Chapter 5: A Very Important Date
Sasuke jumped through the trees with caution his onyx eyes looking for traps that could've been set while trying to find an orange form through the trees. It was a few minutes before he came to a small clearing and spotted his target, but something was wrong. The blond bundle of energy was resting against a tree trunk with his eyes closed tight, breathing hard as if he was exhausted and in pain.
The Uchiha carefully made his way closer and after a minute of nothing but Naruto's heavy breathing breaking the silence of the forest Sasuke jumped down.
Naruto breathed deeply as he leaned his head back against the tree behind him and closed his eyes as he tried to ignore the burning feeling flowing through him. The blond Genin flinched and opened his eyes quickly though as he heard someone jump down just a few feet away; he was so out of it he hadn't even sensed them coming. Naruto relaxed back into the tree's trunk when he saw it wasn't an enemy.
"Hey." Naruto huffed out, still trying to catch his breath. Sasuke looked around as if still trying to figure out if the situation was some kind of trap Kakashi left but after a few seconds went by, that Naruto didn't even notice in his state, Sasuke traveled the last few steps between him and his best friend and knelt down.
"What happened?" The raven haired boy got straight to the point, as he looked over the other boy with his eyes for any injuries. Naruto heard and tried to focus enough to answer, but didn't think it could be put into a few words and didn't know just how much he wanted to say yet. With the fever fogging his brain he figured the best option was to not say anything until he could at least catch his breath.
"I'll be, fine." Naruto managed to say only stopping for air once. Sasuke gave him an Uchiha deadpan stare, which normally would be much more effective than a regular one but Naruto had too much experience being on the other end of that look, so it was disappointing for Sasuke but not a surprise when his friend only chuckled.
"No, really. I just.. did something earlier and it caught up to me." It was as close to the truth as Naruto wanted to say at the moment. He still felt unbearably hot but his breathing was getting better by the second.
"Great timing idiot." Sasuke pointed out they were in the middle of an important test and his annoyance with only three words. Noticing his friend's flushed face Sasuke reached his hand out without thinking to the other boy's forehead just like his mother would always do. The reaction was immediate; he pulled his hand back quickly at the heat and looked at his hand. If the gesture startled Naruto the reaction did… almost as much.
"What the hell, at that temperature you should be dead!" Sasuke cursed shaking his hand. At Naruto's confused face Sasuke turned his hand around, it was burned. Not badly thankfully, about the equivalent of a bad sunburn, red but not blistered. Naruto cringed, despite his own weakened state. The situation reminded him of when he'd hurt Sakura in his first life with the Kyuubi's chakra.
"Sorry." Naruto mumbled in a voice very off from his normal confident attitude. The tone actually made Sasuke stop examining his hand and inspected the other boy's body language which the best he could tell was self blaming. Naruto surprised him though by reaching out and carefully putting his own hand over Sasuke's injured hand without touching it.
A strange golden energy started glowing around Naruto's hand and slowly covered the burn mark. Sasuke was so surprised he didn't move. The gold chakra was warm, very warm but not hot enough to hurt and then Sasuke felt the burn on his hand tingling. He stared in awe as the red skin faded to pink and then back to his natural pale colored skin within seconds. Naruto lowered his hand tiredly as Sasuke examined his own newly healed hand.
"How did you do that?" Sasuke asked curiously. Naruto looked at him tiredly; his eyes half closed but still managed to smirk. The old Sasuke would have demanded he tell him what he'd done… or stare uninterestedly his pride refusing to let him question someone 'beneath' him.
"I can't heal big things. Only things I understand, burns are easy." Naruto diverted the question and Sasuke seemed to buy that; probably assuming it was some kind of rudimentary medical jutsu. As Sasuke looked over his healed hand Naruto finally blacked out. When Sasuke looked back he groaned. He couldn't even move his friend to somewhere more defendable because he couldn't touch him. Even if he could fight the pain long enough to get Naruto anywhere else he doubted he'd be in any shape to defend Naruto let alone get a bell from Kakashi.
