrist, holding her up over the rooftop that he'd staked out the baths on. Hinata stopped her charge short, skidding to a halt with her Jyuken charged hands glowing.
"Really?" He asked with a skeptical expression. Sakura shrugged as best she could.
"... It was a thought..." Sakura said. "Besides, I have anger issues."
BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD! SKULL FOR THE SKULL THRONE!
Shut up! I don't get that reference! Sakura growled back mentally.
"M-Maybe we should have just asked him for help..." Hinata suggested.
"What can I, the Great Jiraiya, do for you? You small angry girl?" Jiraya asked.
Sakura wrenched her wrist free. "Naruto is being used as a sex slave!"
Jiraiya's brows rose. "Really? By whom?"
"ANKO FREAKING MITARASHI! Emphasis on FREAKING because she has a FREAKING Masters in being a FREAK!" Sakura snarled.
"Th-That's right!" Hinata added.
Jiraiya hummed. "I could've sworn she'd gone in for her PhD by now. This is a problem for Naruto why?"
"What part of 'ANKO FREAKING MITARASHI' did you NOT understand?!" Sakura demanded.
Hinata nodded, a flash of anger in her eyes. Sakura shuddered a bit when she saw it, but kept her focus on the task at hand.
"The 'freaking' part is actually all part of what makes it a non-problem to me," Jiraiya said.
"Listen you old pervert!" Sakura snarled. "This is an unhealthy and destructive relationship your apprentice is in!"
"You did see her Bingo Book entry, right?" Jiraiya asked. "I don't really see a problem... They're both single, she's an older attractive woman... lonely... meeting a kindred soul in a younger man," Jiraiya gained a wistful look. Hinata blushed bright red.
"Show him the sexual ropes as it were..." Jiraiya grinned and pulled out his notepad and a pen. He scribbled down a few thoughts. "Hey, this is good stuff!"
"SHE'S OROCHIMARU'S FORMER APPRENTICE!" Sakura exploded. Jiraiya held a finger up to his lips.
"Shhh! Not so loud! Besides, he probably taught her that tongue thing," Jiraiya said, waggling his eyebrows.
"This is like... Sensei incest!" Sakura hissed. Jiraiya grinned.
"Good point! That makes it even hotter!" Jiraiya scribbled that down. Sakura growled and resisted the urge to punch the old man.
Jiraiya eyed her shrewdly, and then looked over at Hinata.
"Oh. Oooohhh-ho-ho-hoo~! I see... You two want him for yourself!" Jiraiya nodded approvingly. "I must say, it's a very mature decision at your age, to share-"
"Wh-What?! No! No!" Sakura denied frantically.
"You'll get him for sure if you work together!" Jiraiya complimented.
"R-Really?" Hinata asked. Sakura stared at her in disbelief. Her blush reach incandescent levels. "I-I mean, um, er..."
"What is your problem?" Sakuta asked in disbelief.
"Um... N-Ninja?" Hinata asked.
".. That isn't an answer!" Sakura said, outraged.
"Sure it is," Jiraiya said with a nod. Sakura facepalmed and groaned. She raised her head and sighed, shaking her head.
".. Urgh. Look... If you come with us, maybe you'll get a chance to watch them going at it," Sakura grumbled.
Jiraiya grinned cheerfully, snapping his notebook shut. "I'm there!"
"Great," Sakura sighed as Hinata looked... Contemplative.
While this was happening, Ino had made it to the home of Anko Mitarashi. Contrary to popular belief, the house was not a den of doom where damned souls wailed. It was a nice, sensible, older home in the suburbs of Konoha, nestled in a copse of trees. The kind of place you'd look up the meaning of "copse" for because it sounded better than a grove.
Ino peered around a tree, focusing her chakra senses into the house. She could sense two signatures inside. Beyond that she couldn't get anything else. She frowned, and considered her options.
Well, I could mind switch one of them... I'd have to get a lot closer... But what kind of situation would I be in?
Her mind painted a few pictures... Several pictures.
In Ino's mind...
Naruto, looking particularly child-like and innocent as he skips along. The sun is shining brightly above as birds and Naruto sing.
