Hi readers, back with another chapter.

Now some of you are wondering whether I killed Haku o not? The answer to that question is sadly YES. No one is Uzumaki Naruto to survive a Chidori/ Raikiri shoved though their chest.

Thoughts : 'hi.'

Speech : "jerk."

Jutsus : Katon: Hōsenka no Jutsu (when used), Mizu bunshin no jutsu (when mentioned.)

Kyuu-bi speaking : "I want to tear you into pieces"

Kyuu-bi thoughts : 'World domination'

Inner-Sakura : 'I am a jerk.'

8: Return to Konoha.

It had been about two weeks since the battle at the bridge. A few of the thugs who had come with Gatou that day tried to terrorize the village on a couple of occasions but the villagers made them run away. Even more people from the village helped in the completion of the bridge.

Meanwhile all members of team 7 had completely healed and were now ready to commence their journey back home. It had taken about 12 days for both Sasuke and Hitomi and 7 days for Kakashi to heal all their wounds. Sakura was completely unharmed in the battle while all of Naruto's wounds had healed up when he used the Kyuubi's chakra. A single nights rest was enough for Naruto to be completely healed from the fatigue he felt after using Kyuubi's chakra for first time.

Naruto had used the last two weeks mostly to train himself. Until Kakashi was still recovering Naruto would stay with Tazuna when he was working on the bridge. Even after Kakashi started to guard Tazuna after his recovery Naruto would join on the bridge from time to time. He continued to train using the daily routine though his main focus was to be able to use the Fūton and Katon combo without the use of a Kage Bunshin. He had taken a look at the insides of the scrolls and was impressed at what was sealed inside it. But training with it would have to wait until he got back to Konoha.

As for Naruto's teammates, Kakashi had quickly taken up guarding Tazuna even though there seemed no more threats to his life. Sakura had stayed by the side of the injured acting as a nurse for her Sasuke-kun and possibly Hitomi and Kakashi. Even after the recovery of the two Uchiha's she opted to stay by their sides. The 2 days the Uchihas were finally able to walk was used to gain control over their body functions.

(At a clearing in the woods.)

Currently all the members of team 7 were standing in front of two newly made graves. They were there to give their offerings to the two who were their enemies but had thought them a valuable lesson.

"Kakashi-sensei, were those two correct about ninjas?" asked Sakura.

"A shinobi isn't supposed to pursue his own goals, becoming the country's tool is the most important. That's the same for Konoha too", said Kakashi.

"I don't like it!" said Hitomi.

"You believed that too?" asked Sasuke as he looked over at Kakashi.

"Well, each and every shinobi has to live while dealing with the issue. Just like Zabuza an that girl", said Kakashi.

A silence fell in the area for a few minutes as all contemplated over the words spoken now. Mean while Kakashi's single eye drifted towards Naruto who had been silent throughout the conversation. The said boy had his eyes focused on Haku's grave as he seemed to be completely oblivious to the surrounding. Kakashi also knew the boy had visited the grave everyday.

Kakashi's opinion of Naruto had changed a great deal. Before the mission he thought of the blonde though skilled would not be able to handle such situations because of his pranks and somewhat carefree nature. But the blonde had proven him completely wrong.

Throughout the mission the blonde was the one out of the four who had remained the calmest. The blonde was also quick to analyze the situation and also had found out a way through it. The plans he used to save him from Zabuza and the Uchiha siblings from Haku were simple yet fully effective.

But it was the blonde's skills that had amazed Kakashi. The academy reports said him to be above average in terms of practical skills of shinobis as Kakashi had read them. But the reports had been proven completely wrong during the bell test; Kakashi marked his skills to be in par with the two Uchihas i.e. the best in their age group. But on this mission as he saw the young blonde fight and the jutsus he used, the boy was clearly way stronger than he had first anticipated.

"What are your thoughts Naruto-san?" said Hitomi drawing every eye present there towards her.

'When did she start calling him Naruto instead of Uzumaki?' thought Sakura and Sasuke. Kakashi smiled under his mask thinking 'it is good to see some one trying to bridge the gap between the team.'

"I had enough days to think over it", said Naruto taking a look at the graves.

"I AM GOING TO BE A NINJA IN MY OWN WAY! ONE WHICH WILL I BE PROUD OF! TTEBAYO" shouted Naruto pumping his fist in the air.

The outburst earned different looks from the four present there. Sasuke looked at him with a look which spoke 'You are an Idiot'. Sakura looked at him in complete confusion. Hitomi looked at him with a curious look and a small smile gracing her lips which she was not aware of. Kakashi looked at Naruto with a proud smile.

(At the bridge a week later.)

