You made your way through the seemingly huge village, taking everything in as people move around you. The whole place seemed to be buzzing with action. The new setting, the Leaf Village, was almost overwhelming. You and your family had moved here because of your parents' work. You weren't really sure what they did, just that they worked closely with the Hokage. Of course at the age of four everyone thought you were too young to understand what they did anyways. Still, you were amazed by all the sites and busy people of this new place. You were definitely going to miss your old village, that was for sure, but this place might not be so bad.
'This place is so big,' you thought. Then again most things were big in comparison to you. Eventually you found yourself at the Academy. The Ninja Academy: Where all the great ninjas are shaped. Your parents had told you, you could attend here when you were old enough. The idea of being a ninja and getting to travel and see action thrilled you. You watched as all the already enrolled students practiced and chatted during their lunch break.
As you watched you noticed a little boy, about your age, sitting on a swing. He seemed sad as he watched the other kids play. You walked over to him with a big smile on your face.
"Hey," You said. "Do you want to play?" You asked. The boy looked up at you as if he just realized you were talking to him. He stared at you for a moment as you still smiled, before turning away once again looking sad. After a while he finally spoke.
"Why are you talking to me?" He asked.
You were confused. "You don't like people to talking to you?" You asked dumbstruck.
He didn't answer your question, he merely replied, "No one ever talks to me."
Your smile widened. "Well I guess I'm no one because I'm talking to you." He didn't laugh at you attempt at humor and you smile faded a bit.
"Listen," He began, "You should probably get going before people see you and get the wrong idea." Now you felt insulted.
"But I asked if you wanted to play. If you didn't want to you could just say no, you don't have to be rude." He looked upset and on the verge of tears.
"It's not that I don't want to," He said just above a whisper.
"Then what's the problem?" You asked.
He made full eye contact with you now, and although he wasn't exactly glaring, the look he was giving you wasn't pleasant. "I'm different," he began, "No one ever talks to me because I'm different. They don't like me and if they see you talking to me they'll hate you too." He looked away once again.
"You know, there's nothing wrong with being different. I'm different too," You told him. "In fact, my mom says I'm the little black sheep of my family."
He laughed a sad, dry laugh. "It's not the same."
You sighed. "Maybe not," you said, "But the way I figure it is my offer is still out there and if you really want to play you shouldn't care what anyone thinks or says. I don't care if they hate me for talking to you." You began to walk away then smiled as you heard the sound of footsteps follow you.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Time Skip ^_^
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ You laughed at the memory now, so much has changed since then. You sighed. 'Oh, Naruto,' you thought as you got dressed. It was a silly memory but looking back on it always brought a smile to your face. It's odd how your memories seemed most vivid as a dream. You took once more good stretch once you were dressed. It had been a while since you had such a good night's sleep like that.
Naruto was so shy back then and although he's definitely changed a lot, you really weren't all that different. In fact now that you thought about it, the only thing that was really different now was that you weren't living with your parents anymore. They left on a mission a little over a year ago and weren't suppose to be back for another two years. You grabbed your ninja tools, finally all set, and made your way too the training grounds.
Everyone was already there when you got there. Well everyone except Kakashi. The man couldn't be on time if his life depended on it. Naruto greeted you with his usual grin. You smiled at him then spaced off as he unsuccessfully flirted with Sakura, and Sakura unsuccessfully flirted with Sasuke, who just looked annoyed. Soon Kakashi showed up with a lame excuse for his tardiness as usual. And as usual Naruto and Sakura yelled at him. Man, sometimes it seemed like your life could be such a rut.
Kakashi just had you guys practice today, Sakura versus you and Naruto versus Sasuke. Your battle didn't take long; she went down faster than a drunk in a street fight. Naruto and Sasuke however, went at it for what seemed like forever. Both refused to back down. Eventually, Sasuke managed to beat Naruto. Somehow, Sasuke always managed to beat Naruto. Finally, it was you versus Sasuke and although he didn't go down as fast as Sakura, you still won. Something that he was not too happy about, but everyone knew you were stronger than him.
When all was said and done, Kakashi dismissed training and disappeared off to who knows where. You made your way over to Naruto who was lying under a tree resting.
"Hey Naruto," You said, "How about we go and get some ramen?"
Naruto looked up at you and grinned. "Only if you're paying."
You rolled your eyes at him. "Of course."
Suddenly he was bursting with energy. "Yay! Free ramen! Whoo-hoo!" He exclaimed cheerfully. Then he turned to Sakura. "Hey, Sakura, why don't you come with us?" He offered.
"I'd rather die," She said snottily. "I'm just going to head home."
You resisted the urge to slap her. 'You idiot,' you thought. 'I'd give just about anything to be in your position right now.' You watched Naruto slump down in rejection. You turned to Sasuke.
