"The Two Jinchuuriki" – Kiba Inubake

"Jinchuuriki" meaning "the power of human sacrifice", are those individuals possessing tailed demons within their bodies. The demons themselves are known by the number of tails their body possesses, and each has different characteristics. This is the story of how Gaara, who carried the Ichibi, met Naruto Uzumaki, who carries the Kyuubi.

Chapter 8: "Academy Day"

The day was coming up, when education would begin and lazing around would become unheard of.

The day when the ninja academy opened.

Naruto was eager to begin training, and Gaara just as much. However, what concerned them was how they would be divided into three-man squads. They were exceptionally talented for their age group, so it was more than likely that they would be separated to balance out team power.

But, being the optimist he was, Naruto convinced himself and his friend that fretting about the future wouldn't help at the moment, so they thought past it and focused on what their academy days would be like.

"Naruto-kun, what are you looking forward to most in the academy?" Gaara asked, relaxed on a park bench.

"You mean besides graduating? I'm kinda lookin' forward to meeting all the people I'm gonna blow away someday!" Naruto laughed.

Gaara giggled along with him. He twirled a strand of red, wavy Sunagakure hair. "I'm looking forward to making new allies too, Naruto-kun."

"Hey Gaara, we should pull a prank!" A mischievous glint sparkled in deep cerulean eyes.

"A…prank?" Gaara repeated. "What did you have in mind?"

A roguish grin grew over the Konoha ninja's features. "Well…"

Dawn cracked the sky. The sun was rising over orange clouds, warming the chilly Spring air. With the awakening of the outside world came the awakening of the only blond male knucklehead in Konoha. Yawning, he got out of bed and looked over at the analog wall clock. He had 2 hours before the academy classes begun.

'Okay! This gives us just enough time to pull off the prank!' Naruto snickered. He walked over to Gaara's bed. The blond Jinchuuriki shook a soft red cover made of down. "Hey, Gaara. Wake up, we have to go soon."

Poking out from under the blanket, red hair showed itself. Gaara groggily came to, rubbing his black eyelids. "Oh…time to get ready...? Okay…"

The two imps, once having prepared themselves, stepped foot outside on the grass outside Naruto's small apartment. Laughing mischievously, the two boys took off towards not the academy building…but the Uchiha complex.

"Oh, I see…" A deeper voice stated. "So you need my help for a head game, eh?"

"Yup," Naruto nodded, with pleading eyes.

The ninja whom they were requesting help from sniggered. "Sure, why not? It's not like any real harm could result from this."

"Yes! Thanks, Itachi!" The Uchiha's former opponent showed his gratitude.

Itachi laughed quietly. "Haha… Go on ahead. I'm taking Sasuke today, so I'll work from the shadows. As soon as Iruka—that's the sensei at the academy—walks in, I'll activate the hallucination jutsu." Itachi grinned.

Gaara smiled cheerfully. "Understood! Ja na, Ita-nii!" With that, the two Jinchuuriki sped off toward the academy grounds.

15 minutes were left before school started for the first time. Most of the students scattered across the school grounds were nervous. Others were feeling excited. And then, in the rarest case, two future students couldn't seem to contain their laughter. Messy blonde and red hair danced in the morning breeze as their hosts began to walk up the outside steps to the rooftop of the academy. The top was white with a red Kanji symbol painted in the center, facing away from the Great Hokage Stone Faces. 24" of metal rose up to act as a semi-fence, preventing a slip along the sides to be life-threatening. The two currently standing atop it looked down at the site below them.

"Gyahahaha! This is gonna be a great trick!" Naruto laughed.

"What's going to be a great trick?"

Naruto and Gaara almost fell over the fence from surprise. "Wh-who the hell are you?!" Naruto questioned in shock.

"I'm the academy teacher, Umino Iruka," replied the tall man wearing a Chunin vest. His skin was slightly darker than the average villager of Konoha, and he had a peculiar horizontal scar across the top of his nose. "It would be wise not to use profanity when talking to the teacher, also."

Naruto squinted his eyes. "I don't know who you are, but I'm Naruto Uzumaki. And I'm gonna blow away everyone else here!" Naruto stated with determination in his eyes and a grin plastered on his face.

Feeling it would be polite, Gaara spoke as well. "I'm Sabaku no Gaara. I am the second-born son of the Yondaime Kazekage," he introduced. "We're both going to be attending this school."

Iruka was taken aback. 'A dense braggart and the son of the Kazekage…?' He scrutinized the boys for a moment, thought for a moment, and chuckled. "Heh, this will certainly be an interesting year…" Gaara and Naruto smiled upon feeling safety thrust upon them.

"Now, classes start in 5 minutes," Iruka told. "I suggest you come down and take a seat inside before they're all taken."

Naruto and Gaara exchanged glances. "Uh, okay, I guess we'll go down then," Naruto said.

"See you soon, sensei!" Gaara said as they hurried down the steps. Iruka sighed.

"Naruto-kun, we were supposed to go in without saying anything to Ita-nii so people wouldn't get suspicious, right?" Gaara asked for validation.

"Yup, that's the plan," Naruto answered, passing by the Uchiha brothers.

The two boys entered the building. Walking down a straight hallway, they went into the first door on their left. They had stayed on the first floor, so they entered the classroom where the sensei usually comes in from. Stepping onto the interior of the room, several eyes, but not all, turned to the orphaned pair. They returned the gazes with a scan of their class. Taking a last glance at each other, they walked to an empty row and sat down. Seated around them were many kids they had already met sometime before, and there were many new faces as well. One in particular caught Gaara's eye. She had dark hair and pale eyes, and her gaze was fixated on Naruto. She was very cute in Gaara's mind.