Most of the villagers along with Tazuna, Tsunami and Inari were present at the newly made gate on the bridge. The construction of the bridge had been finished yesterday and it had turned out magnificent. Today they were present at the bridge to bi good bye to the Konoha ninjas.

"Thanks to you we have completed the bridge, but this is super sad…" said Tazuna even though he was happy but also his words carried a bit of sadness.

"Thank you for everything", said Kakashi with a smile as Sasuke, Hitomi and Sakura nodded.

"Don't worry! We'll come to visit!" said Naruto with a big grin.

"You… better…" said Inari as he was shaking a bit and his eyes seemed like they were about to burst with tears.

Looking at Inari Naruto also started to shake a bit and his eyes become a bit watery, still he spoke in a teasing voice "Inari… you are sad right? It's alright to cry!"

"Fine, later…" said Naruto as he turned around and started to walk.

Sakura and Hitomi took a look at Naruto's face and then at Inari's face as they both had the same look. Tears flowed from both their eyes as a dam had exploded and also snot was oozing out of their noses. ''Geez… they are like twins!' thought the two.

It was decided by the villagers to name the bridge 'THE GREAT NARUTO BRIGE' as Tazuna said "That boy changed Inari's heart and Inari changed the heart's of the people. That boy gave us a bridge to 'HOPE' called 'COURAGE'. This name is in hope that the bridge will never crumble and one day will become a super famous bridge whose name is known throughout the world."

The journey of team 7 back home was uneventful. Kakashi kept his face buried in his orange book. Sakura kept asking Sasuke to come on a date with her when they returned to the village which he firmly denied. Sasuke for most of the part kept brooding or avoiding Sakura's date request while in a while he would talk to his sister. Hitomi and Naruto tried to start conversations with their teammates but the conversations would quickly end because of lack of topics.

It took 3 days for team 7 to reach Konoha; in the mean time Naruto noticed a lot of change of his team's attitude towards him. Sasuke who for most of his life ignored the blonde and only would look at him to tease him for his lack at something (academics, bunshin no jutsu etc) was now shooting angry glares at him. Sakura was being Sakura, mimicking Sasuke an also trying to berate him at every small mistake while their way back home. As for Kakashi, he was busy reading his precious orange book throughout the journey but also calmly answered all his questions. The biggest change was Hitomi; the girl who mostly avoided him was now trying to strike a conversation with him and also would smile at him.

(The Hokage's office)

After reaching the village, Kakashi dismissed the team and asked them to go home and rest. At the Hokage tower he was joined by Naruto as both entered the office. There Kakashi gave a complete verbal report of things that happened since they left the village till their arrival back home.

The Sandaime Hokage was now massaging his head because of the massive headache he received in the form of the report. 'I had anticipated the mission information was falsified but to this extent I didn't know. The enemies the team faced were something for an ANBU. But to hear Naruto's progress and him being the key in the mission success, Minato-Kushina you would be proud of your son as I am now' thought Sandaime.

"Now Kakashi I would want a complete written report of the mission. I am promoting the mission from C to an A rank mission. You are dismissed for now Kakashi", said Sarutobi Hiruzen.

Kakashi just nodded and Shunshin no Jutsu (Body Flicker Technique) to leave the room leaving only Naruto with the Sandaime.

"Now Naruto-kun, come with me in the sitting room. I want to talk to you…" said the Sandaime as he walked towards the other room asking Naruto to follow him.

The two entered a room which was used by the Hokage to have special talks with his advisors and various important people. The two sat on a sofa close to each other. There was a silence for a few minutes which was broken by Naruto's shaky voice.

"Is it about the Kyuubi?" asked Naruto, even though he knew he was not in any trouble but still the matter of Kyuubi was still sensitive in Konoha.

He felt the hand of the Sandaime on his shoulder being placed in a gentle manner. He looked up to see the smiling, wrinkled face of the Sandaime.

"It is about the young girl, Haku?" said the Sandaime. A silence again fell for another minute.

"I met her 5 days before the fight on the bridge. She had come in the clearing to collect some herbs. She seemed like a civilian to me. I helped her out and accompanied her until she left. She came by the second day again to collect some more herbs, this time she stayed longer. The next two days she came by just to talk. It was fun spending time with her; she was my first true friend. It was hard to see her dead body in front of me. I wanted to stop her but she had already chosen her life", said Naruto as a tear fell from his eye.

Even though the old man didn't show it, he was deeply hurt when Naruto called Haku his first true friend. He had tried his best to see that Naruto had a normal childhood but he knew well that he had failed at it. The blonde was only able to make a few friends at the academy, still he knew it well that the said friends were only on 'I-know-you' basis.

"Will you be alight, Naruto-kun?" asked the Sandaime.

