Trials of Ice and Fire





"Boss Summon/Tailed Beast Speaking"

'Boss Summon/Tailed Beast Thoughts'

Author Note:
First, it appears the last chapter was mostly received well. I've received many compliments on the lemon and the Tsuchikage meeting. I'm very glad they turned out okay. The confrontation at the academy however, was not liked by the majority. The common opinion is that Naruto simply lost his temper with a child and acted very immature. This was not what I was intending it to sound like. I am trying to make it come across as teaching Hanabi a lesson before she turns into another Sasuke. Something similar to that and not simply him acting immature.

It also has been pointed out a few times that Gaara's fight during the Chunin Exams was too short, I have changed it up a bit to where it is longer. I hope that is better for everyone. I also went through the entire story again to try and fix small things here and there. In addition to Gaara's fight, the big changes are the line breaks and the rape scene, which many thought needed to be toned down and I did.

Finally, I'm sorry almost I did not get this out on time. I got started on a story and I just could not put it down. I want to give a shout out to Yet Again with a Little Extra Help by Third Fang. Story was absolutely hilarious; random chaos, absolute insanity, mind games, etc. This story left me in stitches. It is also the longest I've ever read on the site at over 1 million words. If you were to publish this, I'm sure you could use the money to get that sanity check you mentioned. I felt like I was going insane reading it so I can't imagine how crazy your head is. Worship the Log, beat the Floor and hide the Fluffy. Nice job man.

Chapter 13: Confessions and Inspiration

The Road to the Inuzuka Compound

The group of three consisting of Naruto, Haku and Kurotsuchi were making their way to the Inuzuka compound for a small party after leaving the Academy. Kurotsuchi, having been watching Naruto and Haku with the former still being quiet after his confrontation, decides to speak up trying to get some answers.

"So Namikaze-san, mind telling me why you practically attacked the chibi Hyuuga earlier? She seemed to really get under your skin."

Naruto looks over to the Iwa nin and hesitates on his answer, wondering how much to tell her. Not wanting to deal with any unwanted questions, he vaguely responds, "She reminds me too much of an old enemy."

Kurotsuchi, not satisfied with the answer, was about to push further but a pointed look and head shake from Haku deters her questions and she decides to drop it.

The rest of the trip passes on in silence before the trio comes to the Inuzuka compound.

At the Inuzuka Compound

Walking through the gates of the compound amidst the sounds of barking and howling, the trio is greeted by the Inuzuka clan head and her wolf-dog ninken Kuromaru.

Looking pointedly at Naruto, Tsume asks, "Uzumaki-Namikaze-san, are you here for my pup's little party?"

Bowing in respect to the clan head, Naruto says, "Just Naruto is fine Tsume-sama and yes, I'm here for Kiba's party. He invited me earlier in the day."

Nodding, Tsume replies, "That's fine but what about the girls behind you? I can tell the long haired one is your mate from what Kiba has told me, but I was unaware of the presence of an Iwa nin."

Taking Haku's hand with a smile, Naruto says, "You are correct Tsume-sama. This is Haku-chan, she is my girlfriend."

Smiling gently, Haku bows and says, "It is a pleasure to meet you Inuzuka-sama."

Bowing slightly in return, Tsume replies, "The pleasure is mine Haku-san."

Looking to the other woman, Tsume asks, "And you, Iwa nin?"

Stepping forward, she says, "My name is Kurotsuchi and I'm the Tsuchikage's granddaughter. I was interested in learning more about a foreign village and Namikaze-san offered to let me come along to this little gathering."

Realizing he probably should have asked first, Naruto says, "If that is all right with you that is. I realize I should have asked first, but I did not think about it."

Tsume glances to her partner who nods and steps toward Kurotsuchi, who stiffens slightly but does nothing, sniffing her for a bit before turning to Tsume and saying, "She is powerful and smells strongly of earth and fire. I can tell she is wary, but I can sense no ill intent coming from her."

Accepting her ninken's judgment, Tsume waves the three inside saying, "Fine, enjoy the party Naruto-san, Haku-san, Kurotsuchi-san. Kiba and the others are inside the dining area."

The three bow and thank her before going inside to the party.

At the Party

In the dining area, the rookies and their sensei are having fun catching up with each other for the first time since before the Chunin Exams. There was a wide variety of meats and dishes available as well as drinks, both alcoholic and not, being consumed by them all. Kakashi was reading his book and ignoring Gai's attempts to start another "youthful" challenge, with Asuma and Kurenai looking on in amusement. Shikamaru and Neji were playing a game of shogi, Choji was enjoying himself at the buffet and having a barbeque eating contest with Rock Lee. Sakura, Ino, Hinata and Tenten were all talking with each other and Shino, well, he was just standing around.

Kiba, having smelled the strong scent of foxes shortly after Naruto's arrival, is the first to greet the three when they show up.

Greeting his friend with a fist bump, Kiba says, "Hey Naruto! Glad you could make it!"

Returning the gesture, Naruto says, "Wouldn't miss it Kiba. It's been a long time since we've all been together like this."

