Chapter 6

Naruto was whistling as he walked down the main street of the village. It had been a few days since his fight with Neji, and he was almost starting to wonder if Hinata's evil exes had forgotten about him or something. Just as he was thinking this, he heard a voice yell out, "It is time I take you out, Naruto!" He didn't even flinch. He simply formed a low-powered Rasengan and turned around as the person who had yelled approached.

"I warned you, Pervy Sage, knock it off!" he yelled as he plowed the jutsu into the old man's stomach.

Jiraiya went flying, spinning like a pinwheel. As he flew, he went over the top of a boy's head. Naruto watched in fascination as the boy got an enraged look on his face and turned around, yelling, "AM I TOO SHORT TO EVEN HIT?!" and went running after the still-spinning Jiraiya. The boy's long blond braid and red coat flapped in the wind as he ran.

As he contemplated what he had just seen, a thought occurred to Naruto. "Does standing out of range of an attack count as dodging it?" he pondered. Shrugging, he continued on his way down the street, whistling to himself. As he was walking, he suddenly felt something go flying over top of his head. Realizing that he had just done the very thing he had been thinking about, he wondered to himself, "Did I just dodge that?"

As he was pondering this, a cloaked figure came running at him, obviously intent on attacking him; the only thing visible about the figure was his hand, which had an explosive tag stuck to it. Naruto dodged the slap and punched at the attacker's chest. Flying backward a short distance, the figure let out an undeniably feminine "eep". Naruto froze. "Why would a girl be attacking me?" he wondered. Then he realized there was one girl who might have a bone to pick with him. "Oh, no...not Sakura...not now."

As the figure stood up, however, he saw that the very red hair spilling from the cloak's hood was in no way Sakura's distinctive pink, so he sighed in relief; at least this wasn't about that. The figure threw back her hood, revealing that it was in fact a girl and not Sakura. "You punched me in the boob!" she said, clearly annoyed. What Naruto didn't know was that she wasn't really annoyed at where she'd been hit – she'd actually kinda enjoyed that – she was actually annoyed that she hadn't been able to predict what he was going to do at all!

Naruto sighed. "Yeah, I realize that now. If I'd known you were a girl, I wouldn't have done that," he said. "I may not be the most chivalrous person around, but I'm not that much of a clod."

"Yeah, well, be that as it may," Karin said, for that is who this was, "I'm afraid you have to die."

"Um...I think you have me confused with someone else," Naruto said.

Karin paused. "You're not Naruto Uzumaki, jinchuriki of the Nine-Tailed Fox and recent boyfriend of Hinata Hyuga?" she asked, trying to read his mind. Somehow, all she got was some weird question about dodging.

Naruto grinned mentally; nothing like a perfect pranking opportunity to brighten his day. He activated a Transformation Jutsu, making himself look just like Kakashi. "No, I'm Kakashi Hatake," he said, opening the book that had appeared from nowhere in his hand. "If you're looking for Naruto, he went that-a-way." He pointed off behind him.

Before Karin could respond, everyone on the street stopped and waved as one. "Hey Kakashi!"

Karin tried to detect any lie in his mind, but again, she just got that weird question about dodging, along with an image of some white-haired old man flying away this time. Shrugging, she ran off in the direction Naruto had pointed. Alone, Naruto dispelled the jutsu and chuckled. "That was too easy," he said to himself before continuing on his way down the street.

After taking care of a few things in the village, Naruto headed back to his apartment, where he found something truly disturbing. Kankuro was laying on his bed, hog-tied in his own chakra strings, with Crow behind him, arms wrapped around him. "Ugh, Kankuro, if you're really that desperate, I'd really appreciate it if you did it somewhere where I didn't have to see it!" he said. Then he realized something wasn't quite right. Kankuro's face showed abject fear. "Wait...what happened here?"

Kankuro shrugged as best he could and managed to work his mouth free from the puppet. "Wish I could tell you, man," he said. "I remember I went out to stalk someone, then the next thing I can remember, I was like this."

Naruto rolled his eyes at Kankuro's "stalking". "Who were you going to stalk this time?" he asked.