Sasuke sighed before looking around. He was going to have to set up some traps… they were already sitting ducks they might as well double as bait. It didn't even occur to him to leave Naruto behind and go for the bells himself… though he also didn't think of going to get Sakura. Of course he'd have to leave Naruto to do that, so if not going to find her came up later he'd have an excuse at least.
Elsewhere Sakura wandered in the forest looking for her precious Sasuke-kun. Though at least she wasn't calling out for him and was trying to be quiet, Kakashi mused from above her as he watched from the tall tree he perched in. Oh well she was still a fan girl that cared more about her crush and her hair than being a ninja. It was time to give her a small wake up call, Kakashi thought as he weaved the Genjutsu.
Sasuke looked up sharply as a scream cut through the air. His eyes narrowed he knew that screech, it was Sakura; though she sounded more terrified than… well her normal screeches. He turned back to tighten the last razor thin wire on the trap he was setting before settling down by his still unconscious friend and pulled out a kunai. Now all there was to do was wait, and hope his traps worked or at least buy enough time.
After about thirty minutes of nothing Sasuke scanned the sounding area again before flipping his kunai around and using the ringed end to poke Naruto. Honestly he would have done it before but his friend had looked so out of it he knew it wouldn't work. The blond groaned softly but didn't bother moving his hand enough to swat at whatever was poking him. He was so tired.
The thing just kept poking him though and now it was pushing him in the arm hard enough to be really annoying. How was he supposed to sleep?! Naruto's blond eyebrows furrowed and he growled turning his head toward the annoying thing but didn't bother opening his eyes. Sasuke paused raising his eyebrow but mentally shrugged it off shoving the other boy with the ringed end of his kunai again.
"What!" Naruto snapped as he finally opened his eyes to glare and see what was keeping him from his sleep. Sasuke was about to grin cockily but suddenly flinched back, not because of the harsh tone though; no he was far too good at pissing his friend off not to know it well. It was the fact that Naruto's blue eyes had feral slits in them. In the silence Naruto's eyes had focused, the dark spots clearing and his fatigue lifting slightly.
However Sasuke's expression confused him… He looked kind of like a frozen deer. Naruto raised an eyebrow waiting for the Uchiha to say something. Of course he was never very good at waiting.
"Weeeell?" Naruto pulled the word out impatiently. "What is it? What's wrong?" he was irritated and tired and really just wanted to sleep off the achy, hot, miserable feeling. Sasuke seemed to finally unthaw from his frozen state at that.
"Your eyes, they have slits, like an animal." Sasuke stated. Naruto blinked longer than usual and when he opened his eyes again the slits were gone, some of the Kyuubi's chakra must have leaked through trying to heal him. Sasuke relaxed slightly seeing Naruto's eyes go back to normal.
"Better?" The blond asked still leaning against the tree on the ground. Sasuke nodded that Naruto's eyes were back to normal with his own Uchiha indifference back in place. As Naruto became more awake though he noticed the forest smelled really strong. The smell of the grass and the trees and even the bark behind his back was starting to overwhelm him. His senses had been better than a normal person's already because of his partnership with Kurama but not quite to an Inuzuka level, somewhere in between them and an average ninja.
Now though he could smell everything, and the animal feces were not pleasant. He didn't even want to imagine how it would smell in the village when even now he was feeling nauseous. And then the sounds hit him. He could hear the crickets as if they were a raging band and once he finally blocked them out he could hear animals skittering in the woods as if they were right next to him. Naruto jerked his head to the side looking for what caused one of the many sounds he was hearing to see nothing.
Sasuke had been watching him and swiftly looked to where Naruto turned thinking it could be Kakashi but saw nothing. After scanning the area he turned back to the blond in question. Naruto looked down at nothing and took a deep breath trying his best to push everything else away. He ignored the skittering animals and focused on his breathing and then on Sasuke.
"I'm fine, it was just an animal." Naruto said standing up slowly, he still ached all over but he was a ninja and he didn't have time to sit down and whine; he could do that later. "What happen with Kakashi-sensei, how long I been out?" he asked still leaning on the tree behind him. Sasuke gave him an incredulous look.