Turning around Kiba loudly announces to everyone, "Hey everyone! Naruto is here!"

Everyone turns at Kiba's announcement and happily greets the blonde ninja with the exception of Sakura, who looks rather sad, Hinata, who notices her crush holding hands with Haku and seems to be on the verge of tears and the Jonin, who stiffen upon seeing the Iwa nin.

Most of the group starts converging on Naruto but Rock Lee, in his excitement at seeing his friend, rushes forward past them all and says, "Greetings Naruto-kun! Your flames of youth are burning brightly as always my youthful friend!"

Ignoring Kurotsuchi's horrified look and Haku tightening her grip on his hand in surprise at Lee's strange appearance, Naruto smiles and says, "Hey Lee, I suppose it is. I see your out of your casts now. How is your training coming along?"

Giving a nice guy pose complete with sparkling teeth that somehow reflect the sunlight when they are indoors, he enthusiastically says, "Yosh! Thanks to Hokage-sama I am perfectly recovered and I am now training my flames of youth to burn even brighter in a dazzling display of youthfulness!"

Gai, who somehow appears next to Lee when he was across the room a second ago, loudly proclaims, "Yes my most youthful student! Your flames of youth are shining brightly once more and soon, you will follow your youthful teammates in becoming Chunin! If you don't do that, I will run a hundred laps around Konoha on my hands while balancing a boulder on my feet!"

As everyone slowly backs away, Lee loudly says, "Yosh! If I do not become Chunin soon, I will join you only I will run two hundred laps!"

To everyone's horror, Gai embraces his student crying anime tears and says, "Oh Lee, you are the epitome of youthfulness!"

Also crying anime tears, Lee returns the embrace with the dreaded sunset genjutsu of youth forming, complete with crashing waves and a sunset, shouting, "Oh Gai-sensei!"





Before things can get any worse, the "youthful duo" are knocked out by a huge hammer courtesy of Tenten, who proceeds to grab the two by an ankle and drag them off somewhere while muttering something along the lines of "third time today" and "thought I would get away from this after I got promoted" as everyone watching sweat-drops at the sight.

Kurotsuchi, utterly confused at the sight, asks, "Please tell me you Konoha nin don't deal with that all the time. I mean, that can't be normal. Right?"

The group mostly slumps over in depression with many saying "unfortunately yes".

Ino, having noticed the opportunity for some gossip, asks, "So Naruto, are these your girlfriends? I have to say you have some good taste even though they are from Kiri and Iwa if their hitai-ate are any indication. None of the Konoha girls good enough for you or did Tsunade-sama put you in an arranged marriage?"

Most perk up at this and want to hear his answer. Ignoring Haku's beaming face and Kurotsuchi's indignant look, Naruto says, "Sorry Ino, but it's just Haku-chan who is my girlfriend. Kurotsuchi here is just along for the ride. Also, no I'm not in an arranged marriage either. No offense to any of the girls here in the village, but I've been in love with Haku for a long time, she just happens to be from Kiri."

After the mandatory greetings are finished most of room decides to talk to Kurotsuchi as it is not often that Konoha and Iwa can get together in a peaceful environment. Most of the questions were about life in Iwa, how it was different from Konoha, what she did in the village, the Tsuchikage being her grandfather and things like that. Kurotsuchi, rather surprised at how easily she is accepted into the group, answers their questions and starts asking her own, which are all answered and pretty soon they are all talking like old friends.

After having fun with the Konoha nin for an hour or so, Kurotsuchi decides to head out as she was still pretty tired from her travelling. After sincerely thanking them and expressing interest in seeing them again, she leaves the party to many goodbyes and promises to see her before she goes back to her village. Naruto, seeing as how he escorted her to the party, offers to take her back to the hotel where the Iwa delegation is staying at. She accepts and after saying he'd be back, leaves with Kurotsuchi.

With Kurotsuchi at the Hotel

Having arrived at the hotel a few minutes later through a shunshin, Naruto and Kurotsuchi say their goodbyes.

Smiling genuinely at Naruto, Kurotsuchi says, "I greatly enjoyed my time with your friends Naruto-san. I thank you for allowing me to accompany you."

Naruto sheepishly scratches his head and says, "It was no problem Kurotsuchi-san. I'm glad you enjoyed yourself. I have to get back to the party now so I'm going to say goodnight."

Nodding, Kurotsuchi says goodnight as Naruto disappears in another shunshin back to the Inuzuka compound. Walking into the living room of her hotel, she notices the Tsuchikage waiting for her.

Greeting his granddaughter, Onoki says, "I'm glad you made it back. Did you enjoy your time with the Konoha nin?"

Nodding, Kurotsuchi responds, "Yes I did. I learned much about Konoha and Naruto-san's friends in general. I must admit I was surprised though, when Naruto-san said a party with his friends, I did not expect the heirs and heiresses of all the major clans here."

Raising his eyebrows to show his surprise, Onoki says, "That was unexpected. Who all was there?"