Kankuro thought about that a minute, then shrugged again. "I really have no idea."

Naruto thought about that a minute, then noticed that the Bingo Book Hinata gave him wasn't quite where he'd left it. It was about a foot to the left from where it had been and looked like someone had been looking at it.

Picking it up, Naruto realized he had never really finished going through it. He had just seen Kiba's page and never bothered to go beyond that. Opening it, he rifled through the pages and found Neji's page. Marking it off, he flipped back to the start of it. Ignoring Kiba's page, he found that the next page was weird, considering what it was. It showed a picture of a guy in a hooded coat with a high collar and dark glasses; his face was almost entirely hidden, and he wasn't even wearing a mask! Below it was the name "Shino Aburame"...and nothing else!

Turning to Kankuro, he asked, "Does the name Shino Aburame mean anything to you?" It sounded vaguely familiar to Naruto for some reason, but he couldn't place it.

Kankuro thought about it a minute, then answered, "It sounds vaguely familiar, but I have no idea he one of Hinata's exes?"

"Yeah...he's the second one," Naruto answered.

"Oh! Maybe that's why we both know the name. You already beat him," Kankuro said.

Naruto shook his head. "No, it's not that. I beat Kiba Inuzuka and Neji Hyuga. That idiot Uchiha totally ruined a perfectly good plot point by sending the fourth ex after me second. Regardless, I haven't beat this Shino guy...not yet anyway," he said.

Kankuro pondered this. "Then...why the hell do we know that name?" Conveniently, neither Naruto nor Kankuro noticed the magazine laying on the floor displaying the guy Kankuro had gone to stalk. "Regardless, could you help me get out of this?" Kankuro asked.

Naruto smacked himself in the forehead for forgetting. "Yeah, of course," he said, making his way over and helping Kankuro out of his chakra strings. Then he had a thought. "Um, Kankuro...why didn't you just stop streaming your chakra into the strings?" Kankuro opened his mouth to answer, then realized Naruto was right and promptly face-faulted. Naruto chuckled. "That's what you get for messing with my sister's guy."

Kankuro rolled his eyes. "She deserved better than him anyway," he said.

"Got that right," Naruto said. "Still, he was hers, and you stole him, so I say you got yours here, my friend."

Kankuro shook his head at his friend's antics and asked, "What about you and Hinata? How's that going?"

"It's going great!" Naruto said. "Well, aside from this whole evil exes thing, that is. Speaking of which..." he trailed off as he turned his attention back to the Bingo Book. Turning to the third page, he got a shock. "Hinata's third evil ex..." he muttered. The picture on the third page was of the girl he had encountered on the street just a few minutes earlier! According to the book, her name was Karin, and she had the ability to read minds, making her extremely worrisome. She hadn't seemed to be able to read his mind, though, so he shrugged that off.

Turning the page twice more to get past Neji's, he found himself looking at a boy with his black hair in a bowl cut, the thickest eyebrows he'd ever seen, and a huge grin. Something about this guy was oddly disturbing, though he really only looked like he was extremely exuberant and excitable. The boy's name, according to the page, was Rock Lee, and, if the book was to be trusted, his only skill was his taijutsu, though, from the looks of it, he was very good with that.

Turning to page six, he found himself looking at a guy with red spiky hair, light greenish eyes, and the kanji for "love" tattooed on his forehead. Under his picture was the name Gaara, and a brief description of his abilities, all of which seemed to be based on the use of sand in one way or another. Thinking a moment, he turned to Kankuro and asked, "What was your brother's name again?"

"Gaara, why?" Kankuro responded.

Naruto turned the book around and showed him the page he had just seen. "This is why," he said. "Apparently he's Hinata's sixth evil ex."

"Yeah, I know," Kankuro replied. "She came to the Sand Village about a year before you and I met, and they dated briefly...why do you think I said before that if you ever met Gaara it'd end in violence?"

Naruto nodded. "Good point, but don't you think you should have mentioned that?"

"Nope, more fun this way," Kankuro flippantly replied.

