A/N: Hello people!

This chapter is dedicated to Ezbabb (Guest) for being the 500th reviewer! Thank you!

I don't own Naruto.

I have no beta for this story, all mistakes are my own.

Enjoy this extra long chapter! (By extra, I mean 4,000 words!)

The tower was a lot larger than one would believe. When Naruto found a room for Sakura, she and Sasuke were told by a medic to go find their own rooms. The hallways were long, and all of the rooms were abnormally large. They decided on two rooms that were connected by a door. That way, they could get to the one another if need be.

Sasuke was pleased to be so close to Naruto. Especially when the Nara's team was on the other side of the building. No one was coming around any time soon to take his dobe away.

He and Naruto walked down to the cafeteria for what they were told, was dinner for the teams who already made it. The room was also very large, and Sasuke had to hold back a growl when Shikamaru waved Naruto over.

Naruto was oblivious to her teammate ire. She was thinking about getting food, and quite possibly seconds if they were allowed. Shikamaru insisted that she and Sasuke sit with his team. After a quick discussion about Sakura's state of health, Naruto got up to get some food.

Before she could get to the table of food, her way was blocked by a red head. Sabaku no Gaara was standing in her way with his arms crossed.

"Can I help you?" she asked, folding her arms as well.

The boys eyes widened and his chakra level increased. It wrapped around Naruto like a caress even though the boy looked ready to kill. "Mother wants your blood. I will kill you, and your blood will fill me and make me stronger!" he smiled insanely.

Naruto cocked a brow, "Is that so?" She reached forward and placed her hands on his shoulders. His eyes bugged at the action. "You can try to kill me, but I won't give up without a fight," she informed him, using her strength to bodily pick him up and move him to the side. She then continued to the table, and grabbed some food before she went to return to her companions.

A pale hand caught her arm and she turned to Gaara once more. "You touched me," he mumbled, eyes still wide.

"Uh….yeah?" she gave a confused look.

"The sand didn't try to kill you, or stop you," he continued on, ignoring her words. His face contorted into a dark grin, "You must be worthy to die by my hands if you can do that. You will make me feel alive," he whispered.

She threw him a look and sighed. Reaching out with her free hand, she tousled his hair, leaving him gaping, "Sure you will."

With that, she extricated herself from his grip and returned to her companions.

"What was that about?" Sasuke asked with tilt of his head.

She shrugged, "He was all like, 'Mother wants your blood' and 'I will kill you' and stuff. I think he needs some counselling."

He needs more than that Kit! Kurama informed her.

What do you mean?

That Gaara boy is Jinchuriki just like you. He hosts the Ichibi, Shukaku.

Really? Is that why he's so…..nuts?

Yes. Shukaku was never kind to his containers, and would drive them insane. The rings around the boys eyes show that he had severe insomnia, because of Shukaku. The hosts fear sleep, because their guard is down and their personalities can be devoured by Shukaku, eventually allowing him to take over permanently. So, due to horrible nightmares, Shukaku's vessels never sleep, and all turn out like that boy did.

Naruto watched the red head as he glared at his teammates. The way the two flinched when he looked at them spoke volumes. They knew what he was and were terrified of him. If their reaction to his presence the other day, told her anything, they would gladly get rid of him if they could.

She frowned at the revelation. So Gaara grew up similar to how she grew up. She could guess though that he didn't have any friends, otherwise he would've turned out like her instead of a maniac hell bent on killing everyone in his way.

The boy didn't just need counselling, he needed a friend, in the worst possible way.

So what should I do? she asked Kurama.

Shukaku isn't a very accepting spirit. He will not take to you and will convince the boy that you are bad. If what I think is correct, Garra will be impossible to reach, even for you Kit.

What do you think?

The boy refers to Shukaku as 'mother'. He does whatever 'mother' wants, like a good boy. If 'mother' tells him to kill you he will, no questions asked.

Naruto sighed. Why did she have to attract all the broken people? And why did she feel that she had to help everyone? It's those damn emotions again! Ugh!

You're only human Kit! It's to be expected! Relax.

Naruto almost stuck her tongue out, but caught herself. It would look weird if she just randomly poked her tongue at someone. Screw you Kurama!

He loud laughter rang through her head, and she rolled her eyes. Stupid fox.

"I thought blondes were a drag, but maybe it's the red heads," Shikamaru sighed, shaking his head.

Choji was shoveling food into his mouth. "I'm so hungry! Are you going to eat that?" he asked Ino, who hadn't touched her plate. She pushed it toward him, and he gave a happy yell.

Sasuke leaned into Naruto and whispered, "What is wrong with her?"

Naruto smirked, "Does the Uchiha actually care about his number one fan?" She snickered when he glared.

Shikamaru groaned, "Naruto put her in her place and now she's gone all emo on us. Her attitude is such a drag."

Naruto ate her food, watching Ino closely. She didn't feel bad about what happened at all. Honestly, if someone has to think about whether or not to save their 'best friends' life, then they deserve to feel bad. A true friend would do it, and not care if they could get killed.

Once she finished, Naruto moved to get some more food. When she gathered all the food she wanted, something brushed against her collarbone. Looking down, she saw sand covering her skin. She pulled her coat a bit trying to shake it off, but nothing happened. More sand appeared, running over her shoulders and circling her neck. The sand hardened into something and she left the room, to go find out what it was.