"Yes I will be", said Naruto.

The two sat there in complete silence for a while. The silence was broken by a loud growling noise emitting from Naruto's stomach.

"Seems you are hungry, here take this as a gift from me as a job well done on the mission", said the Sandaime handing Naruto an Ichiraku ramen coupon.

"Thanks for this old man", shouted Naruto had he took the coupon and hurried out to his destination.

(The Ichiraku ramen stand)

Naruto was currently on his 12th bowl of ramen all the while telling Ayame and Teuchi about the wave mission. To say they were amazed was an understatement. They gave Naruto 3 bowls for free for helping out the villagers. The curtains of the stand moved to show the face of Kakashi Hatake.

"Hey! Kakashi-sensei here to eat some awesome ramen?" asked Naruto to his sensei.

"No, I am here to talk to you", said Kakashi with a small hint of seriousness which Naruto caught on to.

Naruto quickly finished the bowl along with the two more he had ordered and paid for them. Kakashi put a hand on his shoulder and use the Shunshin no Jutsu (Body Flicker Technique).

(Training ground)

The two were now sitting facing each other in the training ground assigned for their team.

"Now tell me Naruto, why you think I was assigned as team 7's jounin-sensei?" asked Kakashi.

"First I thought it must be because you were the student of the Yondaime…" said Naruto which caused a raised eyebrow from Kakashi and an expression which said 'Explain'. "Since you are the Yondaime's student you would be more knowledgeable about the seal on my stomach", explained Naruto.

"OH! I see", said Kakashi.

"Second you being one of Konoha's strongest jounin was asked to train Hitomi and teme. After knowing you posses the Sharingan, this seems to be the main reason", said Naruto.

"Yes, that's the real reason. Now when news reaches the council ears that Sasuke has awakened the Sharingan. They will order me to train him in its use and also help Hitomi awaken the Sharingan" said Kakashi. "So I won't be able to focus on you and Sakura, so I decided to hand some scrolls for you to learn from."

Kakashi handed about 4 scrolls to Naruto. "This scrolls contain a few useful jutsus. Most of them are Suiton and Fūton jutsus with some other which you will find useful. There are also a few Katon jutsus if you wish to learn more. Ask me if you have any questions?" said Kakashi.

Naruto had his eyes replaced by stars as he looked at the scrolls in his hands and was somehow able to mutter a "Thank You".

(In his parent's house)

After the talk with Kakashi, Naruto decided to go visit his parent's house. There he stayed the entire night in front of the frame telling the two of the wave mission.

He just couldn't understand what he was supposed to do. Haku was his first true friend and losing her had hurt him greatly.

He didn't know how many hours he had sat there as time seemed to be stopped for him. He brought out the scroll that Zabuza had presented him and unsealed the item in it.

The item was a simple katana whose blade was pure white and the handle was blue. The note that was along with it mentioned it to be made of the finest chakra metal Zabuza had got his hands on. To normal eyes it was a simple yet beautiful katana, but to Naruto it signified the bond between Zabuza and Haku. [I am not good at describing katana so don't ask me any questions about how it looks.]

Naruto decided to stay in the house for the night.

(A week later)

The week after the return to Konoha had been the most uneventful for team7 as they were given a break for the week. Each member had decided to spend it as per their wishes. As for Kakashi he had started training Sasuke and Hitomi while also including Sakura, Naruto mostly trained on his own.

Finally Naruto had decided to join team Gai in their morning training session. Gai had heard of the wave mission as it was currently the topic on every shinobi's mouth as of how a team 7 had taken on Zabuza a former member of Kiri no Shinobigatana Shichinin Shū (Seven Swordsmen of the Mist) and his apprentice. Gai asked Naruto of his adventure/mission at Nami no Kuni. Naruto went on to tell Gai all about the mission leaving the part which concerned Haku. After he finished with the tale team Gai was silent contemplating over it.

"YOSH! NARUTO-KUN YOUR FLAMES OF YOUTH TRULY BURN BRIGHTLY!" shouted Gai breaking the silence to which his team could only agree.

"And as a reward of performing such a courageous deed I feel you are now worthy of learning the move I intended to teach you", said Gai.

The three young genins of team Gai were confused as what was that Gai-sensei had decided to teach Naruto and which he was now worthy of. It seemed like Naruto also had the same thought as he voiced his question.

"What move?"

"Omote Renge (Initial Lotus)", said Gai.

As Gai named the jutsu shock was evident on the face of the four young genins. Team Gai remembered the day when Gai-sensei had decided to teach them that was when he had acknowledged them as true shinobis after a very odd mission. The said mission had turned a bit nasty than it was supposed to but still they decided to continue to do what was the right thing to do in Gai-sensei's opinion.