"Lalala, lalala, I love ramen, doo doo doo...!"
Then came Anko, looking like a seductress out of a Marvel fanboy's wet dream. She hissed.
"Huh? Oh! Hello Anko! I was just enjoying the nice sunny day!"
"Oh, I have a better idea," Anko purred. Naruto blinked.
"Let's play... 'Violate the Innocent Boy!'" Anko cried as she pounced on Naruto, hearts floating into the air above them.
"Ah, Nee-chan! This feels weird...!"
"Shut up fox brat, and squeal for mommy!"
She blushed bright red. She shook her head.
Yeah, it might not be a great situation... On the other hand, if I switched out with Anko...
"Squeal for Ino-sama, Naru-baby! Mwahahahaha!"
Ino blushed harder and shook her head furiously free of those thoughts. Just in time to spot Naruto exiting the house with a bit of a limp. He turned and waved back at Anko with a bright smile.
"Sure you need to go, Naru-chan?" Anko crooned. Naruto smiled and nodded cheerfully.
"Yeah! I've got to get home! I can't do it without my special supplies!"
Special supplies?! Ino thought in disbelief.
"Don't keep me waiting, Naru-chan," Anko said with a hint of menace. "You know how I hate to be kept waiting."
Naruto shivered with some obvious fear, and nodded quickly. "Of course, Anko-nee-chan!"
Ino analyzed the body language of Naruto and Anko... And she clenched her fists.
Naruto turned and walked away, heading for the road. Ino watched him go by, and made her decision.
"Naruto!" She cried as she sprang from her hiding space to tackle him. The other blond yelped and pulled away, which sent Naruto onto his back and Ino on top of him.
"OOF!" Naruto cried. "Ino?! What the-?!"
"Are you okay? She didn't hurt you, did she!?" Ino cried. She pulled open Naruto's jacket and ran her hands over his chest. Naruto gaped.
"Ino-I-No, she didn't!
"Are you sure?" Ino asked, checking his neck for hickeys or bite marks. Naruto blushed and took hold of Ino's hands, moving them away. He scowled up at her.
"What are you doing?!"
"You, and Anko...Anko...horrible Christmas Cake... PREDATOR!" Ino got out. Ino's hands made one last circuit of his body, as Naruto blushed brightly. She was blushing too-He was rather well built underneath that stupid orange outfit...
"She's doing horrible lewd things to you!" Ino cried, as she got to her feet. Naruto scowled and got up as well.
"No she isn't!"
"Of course she isn't, she makes you think they're not wrong, but they're definitely wrong!" Ino insisted. Naruto shook his head.
"We're not doing anything like that!"
"Oh? Then what are you doing?" Ino demanded. "What are the special supplies?"
"Just some butter, honey, KY jelly, and rubber tubing."
Ino stared in sheer disbelief. Naruto scowled.
"What? Why do you want to know anyway, huh?"
"Well, she's... Everyone knows it's Anko," Ino said. "She's bad news! This just proves it!"
Naruto's scowl grew deeper. "Oh... So just because she's Anko, that means she's doing all sorts of terrible things to me?"
"Well... Kind of, yeah!" Ino said, a bit taken aback. Naruto growled and turned around, stalking down the road.
Geez I'm off my game! Ino thought.
"Naruto! Wait!" Ino cried. Naruto scowled and looked over his shoulder. Ino rested a hand on his shoulder.
"I'm sorry for that," Ino said. Naruto continued to scowl.
"Really!" Ino insisted, looking emphatically into his eyes. Naruto stared back, and slowly nodded.
"All right... Thanks," Naruto said.
There was some silence, as Ino waited for the tension to die down. She then said:
"So...what do you and Anko do?"
"Um... I'm not supposed to talk about it," Naruto said, looking at the sky.
Ino scowled. Damnit, he was evading now... She had to earn the trust back! But how? All Naruto cared about was being strong, becoming Hokage, ramen, orange... Sakura... Friends... Closer than friends...
"Come on, we're friends, right?" Ino said with a smile. Naruto blinked. "We helped each other out during the Chuunin Exams, didn't we?"
"And I'm friends with Sakura," Ino went on. "And you'd tell her about this, right?"