In her rooms bathroom was a large mirror, and she gaped at herself. There was a blood red collar around her neck! It even smelled like blood too!

That little prick!

Kurama was laughing again. It looks like he's trying to mark you Kit!

Mark me for what?!

It's symbol showing that you belong to him. Maybe Shukaku won't have him kill you after all!

Naruto stormed out of her room and down the hall. When she walked into the cafeteria, her eyes locked onto sea foam green ones. She stomped over to him and grabbed a fistful of his clothing, pulling him in close.

"Who do you think you are?" she growled.

He was smirking! "You are mine to kill. You will remember this," he stated with a shrug.

"I'm going to show my fist down your throat if you don't get this thing off me," she glared.

His right hand latched onto her hair, and the other grabbed the hand holding his clothes. "What is the little vixen going to do to me?"

Her mouth dropped. He knew?! How does he know?!

Shukaku probably told him.

"If you try anything, I will end you," she glowered at him, ripping herself from his grip.

"Maybe I won't kill you, "he murmured with a smirk.

She glared, What's that supposed to mean?!

I'm not telling!

"Asshole!" she screamed at both of them.

She stalked over to her table and plopped down.

"What...was that….about?" Choji asked between bites.

"Oh nothing. I'm just going to shove a rotating kunai up the bastards ass!" Naruto fumed. And to think I was considering befriending him! Prick!

Everyone leaned away from the blonde. She threw them all a strained smile and gave a nervous laugh.

Choji's growling stomach interrupted the awkward silence, and the boys burst into laughter, Naruto joining in. "I'm hungry!" the Akimichi complained patting his belly.

"Yahoo! Was that an earthquake I just heard?!"

Everyone turned to face team eight. Kiba was in front, grinning widely.

"Shut up Kiba!" Choji yelled.

The Inuzuka laughed and walked over, his eyes on Naruto. "Hey Naruto, glad to see you made it!"

Sasuke watched the Inuzuka through slitted eyes. The mutt was acting just like Shikamaru. Even down to the throwing an arm around his dobe's shoulders. Why was everyone touching Naruto?!

Naruto gave Kiba an odd look. "Uh, thanks man."

Choji got up to get more food and Naruto followed, hoping to get her plate that she had left behind.

Kiba followed and leaned in close to Naruto, "So why's a foxy little thing like you pretending to be a girl?" he asked in a low murmur.

What?! Her face contorted into shock. Does he know?!

No way! He isn't the brightest of the bunch you know. I think he's just hitting on you. Kurama told her.

"Uh…...reasons?" she answered.

"You seem a little uncertain. Care to tell me why?" Kiba asked leaning in closer. A devilish smile appeared on his face.

He really is trying to flirt!

It was at that moment that a hand reached between them to grab a tomato from the food table. They both looked up to see Sasuke taking a bite out of the fruit. "Come on dobe, I can hear your stomach from all the way over there," he smirked.

"Shut up teme. That was Choji," she sneered.

A loud grumble made her blush and look away, "That time it was me though."

As they walked back to their table, Sasuke threw Kiba a victorious smirk over his shoulder. Take that mutt!

Kiba growled at the interfering Uchiha. How dare he come between an Inuzuka and his chosen female!

Akamaru whimpered again, and Kiba had to calm himself down. "Sorry boy," he sighed, patting the pups head.

Not long after team eight arrived, Rock Lee's team walked in. Lee was looking a lot better than before and Naruto sighed in relief.

"Naruto!" the boy yelled, running over. "How is Sakura?"

"Sleeping. Second floor, last door on the right," she told him. He bowed and left quickly.

Kiba returned to the table with a plate full of food, "What was that about?"

"We got separated in the forest and when I returned, I was able to chase off a Grass ninja who had hurt Sasuke. The things she did that I had to fix, were things that only a Jonin could do. There's no way that she was a Genin," Naruto explained, eating some rice.

"Sakura had to guard us after I fixed Sasuke. While we were unconscious, the Sound ninja from the First Exam attacked. Rock Lee appeared, and defended Sakura for a while, but soon, both were taken out quickly. I awoke in time avoid a kick aimed for my face and ended up breaking the guys arms when he got a little too close for comfort," Naruto continued, frowning a the memory. Creep!

"I got them to leave, and then Shikamaru, Choji, Ino, TenTen and Neji showed up. Neji and TenTen took Lee away after I fixed his major injury, and Shikamaru explained some of what happened," she looked at the lazy ninja and he sighed.

"Choji spotted team seven and the Lee kid, so we decided to get closer to see what was going Sound ninja cornered Sakura, and the female, was holding her up by her hair. The ninja that Naruto took care of, was talking about killing Naruto and Sasuke, and making Sakura watch," he shivered at the thought. It was disgusting!

"Sakura grabbed her last kunai…..and cut off her hair. She proceeded to fight with all she had. Choji and I were waiting on Ino, who couldn't decide if she wanted help or not. Just when it got bad, Naruto woke up and scared them off," Shikamaru smiled a little.

Kiba gave a loud whistle, "Does Lee like Sakura or something?'

Naruto nodded adamantly, "He asked her out before the beginning of the First Exam and claimed undying love for her!" She leaned in, "I really think he meant it. He nearly died and it was all to protect her."

Sasuke noticed her smile, "What are you so happy about dobe?"