"You can come too, Sasuke. If you'd like." You offered. You could see Naruto's jaw drop from the corner of your eye. Clearly he wanted to know what exactly you were thinking, that you were inviting Sasuke. You sighed internally. 'And to think, I'm only doing this for you. But do I get a thank you? No.' you gave Sasuke a pleading look, hoping he was better at reading signals than Naruto was.
"Sure," Sasuke said in his monotone voice clearly not very interested in ramen.
"If Sasuke's going than I'll go!" Sakura chimed.
"Really?!" Naruto asked excitedly.
"I'm going for Sasuke, not you." Sakura replied coldly.
Once again you resisted the urge to slap her. 'Well at least everyone is somewhat pleased.' You thought.
Many arguments, two fist fight, a long walk, and twenty minutes later, you all sat at the ramen bar, four bowls of ramen sitting in front of you. Naruto hadn't hesitated to order or dig into his ramen. However you did have to convince Sasuke to order something, despite Naruto's not-so subtle suggestion to let him starve to death. Although Sasuke could have probably gone on without food, if he hadn't ordered something Sakura would have refused to order something too. Then the poor girl would have had to sit there starving while you and Naruto ate. Plus if neither of them ate it kind of would have defeated the whole purpose for them tagging along. So, each of you ate quietly, although you tried to make conversation.
By the time you were all done eating, it was dark outside. "Sasuke will you walk me home?" Sakura asked, batting her eyelashes at him. You gagged internally at the display.
"I'll walk you home," Naruto interrupted.
Sakura made a face of disgust. "No way!"
"Naruto, walk Sakura," Sasuke said coolly. Everyone turned to him in surprise. "It's getting dark," He began explaining, "It wouldn't be safe for either of you two girls to walk home alone. Naruto you live closer to Sakura, you can walk her. I'll take Emmy since we live in the same direction."
"I have no problem with that," You answered before Sakura could protest. Sasuke wasn't exactly your first choice to walk with, but he made a good point and you really didn't want to walk home alone at night.
"Fine!" Sakura agreed reluctantly. Everyone said their good-byes and parted ways.
Sasuke was quiet throughout the walk and the silence made you nervous. It wasn't until you were close to your house that he finally said something. "So you like Naruto, huh?" He asked.
You could feel your cheeks redden as he caught you off guard with his sudden question. "I don't know what you're talking about," You said trying to keep your composure.
Sasuke stopped dead in his tracks and looked at you seriously. "Oh please, just how stupid do you think I am?" He asked not really looking for an answer. "It so obvious, I'm amazed the dobe hasn't figured it out." You stayed quiet, not really sure what to say "Look you probably don't want my advice," he said after a moment of silence, "But if I were you I would just give up on the idiot."
"What?!" You asked, completely baffled.
"If he hasn't figured it out by now, he probably won't ever figure it out." He said frankly. "Besides, I don't think you're his type."
"What exactly do you mean by that?!" You asked narrowing your eyes at him. He didn't seem shaken by your glare.
"Look I don't mean to offend you, but I just don't think he'd be interested in you. He's always chasing after Sakura. She's the kind of girl who spends hours worrying about what to wear and needs to be protected." He made a face like he was sick. "You're the kind of girl who can hold her own, break a bone if she needs to, and couldn't care less if people hated her or what they think of her. You're different and I just don't think that's something Naruto would like." You stood there speech less taking in everything Sasuke had just said. You had no idea what to say to that. He makes a point doesn't he?
"You're right Sasuke; I don't want your advice!"
"Thanks for walking me home," Sakura said when they reached her place. She wasn't particularly happy that Naruto walked her rather than Sasuke but she was glad she didn't have to walk home alone.
"It's no problem," he said and began to walk off. Sakura was confused. "Hey isn't your house that way?" She asked pointing in the direction opposite from where he was walking.
"Yeah but I wanted to catch up with Emmy-Chan and talk to her. I'll see you tomorrow 'kay?" Naruto said.
"Alright," she said as she disappeared into her home.
"Look, Sasuke I know you think pretty low of Naruto, but I don't care what you say, I'm not giving up on him." You said.
Sasuke chuckled lightly to himself. "Same old Emmy. Once you set your mind to something you stick to it, huh? Dobe, you have no clue what you're missing out on." He said more to himself than you. Then, in an instant, he had you held firmly against a tree. "Naruto might not know what he's missing, but I do. I like different," He said with a smirk.
His grip wasn't very tight, but you couldn't manage to get out of it. "Sasuke, what are you doing?" You asked nervously but he didn't answer. You could feel his warm breath on your neck, followed by his lips. "Sasuke
stop!" You begged. He just smirked against your neck as his hand slipped under your shirt. 'No!' You thought as you struggled against his grip. 'Why can't I get him off? I'm stronger than him.' You shut your eyes wanting to be anywhere but there at that moment. You could feel his hand rise higher and higher against your skin. The heat of his hand against your body almost burned. And then it was gone.
You opened your eyes and saw Sasuke on the floor, Naruto towering over him. You sank to your knees and released a breath you hadn't realized you were holding in. "You damn bastard, what the hell do you think you're doing?!" Naruto said, fist clenched, trembling with anger.
