A Friendly Battle
Naruto put his hand up to his cheek where Inos was a second before. The stinging sensation was still there. He just stood there looking at her, shocked. He still couldnt believe that she did that.
You make me sick. She said with a disgusted look. Grow up, and face your problems like a proper Shinobi. If you werent my friend I would rip that Hita Itai right off of your head. She left him alone to think about what she said.
Narutos hand left his cheek, the red mark long since gone. His gaze suddenly turned dark, Youre right.
She had gone to this training ground often in his four year absence. It was the furthest grounds from the village, and so he used to be able to come here in peace. She often came here to think or sit in the tree she used to occupy to spy on him when he was either panting on his feet, or on the flat of his back. She used to think that she was inadequate; that he could never notice someone like her, but ever since he came back, he had actually held her. She blushed and got all giggly at the thought. If only hed do that one more time.
But she hadnt come here to reminisce about Naruto, she heeded his advice and spent the past few days training; trying to completely conceal her chakra presence. She had Sakura come try to find her in the forest in a beefed-up version of Hide and Seek. Apparently she had gotten good at it, because she stumbled upon Naruto, who hadnt noticed her yet.
He was dressed in his full battle gear. This is weird
she thought, normally hes in a black t-shirt with those orange pants. He sat there cross-legged, his fingers in the Tiger Seal Talking to himself. At least she thought he was talking to himself. She scanned the area with her Byakugan. Yes, he was all alone. So who could he be talking to? Maybe hes talking to him; I sort of hope thats the case. I hope he hasnt gone crazy in his time alone.
She couldnt make out the words by either reading his lips normally, or with her Byakugan, seeing as hers isnt as advanced as her cousins, or even her sisters at this point. She moved closer, her curiosity overpowering her sense of self-preservation. Naruto wouldnt hurt me. But, he doesnt know that its me here. I should walk up to him in the open.
She jumped down into the clearing. As she neared Naruto she could see his eyes were closed. She neared within about fifteen feet of him and she was just able to make out what he was saying.
When will you arrive?
You should come earlier. I might need you in the upcoming battle.
I know I might be bale to hold my own against his lackey, but what if he comes? Im still not sure if I can beat him. I havent fought a Shinobi of his caliber before.
He sighed Very well. Is there anything else to report?
Number Three, eh? Its about time. Ok thats good to know. He smiled. Then Ill have to exert my new authority and order you to send Number Seven. I might need her abilities soon in my mission. Since Im still not perfect at sensing and dispelling Genjutsu
He disengaged whatever Jutsu he was using and relaxed, slumping back on the tree. Yea, I may need her eyes for this one. He sighed. Hm? he opened one eye to rest on Hinatas figure. Oh, its you. I didnt think anyone came here.
He raised an eyebrow, Oh?
She blushed, I mean
.I came here because nobody uses it
nobody would be mean to me here when I
messed up in my training. Her blush deepened.
His other eyebrow rose. How long where you listening? What did you hear? he tensed his fingers slightly curling into a ready position for a senbon to appear through them.
Just something about not being good at Genjutsu. She lied.
He studied her for a moment, his eyes staring unwaveringly into hers. She could only blush at this, and he finally figured out why. He stood up and walked towards her. Her eyes widened and she started to visibly tremble until he finally soothed her with his voice Come with me. he took her by the hand and led her to a large clearing.
Where is he taking me? OHMY! Hes holding my hand! Maybe not the way I want him to, or in the right circumstances, but hes still holding it! She thought to herself.
It was a few minutes before Naruto let go of her hand. He motioned for her to stop, and he kept on walking away from her until he was a good twenty feet away from her. He turned and looked right at her eyes.
Defend yourself. I want to see how far youve come along.
No talking, just fighting. He suddenly disappeared and she was thrown forward from a swift kick to the back. So fast. I cant even see him. Byakugan!