"I just think it's terribly romantic in a way," Naruto mumbled, looking at the doorway that Lee left through.

When Sasuke snorted, she fixed him with a glare, "What do you find so funny teme?"

"You sounded so feminine right now. 'Romantic'," the Uchiha laughed.

She elbowed him in the gut, "I would like to have a romantic relationship with my spouse one day."

Kiba noticed how she didn't say wife. Even though she was a girl pretending to be a guy, she still wanted what other girls craved. Love and attention. He smirked. The Inuzuka were all about love and attention!

Shikamaru noticed the same thing. Naruto opted for the word 'spouse' instead of wife. Could that mean that Naruto wasn't heterosexual?

Shikamaru was intrigued even more. The thought of Naruto being Homo, Bi or even Pansexual wasn't disturbing in the least. In fact, Naruto was attractive and had a good personality, which made him easy to fall for. Whether someone was a female or not didn't matter if you were talking about Naruto.

Shikamaru liked Naruto. He liked another guy and was completely fine with it. Oh well. Dwelling on it would be a drag.

Sasuke was on somewhat of a same page as the other two, but he took it the wrong way. He didn't specify, and just said spouse! He must be gay! That comment about not wanting girls to chase after him proves it! He's more than just my dobe, he's just mine!

Sasuke smirked to himself. This was going to be easier than he thought!

Naruto and Choji each got up to get more food, and soon they were having a competition to see who could eat the most. Naruto was losing terribly, until the cooks put out ramen. Then her hunger returned full force and she devoured ten bowls after eating four plates of regular food, and beat Choji by one serving.

Kiba was watching her, "How do you manage to pack so much food into such a tiny body?"

Hinata giggled, "Naruto can eat anything!"

Naruto blushed slightly, "Not anything! I really hate vegetables!"

Shino, who had remained quiet up until that point, entered the conversation. "It would be better for your health if you had a more appropriate diet. Nutrition keeps the brain functioning correctly. Malnourishment can stunt things, like growth for example," he deadpanned.

Everyone snickered at Naruto who gave them all the bird. "I'm not short!"

Later, Naruto found Sasuke in the training ground below the building. It was meant for them to practice their jutsu and strategy. Shino had followed and caught her before she could join him.

"I am curious about how you can eat so much and not gain weight. I know that females have slower metabolisms than males do," he stated.

Her mouth dropped, "You know?"

"My kikaichu told me a long time ago and I always wondered how you could fool everyone so well. Or eat so much without any issues," the bug user shrugged.

"You aren't going to tell anyone are you?" she looked at him with wide eyes.

He shook his head, "It is not my secret to tell. Besides, I find it humorous to see how everyone is reacting to you, even though they don't know."

She threw him a confused look. What does that mean?

He's a lot smarter than he leads on!

What are you talking about?

You wouldn't understand Kit. Just continue as you were.

She shrugged, "Okay then. Thanks."

As she and Sasuke sparred, Shino watched from a safe distance. The explosions from the area, attracted everyone else's attention, and soon, they had to stop giving it their all in order to keep the others in the dark.

Showing your best abilities to someone who might end up being your opponent, wasn't smart. Shino was smart and knew that he didn't match either of them, so he was okay, but the others, well, they weren't about to risk it.

Hinata and Naruto went off to spar where no one would see, Naruto's room. "You need to be more ferocious. What if you get matched against Sasuke or your annoying cousin? You can't hold back, especially with them. I trained you to fight like a pro and I expect good results!" she scolded, delivering a kick to the Hyuga's face.

Hinata dodged and countered with an elbow to the stomach.

"Okay! That's better!"

"Are you sure we'll have to fight?" Hinata asked in worry.

"The Third Exam is always a battle round. I know this from reading about it once. We need to prepare to shock the hell out of people. Again!" NAruto explained, siming a punch to the girls head.

"Okay!" Hinata smiled and dodged again, using the same move once more.

A few days later, all the Genin were ordered to meet in the main hall. Naruto was proud that all of the Rookie Nine had made it through the Second Exam. Then, there was Kabuto's team and Neji's team. This ensured that most of the ninja remaining were from Konoha. There was also the Suna ninja, the Oto ninja, and a group from Iwa that Naruto never noticed before.

"Alright you maggots! Lord Hokage is going to explain the next test! Listen up!" Anko, who was standing not too far away ordered.

The Jonin who had assembled stood behind her, watching their students. The Hokage was smiling at them all. "Congratulations on passing the Second Exam!" he told them.

Naruto was busy checking out the remaining competition. The only people she felt she would have to watch out for, were Neji and Gaara. The others would never provide any kind of challenge. Personally, Naruto wanted to kick Neji's ass for how he's been treating Hinata her whole life. Maybe that opportunity would present itself.

A man appeared before the Hokage on a bended knee, "Please Lord Hokage. Allow me, Hayate Gekko, proctor of the Third Exam, to speak?"

Naruto smiled widely when she saw him, "So he's the Third Exam proctor. Nice."

"You know him?" Sasuke asked with a raised brow.

"Yeah, he's the best Kenjutsu specialist in the village. He's also a very experienced tracker ninja. He taught me the way of the sword a couple years ago when he saw me practicing one day. He's a Tokubetsu Jonin and is not to be taken lightly," Naruto told him with a smile.

