You think I'm a Guy? (naruto)Ch. 43People who know: Sakura, Kakashi, Hokage, Ibiki, Inuzuka's, Hyuga's, Sasuke, Gai, Lee, Tenten, Kankuro, Doctors, Shino, Haku (deceased), Zabuza (also deceased), Family who wants to kill her, Brothers team.
It was the day of the chunin exams and wouldn’t you know it we, aka I, overslept. So, Naruto rushed out the door leaving me in my half groggy state to lock the apartment. It took Naruto less than five seconds to be fully awake, less than 20 to dress and maybe one second to leave the house. I took about 6 minutes to do each of these. Then again unlike Naruto I actually slept last night whereas he didn’t.The nerves must be getting to him. If Naruto did become a chunin it’d be a miracle though.
A short walk later and I was at the stadium, it looked something like what the romans used but unlike those it was still in use. I noticed that despite leaving the house later than Naruto he still wasn’t there and neither was Sasuke. I shrugged and made my way to the stands. Maybe it’s for last minute training or something. I thought absent mindedly.
Not a moment later I ran into something, “Hey watch where you’re going.”
Make that someone. “Sorry about- Hey you’re the cat guy. I forgot you were still competing.”
He shook his head, “Kid, if it were anyone but you I would have been insulted but I’ve heard quite a few rumours that half the things you say aren’t to be taken seriously.”
“Oh that’s good then.” I said before turning to his sister. “You must be Temari. You’re competing as well right?”
“Yeah, sorry about Kankuro he’s not exactly the sharpest mind around here.” She smiled before becoming aware of my eyes travelling to the third person in the group. “Oh…and uhh this here is uh Gaara, my little brother…”
“Hi.” I said hesitantly as my mind tried to understand the situations sudden change in atmosphere. “I’m Akira.”
“So, you’re the one.”
I tilted my head, “Uhh, what?”
“The boy who’s a girl. I’ve heard about you, from Kankuro.” His voice sounded raspy and it was as though every word was carefully thought out before hand.
“Ah that miss understanding-“
“It’s not. You are a girl. Mother said so.” He said walking past me. “But, Mom says not to kill you.”
His siblings and I stood still, them too scared to move and me still not understanding what was going on. When the blood lust left the area his siblings began breathing again and I figured it was as good a time to ask as any, “So, what did he mean?”
Temari looked up, “You mean you don’t know? He was ready to kill you. It’s a miracle you’re not in a thousand pieces by now.”
“Oh. That’s nice. Who’s he fighting?”
“The Uchiha. I’d hate to be him, prodigy or not.” Kankuro said. “Come on Temari, we should go line up.”
She nodded, “Yeah. It was nice talking to you, and I’m warning you. You should stay away from Gaara, far away.”
I shrugged, “We’ll see. All I’m really worried about is Sasuke now, well him and Naruto. You can’t forget about him, even if you tried. See you two after the exam. Good luck.”
They exchanged a worried glance and I heard Temari whisper under her breath, “Forgive us…”
I didn’t know if she meant for me to hear or not so I chose to keep walking but I couldn’t help but glance back ever so slightly to see Temari biting her lip and Kankuro standing with his head down in shame.
I finally made it to the stands just in time to see Naruto burst through the stadium doors with a stampede of bulls on his tail. Apparently they had chased him through the whole village before he finally made his grand entrance here. I couldn’t help but double over laughing gaining me a few disapproving looks. How could I help it though? Naruto had just slid through the doors and landed at Shikamaru’s feet.
It took me a second to calm down enough to realize that unlike Naruto who had managed to appear almost on time, Sasuke was missing entirely and he was a stickler for punctuality. I scanned the crowds around me before Sakura caught my attention. She was wearing a happy smile but she couldn’t hide her own worry at Sasuke’s non-existent presence.
“Hey Akira, how are you?” She asked sitting back into her seat next to Ino.
“Pretty good,” I said vaguely before she cast me a very dissatisfied look. “It’s healed if that’s what you’re asking.”
She smiled nodding as Ino glanced between Sakura and I before shrugging and letting it go. “So, Akira it’s been a while; we never got the chance to talk in the academy. Here sit.”
I was about to refuse but she was persistent enough to drag me into the seat and begin her twenty questions which ranged from favorite color to more personal history such as what my hobbies were, how many siblings did I have and the most terrifying how my parents are today.
I answered as vaguely as I could keeping my eyes forward, but she was leaning over me quite heavily so my body automatically leaned farther away. I was nearly out of my seat completely when the first match was finally announced, Naruto vs Neji. This year’s knuckle-headed nin against last year’s rookie to beat.
THe matches had changed though, two people were missing at the moment. Dosu, some sound nin that I didn’t care about and Sasuke. Dosu’s name was missing off the sheet completely, he’d either dropped out or was murdered. Sasuke on the other hand had disappeared with Kakashi to train and had managed to pick up on Kakashi’s terrible timing.
As Neji and Naruto were left alone in the stadium I began to place my bets. Everyone around me was betting on Neji but they didn’t realize how big of an ego he really had. He would continue to underestimate Naruto until the end which gives Naruto a fighting chance.