Sasuke passed the back of his hand over his mouth where Naruto had clearly punched him. "None of your business, dobe. Why don't you just get lost?" Sasuke replied, still cocky even though he just got punched in the jaw.
"Like hell I will," Naruto snapped back.
Sasuke slowly rose to his feet. "Hn. Whatever." was all he said before he walked off in the direction of his house.
"Damn bastard," Naruto mumble as he made his way over to you. "Are you okay?" He asked offering to help you up.
"I'm fine!" You said ignoring his offer and getting to you feet on your own.
"I said I was fine!" You repeated, cutting him off. And without another word or look at him you ran into your home. The door slam shut behind you and you slid down leaning against it. You could feel your hands trembling as warm tears began to roll down your face, streaking it red.
You were trembling and you didn't know why. You weren't sure if it was what Sasuke had said to you or the fact that you felt so helpless when he attacked you or because you felt that what he had said to you was true. You nearly jumped out of your skin when you heard knocking at your door.
"Emmy-Chan! Emmy-Chan, open up! I need to talk to you." Naruto yelled through the door.
Why couldn't he just leave? "Don't call me that! Go away!" You yelled.
"Emmy please," He begged.
You didn't answer him. It was quiet and he didn't speak again. With your door locked there was no way he could get in. Or at least that's what you figured, hoping he had given up and gone home. All hope was gone when you heard tapping on your window. You pulled back the curtains and saw Naruto standing out there.
"Let me in." He said firmly.
'Does he just not understand that I want to be left alone?' You thought. "I said go away!" You told him. You re-closed your curtains and turned away, once again hoping he would just leave. Of course, since it was Naruto, he didn't. You could hear him fumbling with you window and attempting to break in. Within a few moments, Naruto had managed to unlock your window from outside. You hadn't even thought that was possible!
"Look, we need to talk," He said once he managed to climb inside.
"We don't need to do anything," You said bitterly, still upset. At least your tears had dried up quickly enough for him not to be able to tell you had been crying.
"If this is about what Sasuke did, I alre-"
"It's not what he did!" You said loudly, already losing your patience. "It's what he said!"
"What he said?" Naruto asked not quite following.
'God, he really is an idiot isn't he?!' You anger boiled over and you snapped. "I like you," you yelled. "Okay! I like you. But you didn't seem interested. It was so obvious and you didn't notice that every time you flirted with Sakura or asked her out my heart was breaking more and more! And then when she turned you down time after time, it killed me to watch the sadness on your face! It was so similar to the sadness you had when we first met! I just wanted you to be happy! And what Sasuke said made so much sense, it upset me! Of course you wouldn't like my back! Why should I have even tried, there's no hope! Because you want a girl like Sakura; a girl who worries about how she looks and needs to be protected!" You told him remembering what Sasuke had told you. "You'd never like me because I'm different." You said just above a whisper. By now, all of your anger had faded and you could feel your cheeks begin to turn red as you realized what you just confessed and how you exploded on Naruto.
Naruto. Your best friend, who was only trying to comfort you after you had been assaulted and you just ignored his kindness, letting your anger get the best of you, and you snapped on him. You turned from him, unable to keep eye contact and tried hard to blink back tears.
," he whispered. You said nothing. Naruto stepped closer to you. You stood as still as possible, despite that fact that your felt squirmy and wanted to back away from him.
"You're wrong," He began, "I'd have to be a complete idiot not to like you." You looked up at him, unable to believe what he had just said. He placed his hands on each side of your face holding you firmly in place. Still traumatized from earlier, you initial instinct was to scream and run, however your feet felt frozen to the floor and you were unable to move. Naruto's face got closer and closer to yours. He stopped centimeters from you, hesitant, but then you felt his lips on yours. They were soft and he kissed you lightly, you felt like you were going to melt. In those few seconds all your emotions disappeared, anger, shock, trauma, sadness.
Naruto pulled away slowly. "I'm sorry," He said in a low voice. You realized some of your tears managed to escape as you were caught up in the kiss.
'He must have thought that kiss upset me. Damn traitor tears,' you thought. "No," You said. "Don't be sorry."
He managed to smile. "How could you possibly think I couldn't like you? Why do you think I punched Sasuke? Of course I like you. I like different and you. You're my little black sheep."
"But, what about Sakura?" You asked confused.
"She never liked me and she never will." He replied.
"So you're just using me to get over her?!"
"No! I was using her to get over you. I've liked you since we first met, even before I knew it. You saw me when no one else did. I'm sorry I gave up on you. I figured with someone as beautiful as you, I had no chance."
You smiled. "You've always had a chance." You gave him a light peck on the lips.
"Are you going to be okay after everything that's happened? You've been through a lot." He said.
"Would you stay with me? If only for a little while?" You asked a bit afraid to be home alone.
"I'd stay with you forever," He answered with a smile and pulled you into a gentle embrace.