"Where do you keep the sword?" he asked.

She held out her left palm, and looking closer, he noticed the seal on it.

"I modified the standard Containment Seal, allowing it to be placed on the skin. This way, I really can have hidden weapons that no one knows about. Say you're abducted by enemy ninja, and they think that they've taken all of your weapons. You still have a chance with something like this on your person," she smiled fondly at the marking.

Sasuke gave her a strange look before shaking his head and returning his gaze to the proctor.

"I am Hayate Gekko, your proctor for the next exam. Unfortunately, there are too many ninja left to compete in the third round, so we will be holding a preliminary, right now," he explained, then erupted in a fit of coughs.

"What?!" Kiba shouted in anger.

"That's the way it is. As I can see, some of you are in perfect health, so you can't complain," Hayate coughed, throwing the Inuzuka a glare.

"If anyone wishes to back out right now, you may do so," he added with another cough.

"I'm out!"

Naruto looked over at Kabuto. If he quit like that before, there was no wonder to why he failed so much.

Another ninja, one of the Iwa, quit as well.

Hayate nodded and coughed again. "The screens above will randomly select opponents. Everyone else will vacate the area, and move to either side of the room," he told them.

The screens ran through the list of names, before stopping.

Sasuke smirked. They didn't waste any time!

Naruto touched his shoulder, "Kick his ass teme!"

Sasuke nodded, "You know I will."

Kakashi leaned into Sasuke a bit and whispered, "Don't use your Sharingan or that mark could kill you."

Sasuke gave him an odd look, "You know about that, but you don't know that Naruto got rid of it?"

Kakashi was stunned into silence, and Sasuke took the chance to slip from his hold, and approach his opponent.

Naruto and Sakura waited for Kakashi, at the top of the stands, or whatever they were. Both were excited to see Sasuke's match. Sakura had woken up the previous day, and when she saw Naruto, she tackled the blonde, repeatedly thanking her for saving Sasuke. When Naruto told her that Lee had frequented her room often to make sure she was okay, the girl blushed and asked where he was so she could thank him as well.

Lee's blush, when Sakura hugged him in thanks, was something else. Naruto couldn't help but tease them, which got Sakura mad enough to throw a punch and scream about not insulting Lee. She countered with a smile, saying that Lee seemed happy about it.

"So how are you two?" Kakashi asked as he walked up. Sasuke started his match against the Akado guy.

Both smiled at him. "Good."

"Care to tell me what happened in the forest?" he asked watching their reactions.

The Genin glanced at each other and then their sensei. "Some fighting, and running and other stuff," Naruto shrugged.

"I for one, would love to hear how you removed the mark from Sasuke, Naruto," Kakashi nearly snorted when his students blanched.

"Well, you see, I'm really into seals and stuff, so I knew what to do to get rid of it," Naruto shrugged, hoping he'd drop it.

"Since when do you know about seals?" Kakashi asked, putting his book away.

She sighed in annoyance, "You weren't there during the First Exam to hear Kabuto tell the world about me. Fuinjutsu is my thing. Right after that, is Kenjutsu, which Hayate over there taught me." She gave him a look, "I realized some time in Wave that pretending wasn't going to help my career as a ninja, and I decided to stop acting like an idiot. I applied some extra chakra to the seal after breaking down part of it, and the rest was easy. The Hokage knows about all of this, so I didn't hide anything from him. Sorry that I didn't tell you, but, I didn't think I should." She shrugged as if it was nothing and watched Sasuke use his Sharingan against Kabuto's teammate.

Kakashi knew what the 'extra' chakra was. Naruto knew about the Kyuubi, and even more shocking, he could use the demon's chakra to such a high extent! "You really know how to utilize seals?" he asked with skeptical tilt of his head.

Naruto gave him the, 'you're a retard' look. She held out her palm for him to see her Containment Seal. "I made this after a little tweaking, so that I can hide weapons where no one would think," she told him, activating it.

The marking glowed white and Kakashi watched in fascination as something began to rise from his students hand. Naruto gripped it and pulled, unsheathing a large sword.

Sakura gasped.

"Where did you think I hid the sword?" Naruto asked her with a snicker, placing the sword back in its sheath. The seal glowed white once more, before settling back to black.

"Hayate really taught you?"

"Mhmm. He was awesome! Tough, but awesome! When it comes to Kenjutsu, he's very serious and doesn't take anything lightly. He drilled the Crescent Moon Dance into my head. He figured that since I could do shadow clones so well, it would benefit me in a way later on," Naruto grinned fondly at her once sensei.

Hayate returned the grin before throwing an arm up, "Winner, Sasuke Uchiha!"

Sakura was screaming in excitement and Ino was cheering on loudly, finally over her, 'woe is me' attitude.

"You went easy on him teme," Naruto accused with folded arms.

Sasuke shrugged, "He was weak."

"Tch."

Hayate announced the next match. "Will Zaku Abumi and Shino Aburame come down here?" he asked.

Naruto smirked when the Sound guy, whose arms she broke, leapt over the railing and walked up to Hayate. His arms were bandaged and he looked like shit.

She leaned over the railing and called down to Shino, "Hey Shino! Remember what we talked about the other day?!"

The boy tilted his head, sunglasses shining, showing her her own reflection. "He found out in a very disrespectful manner which lead to his arms being broken," she motioned to Zaku who started sweating when she looked at him. "Hit him for me!" she smirked.