"You fainted, again." Sasuke replied flatly; keeping his face blank as Naruto's face twitched a few times before he continued. "I couldn't move you obviously, so I set traps around us. I haven't seen Kakashi yet but I heard Sakura scream over that way a few minutes ago." Sasuke gestured with his head towards the East. Naruto frowned.
"Why didn't you go help her?" Naruto questioned trying to keep the anger out of his tone. Sasuke raised an eyebrow. Why would Naruto care about a girl that was always rude to him and was still an immature brat that was 'fangirling'?
"To go to her I would have had to disable enough traps to let me out, leave you undefended, and unknowing of all the traps I set around you, and I didn't know her exact location AND there are only two bells, better she gets caught now." Sasuke stated as if it was simple fact. And really it was, Sakura was obviously the weak link but it just frustrated Naruto to no end hearing Sasuke talk about a teammate like that. Maybe that was it though she wasn't, or at least didn't seem like his teammate yet.
"She is our teammate, Sasuke! Even if she is annoying now, we are a team. Teams are put in groups of threes!" Naruto tried the more logical approach hoping Sasuke would realize at the least they needed her to pass. He just barely kept himself from repeating the old 'Those who abandon their teammates are scum' line knowing Kakashi was bound to tell them soon.
Sasuke looked surprised; did they really need Sakura to pass? What about the bells, why were there only two of them? Maybe that was the point?
"Does that mean you want to go find her?" Sasuke sighed rolling his eyes. It wasn't like Kakashi killed the girl, why did Naruto have to be so dramatic. If Sasuke didn't know Naruto loved Hinata he would have though he 'like-liked' Sakura.
"Yes, we should go find her and make sure she's okay. See if we can come up with a plan to take Sensei down." Naruto declared walking in the direction Sasuke had said the girl screamed from before Sasuke grabbed his shoulder and pulled him back.
"The traps, remember?" Sasuke sighed again as he walked forward to disable them. Naruto chuckled and rubbed the back of his head sheepishly. He got so worked up over Sakura he completely forgot about the traps Sasuke mentioned. Though to be fair his head was still buzzing with all the sounds and scents around him, actually he was pretty sure he was even seeing better and further, little details on things he'd never saw from the distance. It was kind of disorientating.
Suddenly a loud ringer went off from the alarm Kakashi set. Naruto sighed as he and Sasuke made their way back to the training post in the clearing. They hadn't gotten a bell, and he stumbled every few steps mostly because the ground looked closer with his enhanced vision, and partly because his head was still fuzzy.
As soon as he entered the clearing Naruto tensed as he felt a wave of Kakashi's killer intent, well he must have noticed his book was different. In his still fuzzy mind Naruto didn't even bother to flinch as Kakashi came at him and quickly tied him to the middle post, he was too exhausted to care. It wasn't like Kakashi would actually kill him and honestly the rope was probably holding a good portion of his weight up. Kakashi noticed but didn't care that his little Genin was tired at the moment.
"What. Did. You. Do?" Kakashi said as menacing as he could. He book it seemed was full of childish drawings of Naruto beating him and no words telling the story of Icha Icha. Pushing his exhaustion back Naruto put on his biggest, cheesiest smile.
"I'll tell you if you give me a bell." Naruto stated as Sakura finally arrived. Sasuke stood beside him now, face expressionless but Naruto could tell he was impressed. Kakashi debated whether it would matter. After a moment he shrugged.
"Ma, fine, fix it." Kakashi said holding out the book and releasing Naruto's restraints. The blond would have probably fallen on his face without the ropes holding him up, if Sasuke hadn't grabbed his shoulder and steadied him.
"Bell first." Naruto ordered holding out his hand. Sakura's jaw had dropped in the background.
"But Sensei that's not fair!" Sakura cried. Kakashi tossed Naruto a bell and gave Sakura a look that clearly said, that's life. Before he decided to explain. "If you could get close enough to me to alter my book than you would deserve a bell Sakura. Naruto may not have done what he was supposed to but he got it done all the same." Kakashi stated as Naruto held up a one handed seal.