"Some help you are," Naruto grumbled before turning to the last page where he found, as he knew he would, a picture of Sasuke Uchiha. Under his picture and name were brief descriptions of his skills with taijutsu, ninjutsu, and genjutsu, all of which were well above average. Naruto looked at the picture again and chuckled. "I see Sasuke still has his hair cut in the shape of a duck's ass," he said to himself. "I'm surprised he hasn't had any birds trying to mate with that thing yet."

"Wait, you know the leader of the exes?" Kankuro asked, hearing Naruto's mumbling.

"Yeah, of course. We've been rivals ever since we were little. He is from here, after all," Naruto said, looking at Kankuro with a look that plainly said he should have known that.

Kankuro chuckled. "Well, I guess you'll finally put the rivalry to rest, huh?"

"We did that years ago," Naruto commented, then walked over to Kankuro and smacked him on the back of the head. Suddenly, a strangely-shaped green mushroom fell out of Kankuro's nose. Naruto looked at it a moment, then asked the obvious question: "What the hell is that, and what was it doing in your nose?"

Kankuro looked back at Naruto and shrugged. "I haven't a clue. I've never seen it before. And what the hell did you hit me for anyway?"

Naruto simply raised an eyebrow and answered, "For not telling me about Gaara." Naruto reached down and picked up the thing, thinking someone would have to to get rid of it if nothing else. To his shock, when he held it in his palm, it simply vanished into his body, leaving the letters 1-UP in its place. Naruto tried to wipe the letters off, but they refused to go away. Naruto showed it to Kankuro. "What do you make of that?"

Kankuro examined it a minute, then shrugged. "No doesn't seem to have hurt you, though, so I wouldn't worry too much about it." Naruto nodded, realizing that Kankuro was probably right.

"Well, whatever...I'm off to see Hinata and probably deal with another of her exes, so I'll see ya around, Kankuro," Naruto said as he grabbed his coat and headed out the door.

"Good luck," Kankuro said back.

Naruto sighed; for once, he wasn't looking forward to seeing Hinata. After he had told her about his father's jutsu, she had insisted they go see Tsunade; she said she'd explain everything when they got there. They had made an appointment for today, and Naruto was more than a little worried about it.

All too soon for his taste, he had arrived at Tsunade's office, where he found Hinata waiting for him. They knocked on the door and got permission to enter. Tsunade smiled when she saw the two enter. "Oh, here you are," she said. "What can I do for you?" Hinata and Naruto sat down, and Hinata explained how Naruto's band had gotten its name. "Yeah, I know all about that," Tsunade said, "but what does it have to do with you, Hinata?"

Hinata looked around for a minute, reached out as if opening a door, then, suddenly, there was a yellow flash, and she vanished and reappeared behind Tsunade in an instant. "That's what it has to do with me," Hinata said. "I was told when I first did that that it was some kind of bloodline thing, so when I heard that Naruto's father could do it..." she trailed off, her worry obvious.

Naruto was torn. On the one hand, his girlfriend just became even more amazing; she could even do the signature jutsu of the Fourth Hokage! On the other hand, if it was a bloodline thing, that would mean they were...related! That would make Naruto as big of a freak as Neji!

Tsunade thought about this a while. "I'll need to take blood samples from both of you," she said. Hinata and Naruto nodded. "But I can tell you this, Hinata: the Fourth Hokage developed that jutsu himself, and he didn't have a bloodline. I doubt that this means anything, so don't worry too much. All the same, it's probably for the best that we check on this."

The two gave blood samples and left. Tsunade sighed. "I really hope this comes back negative," she said. "That boy doesn't need a problem like that to come up now." She then got down to the business of getting the samples tested as quickly as possible.

Naruto and Hinata were walking around the village. "I can see why you were so worried," Naruto commented. Hinata nodded, looking around her like she was worried. "What's wrong?"

"Well, we haven't heard from the league in a while...I'm starting to wonder when the next ex will attack us," Hinata said, still watching everything carefully.

Naruto chuckled. "Well, one of them sort of did," he said. Hinata looked at him in surprise, and Naruto told her about his encounter with Karin and his discovery of her in the Bingo Book she had given him.