The Aburame nodded and turned to his opponent. "If you fight me, I'll make sure that you never recover. Forfeit now, if you know what's good for you," he spoke in a eerie voice.

Zaku ripped an arm out of its sling and charged before Hayate could say 'start'. "I'll only need one arm in order to deal with you!" he yelled.

Shino lifted his right hand, stopping the Sound ninja's attack. "You couldn't defeat me, even if you used both arms," he taunted.

"Oh yeah?!"

Naruto snickered, "He's going to lose."

Kakashi leaned against the wall, "How can you be so sure?"

"Oh please! Shino's team got here way before we did! They've had the longest recuperative time than all of us. Not to mention that the Sound team just got here moments before the end of the Second Exam, so they are worn out. Besides, I'm the one who broke his arms, so I know this guy has nothing on Shino," she told him with a smirk.

She watched as Shino was knocked over by the guys sound waves.

It was a shock to the others to see Shino get up as if nothing happened.

Zaku's face contorted into disgust, and Naruto knew that he saw the bugs coming out of Shino's body. Shino told him that having an ace in the hole was always the best way to go. A swarm of beetles came up behind Zaku and he looked ready to bolt.

Naruto snickered. "Looks like someone has a serious case of Entomophobia!" she sang.

Zaku pointed his arm at Shino and tried to use an attack. Something must have messed it up, because he screamed in pain before his arm exploded!

"He put some of his beetles on Zaku when he stopped the first punch! They in turn plugged up the hole, making sure his attack had nowhere to go! Therefore, he exploded!" Naruto laughed at Zaku's pain. She was even happier when Shino backhanded him, sending his body flying.

"Thanks Shino!"

The boy nodded his head in her direction while Hayate called the match, "Winner, Shino Aburame!"

Naruto turned to Kakashi and stuck her tongue out, "Told you!"

"Next match, Sabaku no Kankuro vs. Hinata Hyuga," Hayate coughed into his hand, motioning for the candidates to come down.

Naruto gave Hinata a thumbs up, "Take our training seriously. Don't go easy on him. He's older than you and of he can't handle a beating from a girl, then he's a wimp." She smiled when Hinata stood straighter and flipped over the railing.

"Really? You think you can handle me little girl?" Kankuro sneered.

Hinata frowned but nodded anyway.

He laughed at her, "How about I give you a free shot? Try and hurt me!"

Hinata turned to Naruto and she nodded. Taking it as being okay, the girl activated her Byakugan and flashed in front of Kankuro, delivering a hit to his chest. Kankuro doubled over and began spitting out blood.

"Well, shit! You may actually be a challenge," he coughed up more blood.

"Please forfeit, otherwise I won't be held responsible for what happens," Hinata asked in a serious tone.

Kankuro gripped the bandage on his shoulder, moving the bundle off his back. The bandaging unraveled, to reveal a puppet with bushy brown hair and three eyes.

"Not a chance!"

With a twitch of his fingers, the puppet was off, "Crow can take care of you!"

The mouth opened and senbon shot out. Hinata was quick on her feet, dodging every single one with ease.

Kankuro made a hand sign and the rain of senbon multiplied. Hinata paused before using her Rotation, blowing them away.

Kankuro cursed and moved his hands more and the puppet shot off toward Hinata. She planted her feet firmly and began to move her hands around her body. Blue wisps appeared, arcing and connecting to each other, creating a bluish netting.

Naruto smirked, "She perfected it!"

"Protective Eight Trigrams; Sixty-Four Palms!"

The puppet hit the netting and disintegrated upon contact, as a lightning like flash lit the room. Hinata, didn't take a break, and was off in Kankuro's direction. Her hands glowed blue as she delivered an open palm thrust to his chest, knocking him off his feet. The force was so powerful, that his body hit the ceiling before landing with a loud crash.

Hinata deactivated her Byakugan and stood, waiting for Hayate to call the match.

With his fingers pressed against the ninja's pulse, Hayate sighed, he was alive. "The winner is Hinata Hyuga!"

Hinata jumped up to Naruto's side and tackled her friend into a hug. Both girls landing on the floor. "I did it Naruto!" she squealed.

"I know! You finally got it down! But when?!" the blonde asked as she sat up.

"Well, I wanted to surprise you the next time we sparred, and I worked really hard on it," Hinata blushed, getting off her friend.

Kurenai, who had just gotten over her shock, approached the duo. "What do you mean 'next time we sparred'?" she asked.

Naruto grinned, "Well, I've been secretly training Hinata for the last two years, because her family is full of a bunch of pricks."

"Naruto!" scolded Hinata.

She waved the girl off. "Sorry Hinata, but you are the only person in your family that I think is worthy of my respect. Your head isn't shoved up your ass," she huffed. "Anyway, because they labeled Hinata as a worthless case, they didn't bother to teach her any more of their Taijutsu. So, I told her to watch her family members more closely when they spar and to take notes. Then she collected all the scrolls she could and I had her train on her own. She's still a little shy when she battles, but she's getting better, as you saw," she smiled.

Hinata blushed at the praise and looked away.

"We were able to take it farther and she developed her own version of the Eight Trigrams that can be used as a defense and an offense." Naruto grinned at the girl. "Now you need to make that one even better with One Hundred Twenty-Eight Palms!" she winked.