Thinking back, she answers, "Let's see, there was Shino Aburame, Neji and Hinata Hyuuga, Kiba Inuzuka, Choji Akimichi, Shikamaru Nara and Ino Yamanaka of all the major clans. There was also Tenten Higurashi, Sakura Haruno and *shudders* Rock Lee."

Noticing her reaction, Onoki asks, "Is something wrong with the Lee character?"

Looking vaguely sickened, Kurotsuchi asks, "You know Maito Gai and his, err, huge eyebrows, unique fashion sense and attitude? If I did not know better, I'd say Rock Lee was his son, or clone. But he looks just like him down to the huge eyebrows and screams about youth."

Paling at the thought, Onoki says in sympathy, "I'm so sorry."

Shaking her head to clear away the thoughts, Kurotsuchi continues, "Other than them, the Jonin sensei of the group were there as well. They were Maito Gai, Asuma Sarutobi, Kurenai Yuhi and Kakashi Hatake. Also, I met a Kiri nin named Haku who turned out to be Naruto-san's girlfriend."

Nodding at the information, Onoki asks, "What was your impression of the group and your experiences with them?"

Thoughtfully, Kurotsuchi says, "They were wary of me at first, especially the Jonin, but eventually they opened up and pretty soon we were talking about anything and everything. They are a tight-knit group and very close to each other."

Onoki asks, "Did you find anything of note?"

Shaking her head, Kurotsuchi says, "I learned enough to get a picture of their basic strengths and weaknesses, but only vague details and nothing very concrete. The only real thing I noticed was that the Nara kid was incredibly smart. Like, genius smart. Each time I tried to subtly probe for details, the Nara was always there to just as subtly steer me away from them. I did not want to arouse any suspicion so I decided to let it go."

Filing that away, Onoki then asks, "What about this Haku? You said she was the Namikaze's girlfriend."

Nodding, she says, "I have never seen two people so connected before. Naruto-san seems to love her immensely, just as she does him. All I learned was that she is as strong as a mid-level Jonin, met Naruto-san on a mission and that she was a survivor of the bloodline purges in Kirigakure. I was unable to gain any details as she was rather adamant about not talking about it. I could tell she was guarded against me even though she gave the impression of being relaxed and never gave me any important information. I won't say she is as smart as the Nara, but she is definitely up there. We might be able to use her as leverage but it would be difficult."

After making a mental note to find more information about her, Onoki says, "These Konoha nin are very smart. While appearing accommodating to us, they are also subtly blocking us from gaining anything useful in a way that seems like genuine kindness. It is quite frustrating. I had hoped we might be able to gain something useful on the Namikaze while we were here so we might level the playing field a bit if the time comes, but we only found enough for a small piece of the picture."

Smirking, Kurotsuchi says, "So they are basically killing us with kindness. That is rather amusing."

Looking curious, she continues, "So are we going to do anything about the Namikaze?"

Shaking his head, Onoki says, "We will keep an eye out of course, but I personally do not see any danger to Iwa so long as we do not do anything rash. We will play along with them for now and report back to Iwagakure with our findings."

Unable to help herself, Kurotsuchi feels relief that no harm would come to Naruto or his friends. She ponders this as she lays in bed to go to sleep.

Back at the Party

Having returned earlier, Naruto noticed that his girlfriend was talking with all the kunoichi of the group and having some fun. So he decided to go talk with the other guys and catch up with them. After talking for a while with all of them about how they've been doing since the Chunin Exams, his friends start asking him questions.

While eating his chips, Choji asks, "How is being a *munch* Jonin treating you?"

Shrugging, Naruto responds, "Nothing too bad. Just been training a lot."

Neji, curious about his training, asks, "What have you been working on?"

Turning to Neji, he responds, "I'm focusing on my sealing and kenjutsu right now as well as my father's techniques."

Impressed noises sound out before Shikamaru asks, "It's troublesome, but now that you mention it, what's it like being the son of the Yondaime?"

Looking thoughtful, Naruto responds, "It was strange at first, but I've mostly got used to it. I'm still me, it's just the village and council are giving me more respect now."

The questions kept coming for several minutes as Naruto answered them all. It was Kiba who brought up Haku first.

Curious, Kiba says, "So Naruto, tell us about your mate, Haku you said her name was."

Naruto looks over at his girlfriend who was currently smiling and laughing with the other girls with a smile on his face and says, "She is amazing Kiba. Haku-chan is very kind and beautiful and she understands me on a level that I still have trouble realizing sometimes. I don't know what I'd do without her."

Suddenly catching what Kiba called Haku, he testily says, "And quit calling her my mate Kiba."

Grinning even wider, Kiba elbows Naruto and says, "Why not? You two already have-"

Covering his mouth, Naruto says, "If you finish that sentence I'll hide catnip in your room and release Tora in the Inuzuka compound again."

Kiba pales and nods while Shikamaru says, "Troublesome blondes."

Choji, not really understanding, asks, "What does Kiba mean Naruto?"

Naruto blushes and mumbles something that nobody hears. It is Shino however, who speaks up saying, "From the amount of pheromones I've detected between Naruto-san and Haku-san, logic dictates Kiba is referring to Naruto-san's sexual relations with Haku-san."