"Kai." He muttered and his chakra flared briefly. A previously invisible seal glowed before disappearing leaving Kakashi's book back to normal.
"Good." Kakashi eye smiled before swiftly tying Naruto back to the pole.
"Hey!" Naruto complained with a pout, though he didn't really expect any less. He did mess with his teacher's 'precious'.
Kakashi didn't bother explaining why Naruto was tied to the pole as it was obvious. "Right then, Naruto do to devious acts are the only one with a bell. So the question is, what are you going to do with it?" Kakashi asked. Naruto frowned, this hadn't happened the last time. He didn't know what to do. Obviously he wasn't supposed to keep it for himself, but should he give it to Sasuke or Sakura? Naruto looked at Sasuke and then at Sakura before settling back on Kakashi.
"No." Naruto frowned at the Jounin. As he used his untied fingers to flick the bell back at Kakashi on the ground. Sakura twitch toward it like she wanted to go grab it for herself but knew she'd never make it. Sasuke was surprised though he didn't much look it as he turned to stare at Naruto before looking back at Kakashi. "I refuse, to go head of my friends or pick one over the other. No." Naruto stated trying to stare as determinedly as he could at the Jounin who looked like he was judging his very soul. The blond boy didn't waver.
"Ma, I see." Kakashi smiled, he serious face vanishing along with the tension Naruto now realized was Kakashi putting some chakra into the atmosphere just to freak out the 'little Genin'. "Alright then, you're in the same boat as the others." Naruto thought about it as Kakashi was explaining the 'those who abandon their comrades' thing again and came to the conclusion that he had passed the test right there, and that the rest of the test was for Sasuke and Sakura. He couldn't be sure but it didn't matter the rest of the test went about the same as the first time.
"Hey isn't anybody going to let me down!?" Naruto yelled as he noticed everyone walking away. He really was out of it still. He didn't even notice it was over till they were walking away. Kakashi acted like he didn't hear him and Sakura looked back before she ignored him, like the first time. However Sasuke sighed and came back for him. Naruto beamed as Sasuke cut the ropes, he was glad he'd befriend Sasuke earlier this time around.
"Thanks Sasuke!" Naruto chirped even though he still felt drained. "I have a date." He smirked with a wink as Sasuke rolled his eyes. "See ya later!" the blond called behind as he turn to go. Sasuke grabbed his arm though and Naruto turned back confused.
"Are you alright now?" Sasuke asked and seemed to be looking him over as if he wouldn't say if he still felt bad, which was kind of true. Naruto's shoulders slumped as he stopped trying to fake energy he didn't have, honestly he didn't even know why he was doing it, a habit from his first life? It didn't matter he supposed, he just didn't need anyone worrying or telling him he couldn't do something.
"I'm fine, just a bit tired. But I am Not missing my first date! No way." Naruto stuck his chin up stubbornly like he really expected Sasuke to trying and stop him and make him rest or something. Sasuke rolled his eyes again.
"I know you wouldn't. You love her." Sasuke stated it as fact and it was but Naruto felt his face start to heat and turned away to hide his blush.
"Shut up teme." Naruto huffed and leapt away from a smirking Sasuke.
Naruto sat tiredly onto top of the Hokage Monument as soon as he got there. He had never been this tired and he knew it was from the transformation, even Kurama was deep in slumber, and the fox's peaceful snores were not helping to keep his jinchuuriki awake. He sighed the sun was just starting to set, so he was on time if not a little early, he'd just rest his eyes for a moment.
Hinata ran as fast as he tired legs could carry her. Their team's test had been simple as soon as they tried working together but afterwards Kurenai-sensei put them through drills, which mostly consisted of running, a lot of running. She was determined however to not be late, it was her first date with the boy she loved. She panted, catching her breath as she reached the top and looked around for the boy.