"But I can't," Naruto said.
"Why not?" Ino demanded. Naruto shrugged.
"I made a promise."
Oh God. Ino knew how Naruto was about those, if only by reputation. He was stubborn as hell, even for her!
"Naruto...what did she make you promise?" Ino asked. Naruto scowled.
"Well, if you think she's some kind of horrible evil person, I'm not going to tell you!" He crosses his arms and huffs.
"I don't!" Ino insisted. She thought she was a twisted, sadistic, immoral person! Totally different!
"Yes you do," Naruto growled.
"I'm just worried..." Ino said. Naruto huffed.
And then it hit Ino. Her keen mind hatched a brilliant plan. After all, if you wanted to get someone out of a bad relationship, why not get them into a better one? If she knew how to do anything, it was manipulate men! And in this case, it would be for a good purpose!
Well... It wasn't a pleasant idea, but she couldn't just let Naruto remain the plaything of that woman! She wasn't an uncaring bitch! She hugged his arm and let her voice drop an octave.
"...Well, because I care about you," Ino said softly. Naruto blushed.
"Uh? What...? Like uh, how?" He asked. Ino mentally groaned. Come on, she was the best looking girl in their year! Even if Sasuke couldn't appreciate it, some dope like Naruto was sure to be easily molded by her wiles! At least he had hormones, which couldn't be said for guys like Neji...
"You know...I... " She blushed deeply, and looked aside, "...Like you."
"Uh... No. You like Sasuke, "Naruto said that in the same tone he might use to talk a crazy person. Ino resisted her urge to hit him at this, instead snorting derisively.
"Pfft...I used to."
"But you know...Sakura got on his team, and I kind of gave up... And I guess I wanted to be Sakura's friend more than her rival," Ino went on. Naruto frowned... And then snapped his fingers.
"Wait... I've got it! Sakura liked Sasuke first... So... Oh my God, you've just liked him so much to keep pushing her to feel better about herself!" Naruto grinned proudly. Ha! He was a genius! Looking underneath the underneath, he sure showed Kakashi-sensei!.
"...I LIKED SASUKE FIRST!" Ino cried, exasperated.
Naruto winced. "Oh."
Ino took a deep breath, planning on refocusing her game before Naruto interrupted her thoughts:
"Um... So why not now? Just so you can be friends with Sakura-chan? I thought you were friends before, you just fought a lot."
"I wanted to fight less."
"So you don't like him now... You like me," Naruto said, slowly. "Why?"
"Well...you were pretty awesome against Neji," Ino said quietly. She looked at him under her bangs, pleased he was blushing back at the warm look. "And Sakura told me about your fight with Gaara. How you saved her."
"Thanks! Guys like Neji just piss me off-He shouldn't have treated Hinata like that! And Gaara..." He shook his head, looking serious and... Dare she say it... Rather cool. "I had to save Sakura-chan... And Sasuke... Everybody."
Naruto smiled, looking older as he looked into the distance.
"That's what a Hokage does, after all. Why he's strong. To protect everyone."
"Yeah," Ino said, blushing more genuinely.
They stood there in companionable silence for a bit.
"Well, um... " Naruto broke that just fine, rubbing the back of his head. "I don't... Really know what to say. I mean... I do like Sakura-chan..."
In the process of acting out her confession, Ino had forgotten her prior worry. That did make her wonder... Sure, she was Sakura's friend but she didn't know what Naruto's obsession with her was.
"So why do you like her so much?" Ino asked.
"Well... I think she's great. And pretty. And, well," he scratched the top of his head. "There's something about her that's really... Fiery."
"Yeah, you could call it that," Ino muttered.
"Like, you know how she's all nice and quiet and gushy around Sasuke?" Naruto made a face. "I don't like that Sakura. I like her when she's got that fire in her eyes, when she's herself... If that makes sense?"
"Yeah, I get it," Ino said, humming low in her throat.
"Really hurts when she's like that though," Naruto commented, rubbing his chin. Ino smiled warmly.
"I can be warm and fiery..." She stood on her tiptoes and kissed his cheek. "Without hurting." She allowed herself to adopt a doe eyed expression. "Unless you like that~."