Kurenai looked at Kakashi in shock. He shrugged his shoulders, "I have no idea."

Neji was listening in on the conversation and growled when the Uzumaki insulted the Hyuga family as a whole. How dare he! How dare he help that failure of an heir.

Hayate shook his head as the medics carried Kankuro off. He looked to the screens that began choose the next contestants, "Will Sakura Haruno and Ino Yamanaka step forward?"

Naruto stood, and patted Sakura's back, "Go whoop that cowards ass."

Sakura gave her a confused look, but nodded and jumped over the railing.

Shikamaru and Choji decided to venture over to Naruto's side. "I sure hope that Sakura can knock some sense into Ino," Choji said, stuffing his face with a bag of chips.

"Yeah, but seeing as how those two are so similar, there's bound to be drama, and that is a drag!" Shikamaru groaned rolling his shoulders.

Asuma ambled on over, "Why do you want Sakura to knock Ino around?"

"Ino couldn't decide if she wanted to help Sakura or even Sasuke who were both in danger of dying, when we were in the forest. I put her in her place over it, and ever since, she's been all emo," Naruto told him.

Asuma nodded in understanding and joined Kakashi and Kurenai who were talking about their students.

"Anyone just as confused as I am?" he asked them.

They just looked at him. He laughed, "I'll take that as a yes."

The Genin all watched as Ino and Sakura argued with each other. Ino babbling about how if she won, she'd get Sasuke (to which said boy sneered in disgust) and Sakura saying she wanted her friend back.

Sakura made good use of the Clone Jutsu and landed a punch that sent Ino flying a good distance. Ino retaliated with her Mind Transfer Jutsu and Sakura's body slumped to the ground.

Naruto growled in annoyance. I hate that stupid jutsu!

Sakura stood slowly and raised her hand, "I, Sakura Haruno, would like to for-"

"Come Sakura!" Naruto screamed, making the girl freeze.

"Don't let that pansy beat you!"

Sakura grabbed her head and began screaming. Two different voices coming out her mouth. "NO!" "INO, YOU'RE GONNA BE IN SO MUCH TROUBLE IF YOU DON'T GET OUT OF ME NOW!"

Chakra covered Sakura's body before she made a hand sign, and it shot off toward Ino's slumped body. Once the girl regained her bearings, she shot Sakura a terrified look, "How can you have two spirits inside you? What are you?!"

Sakura panted for air, and smiled, "As a kid, I was bullied because of my hair and forehead. I went more than half my life without friends, and because of that, I developed a strong case of Multiple Personality Disorder. My other half doesn't like you, or me or anybody. If you hadn't left, she would've hurt you whether you're my friend or not. And you and I both know that if you get seriously injured whilst inside someone's elses mind, you could be left paralyzed or braindead."

Everyone was quiet.

"Well, that might explain why she's a bitch sometimes!" Naruto laughed.

"Naruto!" several people yelled at once.

She shrugged, "At least Sakura has a reason. What your excuse Ino?!"

The girl threw her a fierce glare and stood, feet wobbling. Sakura did the same and they ran at each other. Ino went to kick but Sakura dodged, bringing up her fist, and slamming it into Ino's jaw. Ino was sent flying into the wall, her body collapsed to the ground afterwards.

Sakura stood panting heavily, "I think I finally blossomed, pig."

With a hand pressed to her forehead, she sat down. "Winner is, Sakura Haruno!" Hayate called and Naruto cheered. Sasuke smirked and the others sighed in relief.

Asuma grabbed Ino and took her to the medical ward. Kakashi helped Sakura up and upon her request, put her next to Naruto. "You did great Sakura. I didn't know you can hit that hard," Naruto smiled.

"Well, I was adding chakra to my feet for more speed, and I figured, that if I added chakra to my punch, it would be stronger, and it was! I need to work on my chakra control though, seeing as I put too much chakra in," She sighed.

"You'll get it!" the blonde gave her a thumbs up and motioned to the screens.

"Sabaku no Temari and TenTen!" Hayate coughed.

The two girls faced each other and Shikamaru sighed, "Suna wins."

Naruto nodded, and everyone gasped, "Huh?!"

Shikamaru looked at Naruto, "I don't feel like explaining, you do it. This is payback from the other day."

Naruto sighed, "TenTen just threw some kunai that missed. I'm guessing that she's a weapons specialist. That isn't going to help her against a person like Temari with Wind affinity. People like Temari, Asuma sensei and I, are lighter on their feet, due to their chakra nature. While TenTen is giving herself distance to watch for sudden movements, she's also giving Temari the advantage needed to use that big fan of hers. Wind users can do any kind of distance battling, but with that fan, she'd needs mid or long range to be able to use it."

Everyone stared at her, but she ignored them, "Shikamaru was thinking along the lines of TenTen only knowing how to use weapons in a fight. She apparently can't do Taijutsu like Lee and she doesn't have a Doujutsu like Neji, so her fighting style relies solely on weaponry. But weapons won't always be there. She's going to lose for so many reasons."

"How do you know what chakra nature the Suna ninja has?" Kakashi asked, really shocked that Naruto came up with such a brilliant deduction.