'He sure has earned Gai-sensei's respect' thought Tenten and Neji.

"YOSH! NARUTO-SAN YOUR FLAMES FROM LEARNING THE MOVE WILL BURN BRIGHTER THAN EVER!" proclaimed Lee.

"THAT'S THE SPIRIT LEE, YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CHEER ON YOUR COMRADES", shouted.

"GAI-SENSEI!"

"LEE!"

"GAI-SENSEI!"

"LEE!"

The two went on to hug each other which created a genjutsu of a beach at the time of sunset behind them. Even though the remaining three were accustomed to it, that didn't mean they had to like it.

"Even how many times I see it, I will never get accustomed to this", said Naruto as he tried to shield his eyes from the view. The other two could just agree to it.

"Think about us, we are witness to this for about a year and they are our teammates", Tenten added her thoughts.

(2 months later)

It had been 2 months since the Wave mission and team 7 had hoped the mission never ended. For the past two months they kept on doing D-ranks though some turned out interesting still they were stupid chores in their eyes.

Currently the team had just returned from one of those said chores. Looking at the team one would think as if the team had come back from fighting another missing-nin. It was indeed a great fight, but one to capture run away pigs at a farm and that was their worst mission. On second thought there was the mission to capture the demon cat Tora.

As Kakashi looked at his team, a smile appeared on his face. The team was getting along well; the teamwork between them had definitely improved. But what concerned him was Naruto; he clearly saw that the death of Haku had affected the boy. Sandaime-sama had told him how Naruto considered the girl his first true friend.

Suddenly Kakashi's eyes looked to the sky where he saw a hawk fly by. He had an idea of the sudden meeting and knew it was going to be a head ache to him.

"Ok, that's enough for today. I have to go submit this missions report…" said Kakashi as he used Shunshin to reach his destination.

As the four were about to leave to do whatever they thought of, their eyes fell upon a square-shaped rock. Hitomi, Sakura and Sasuke couldn't understand what to think of it but they knew their fourth teammate knew exactly what was going on.

As for Naruto he quietly walked around the area while the square rock followed him. After about a minute he stopped in his track as the rock did the same barely tackling him. He quietly walked over to the rock and sat on it. After a minute the rock burst and was replaced by three children wearing goggles similar to those which Naruto wore before graduation.

"That was mean Oyabun (boss)", said the three together.

"Well I did have fun!" said Naruto with a grin.

The three pouted at the statement while the other members of team 7 watched on the scene unfolding before them.

"By the way, why are you guys here?" asked Naruto to the three.

"WHAT!" the three shouted in unison.

"You promised you would play ninja-ninja with us", said Moegi.

"Now that you say it, I remember promising to you to play with you", said Naruto which caused smiles to appear on the three young faces.

"What are we waiting for, let's go! TTATEBAYO!" said Naruto as he started walking of with the kids behind him.

Meanwhile the other three members just looked on in confusion at Naruto and the kids. Hitomi had a raised eyebrow while Sasuke muttered 'Pathetic' under his breath. Sakura heard the word escape out of Sasuke's mouth and decided to get in his good books.

"What kind of ninja plays ninja-ninja?" she said out loud.

Naruto and the three kids stopped in their tracks and looked at Sakura. Naruto had a look that spoke 'isn't it obvious' and said pumping his chest with his fist and said, "THE BEST!"

Hitomi was trying her hard not to laugh while Sasuke just muttered 'Dobe'. Sakura's face by the comment had flushed red by anger. She wanted to earn points in Sasuke's book by berating Naruto but he pulled one on her.

Meanwhile the kids considered Sakura's red face in a different perspective. They looked at Naruto and then Sakura and back at Naruto. It was Konohamaru who voiced the thoughts for the three of them.

"Not bad bro, she is your's…" Konohamaru trailed his sentence showing his pinkie finger indicating girlfriend.

"No she isn't", said Naruto quickly dismissing the train of thoughts of the kids. "I don't even want to know what gave you that idea."

"You are right bro that other girl is far more beautiful than the pinkie", said Konohamaru which was backed by the other two.

The girl in question – Hitomi had a small blush as the kids called her beautiful. Also there was the fact they indirectly said that they would like to see her as Naruto's girlfriend.

Konohamaru continued, "And she also has such a giant forehead…" but was stopped in mid sentence as he felt a malicious aura directed towards him.

Every person there felt the aura and looked at the source of the aura to find it to be Sakura. The three genins of team 7 knew well that Sakura's forehead was a sensitive matter for her since they were in the same class throughout the academy.

"Run…" said Naruto as he looked at Konohamaru.