"Ah, um..." Naruto managed, staring back at Ino. Ino just smirked sexily.
She had to admit, after dealing with guys who seemed to have no hormones, it was nice to be appreciated.
So why was he staring at her like that?
In Naruto's brain, an epic debate was happening between several aspects of Naruto's self. It may have been a side effect of the Kage Bunshin-Splitting one's consciousness between multiple perspectives tended to make one's brain a bit unstable unless you had a learning disability.
Fortunately Naruto did. But it still resulted in the abstract processes of thought being expressed in a somewhat fanciful way.
One Naruto, dressed in a proper business suit and tie (Orange, of course), stepped forward representing reason as he always did.
"Clearly we must approach this calmly! This is a stressful situation, it's where I shine!"
Reason!Naruto was just as quickly punched out by a Naruto dressed in fiery orange clothing.
"WE MUST RETURN THE KISS AND SEND HER INTO THE HEAVENS!" He bellowed, shaking his fists as Reason!Naruto groaned.
"SHE HAS THE FIERY PASSION OF YOUTH!" A Naruto in an orange spandex suit cried. Everyone ignored him.
One Naruto, representing the blonde's insecurities, struggled at the feet of the others bound and gagged.
"Mmmph hnngh mmph!" He cried.
"He kind of has a point," Reason!Naruto pointed out, getting back up and adjusting his glasses. "She might just be manipulating and lying to us."
"FOOL! SHE IS TOO FIERY! WE CANNOT DISCOUNT HER!"
"So what do we do?" Asked Reason!Naruto.
"KISS HER MOTHERFUCKER!" Every Naruto turned to see another one-This Naruto was dressed in a white suit with a loud orange shirt underneath and a gold chain around his neck. He was also holding an M-16 for some reason and sniffed.
"Listen here, ya dogs! Thirteen years old! We should be busier feeling our Sexy Jutsu self up instead of killin' people! I want to fuck! I want to fuck good, hard and long! We're gonna fuck dis chick, and fuck 'er good! YOU GOT IT!?" He bellowed in a strangely Cuban accent.
"Well I-" Reason!Naruto tried again, before Libido!Naruto shot him down. Literally, without even a "say hello to my little friend."
"I AM A TEENAGED BOY!" Libido!Naruto shouted. "THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS TO ME IS RAMEN! EXPLOSIONS! AND TITS!"
"You're out of order!" Reason!Naruto managed, bleeding copiously from multiple gunshot wounds.
The Libido!Naruto kicked Reason!Naruto to the curb. Libido!Naruto cackled.
"YES! I GET TO BE IN CHARGE! TITS FOR ALL!"
Libido!Naruto froze as he felt a familiar gaze on his back. He slowly looked over his shoulder to see a Naruto in black monk's robes, with a halo and angel wings.
"No," Morality!Naruto said calmly. Libido!Naruto grumbled as Reason!Naruto rose from the curb, smirking.
"So what do you suggest we do, ya fu-"
"... Fudging goody two shoes?" Asked Libido!Naruto.
"YOSH! WE SHOULD DEFEAT HER SO SHE WILL BECOME OUR BELOVED!" Youth!Naruto shouted.
"NO!" Shouted every other Naruto, even the gagged one.
"But it worked-!"
"We never get to do what I wanna do," pouted Youth!Naruto.
"Fine! Don't fuck her...yet," Libido!Naruto said at last. He glowered at the others. "But I expect some fucking fucking soon!"
"I AM IN FULL AGREEMENT!" Shouted Courage!Naruto. "CHARGE!"
"OH RAMEN!" Reason!Naruto cried.
Outside, Naruto turned back to Ino. He smiled at her and leaned forward to kiss her cheek. However, in true cliche'd fashion she had turned her head to study him better, and their lips brushed together. Naruto pulled back, as did Ino, and they stared at each other with bright red cheeks.
"Um... I um... I'vegottago!" Ino cried, turning and running off. Naruto stared after her, his hand moving up to his lips.
… Yeah, way better than kissing that bastard, he decided.
I keep trying to avoid it, but Naruto keeps drawing me back in. Ah well, let's see where this goes shall we?