"I have Wind nature as well, and I can see it surrounding her. She used wind to blur her form, and stop TenTen's kunai. That's what Wind users can do. If they have good control, they can even make a tornado just by focusing hard enough. No hand signs needed. Her control is perfect. Also, the big fan on her back suggests something along the lines of wind jutsu," Naruto told him.

As if to prove her point, Temari unleashed a shout of, "Wind Scythe Jutsu!"

The Jonin sweatdropped "Okay, I get it."

TenTen was done for, and the match quickly ended, "Winner, Temari!"

TenTen was carted off to the infirmary, and Hayate announced the next match with a cough, "Shikamaru Nara and Tsuchi Kin, front and center!"

Naruto smirked, "Shikamaru has this in the bag!"

The Kin girl glared at her proclamation and she waved in fake joy, just to piss the girl off. It worked, and Naruto gladly received the middle finger that was thrown her way.

Shikamaru sighed. Man I have to fight a girl! What a drag! He watched the Sound ninja. In the forest, he didn't see her do anything special except hold Sakura by the hair. Maybe a little payback was in order. It's drag to have to plan this, but fine. It's for a friend anyway.

He made a sign, "Shadow Possession Jutsu!"

Kin jumped away and laughed when the shadow stopped, unable to move any farther. "Too bad!" she taunted, and threw some senbon.

Shikamaru dodged, and they hit the wall behind him. The sound of bells began ringing in his ear. His vision became blurry, and all he could see was multiple Kin's holding more senbon.

The light reflected on something as more kunai shot at him. He blocked his face, taking them in the arm. He noticed the shiny thing again and realized that she was controlling the bell by using a very thin wire. Thin, but not thin enough. As she continued to throw senbon, he attached his shadow the the wire, letting it creep up on her.

Kin went to throw more senbon and froze. "I can't move!"

Shikamaru smirked, "Of course you can't. Shadow Possession Jutsu is a success!"

"How?!"

"Look at the wire you're holding. Strange how it can cast a shadow at such a height," Shikamaru smirked as the shadow grew bigger till both were connected completely.

"Uh! So I copy everything you do. So what?!" she sneered.

Shikamaru laughed, "Just some payback for a friend."

Naruto's laugh rang throughout the room, "Shikamaru you're great!"

Kin, along with everyone else, didn't understand what was so funny. "Just watch," she ordered with a devious grin.

Shikamaru tilted his head, and Kin did the same, her long hair flowing over her shoulders. He then made some weird movements like he was trying to grab for something. Kin mirrored his movements, except her hands were gathering all of her hair together.

The lazy Nara reached into his kunai holster, making sure to keep a good hold so that Kin wouldn't drop any hair. Everyone got what he was up to, and laughter filled the room.

Shikamaru dangled the kunai a bit before bringing it close to his head. Kin did the same, her face holding a look of pure terror. "NO!"

"Yes," he stated simply slicing the kunai through the air. Kin's hair fell to the ground and she let out a scream. Her remaining hair was uneven and standing in all directions.

Then, he aimed the kunai at her and she paled.

"You must be crazy! We'll both get hurt!" she cried.

Shikamaru let loose and bent backward when her kunai got close. Kin mimicked his movements perfectly, until her head slammed into the wall behind her. Shikamaru released his jutsu and her body fell to the ground in a heap.

Hayate gave him a questioning look and he shrugged, "She hurt a friend of mine, which resulted in her having to cut off most of her hair. I figured payback wouldn't hurt anyone. Anyone but her."

Hayate sighed, "Winner, Shikamaru Nara."

Shikamaru rolled his shoulders and sighed, "I had her from the beginning. When she jumped back the first time, she placed herself right where I wanted her. She lost track of her position on the battle field. She was so focused on bragging to me, that she didn't notice the wall behind her and Bang!"

Naruto grinned and gave him a thumbs up.

Sakura smiled, "Thank you, Shikamaru."

"It was for something good, so it wasn't that much of a drag," he shrugged it off, waving a hand at her.

Naruto stuck her tongue out at the unconscious Sound ninja. "Serves you right bitch!"

Her comment earned her a glare from the girls sensei, who seemed to be trying to light Naruto on fire with his anger. She stuck her tongue out at him as well, and shivered when he licked his lips. His long tongue reminding her of the Grass ninja! She shivered in disgust. He's nasty!

"Yahoo! Akamaru lets win this!" she looked at the monitor and frowned. She was up against Kiba. Not someone from another village. Fuck! I don't want to hurt him!

She hopped over the railing and walked over to Hayate and Kiba. The look on Kiba's face was freaking her out.

Hayate glanced at his student and the Inuzuka and sighed, "You may begin whenever you're ready."

Kiba smirked "Oh Naruto!" he sang.

She quirked a brow at him. "What?" she asked in an agitated voice.

"I'm going to win. When I do, you will submit like a good bitch," he smiled widely, his voice getting deeper.

Her jaw, along with every other jaw in the room , dropped. Kurama began laughing his ass off. He seeks to mate you Kit! Whatever you do, do not show him your exposed throat, or he'll be justified in his actions!

Kurenai was watching her student in surprise. Kiba had just made an advance on someone for the Inuzuka mating ritual.

Sakura didn't understand why Kiba insulted Naruto and asked Kakashi about it.