The group, with the exception of Shino and Kiba have light blushes at this statement while Naruto looks like he wants to use a raiton jutsu on the Aburame. Kiba is laughing at Naruto while Choji is choking on his chips with Shikamaru pounding his back and saying how the whole situation is troublesome. It is Neji however, who realize the implications of this and shoots a quick glance at Hinata that is not missed by Shikamaru.

'I hope Hinata-sama does not get too upset.'

'So troublesome, it looks like Naruto is still oblivious to Hinata's feelings.'

Quickly changing the subject, Rock Lee decides to ask Naruto about the details of his training which Naruto is more than happy to talk about.

With the Girls

While the boys have been talking, the girls have been getting to know each other and mercilessly grilling Haku for information on her relationship with Naruto. It was after several questions and much wooing about how romantic it all was that Ino asks, "So Haku, how far have you gone with the blonde knucklehead?"

Tenten, having returned from maiming Gai and Lee after Naruto left with Kurotsuchi, says, "Ino! That's not the kind of thing to ask."

Waving it off, Ino laughs and says, "Don't worry Tenten it's just us girls here. Besides it's not like they have gone all the way. Right Haku?"

Haku simply blushes bright red and looks away sheepishly.

Flabbergasted looks growing on the girls faces as Ino asks, "Wait, you mean you have…"

Seeing Haku give the smallest of nods, Hinata faints, Sakura blushes and looks away, Tenten's mouth is opening and closing repeatedly and Ino gets a gleam in her eye that makes Haku very nervous.

Tenten, finally finding words, exclaims, "I can't believe it! You had sex with Naruto?"

Ino, after getting over her surprise, asks in rapid succession, "When did this happen? Was it any good? Did it hurt at all? How big is he? Did he last long?"

Haku, still blushing, says, "Ino-san, I'd prefer not-"

Shaking her head, Ino interrupts, "Nonsense. I want to know. Come on tell us, I want details."

The other two, while not admitting it out loud, were also wanting details and let Ino press the embarrassed girl before she finally gave in.

Holding her hands in surrender, Haku says, "All right, all right I'll tell you. Just be quiet and don't let everyone in the village know. It's embarrassing enough to talk about."

Sighing, she starts, "First off, it was a wonderful experience. Naruto is a very sweet and patient lover. I was the one who made the first move though. He never once pushed me and always took my pleasure over his own…"

The girls, including Hinata who had regained consciousness, listened as Haku described her first time with Naruto with love and adoration evident in every detail. She described how she started out by kissing him and how he was hesitant and always made sure that she was okay with moving further before he did, how he gently fondled her and she did the same, how she went down on him and how much he enjoyed it, how Naruto decided to return the favor and do the same to her and how she finally gave herself to him and what they felt as they were connected.

By the end of the tale the girls were simply awestruck and had many different thoughts. Ino was thinking how romantic the tale was, Tenten was wondering if she and Neji would have the same when they got to that point, Sakura was confused but still happy for the girl and Hinata, well, she was sad but had resigned herself to knowing she would never have Naruto and had some tears running down her face.

Haku, noticing this, asks, "Is something wrong Hinata?"

The other girls snapped out of their thoughts at this and realized how much Hinata had to be hurting at this. Seeing the crushed look from Hinata and the quick glances from the other girls to her then Hinata and then Naruto, Haku quickly put the pieces together.

Looking at the distraught girl, Haku says in more of a statement than a question, "You loved him didn't you."

Seeing her nod, Haku sadly says, "I'm sorry Hinata-san. I did not know how you felt."

Shaking her head sadly, Hinata wipes her tears and says, "Th-that is a-all right Haku-san. I had hoped that N-Naruto-kun would n-notice my f-feelings but I realized th-that his heart belongs to y-you a while ago. I simply held out the h-hope that maybe…"

Letting her statement trail off, she gives Haku a teary smile and says, "I can s-see how m-much you two l-love each other. I didn't w-want to believe it, but I knew th-that I would never b-be able to give him what he w-wanted. Just please t-take care of him and be h-happy together."

Haku involuntarily looks to her boyfriend at the end of this statement and notices that he as well as Kiba were looking at Hinata with sadness. Catching her eye, Naruto simply reaches up and taps his ear and Haku suddenly remembers Naruto's advanced hearing. Seeing the surprise on Haku's face, the other girls, including Hinata, follow her gaze and notice what was happening and realize the same thing that Haku had.

Seeing Hinata's blush and then pale in rapid succession, Haku sighs and motions Naruto over so he can talk to the girl. As he makes his way over, Haku says to Hinata, "Talk to him. This is a good time to get it all out now."

Hinata, seeing it's all out in the open now, nods and walks to a secluded area in the compound with Naruto in tow. This does not go unnoticed by the rest of room as most look to Haku in confusion.

Seeing the two gone, she simply says, "Naruto knows about Hinata and now they need to talk."

They all nod in realization and some sadness while Haku begins to speak with Kiba.