In Naruto's eyes, the cutest one there was the pink-haired girl whom he had seen only a few times before—Sakura Haruno. She was mean and stuck-up, but damn could she wear the hell out of that red ribbon.

"Hey Gaara, 7:00! Look at the pink one over there!" Naruto whispered. Gaara turned his head, only to see a crowd of girls fangasming over the younger Uchiha brother, Sasuke. Sasuke seemed to be enjoying the attention, for he was making conversation with just about everyone there, and not a drop of frustration seemed to cloud over him.

"Yeah? What about 5:00?" Gaara asked.

Naruto turned his whole body around. "…The one without pupils?"

"The one without color in her eyes."

"Oh, I think I've seen her a few times before…maybe…"

"What do you think of her? She's been staring at you this whole time," Gaara told him in a quiet voice.

"Whoa! No way!" Naruto laughed.

"I think you might have a chance with her, Naruto-kun," Gaara smiled.

The door slid open, and Iruka appeared. Gaara tapped Naruto's shoulder. "Hey, Iruka-sensei came in! That's when Itachi said he'd start!"
Naruto's full attention was caught. "Ah! All right! I can't wait to see how this turns out!"
"I am your teacher, Umino Iruka. Today we're just going to—" Iruka halted his speech. He felt the ground rumbling. "Wh-what's this…?!" The ground shook tremendously, and the Hokage stone carvings, in clear distance from the window on the side of the building, each cracked one-by-one and crumbled to sand. The occupants of the building were in as great a shock as the earthquake had felt.

"Th-the stone faces?! Did they just get destroyed?!" Iruka ran to the window, opened it and jumped out. He ran up the side of the building. Now at the rooftop, he looked over towards the stone faces.

They were completely fine.

"What the… What the hell is this?!" Iruka shouted. Laughter from two pupils could be heard inside the classroom. With confusion struck over Iruka's face, he returned to his class to see what was going on.

"AAHhahahaha!" Naruto was laughing his head off. "We got you good!" The students were also confused now.

"What's going on, damn it?!" shouted a kid wearing a fur jacket in the back of the room. A puppy barked after its master had.

"Hey!" Iruka called. He was not amused. "I want to know who pulled this prank right now!" His focus was mainly on Naruto and Gaara, based on his overhearing of part of their conversation before class had begun.

Naruto and Gaara said nothing. Itachi peered into the class from the window. He walked away, laughing quietly to himself as he took the path home.

After the academy had let out for the day, Naruto and Gaara hung around at the swing near the southeast corner of the wall surrounding the academy grounds. Naruto sat on the swing, and Gaara was lying down in a bed of softened sand. They were recollecting what they had done today, what they wanted to do later in that academy, and the like. It was not until late into their stay, however, that Gaara had noticed a spying eye behind the wall. Behind them was the Hyuga heiress, the girl that was paying close attention to Naruto in class that day. It was faint, but he could hear someone close by them breathing. "…Heh. Are you planning on coming out?" Following his seemingly-random statement came a gasp, which assured Gaara's victory in the battle of wits.

For a moment, she was silent. But instead of running away, she came around from the other side. There was no use in running, since they evidently already knew she was eavesdropping. "U-um… H-hello…" said their shy spy.

"Hi there," Naruto said warmly. Even though it didn't seem like much, his friendly attitude despite her situation had made her feel safe. "What's your name?"

"H…Hinata… Hinata Hyuga…" the heiress said as best she could. She was blushing like mad, and had to resort to keeping her head bowed so her hair could hide her embarrassment.

"So, did you like that prank we pulled today? Eheeheehee!" Naruto smiled sheepishly.

Hinata looked up. "Y-you did th-that…!? H-how…?"

"We had some help from a genjutsu specialist," Gaara admitted, "but the whole thing was Naruto's idea."

"O-oh… I was wondering who that was, behind the building…"

Naruto raised a brow. "Wait, how did you know Itachi was there?"

Hinata took in a deep breath. "I'm of the Hyuga family… I wield the Byakugan, a d-dojutsu that allows m-me to see through ordinary objects. That's how I kn-knew he was there casting a genjutsu…"

Naruto was amazed. "W-whoa, cool! Gaara! Are you thinking what I am?!"

"P-probably not…ahaha…" Gaara has a dirty mind, you see.

"We should let her be our lookout!" Naruto exclaimed with enthusiasm.

Gaara thought about the suggestion. "Hmm… You're right, she would be very well suited for the position…" He looked over to their subject. "Do you want to join us, Hinata-chan?"

Hinata's face turned red instantly. The thought of being proactive with her interest and another attractive guy was overwhelming. "I…I'd…l-love to!" she forced out. She gasped and put her hands over her mouth as if she wanted to take back those words, despite meaning them.

Naruto beamed a happy face. "All right! You're one of us now!" He slung an arm around Hinata to show brotherhood.

She fainted within a second. –End of Chapter

It's almost been a year since I wrote for this story... I didn't think it had been that long, wow. But, nonetheless, I felt bad, so I made this chapter especially long. I think it came out really good, actually. It definitely wasn't what I had thought I would do initially, but I like how it turned out. 'Kay! Review, please! Next update will be within the month.