It took a minute for the said boy to register what Naruto told him, but the moment he did he made a mad dash for his life. Sakura quickly followed the brat in hopes to thrash him.

Moegi and Udon were both worried for their friend as the pink haired girl seemed as if she wanted to murder him. They looked towards Naruto and then the two who just ran and back at Naruto.

"Please Oyabun! Help Konohamaru-kun", said Moegi with puppy-dog-eyes while Udon just stared at him.

Naruto couldn't bear the looks of the two kids "FINE!" he shouted and ran in the direction of the two. The two kids quickly followed him.

Meanwhile the Uchiha siblings just watched the entire thing unfold in amusement. Sasuke was annoyed by all of this while Hitomi on her end was unable to control her laughter at it and started giggling. The two looked at each other and by twin-connection decided to follow the group.

Naruto and the two kids arrived at a scene where they saw Konohamaru in the hands of a Suna shinobi while Sakura was trying to apologize saying it was her mistake. Naruto didn't like the Suna Nin's attitude as he didn't even sop when his possibly teammate asked him to let the matter go.

"Hey Fatass! If you don't let my friend go, you will regret it", said Naruto as the eyes of the three Nin's darted towards him.

Temari looked at the boy who called Kankuro fatass and thought 'he is cute…' as a blush appeared on her face. Sakura was for once in her life relieved to Naruto.

"How dare you call me fatass?" Kankuro asked in an enraged and annoyed tone.

"It's just that I hate midgets, especially younger one's those who are rude", said Kankuro and then looked towards Konohamaru and continued "Makes me want to kill them."

This had a great effect on Konohamaru who was now sweating and shaking with fear. Moegi and Udon were also in the same condition as Konohamaru.

'What's with that guy? This is bad' Sakura thought as she was also starting to sweat.

"Oh well, I am not involved…" said Temari with a sigh.

"And I kill those who hurt my friends", Naruto said in a cold voice.

Shivers ran down the spine of the ninjas present as they looked at the source of the voice. They found Naruto standing behind Kankuro with a kunai pressed against his throat. But the shiver increased as they looked into Naruto's eyes as it turned from ecstatic ocean blue eyes to cold ice blue eyes.

'When did he move?' thought both the Sabaku siblings.

"Now release Konohamaru or I will do what the kunai in my hand is meant to do", said Naruto again in a cold voice.

Kankuro quickly released Konohamaru as the young boy made his way towards his friends. He was visibly shaken by the blonde boy's voice as he remembered it was similar to his brothers.

Naruto used his speed to move directly in front of the kids and was about to walk off, when he heard Kankuro call him.

"You dare don't walk on me Blondie, I am going to kill you", said Kankuro as his hand moved towards the white bandaged packet at his side.

"Hey you even going to use Karasu?" asked a surprised Temari.

"So the cat jumpsuit-make up wearing ninja from Suna going to play with his puppets", said Naruto as he looked at Kankuro with a grin.

'He knows!' thought the now surprised Temari and Kankuro.

As Kankuro was about to unravel the bandages over the puppet a stone struck his hand. He looked to the place where the stone came from to find a black-duck ass haired boy sitting on a tree branch as he rolled stones in his arm. Kankuro scowled at him.

Sakura looked at Sasuke with stars in her eyes 'Sasuke-kun' she thought. 'Chaa! Sasuke-kun is going o show all of them who is the boss' said Inner Sakura.

"Mah! I was wondering when your brother – the teme and you were going to show. Now I understand he was waiting for the right moment to show off", said Naruto to Hitomi who came to stand by his side. She had an apologetic look on her face.

"Kankuro stop it", everyone heard a voice filled with malice and looked up to find a red hair with a gourd on his back standing upside down in a branch closer to Sasuke. "You are an embarrassment to our village", he further said

'I didn't even sense him. That's Kakashi's level sneakiness' thought Sasuke.

The kids and Sakura were clearly shaken by the new person and even Hitomi seemed a bit hesitant. The two Suna shinobis were now sweating heavily and also shaking in fear. His caused Naruto's eyebrow to raise a bit.

"Loosing yourself in a fight how pathetic. Why do you think we came to Konohagakure?" continued Gaara.

"Listen Gaara they started it, especially the blonde", said Kankuro as he looked towards Gaara as he pointed towards the three kids and Naruto.

The kids started to sweat and shake in fear of what was going to happen to them. They quickly got as close as possible to Naruto latching on to his legs.

Naruto for his part looked bored. He looked at the kids as they latched on to his legs and could see the fear in them. He put his hands in front of them as if shielding them which relaxed the three kids.

Only three noticed this action, two of them being Temari and Hitomi while third being Gaara who made it look like he didn't notice it.

"Shut up or I'll kill you", Gaara said to Kankuro.