With Naruto and Hinata

Naruto was incredibly nervous and mentally ranting as he followed Hinata.

'I can't believe I never noticed. Sure, Hinata is my friend and all but I never knew she liked me like that. Man, she looks so sad. What am I going to do about this? She is a little weird but she is a good friend. I don't like her like that though, I already love Haku. Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid-'

'Great Kami, cease your incessant ranting Kit! I'm trying to sleep in here!'

'Quiet Kurama can't you see I'm in the middle of a meltdown here?'

'Of course I can and I'm telling you to be quiet! You already have your mate so panicking over this ridiculous situation is pointless! Now quit ranting about your lack of intelligence and deal with this so I can get back to sleep!'

'Fine, just go do whatever you do in there and let me deal with this.'

Naruto can hear some grumbling from the fox as he carefully schools his expression when Hinata finally stops and turns to face him.

Timidly poking her index fingers together, Hinata nervously asks, "H-how m-m-much d-d-did you h-hear?"

Sighing, Naruto says, "I heard enough."

Blushing and trying to retreat into her coat, Hinata stutters, "S-so w-what n-n-now? Y-you know m-my f-feelings b-but you a-already h-have Haku."

Sitting down on the grass and motioning her to sit next to him, Naruto says, "Why don't you tell me everything and then we'll see where to go from there."

Preparing herself as she sits next to him, Hinata takes a deep breath and begins, "I g-guess it s-started at the A-academy. You k-know I'm the H-Hyuuga heiress a-and that i-is a lot of r-responsibility. What you d-don't know i-is that I-I'm seen as too w-weak and t-timid by a majority of m-my clan. I a-always tried m-my h-hardest but it w-was never enough f-for them. I w-was then enrolled i-in the Academy in o-order to m-make me s-stronger so I m-might bring h-honor to the Hyuuga clan i-in a-another way."

Slowly gaining confidence as her tale goes on her stuttering starts to lessen as she speaks firmer.

Looking at Naruto with a small smile, she continues, "That was w-when I met you. You were a-always happy and s-smiling, saying you would n-never give up. You always t-tried your hardest t-to succeed even though y-you were always put down. You i-inspired me by n-never giving up n-no matter what happened. W-when I felt like I was going to f-fail, I thought of you and that g-gave me strength to k-keep going. You w-were like a b-beacon guiding my way. I s-suppose that is when I started having f-feelings for you."

Pausing while he pondered how to say this delicately, Naruto slowly says, "While I am flattered that you hold me in such high regard Hinata, what you saw in the Academy was a mask. It wasn't the real me."

Looking confused, Hinata asks, "W-what do you m-mean?"

Looking fairly saddened, Naruto says, "I mean that I was not really happy and smiling all the time. It was all fake to hide what I was really feeling. You know I'm the Kyuubi jinchuuriki and I've lived a life of pain and suffering because of it."

Looking dejected, Hinata asks, "So a-all that y-you s-said…?"

Shaking his head, Naruto quickly says, "Most of what I said was true Hinata. I don't believe in giving up, I always worked hard and tried my hardest to be the best. That was all true. It was my happiness that I was faking."

Nodding in understanding, Hinata then asks, "Where d-does Haku come in?"

Smiling, Naruto responds, "She is the one who saved me from my darkness. She brought me out of the pit of despair and loneliness I was in and showed me the light of the world. She taught me the meaning of true strength and set me on the path I'm on now."

Looking curious and wanting to understand, Hinata asks, "What d-did she teach you?"

Giving a gentle smile, he responds, "Haku told me 'I believe that true strength comes from protecting that which is precious to you. When you find something truly precious, you do everything you can to protect it. Only then can you become truly strong.' Those words really struck me. She showed me that I don't need everyone to like me in order to be happy, I just needed a few people precious to me that I can strive to protect."

Taking a breath, Naruto continues, "I hope that you might be able to do the same thing. You may look to me for your strength but that is not something that will sustain you. You have to find your own strength, your own precious person to protect and not rely on me Hinata. You may think you are weak, but I say you are wrong. You are a gentle, kind and loving person, you don't like violence and so many other things that this dark world needs."

Standing up, Naruto says, "I hope that you can think on what I've said Hinata. You have the potential to be a great kunoichi of the village. You just have to find your inner strength."

After placing a reassuring hand on her shoulder, Naruto then leaves to let Hinata ponder his words. Walking back inside, he finds Kiba, Shino and Kurenai there waiting for him.

Looking at the three, Naruto says, "I suppose you were listening."

The they nod and Naruto continues, "She is outside thinking if you want to talk to her. I hope I was able to help her and I'm sorry I had to put her through so much pain."

Kiba nods and goes outside while Shino and Kurenai follow Naruto back to the party.

Smiling at Naruto, Kurenai says, "I thank you for talking with Hinata, Naruto. I must say that I'm impressed with all that you said as well."

Shino nods in agreement as Naruto responds, "I just told her the truth Kurenai-sensei. I am wondering why it's Kiba talking to her and not you though."