Ino turned to Sakura, “Hey Sakura, I know that you’re worried about Sasuke but come on don’t be such a lump. Aren’t you at least going to cheer Naruto on?”
I settled back into my seat properly now that Ino’s attention was off of me. “Sakura, I can tell you with a hundred percent certainty that Sasuke will get here and he’ll be fine.”
Sakura’s face seemed to lighten just a bit, “You’re right.”
“That’s more like it,” Ino said. “Not that the little runt has a chance of winning.”
“He’s not that bad.” Sakura said.
“Are you kidding? ‘Not that bad’, is that the best you can do? I mean Akira’s doing more by just glaring at me. By the way,” She said turning to me with sweat appearing on her temple. “why are you glaring at me like that?”
“Naruto’s going to win. I wouldn’t place any money on Neji if I were you.” I said calmly before turning back to the match.
Both girls exchanged looks of doubt before turning their attention back to the match. From the stands nothing was happening, but Naruto was holding his fist in front of him shaking in anger. I remember from the tapes that after Hinata fell Naruto had yelled at Neji vowing to defeat him. It didn’t have any effect on Neji but as I glanced over the rows I caught sight of Hinata who was on the edge of her seat smiling sadly but affectionately.
Neji entered his defensive fighting stance after activating his Byakugan, a special trait exclusive to the Hyuga clan. With it then can see chakra points littered across the body and with pin point accuracy hit them, sealing the chakra and destroying the enemies chance to use jutsu. It was called the gentle fist style but even then it still hurt to get hit. I thought rubbing my side that was hit when Neji and I had sparred.
“Good luck, Naruto.” I whispered as a massive wind was created as Naruto poured a mere fraction if his chakra into the air around him with this the first match began.
At first neither of them moved, each trying to find the opportunity to strike. Naruto started the action as he recklessly threw kunai towards Neji who stood unfazed, he defended with the kunai’s handle. As in, he managed to stop Naruto’s kunai by allowing it to go through the small loop at the end of his kunai. The point wedged itself in front of his face but moved no more. Okay…so maybe I was wrong about Naruto- No don’t think like that. Send good winning vibes to Naruto. Die Neji Die!
I bit my lip as Naruto rushed Neji which was probably be the stupidest thing he could have done. Neji’s jutsu’s are close ranged if Naruto had tried a distance attack he would have been okay, or at least not be doomed as he is now.
Neji managed to alter the path of Naruto’s punch using the palm of his hand, with Naruto’s momentum still going Naruto ended up crouched on the ground. He tried to kick Neji but Neji just flipped him in the air sending Naruto spinning before he landed perfectly balanced on his feet. His taijutsu had gotten better but it’s still small stuff compared to Neji.
Naruto ran back towards Neji, Neji dodged the punch to his face while smirking. He was smirking, he’s just mocking Naruto. My eyes narrowed, If Naruto doesn’t defeat so help him, I’ll go down there and kill Neji myself. Their fists were flying so fast it was hard to see but Neji stood calmly blocking each punch not bothering to attack.
Naruto tried a kick but Neji just spun him around, Naruto then jumped into the air and tried to kick him again as Neji moved to the side. Another punch and Sakura stood from her seat, “Naruto watch out!”
Too late, Neji was too close now and as Neji moved to seal a point Naruto rolled backwards out of the way. Naruto gasped finding it harder to breath and I stood up clenching the railing. That’s the same move that almost killed Hinata.
“Naruto, he can see you’re chakra points.” Sakura yelled and it was then I realized I was still standing. I sat, no point in worrying. Neji won’t kill him, right?
Naruto stood again, looking bolder with a small smile as though this was all just training to him. I smiled, of course he never does give up, does he?
Soon Naruto was up to his old tricks again, he made 4 shadow clones so there were five of him on the field. Each of the four drew a kunai while one stood back, each of the armed ones ran at Neji once again. Neji used the backs of the first two to flip over them, then he used his palms to alter the course of the next two. Finally the fifth and final one moved charging at Neji’s side kicking him in the face or it seemed that way. I was wrong, Neji had dodged by flipping backwards making it look like he’d been kicked when in reality he was just fine. Neji’s landing was graceful and perfect, just as he would be everyday as he trained with Hiashi.
Naruto’s clones ran at him once more but they failed again. One by one they disappeared the first two were taken out by a very figure skater esque move. Neji had spun in the air a few times before finally hitting them. The next two were gone from Neji’s palms colliding with their stomachs. Sakura slumped back into her seat, she had given up in the awe that was Neji Hyuga. Even with all his clones gone Naruto’s determination didn’t falter. His hands once again made the symbol for his shadow clones but this time there had to be at least 50 probably more, each one helping to form a circle around Neji.
Neji dodged each one and kicked each one. Eventually they all tackled him at once and it seemed to work. One stood out though, it was standing back Neji noticed this too and hit him straight in the heart. Shadow clone after shadow clone disappeared. It seemed hopeless but Naruto laughed. Then the ‘real’ one disappeared as a shadow clone. He’d succeeded in tricking Neji. The cycle began again. Clones, dodge, hit, clones, dodge, hit.
