Naruto fanfic: A future without you, chapter 17
Hello, dear readers. I'm so busy nowadays that I barely have any internet life anymore. Which is a good thing, but its an obstacle for this fanfiction. Anyway, I will try to get one chapter posted a week, at least. Also: romance is hard. My minakushi fanfic was much easier. Maybe because they are a confirmed couple? Hmmm... Anyway, don't laugh at me too hard. Enjoy.
P.S. For those of you who saw that comment from my last chapter about the original kishi sketch of Hinata and were wondering what I was talking about, here it is:
Isnt she pretty? Don't copy Naruto (what is he doing staring directly at the sun like that??? He'll go blind!)
Naruto fanfic: A future without you, chapter seventeen
Chapter seventeen: advice, part 1
FLASHBACK STARTS HERE
"There you are." Sasuke came to a stop directly behind Naruto, who sat Indian-style in the grass. "We've got a mission. The hag asked me to hunt you down since no one's seen you at your house all night."
Naruto's head rested on his fist, while he stared off in the distance. Sasuke snapped his fingers and waved his hands in front of his face for five minutes. Nothing. So, instead, he stepped back and set the grass he was sitting on ablaze with his fire style.
Naruto shot to his feet, turning on one foot and running into a tree.
"Sasuke! What the hell?! Ah--fire!"
He looked so foolish and ridiculous stomping out the fire he actually managed a light laugh from Sasuke.
"You can't just go all pyromaniac on me out of the blue like that, jerk!" Naruto yelled, waving his hands and pointing.
"I'll drop hints next time. Let's go." Sasuke turned and left.
"Hey! Apologize! Sasuke! Are you listening?!"
After following Sasuke, Naruto gradually became less dramatic and went back to being lost in a trance. It was so bad, he actually tripped and fell into a mixed group of fan girls. Both guys ran for their lives, away from maniacal giggles screaming love notes/death threats. They ended up going in the opposite direction, entering the council room, which was currently empty.
"You... Moron...!" Sasuke glared at him as they finished locking the double doors by slipping an iron bar through the handles.
They slid to the ground, leaning on the doors.
"What is wrong with you? You're not this much of a space-case." Sasuke looked at him expectantly.
"Shut up! I'll do what I want..." Naruto griped.
Sasuke hesitated. He'd been agitated for two for weeks now. First he was down and distant, now he'd entered a whole new kind of slope.
"I heard what you told Hinata."
Naruto flinched, slowly looking at Sasuke without turning his head.
"How... Much did you hear?"
"All of it. I don't exactly care that much but... If that's what's been making you act weird lately, get over it. We don't have time for you to work out your issues."
"Hmph! I don't have any issues Sasuke! I'm A-okay! I don't need--"
"Stop your posing." Sasuke commanded. "It's not necessary."
Naruto crossed his arms, stubborn... Though a little of the pain was visible as a gleam in his eyes.
"Do you remember when the council met, and decided to make you Tsunade's official successor instead of me?"
Naruto nodded. "They didn't bring up anything about you being a rogue ninja or an Uchiha. They just said I was the one they wanted leading he village when granny retired."
"It's the same thing with Sakura. It's not that she thinks I'm better than you. It's just her decision that she thinks of me in one way, and you in another. You haven't done anything wrong."
"Are you seriously comparing Sakura-chan to those old geezers? And besides... I know that... I'm actually thinking about something else now."
Sasuke's eyes snapped open, and he sat up.
"Something else?" He asked.
Naruto dropped his arms and looked up, a little lost.
"Remember how, back when we were kids, it was really obvious that all the girls liked you?"
"And you know how those girls just now are really obvious too?"
"Where are you going with this?"
Naruto frowned. Sasuke was surprised by his expression... Almost as if he wanted to get hit by a few of those fan girls.
"Did you ever... Not know one of them liked you? And then, all of a sudden, they did something really drastic, and you feel like a stupid jerk for not noticing it sooner?"
"Not really, no." Sasuke crossed his arms behind his back. "All of them have been straight forward with me to the point that it's annoying and sickening. Why?"
"Well... What should you do in that kind of situation?"
Sasuke shrugged. "How should I know?"
FLASHBACK ENDS HERE
SASUKE'S POV [AN INN, SOMEWHERE IN TANZAKU (ANOTHER VILLAGE IN THE LAND OF FIRE)]
Naruto pointed out Uzushio on the map.
"What a tiny little island." Sasuke tilted his head at it. "Is it really that hard to get into?"
"It's so close to the land of fire..." Hinata said in awe. "I've never heard of this place before though..."
"I'm fairly certain it isn't in the textbooks back at the academy." Sakura knit her brow. "Remember how they would make us sit and memorize all the different villages and headbands, so we wouldn't mistake enemies for allies when we went out on missions?"
"I remember a bunch of different symbols." Kiba scratched the back of his head. "This ones kind of familiar too!"
"It's the one on Naruto's jacket, you fool!" Sakura pointed.
Kiba, Hinata, and Sasuke all leaned over, checking.
"Oh, she's right." Kiba.
"It's a whirlpool. That makes sense. Uzumaki means 'eddy' after all." Hinata pointed out.