Shino then speaks up, saying, "Much like you did not notice Hinata-san's attraction towards yourself, ironically, Hinata-san has not noticed Kiba-san's attraction to her."

Nodding, Kurenai continues, "Shino is correct in what he says. Kiba has always like Hinata very much, but he cared enough for her to not interfere while she vied for your own affections. I think now that you have "released your claim on her" so to speak, he is going to move in an attempt to reveal his feelings."

Smiling, Naruto says, "Well I wish him luck then. Hinata can definitely use someone right now. No matter how gentle I tried to be, I have no doubt I shattered her world. Having Kiba by her side will definitely help her come out of this stronger."

Shino comments as they re-enter the party, "I agree. Right now Hinata-san is at a crossroads. This experience will either shatter her beyond repair or allow her to remake herself into something better. Kiba-san is extremely loyal to Hinata-san like he would be to any member of his own clan. He will do his best to make sure Hinata-san comes out of this for the better."

Back at the Party

After separating from Kurenai and Shino, Naruto notices Haku is currently talking to Sakura, his old teammate. Realizing he should probably talk to her, Naruto makes his way over and sits down next to Haku.

Sakura quiets as Naruto sits down and Haku, after giving her boyfriend a quick peck asks, "Did everything go okay with Hinata-san?"

Nodding as Naruto holds Haku's hand in his own, he responds, "As well as could be expected I guess. Kiba is out there talking with her right now."

Seeing a twinkle in Haku's eye as well as a knowing smile, Naruto asks, "You would not have anything to do with Kiba acting on his own feelings towards Hinata now would you?"

Seeing her smile widen, Naruto says, "I thought so. I'm glad you convinced him to talk to her. I'm sure it will help her more than anything she could do on her own."

Sakura, while hesitant but still curious asks Haku, "Weren't you worried about Naruto possibly…?"

A shake of her head was Sakura's answer as Naruto somewhat stiffly says, "Sakura-san, while Hinata is a good friend, there is absolutely no way I would do anything to risk my own relationship with Haku-chan. We both love and trust each other very much and nothing will be able to come between us."

Sighing sadly at his attitude, Sakura says, "I can see you're still mad at me."

Shaking his head, Naruto says, "Sakura, while you may have treated me terribly during our time on Team 7, I can still allow myself to forgive you."

Giving Naruto a small smile, she asks, "So do you want to start over then?"

Shrugging, Naruto says, "Why not? Hello, my name is Naruto Uzumaki-Namikaze and you are…?"

She smiles and playfully hits Naruto on the head and says, "Not like that you baka. I was being serious."

After some chuckling on Haku's part, Naruto says, "Fine then. I suppose I can be serious then. Just don't call me a baka anymore unless I really deserve it."

Nodding, Sakura asks, "So, friends?"

Naruto responds, "If you can prove that you have really changed then yes."

Shrugging, Sakura says, "That was more than I could ask for or deserve. I've got four and a half years of abuse to make up for, I understand if you are cautious."

Looking saddened, she adds, "Even more if you count my family in as well."

Sighing, Naruto says, "You're talking about what your mother did to me aren't you."

Haku stiffens slightly but that goes unnoticed by Sakura as she has a few tears well up, "I still can't believe what she did to you. What she expected me to do."

Looking serious, Naruto solemnly asks, "Did you really not know? I would think she would have bragged about it to someone."

Shaking her head, Sakura replies, "She never said it outright, but now that I look back, she dropped several hints that I never caught."

Still serious, Naruto asks, "Do you blame me for what happened to her?"

Sakura pauses and seems to think about it very hard before saying, "No, I don't. Kaa-san may have been the woman who gave birth to me, but she never really treated me like a daughter. Of course, I did not realize it, but the execution really opened my eyes and after I got passed the initial denial and disbelief, I started looking back on my life and what I remember of her."

Tears start to fall as she finishes, "Looking back, I realized that she was simply using me as another tool for power. Me, her own daughter. I was disgusted with her but I was loathing myself. My actions during the academy and my time as a genin were disgraceful. I've been working very hard to turn over a new leaf, but it's been very difficult. After my mother died I was left with nothing."

Haku and Naruto both have sad expressions as Haku asks, "How have you been doing since your mother died then?"

Giving a small smile, she responds, "It was difficult until I started living with Ino and her family. I had no money and my house and most of my possessions were destroyed when it was burnt down. Of course, that was after anything of value was taken as compensation for various other things that my mother did."

Looking shocked, Naruto asks, "Your house burnt down? Why?"

Looking resigned, Sakura replies, "My mother made a lot of enemies Naruto, she was despised by pretty much everyone she ever met. Believe it or not, what she did to you while it was horrible, was only one thing on a long list of reasons that people despised her for. I think after she was killed, many still weren't satisfied and wanted to erase every trace of her existence."

Growing concerned, Naruto asks, "What about you? Did they do anything?"

Hesitantly, she nods and says, "It wasn't much at first; some glares, insults, dirty looks. But it got worse over as time went on. Pretty soon I was refused service at businesses and overcharged at others, some people threw some stuff at me and…"

Sakura trails off as she notices Naruto's eyes narrow dangerously and he says, "They are turning you into me. Now that I'm no longer the villain, they need someone to blame for all their troubles."