Her breath caught as she spotted a mop of blond and realized that Naruto had fallen asleep waiting for her. She looked up and the sun hadn't quiet set though so she wasn't late. Smiling softly she quietly went and sat beside him. He must have been as tire as she was. Only problem was, should she wake him up? He looked so peaceful. It wasn't as if they could stay sleeping out here though, the sun would be going soon and it would quickly become cold.
Resigned she reached for his shoulder gently shaking him. When he barely twitched she pursed her lips, he was so cute. "Naruto." She tried shaking him gently again. "You gotta get up now, Naruto." She spoke a little louder, hoping it would catch his attention. He only turned into her slightly moving his arm around her, though as she was sitting he was curling his arm around her bottom. She blushed crimson is seconds. The only reason she didn't faint was because he wasn't awake and no one was around to see.
Taking a deep breath she tried to scoot away. Naruto frowned and she was afraid he would wake up before she could move away. Before she could do anything though she found her face on his black shirt, perfectly positioned so her face wasn't on the zipper of his open jacket and his arm around her back with his hand on her waist. She stilled completely wondering if he was awake.
"Naruto? She called out meekly. After a few minutes with no answer she slowly picked her head up enough to look at his face. He was still completely asleep. Hinata slumped her head back down split between wanting him to have done that on purpose and being really glad he wasn't aware. Mentally sighing she knew there was no easy way out now, so she decided to make the best of it and cuddle into her crush's side.
Naruto smirked as he felt his Hime curl into him. He was still half asleep when he grabbed her, momentarily forgetting this wasn't the Hinata that would sleep by him every night. Then his best option seemed to be playing dead, for lack of a better term. Besides he was still recovering and having her with him was comfortable, so he wasn't about to let a good thing go to waste. Once she curled into him he knew he'd won.
It was dark when his eyes opened again and he knew this time he would have to get up or Hinata's father would soon send out the troops. Yawning he careful sat up bringing his still sleeping princess with him. He rubbed his eyes before shrugging the shoulder she was sleeping on to wake her. Hinata seemed to frown before snuggling into him further. The blond time traveler smiled before a small chuckle escaped him. She was adorable in her sleep.
"Wake up my Hime." Naruto said gently cupping her face. As her eyelids started to move his kissed her forehead. "Hello beautiful." Naruto smiled as she froze, realizing she really was in his arms.
"I'm sorry, you were sleeping, and I tried to wake you, but you, I-I-" she started to stutter but she didn't pull away. Naruto decided it was time to stop her though and kissed her cheek. Other than a small 'eep', she shut up right away.
"Its fine Hime, you have nothing to apologies for. It was my fault anyway." He wasn't going to go into why it was his fault but he wasn't going to lie about it either.
"When do you need to be home?" Naruto decided to quickly change the subject, though he was very pleased she had pulled away in her embarrassment. Her head shot up at the statement though noticing it was pretty dark.
"Um, oh, probably about now." Hinata spoke quietly though he could tell she was worried she was late.
"Sorry Hime," he squeezed her in a one armed hug that he still hadn't taking from around her, and didn't intend to until she moved away from him. "our first date and all I do is sleep and make you late." He sighed and reluctantly got up pulling her with him and putting his arm right back around her. "Can I at least walk you home?" he put on his best puppy eyes, and she melted, nodding her consent, just as he knew she would.
For Naruto it was too soon before they got to the Hyuuga compound, he very reluctantly let go of the girl he already thought of as his and took a step back. "Will I see you tomorrow? Promise not to fall asleep on you again." Naruto asked, his nerves coming through as he remembered he had no real claim to his princess in this world yet. And she may actually be mad at such a boring first date.
"It's quiet alright, I, um, will see you tomorrow." Hinata spoke softly with a small smile, blushing, and not quiet able to look at him. Naruto beamed, he hadn't messed up too bad it seemed.
"Great! I'll make this up to you Hime." Naruto smiled at her before making himself turn away. "See you then." He waved back. Not being able to help getting a last look. As he walked home he thought of what he could do to make it up to her, what could be the best second date?