"Well, the Inuzuka have a strange way of finding their spouses. A male challenges a female to a battle and he must defeat her. She then, must bare her neck, showing that she fully trusts him, giving him the advantage of her weak point, where he could either kill her or mark her. Kiba is challenging Naruto in the same way," Kakashi blushed under his mask at having to explain such things.

"What do you mean by mark?" Sasuke asked, confused by Kiba's behavior as well.

Kurenai sighed, "The Inuzuka are very close to canines in many aspects. Their senses are like that of a dogs and their ability to find a mate, or in our case, spouse, is just the same. Kiba sees himself as the Alpha and sees Naruto as his chosen, to give him children and such. If Naruto loses this, Kiba can do whatever he wants to him, no matter who is around."

The rest of the Rookie Nine blanched. Choji looked at Asuma, "Doesn't he need a girl though to have kids with?"

Asuma shrugged, "There are jutsu that can help men get pregnant, so, a woman isn't really needed."

Hinata was blushing. Kiba was thinking of Naruto like that! He even said so out loud! Now everyone though that he hit for the other team, and were probably worried about Naruto's reaction. She looked at her long time friend.

Naruto was still standing in the same spot as before. She had yet to make a sound, and her whole body was shaking.

Oh no! She's angry!

Shino stepped up next to her and whispered, "Is she going to kill him?"

Hinata sighed, "I hope not."

Naruto was pissed! How dare that mutt do something like that!

One good hit should knock him out. Make sure you hit him in the right place!

With a nod of her head, Naruto sprang for the daring boy, intending to end it quickly. She flashed before he could react, and landed the hardest kick she could, to his balls. "Fuck you Kiba!" she yelled.

He let out a girlish shriek as his body sailed through the air and right through the wall. Medics were running to see if he was okay. They all waited.

One returned, "He won't be moving for a long time." The rest appeared, carrying the boy off. Naruto noticed how they all avoided her, giving her a wide berth. Good. They knew not to mess with her then.

Naruto didn't wait for Hayate to announce her as the winner, and just went back to her friends. Plopping down next to Sasuke she sighed, "Arrogant mutt."

Hayate called the next match, getting everyone's attention off the fuming blonde, "Choji Akimichi and Dosu Kinuta!"

Poor Choji lost bad, but, his efforts earned him a night out, at his favorite barbecue restaurant.

Neji faced someone from Iwa that no one cared to learn the name to. He was defeated easily and Neji took his spot in the finals.

The last two to fight, were Gaara and Lee. Naruto snapped out of her mood, and was curious to see how long Lee fared against a Jinchuriki. She was impressed to see that he was a very advanced Taijutsu artist, but was saddened by the fact that he couldn't use Ninjutsu or Genjutsu. Because of that, she knew that he would lose.

Gaara wasn't a pushover. Unlike his sibling Kankuro, who got cocky, Gaara was quiet. He didn't need to boast, because he already knew that he was strong. He didn't open his mouth until Lee actually landed a hit, somehow getting around the sand that protected the Suna ninja.

His bloodlust intensified, filling the area and causing many a shinobi, to shiver. He then stated that he would enjoy killing Lee.

Lee used the first half of the Eight Inner Gates, but in the end, it didn't help him, as Gaara was able to wrap his sand around the boys leg, and crush it. If his sensei didn't interfere, Lee would've been dead.

The final battles were decided:

1. Naruto Uzumaki vs. Neji Hyuga

2. Sasuke Uchiha vs. Bisuke Hazama. Winner vs. Sakura Haruno

3. Shino Aburame vs. Hinata Hyuga

4. Shikamaru Nara vs. Sabaku no Temari

5. Sabaku no Gaara vs. Kinuta Dosu

Yes! I'm going to kick Neji's ass! Finally!

The Hokage explained that they all had a month to train in time for the finals, and wished them all good luck.

Naruto stretched and yawned, "I can't wait to go and eat some ramen!"

Sakura and Sasuke smirked, while Kakashi sighed, "Is that all you think about?"

"No! I'm also thinking about taking Iruka sensei out too!" she stuck her tongue out at him.

"Okay then, " he shrugged, eye tilting up a bit, showing that he was grinning.

Naruto smiled. The Second Exam is over! I'm going to eat as much ramen as I can before I start my training!

Good grief!

A/N: Hello people! Lets get right to it then!

The voting is over!

Your votes:

Shikamaru- 264

Gaara- 196

Shikamaru wins!

*!BUT!*(MAKE SURE YOU KEEP READING FOR A SURPRISE!)

I originally wanted Shikamaru to win and a small part of me wanted Gaara, because I like them both. I realized that half of you will leave this story no matter who wins, SO… I chose both guys! And NO! this is not a harem!

It will take me longer to do, but I will be splitting this story in half. In the end, there will be two different endings to the same story. Chapters will be split and posted twice. Like the next chapter, it will be chapter 5, but posted twice. One will say, Chapter 5 Shikamaru and the other, Chapter 5 Gaara. At the top of the chapter I will leave a note about which chapter is which in case you didn't look, and whether or not you need to click 'next' or 'prev'.

I want to see how it ends with both guys, so I'm doing both.

This is for you and me. I'd feel bad if half of you got your hopes crushed cause your favorite guy didn't win, and that's why I'm doing this. It will take longer, but I really want this to work.

Thank you for making it interesting! I look forward to seeing your thoughts in your reviews! Let me know what you think! :D

Ja ne! :D