Looking Sakura dead in the eyes, he asks, "Did they hurt you?"

Sakura is confused until she realizes what Naruto is implying and hastily says, "No nothing like that. I know you had drunks and mobs attack you but it never got that far before I was taken in by Ino and her clan."

Naruto and Haku both visibly relax at that. Relieved, Naruto says, "That's good then. Don't get me wrong, the way they are treating you is bad, but I'm just glad it never got too far like it did with me."

Smiling, Sakura looks at Ino who was currently berating Choji for eating too much as he complained about his stomach and says, "It's all thanks to Ino for helping me. Things would be much worse if it wasn't. I'm very glad I got my best friend back."

It was at this point Naruto's bottomless pit, I mean, his stomach made its lack of sustenance known to the trio in the form of a loud grumbling that drew a look of surprise from Sakura and Haku.

Grinning sheepishly, Naruto rubs the back of his head and gets up, saying, "I suppose I better get some food. With all that's happened today I forgot I have not eaten since my meeting earlier."

The two get up chuckling as Sakura goes to talk to Ino and Haku follows her boyfriend to the dining area. It is after the two go and eat their food when they hear a familiar voice say, "Yo."

Turning around they see Kakashi give his signature eye-smile with his little orange book open in his hand with the other hand up in a wave.

Nodding in greeting, Naruto says, "Hey Kakashi-sensei, how are things with you?"

Shrugging, he responds, "I suppose things have been all right. Would have been better if my former student decided to check in on his sensei a little more often than he has."

Rubbing the back of his head, Naruto laughs nervously and says, "Hehe, sorry Kakashi-sensei. I've been busy lately."

Nodding, Kakashi says, "I suppose I can understand that."

Looking at Haku, he continues, "Especially now that I hear someone has a new girlfriend. It's been a while Haku. How have you been?"

Smiling, Haku says, "It has been some time Kakashi-san. I've been doing very well lately."

Taking her boyfriends hand, she adds, "Especially now that I'm with the one I love."

Eye-smiling again, Kakashi says, "Ah yes, about that. I have something for you two."

Reaching into his pouch, Kakashi pulls out a second Icha-Icha book and gives it to Naruto who has a rather indignant look on his face.

Nodding, "I'm sure this will come in handy for your additional training together, especially since you've got a head start in that department."

The two blush and Naruto asks in an exasperated voice, "Does everyone know what me and Haku do together when we are alone?"

Eye-smiling, Kakashi taps his nose and says, "Not that I'm aware of but you should know the Inuzuka are not the only ones with good noses."

Looking confused, Naruto asks, "So wait, you didn't know before the party? Then why did you bring an extra Icha-Icha book to give to me?"

Bringing his hand under his chin in a serious pose, Kakashi says, "I always keep a spare just in case I find the opportunity to show someone the wonders of Icha-Icha. Have fun you two."

Naruto and Haku can only stare blankly at Kakashi as he walks off with a eye-smile. They then look at each other, then the book in Naruto's hand, then back to Kakashi and sweat-drop.

Shaking his head Naruto says, "I don't know why I'm surprised. Kakashi-sensei is a walking advertisement for these books. Of course he would have a spare copy."

Looking around and seeing nobody watching them, Haku takes the book and puts it in her own pouch earning a quizzical look from her boyfriend.

Leaning up to whisper in his ear, Haku says in a seductive voice, "No sense in wasting it. We might be able to try a few things."

The way she said that causes Naruto to get a small nosebleed as he blushes and sputters at his girlfriend's boldness while she winks and smiles at him.

Pressing herself against him so as to further entice him, she wipes the blood from his nose and says, "Thinking perverted thoughts Nar-u-to-kun?"

Unknown to Naruto a certain fox was watching this in great amusement as he thinks to himself,

'Hahaha. I like this vixen. Not afraid to take what she wants.'

Deciding to have a little fun with his jailor he pushes a large amount pheromones through Naruto, causing his body to react in accordance to Haku's actions.

Unaware of the foxes machinations, Naruto's mind starts clouding over as he brings Haku into a searing kiss, forgetting that someone could walk in at any time. Haku's own body starts reacting to the pheromones Naruto was putting out as she returned the kiss with vigor, gently leading Naruto to a dark corner of the room.

With the Others

Kiba, having said goodbye to Hinata as she left with Kurenai, entered the room and started looking around for Naruto. Not seeing him, he starts sniffing for the scent of foxes and catches a peculiar whiff. Wanting to confirm his guess, he asks, "Hey Neji, mind looking around and telling me where Naruto and his girlfriend went?"

Neji, looking up from his conversation with his own girlfriend Tenten, nods then activates his Byakugan and almost immediately blushes and quickly deactivates it. Tenten notices this reaction and asks, "Neji, is something wrong? Did you find them?"

Nodding and still blushing, Neji says, "It appears Naruto-san and Haku-san are in the dining area but they are currently, well, indisposed."