Kankuro was now shaking even harder and sweat on his forehead increased greatly.

"Ok, I am sorry… really-really sorry", said Kankuro.

'So this one's the leader, he has strange eyes…' thought Sasuke looking at Gaara.

"Sorry to you guys", Gaara said as his eyes for the first time landed on the Konoha genins and kids.

He used Suna Shunshin to appear in front of his team. Before he used the jutsu his eyes darted first towards Sasuke. 'To be able to hit Kankuro with a stone, he is good' thought Gaara about Sasuke. His eyes next towards Naruto and a scowl appeared on his face.

"It looks like we came here early but we didn't come here to play around. Let's go" Gaara said to his team and they stared to walk away.

"Hey, Wait!" Sakura called out to the three. They sopped and looked at Sakura.

"What?" Gaara asked.

"Judging from your hitai-te, you guys are ninjas from Sunagakure, right? You may be allies of Konoha but it is forbidden for shinobis to enter each other's village without permission", said Sakura.

Naruto just rolled his eyes at the things know-it-all-Sakura ranted. 'Isn't it obvious if they are in the village in public presence without disguise, they must have permission' thought Naruto.

"State your purpose. Depending on it, we may not be able to let you go…" Sakura said with a serious face.

Hearing Sakura say this, Naruto was hard pressed from holding his laughter back. Moments earlier she was scared shitless and now she was trying to intimidate the people who scared her.

"Hah, talk about clueless. Don't you know anything?" Temari said showing her pass.

"You are right, we are genins from Suna. We have come to your village to take the chuunin selection exam", Temari continued.

"Chuunin selection exam…" Naruto said even though he knew what the exams was it seemed interesting to continue the conversation.

"Geez, you really don't know about anything. The chuunin exam is where outstanding genins from Suna, Konoha and other villages assemble to take the exam to become chuunin", said Temari.

"Why do we take it together?" asked Naruto.

"The main purpose is said to be to improve relationship between the allied and to raise the shinobi level. Also each country likes to maintain a power balance and…" continued Temari but stopped when she looked that the blonde who asked her was not paying attention.

"HEY KONOHAMARU! Think I should enter the chuunin exam?" exclaimed Naruto in an excited manner to Konohamaru who was also excited at the aspect.

"You Bastard! You asked the question listen till the end!" Temari shouted pointing at Naruto.

Naruto looked at her with a neutral expression and said "You say something."

Everyone face faulted at this while Gaara raised his eyebrow. In case of Temari, a huge tick mark appeared on her forehead and her face flushed red in anger as she pointed her finger at Naruto but no words came out of her mouth.

Naruto just snickered at Temari's reaction and said "I am good."

When Temari heard this, her face turned so red in anger that it overshadowed her blonde hair. Her whole body was shaking with anger as she was pointing at Naruto.

"Well its time we leave kids. We still have to play ninja-ninja", Naruto said as he caught the three kids and used Konoha Shunshin to disappear with the kids.

The 5 out of the 6 ninjas just stared at the place where Naruto was with pure disbelief.

Temari meanwhile was so angry that even Gaara stepped away from her. "I will get you for this Blondie", she shouted.

[A.N. the meeting of all jounin-sensei's takes place the similar way as in the manga only add Hitomi's name to Kakashi's list.]

(The next day)

Today had been a weird day as Gai told him that he had entered his team in the chuunin exam as so did Kakashi. It would be good that each team keep their training secret from now on.

Naruto was now currently waiting at the meeting spot and was meditating while practicing to grasp the flow of wind around him. As always Kakashi was late and Sakura was furious, well apparently all were.

Finally Kakashi arrived two hours later and Sakura shouted at him for his tardiness. Most of the time he would join her but today he kept quite in anticipation. He wanted to see when Kakashi would decide it was time to tell them that he nominated them for the exams.

"This is sudden but I have nominated you guys for chuunin selection exams", Kakashi said handing them permission slips.

Naruto looked at his team mates to find the siblings to be ecstatic at the prospect while Sakura seemed a bit down.

"Though I just nominated you, whether to take the exams is up to you. Those who wish to enter should sign those papers and submit them at room 301 in the academy by tomorrow at 4 pm", said Kakashi and he left with a Shunshin.

Naruto also quickly left as he was really tired from last nights training.

(Chuunin exam day at the academy)

Team 7 met in front of the academy where they decided to meet when they submitted the slips. Naruto could tell Sakura still had doubt about entering the exams. The team made their ways upstairs to find some genins bullying a team.

Naruto recognized the gennins and snickered. 'Never thought they would be such good actors/actress' thought Naruto.

"We are just thinning out those that will fail anyways. What's wrong with that?" said one of the bully ninja.