Hinata sighed. "I was afraid of that," she said. "It was really just a phase I went through for a while...I didn't think it would count really...I was just a little bi-curious."

"Well, if you're still into that, there's always the Sexy Jutsu," he said seriously.

Hinata looked at him in surprise. "What's that?" she asked, worried and curious at the same time.

Naruto responded by forming a hand-sign and vanishing in a puff of smoke. When it cleared, Hinata saw that he had taken on a female appearance; thankfully, he was fully clothed. "Normally, I use this to distract perverts and stuff, but if you're into that kind of thing, we can use it," he said, winking at the end. Hinata blushed deeply, trying in vain not to picture that.

As the two continued down the road a bit, Naruto noticed a new store he'd never seen before. Upon closer inspection, the couple discovered that it was a music store. Naruto grinned. "Hey, you mind if we take a look in here?" he asked Hinata. Hinata looked at him curiously. "I need to look for a new bass."

Hinata agreed, and the two entered the store. To their surprise, Ino was there, apparently keeping watch over the place. "Is there anyplace you don't work, Ino?" Naruto asked. Ino just glared at him. "And so help me, if you use your gossip jutsu on us, I'll hunt you down." Ino mimed being afraid briefly, then she and Naruto laughed. Then, Naruto and Hinata began looking around, Hinata mostly looking at discs and cassettes and such, while Naruto was looking at instruments.

Naruto was about to ask Ino about an instrument he had found when a red blur flew past him and slammed into the counter, shattering it. When he looked at the thing that had flown past him, he found that it was Karin. She looked annoyed. For the third time that day, she had tried to anticipate her quarry's move and been thwarted by that stupid question that was keeping his entire mind distracted! Naruto grinned. "Oh, hello, Karin," he said simply.

Hinata moved up beside Naruto, and the two took up side-by-side battle stances, clearly ready to take Karin down.

Karin gave Hinata a smirk. "I'm here to take you back, Hinata. If Sasuke can't have you, no one can."

Hinata glared in response. "I'd rather be dead than go back. He's an ass, you're a bitch, and you two deserve one another."

Karin smiled dreamily and gushed, "That's what I keep telling him!" Hinata and Naruto gave one another dumbfounded looks, at which Karin turned back to them and said, seemingly more annoyed now, "All the same, I will see him happy, and it's you he wants, so I'm taking you back!"

Hinata rolled her eyes. "I told you, Karin, I'd rather be dead than go back."

Karin gave a sadistic grin as she pulled out an explosive tag. "Those terms are acceptable."

Hinata rolled her eyes and reached into her kunai pouch. Somehow, she pulled out a bow from the pouch. Naruto made a mental note to ask her how in the world she got that in there later, then the young couple turned their attention back to Karin. "Bring it," they said together.

Hinatasgreatestfan: Well, there you have it. There's the new chapter.

Shino: Damn it, when will I have a turn?!

HGF: Who are you again?

Shino: Gah! (leaves)

HGF (shaking head): That was weird. Anyway, hope you all are looking forward to the Karin fight. And yes, the other exes ARE who you think they are.


HGF: Damn it, Ed, you're not that short! Give it a rest, would ya?!

Ed: Wait...what? (leaves, muttering about false compliments)

Jiraiya: Aw, come on, are you ever going to stop sending me flying like that?!

HGF: No.

Jiraiya: Okay, fine, just don't have Tsunade do it!

HGF (slaps him with a Tsunade-strength punch, speaks like Sylvester): Aw, shut up!

Jiraiya (sounding far too much like Daffy Duck): But Mommy, I don't want to go to school today! (falls to the ground, unconscious)

HGF: Oooookaaaaaay, that was bizarre. Moving on! Hope you all enjoyed, and we'll do our best to get chapter 7 out to you soon!

Solvdrage (Peeks out from behind pile of work): Did I miss something? (pile of ungraded Renaissance unit tests falls on Solvdrage and he is teh dead)

HGF (face-palms): Now what am I going to do? I can't keep up this insanity without him! Well, hopefully there will be a chapter 7...if so, see you all then!