Tenten is confused as Kiba laughs and says, "I thought so. The amount of pheromones those two are putting out is unreal."

The room finally gets what Kiba is hinting to various reactions. Choji, Tenten and Sakura blush, Ino and Kakashi both start giggling perversely, Asuma nearly swallows his cigarette and starts coughing furiously, Shikamaru says "troublesome blondes and their hormones" and Shino's eyebrows arch in surprise.

Kiba, grinning, asks, "So who wants to go embarrass the blonde knucklehead?"

Immediately Kakashi and Ino raise their hands. Pulling out a camera and looking to Sakura, she says, "Come on forehead, this is prime blackmail material opportunity."

Back with Naruto

Naruto is completely oblivious to his surroundings as he brings his hands down to Haku's rear and pulls her close so as to allow himself to rub against her, allowing the heat to rise between them as they continue to grind their pelvis' against each other.

"Having fun in my house Naruto?"

The two jump apart in comedic fashion when they hear Kiba's voice and look to see, much to their embarrassment, Kiba, Ino, Sakura and Kakashi all watching them. Kiba and Ino with mischievous grins, Kakashi giggling perversely and Sakura blushing at seeing Naruto's hardness tenting his pants. Much to their further embarrassment, Ino was holding a camera.

Pouting slightly, Ino says, "Aww Kiba, why did you have to interrupt them? I only got a few blackmail shots. Besides, that was hot."

Naruto and Haku both blush and sputter, trying to come up with some sort of explanation and pretty soon the four burst into laughter at the couple's expense.

Still laughing, Kiba forces out, "If *laughing* you're going to *laugh* mate with each other, *laugh* at least make sure you *laugh* aren't somewhere public. I mean *laugh* the amount of pheromones you two are putting out *laugh* is enough for every Inuzuka in the compound to detect *laughing*."

Naruto and Haku look rather sheepish at this as Ino looks down at Naruto's pants and says, "Well, at least someone's paying attention."

The four laugh even more as Naruto follows their gaze and realizes he is pretty much doing nothing to hide the tent in his pants. Taking pity on her boyfriend's situation, Haku moves to stand in front of Naruto, blocking the view.

Haku, feeling her still incoherent boyfriend poking her, blushes and quickly says, "I think Naruto-kun and I need to, um, go somewhere and, um…"

Knowing looks from the four as Kiba says, "Ah just go take your boyfriend before you go and really do it in my house."

Getting one final dig in before the two vanish, Kakashi calls out, "Be sure to use my gift! Page 48 has some interesting things you might try!"

Laughing at the couple as they vanish in a shunshin, the group of four then head back to the party. It is then Ino attempted to offer copies of the incriminating pictures to the remaining occupants, but not having much luck.

Completely bewildered, Ino says, "Come on you guys! Don't you want to have something over Naruto? I mean come on, it does not get much better than this."

It is Shikamaru who then reminds Ino of the reality of what she just did. Sighing, he says, "Troublesome blonde, do you really want to try and blackmail the prankster king of Konoha? There is no way I'm going to be caught in a revenge prank after he finds out you have those pictures."

The entire room pales as they remember their own experiences being victims of Naruto's pranks. Ino, fully realizing the gravity of what she just unleashed, makes a mental note to return the pictures as soon as she possibly can.

The Senju Compound

Jiraiya and Tsunade were both enjoying their drinks when all of the sudden a dazed Naruto and heavily blushing Haku appears and rushes by with a quick greeting towards the bedrooms.

Jiraiya giggles perversely and says, "Someone's going to get laid again."

Tsunade simply watches this with a blank look and pours herself another drink.

That is the end. Sorry it's a little short of the 10k word mark, but I ran out of ideas and I did not want to add another lemon so soon after the first. This is the last chapter I will be able to release before college starts up. I have to say though, making up new material is incredibly hard. I almost did not get this finished in time.

Please let me know your thoughts on this chapter as always. I hope to have the next chapter done fairly soon, but right now this story is going to have to go on the backburner when college starts up again. So if I miss my one chapter a week deadline, it's because I'm busy with college. Any more than two or three weeks, I will be sure to post a notice of hiatus. But that is not likely.

*Credit to Deathmvp for his idea about what to do with Sakura. I know it is not how I originally said I would use it, but plans change and the basis is still the same. Thanks for your help.*

NOTE: 8/24/2013 11:36 AM - I wanted to let you all know I'm not going to be able to make my deadline this week and probably the next several weeks. I've only been back in college for a week and it's already busy as hell. I have not had hardly any time for myself this week and unfortunately, it looks to be that way for a while. So, as I promised, I'm letting everyone know this story is going on the back burner until things settle down. I do not plan on abandoning my story. I just need time to get acclimated to the college scene again. I'm very sorry about this everyone. I feel like a terrible person for doing this to you all, but real life interferes a lot.

NOTE2: 8/30/2013 3:44 PM - Near the end of week 2 of college and things are still completely crazy. I've got several ideas and things to write, just I have had no time to mess with it. So, until I find time, this story is on hiatus. I'm so very sorry.