Naruto decided to ignore everything and walk to his destination. But he stopped in his track when he heard Sasuke speak.

"I agree, but you will let us pass through…" Sasuke said with an arrogant smirk on his face.

"Also remove this surrounding created with genjutsu. We are going to the second floor", said Hitomi.

All present ninja looked at team 7 thinking what they were talking about or had they gone mad.

"So you noticed…" bully ninja 2 said.

Sasuke just smirked and said, "Sakura you must have noticed it first right?"

Sakura just looked at him in confusion until Hitomi spoke.

"Your analytical skill and genjutsu know-how is the most improved on the team", said Hitomi.

Sakura realized what the two were doing and had a small smile even Naruto was happy seeing the event.

"Of course I noticed a while ago. This is actually the second floor", Sakura said with a confident look on her face.

The genjutsu that was place in the surrounding dissolved revealing the room to be room 201 not 301.

"Hmm… Not bad but all you did was… NOTICE THROUGH IT!" said bully ninja 1 as he moved in with a kick at Sasuke.

Sasuke also decided o match the kick with his kick. Naruto decided to better stop this but before he decided to move he saw a figure move in between the two kicks.

'So he finally decides to drop the act' thought Naruto.

Sasuke, Sakura and Hitomi just watched in awe as the green clad ninja that was being bullied just stopped the two kicks with his bare hands.

'He is fast… he was able to see both the kicks and slide between them…' thought Sakura.

'Catching my kick with his hand, what's this chakra in his hands?' thought Sasuke.

'Not only is he fast but his eyes can keep up with high speeds. Also caching the kicks with his hands, he is strong' thought Hitomi.

Hitomi looked towards her blonde teammate to look at his reaction but to her surprise he was smirking. She watched as he quietly moved towards the green clad ninja's teammate, the kunoichi to be specific.

"Never thought you would guys would do such a drama. It was entertaining and you guys were quite good if I must say", said Naruto in a low whisper which was only heard by Tenten. The said girl just smirked.

Meanwhile Naruto looked to see Lee asking Sakura to go out with him which she denied to. He saw a small verbal confrontation between Neji and Sasuke which he didn't care for.

"Sasuke-kun, Hitomi-chan, Naruto! LETS GO!" called out Sakura.

Hitomi pulled Naruto with her as she and Sasuke were being pulled forward by Sakura. Hitomi spared a glance at Naruto as she thought 'How does he know that team?'

Naruto for most of his part avoided team Gai as they had decided. It would be better to show there was no connection between them fooling enemy teams and would come to help in need surprising other teams.

As they walked the corridors they stopped as they heard someone call out to Sasuke. Naruto knew that voice and just wondered what he was up to.

"Hey, guy with the dark eyes", called out Lee.

Team 7 turned around to find the green clad ninja standing there.

"What is it?" Sasuke asked.

"Will you fight me right here", said Lee with a serious face.

Naruto decided to step in a corner and watch what would unfold from all this. He watched as Lee introduced himself to Sasuke and once again tried and failed to woe Sakura. He watched as Sasuke decided to fight and asked Hitomi who wanted to stop him but reluctantly agreed on his convincing.

Naruto watched as Sasuke charged at Lee with arrogance and had o stop quick has Lee disappeared from his line of vision using his superior speed. He watched Lee take down Sasuke with Konoha Senpū (Leaf Whirlwind).

"Sasuke there is no need to fight", called out Hitomi.

"I won't loose. This gives me a chance to practice it", said Sasuke with a smirk as he got up.

Hitomi knew of her brother's ego so let it continue. Naruto watched in amazement has Sasuke activated the Sharingan. Both eyes now had two commas 'So his Sharingan got better' thought Naruto.

Naruto looked at Sakura as she looked at Sasuke as if he was Kami born on earth. She seemed to believe that he would win now that he had those eyes.

He watched as Sasuke charged at Lee but was airborne before he knew. Lee used Kage Buyō (Shadow of the Dancing Leaf) to get behind Sasuke. He went on to tell Sasuke about his jutsus and the so profound weakness of the eyes that Sasuke possessed.

"… THAT HARDWORK SURPASSES GENIUS" said Lee out loud as he uncovered his bandages completely.

Naruto looked on the worried faces of his teammates and he was worried to. He knew what jutsu Lee was about to use and that didn't look good for both Sasuke and Lee. He had to stop this and there was only one jutsu which would help him now. 'Guess it will not be my trump card anymore' thought Naruto as he decided to move in. But as it is Naruto has the devil's luck and so it came in to play. Gai-sensei's summon appeared and stopped Lee.

Hitomi and Sakura quickly ran towards the falling Sasuke and captured him from hitting the ground.