Until they disappeared that is, as Neji had spun rapidly using his chakra to create a dome around him. This dome was impenetrable.
Naruto though wasn’t willing to give up, more shadow clones later and the cycle begins again. Wow this repetitive. I thought leaning forward trying to work the numbness out of my butt.
What happened next had to be the most painful thing I’d ever seen. It was like Naruto was being stabbed over and over but there was no blood and even if he wanted to, he wouldn’t have been able to fall. A few seconds after the attack began and Naruto was thrown to the ground. Naruto had been hit multiple times by Neji’s jutsu after Neji used a strange attack, as far as I could hear from the crowd he was hit 64 times. Now with his chakra flow disrupted he wouldn’t be able to use any shadow clones.
The proctor was about to call it, Naruto was doubled over on the ground, struggling to even breathe.
“What a fool? I almost thought he could win.” Ino sighed, berating herself.
“Wha-what? What’s wrong, Akira?” Ino asked leaning away from me.
“He hasn’t lost yet. So shut up.” My eyes were narrowed on the field. Get up Naruto. I know you can, just stand back up.
By some miracle, he began to stand. The crowd, Neji and the proctor watched in shock as Naruto made it to his feet. Naruto spoke to Neji and it seemed he had hit a nerve as Neji’s brows angled sharply; he reached back and took off his headband showing a light green X between two horizontal lines on his forehead. The curse of the branch family. I remember seeing it as Neji washed his face from training, when I asked Hinata about it she got quiet saying it had to do with the household and birth order. If Neji stepped out of line his mind would be attacked.
It was a terrible burden, it’s been in place since he was younger. It’s the reason Neji hates his family, he believes the only fair thing in life is death. His dad died in place of Hinata’s all because some ninja attacked her and her dad killed them. They were twins, but Neji’s dad was the one to take the fall to protect them.
Neji replaced the headband and the fight continued for a mere instant before Naruto was once again on the ground unable to move. One swift punch was all it had taken to bring the weakened Naruto to the ground.
As Neji walked away believing he had won, Naruto did something amazing. He gained control of his chakra once more, fighting with every ounce of strength to create his jutsu. He picked himself back up as orange malevolent chakra spun around him. Naruto ran at Neji, and suddenly the battle’s outcome was unclear.
They were dead even. Naruto managed to strike time and time again. His speed and strength were phenomenal. Their kunai’s clashed as chakra surrounded both of them. An explosive force radiated out leaving a smoke cloud covering the area. When it cleared both contestants were in separate holes on either side of the field. The crowd waited with baited breath as Neji stood, he had won. He walked towards Naruto’s unconscious body and stopped. He spoke to him and just as he was about to be declared winner Naruto sprang from under the ground delivering a smooth uppercut to Neji’s chin. Neji flew back and slid across the ground. He was unable to move, Naruto’s clone disappeared and so Naruto won the match. He was exhausted that was clear enough but as the crowd cheered him on he began to run around blowing kisses and waving like the idiot he was.
I sighed letting the breath I didn’t know I’d been holding out. “Told you he’d win.” I said smugly next to Ino.
I flexed my fingers which had been unknowingly glued to the metal bar separating us from them. Everyone was in absolute awe of Naruto’s grand show and I couldn’t help but join in the loud cheering. Our eyes locked and we both smiled, waving joyfully before he was led up the stairs to the competitors box; halfway up the stadium wall. Neji had to be carried out on a stretcher but he looked oddly at peace, not angry that he’d lost at all.
As time passed between Naruto’s win and the next match the crowd became more restless.
“I wonder what’s going on? The next match, Sasuke should be here by now.” Ino whined.
“He’ll be here, maybe not in time for the next match but from the looks of the crowd they won’t be going home without seeing his fight.”
“That’s good then, isn’t that good Sakura?” She said happily turning to Sakura.
“Hmm? Oh, yeah.” She laughed nervously.
“Listen, Everyone. One of the competitors for the next battle has not arrived yet. So we’re going to postpone this match briefly and jump ahead to the next match.” The proctor announced.
“So cool, that means Sasuke is still in this.” Ino said shaking Sakura lightly.
I nodded in agreement but I began to worry as Kankuro forfeited the next match making Shino the automatic winner and shoving Sasuke’s match one step closer. The next match was between Shikamaru Nara and Temari. Temari seemed excited as she jumped from the competitors box and glided to the ground on a giant fan. Shikamaru on the other hand looked ready to forfeit but with a little push from Naruto, he was rocketing towards the ground with a bit of gravity assisting his not so graceful fall. I snickered as he landed looking none too pleased. The crowd wasn’t very pleased either, they had all been hoping to watch Sasuke’s match against Gaara not some lazy ass fighting a tom boy. Their solution was to throw garbage and boo him but Shikamaru seemed very unaffected as he lay on the ground without a single care.
Well, he’ll need quite a bit of luck, and maybe some actual motivation. I thought smiling to myself. Maybe this won’t be that bad of a match after all.
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