"Eh? I thought that silly symbol was because of the swirls on the Naruto fish cakes." Kiba's mouth straightened out into a tight line, with Akamaru whining at him.
"Maybe it's both?" Sasuke suggested.
"What does it matter?!" Sakura snapped. "We're here on business, remember? Naruto, how do we get there?"
"We walk." He gave her a face that said "Are you stupid?" and Sasuke reached over to grab her wrist, otherwise, she would have hit him. "We stop at the three major gambling villages along the way to look for Mami and gather info. She's good at making false trails and turning minor allies into enemies, so don't just trust whatever you find. I'm leaving now."
"Eh? What? Why?" Sakura asked, now more concerned than angry; Sasuke let go of her wrist.
"I don't go into boring-big-word-speech-mode over stuff like this or anything else. And anyway, we've gotta move fast, so we're heading out in the morning. Mami's super tall, wears too much make-up, one of those fancy long sleeved kimonos and has long red hair. Oh, yeah, and she hits on any guy under fifty so just look around, okay? See you."
He shut the door, leaving them alone.
"He still doesn't trust us." Sakura concluded, worried.
Sasuke didn't try to deny it. "Yeah."
"I'm going with him." Hinata decided, racing to the door.
"Seriously? He's just gonna shove you off!" Kiba told her. "Hey, Hinata!"
The door shut a second time.
"What's with them?" Kiba asked.
"Forget them for now." Sasuke ordered. "Mami... She must be worse than what we're imagining."
"You're right." Sakura agreed. "It's not just that description he gave us just now. It's the way he says her name...
Like he's really saying 'scum' or 'garbage' or something worse than that."
"He hates her." Sasuke decided.
"Why?" Kiba asked.
Sasuke considered this, making a face at the first possibility to pop into his head.
"I'm not sure I want to know..."
NARUTO'S POV [THE STREETS OF TANZAKU]
"A beautiful redhead lady?"
Naruto shuddered. "Uh... Yeah. Sure..."
"You said she likes kimonos?" The bartender asked as he cleaned the bar with a wet rag.
"Maybe you should try Akane Village's festival then. They sell some of the finest kimonos in the world. Would this girl have enough to pay for them?"
Naruto shrugged. "Dunno. But she could steal 'em easily if she wanted to!"
"Then I'd check the festival for sure. Akane Village houses some nice folk. I think they'd reward anyone who helped them out."
Naruto grinned. "Awesome! Thanks!"
He left to hunt down either another bar or a gambling house. Hinata was following close behind him, but he wasn't sure what to say to her.
Well, maybe he should get THAT out of the way...
"Ummm..." He began, stopping in his tracks and turning to face her. She stepped closer so he wouldn't have to shout. "I'm sorry... I guess."
"For what?" She asked.
"For running off... You got in trouble right?"
She smiled. Naruto would never say it out loud, but she looked really pretty when she smiled... And she smiled a lot... Especially at him...
"It's okay. They've been very lenient with me lately." She assured him. "Though Sasuke-kun was furious. He really didn't want outsiders seeing you..."
"Yeah, no kidding." Naruto snapped.
"No it's not like that!" Hinata grabbed his hand, which was embarrassing and comforting at the same time. "Sasuke-kun wants to help you. He can't do that if you disappear."
"Well you're... You remind him of his best friend..."
Naruto laughed. "You mean the best friend he killed? Yeah, I heard all about that. I don't know what kind of logic that guy is following, but anybody who would kill their best friend over power is just... Not worth teaming up with."
"No, you're wrong! That happened years ago. He's completely different now. He's less angry... But still very sad. He may not seem like it but he's actually very kind. He's just a little indifferent, so it's easy to misunderstand him. And besides, he misses his friend."
"What? He feels guilty over killing him?"
Hinata shook her head, looking like she might cry. "No. Sasuke didn't kill him. He... Disappeared. Two years ago. While out on a mission that lead through some mountains. The ground was damaged during battle and he fell into the void. But the rest of us were unconscious from pain and blood loss..."
"So... He's MIA?" Naruto asked, a little shocked.
"Yes... Sasuke was the first to wake up. He actually saw him fall... He tried to reach out to him but he'd lost too much blood. He wasn't quick enough. None of us were..."
Naruto looked away. Great. Now HE felt like the real jerk.
"So you've been looking for him all this time?"
Hinata smiled at him. "Well... I'm sure he's not too far."
That smile again... Knock it off. Naruto thought, barely blushing.
"Why don't you trust us a little more?" Hinata suggested. "We can help you find Mami. And we can protect you. So you can protect us... Besides, if we work together, it'll be a lot easier to catch her. Then you're family will be safe. And Konoha too."
"I don't know... The last time I underestimated somebody... Well I can't afford to do it again, that's for sure. But... What if you guys betray me?"
Hinata took his other hand and stood up on her toes to kiss his cheek.
"Don't worry." She smiled more softly. "We will never betray you."
Naruto's mouth formed a tight line, while his face turned more red than a tomato and little mushroom-shaped clouds popped out of his ears.
"Um... Okay. Sure..."