"Are you alright Sasuke-nii/kun" said Hitomi/Sakura in worry.

Naruto walked up to Sasuke as he saw his team confused as to what the turtle was and how come he was lecturing Lee. And worse was that Lee was attentively listening to it.

"You sure got your ass kicked", said Naruto as he looked at Sasuke.

Sasuke scowled and was about to retaliate but stopped to look at the source of the sudden shout so did Hitomi and Sakura.

"GEEZ! YOU GUYS ARE THE EPITOME OF ADOLESENCE!"

As Sakura, Hitomi and Sasuke looked at the new arrival their faces took a look that spelled horrible. Only one thought roamed their minds the person's eyebrows were HUGE. They watched in horror as the man called Lee closer to him and delivered a powerful punch to him.

Naruto looked at the two people he had come to know and respect. He saw Gai punch Lee and saw Lee apologize, he knew what was coming now so he quickly turned around. As on cue he heard his teammates horror filled shouts.

After 5 minutes he turned to look to find Gai lecturing Lee and they go on to make their stupid tasks. He looked at his teammates and found a look of horror etched on their faces. 'Bless their souls. I am lucky o be saved by Ramen-Gods from the sunset' he thought.

"Hey you guys, how is Kakashi doing?" asked Gai to team 7.

"You know Kakashi", asked Sasuke as the three were brought out of their shock by Gai's question.

"Know him…" said Gai as he vanished from his spot.

"People refer to us as 'Eternal Rivals'…" said Gai from behind them.

Team 7 except Naruto was in shock at the man's speed. Gai went on to tell them how he was stronger than Kakashi and told them to make their ways towards the main room. He wished Lee luck and also Naruto in a whisper which only he could hear.

Lee told them the reason he was here was to test his abilities. He had lied to them of him being the strongest gennin; apparently the strongest gennin was on his team. He wished to fight him and also Sasuke. His eyes for a moment landed on Naruto who grinned back and he left.

The last act didn't miss Hitomi's eyes. 'He indeed knows the team and its members' she thought.

Naruto looked at Sasuke who looked a bit down, that was not good for Sasuke himself and the team.

"You sure got your ass kicked", said Naruto again.

"Next time I will win", said Sasuke with anger in his voice.

Sakura was enraged at seeing Naruto berate her Sasuke-kun while for some reason Hitomi remained quite.

"You saw his hands too, didn't you?" said Naruto as an image of Lee's bruised hand came in to the minds of Sasuke and Hitomi.

"That bushy-brows must have trained really hard… everyday. More than you", said Naruto as it was a fact.

Sasuke was now shaking violently but Naruto and Hitomi knew it was not in anger but excitement.

"This thing is getting fun, this chuunin exam…" said Sasuke.

"Yes", said the remaining three as smiles spread across their faces.

"Ready to go! Hitomi, Sakura, Naruto!" said Sasuke out loud.

As they made their way towards room 301, Hitomi inched closer to Naruto.

"Thanks! He needed it", she said in a whisper to him.

"Don't mention it", he replied.

(Room 301)

As team 7 reached they saw the room they found Kakashi waiting by the door. Kakashi saw all his team come by the hall way and was pleased by it.

"Good to see all of you came…" said Kakashi.

"What do you mean Kakashi-sensei?" asked Sakura.

"You see the chuunin exams is a team event and not an individual event", said Kakashi surprising the four.

"But you said taking the exam was an individual choice", said Hitomi a bit annoyed.

"You lied to us?" asked Naruto in an annoyed tone to.

"If I did tell you the truth, the one who didn't wish to join the exams would be pressured by the others to join. Since you all came I am proud of all of you", said Kakashi with an eye smile.

The four gennins relaxed and had smiles on their faces from the praise.

"Now there is only one problem to solve. You see the exams can only be taken by team of three", said Kakashi at which the four visibly tensed.

"Now don't tense up because of that, I have already solved the issue. One of you will be joining another team for the exams", said Kakashi.

The team looked relaxed but also unsure of who would be leaving the team. Though the dynamics of team 7 was not the best, they were still a team.

"Who?" Sasuke asked.

"That would be Naruto, here this is the team you will be joining for the exams", said Kakashi handing Naruto a paper.

Naruto took the paper and reading it smiled. 'It will be fun o work with them' he thought.

'I am still with Sasuke-kun' thought Sakura as she released a sigh of relief.

Sasuke just spared a curious glance at the blonde while Hitomi looked at him with a smile. 'I intended to learn more about him' she thought a bit upset.

"Now go!" Kakashi said with an eye smile.

"YEAH! LET'S GO!" called out Naruto as he opened the door.

END CHAPTER….

Sorry it took a bit longer but do enjoy.