She activated her Blood Limit so she could partially see him whizzing around the area. Se dropped into her Juuken stance and waited for him to come at her again. He did. He took up a stance right in front of her throwing punch after punch, none reaching her because of her natural flexibility. Luckily he hasnt done anything yet that warrants her to use her version of the Kaiten.
This exchange of blow after blow was starting to tire her out, and Naruto showed no sign of slowing. I have to start closing tenketsu, She thought. Its the only way. With a burst of chakra to her arms she slipped underneath Narutos defense hitting him in each leg with a chakra drill effectively cutting off that chakra flow.
She jumped back a few feet to watch Naruto fall to his knees. Oh no! I didnt hurt you did I? Im sorry. I so sorry! She yelled as she ran over to him.
Naruto held up his hand for her to stop. She could see his chakra flow increasing, slowly forcing the tenketsu open again. He could feel the red chakra oozing out of him. He hated having to resort to using his chakra. But this could not be helped.
Dont worry about it. He said seeing her on the verge of tears. See? he jumped up and down a few times. You cant hurt me for too long. She flung herself onto him almost knocking him onto the ground. She wrapped her arms around him and cried into his shoulder.
Im so sorry. I dont ever want to have to fight you again. I couldnt stand the thought of hurting you. She bawled. Something inside him lurched, knowing what was coming up.
He sighed and wrapped his arms around her to comfort her. Dont worry, you wont have to fight me. he lied, rubbing her back slightly. But, he hoped that was true. I dont think I could kill her. Slowly her sobs quieted down until she was sniffleling into his shoulder.
Realization of what she said hit him and he laughed. Not a loud howling laughter, but a little more than a chuckle. However, with her buried into his chest she could hear anything he said. She looked up at him with teary eyes. He lowered her to her knees and he sat a foot away from her. You? Hurt me? I let you hit my knees there. Youd never get a hit if I didnt let you.
Youre right, Im nothing, theres now ay that I could hit you. I knew you were holding back
Ok that didnt work
he said to himself scratching his head.
What didnt work?
you have no confidence. I was trying to taunt you into fighting me again, but apparently you have a serious lack of confidence. Why dont you believe in yourself?
I dont know. she looked towards the ground.
Ill tell you why, She looked up Because youre the Hyuuga heir. Youve had this huge weight thrust upon your shoulders, bearing down on you all your life, and you, to tell the truth, really dont have the ability to hold up to it. He smiled, I know youre in love with someone, and youll never gain his respect, or admiration if you dont believe in yourself. Ill be t you anything he believes in himself, so why cant you? Hell never respect you if you dont learn to believe in yourself.
She sighed and stood up dropping into the Juuken stance once more. Good girl
he stood up and took up a position opposite from her. He studied her, the way she carried herself, compared to last time. Her face muscles werent twitching, her gaze was steady; straight into his. Ill make you a deal. You draw blood, and you get one favor. He held up a finger. If you win, you get two favors. He held up another finger in addition. Deal?
She nodded, with a smirk on her face.
Confident in your abilities eh?
She nodded again.
Good, then lets get started.
Naruto disappeared again and she ducked under his foot that was meant for the side of her head. She stuck out her leg in a sweeping motion but he leaped over it and her at the same time. He landed in front of her swinging. Throwing punches left and right, much faster than he was earlier. She deftly blocked and swung each arm away from her, keeping her feet planted. Suddenly a fist came out of nowhere and collided with her gut.
Lesson number one: Mobility. Juuken is nice, but what can it do against an enemy who could just as easily dance around you? I watched your fight with Neji at the Chuunin exams so long ago. Your center of gravity is too low. Thats why you couldnt dodge my blow. Again
He came back upon striking with more ferocity than before. This was it, she had to use it. She threw a punch with all of her might, banking on Naruto blocking it. He did, and her chakra charged fist pushed him back a few feet. She pushed chakra into her arms and out through her palms performing her Shugohakke Rokujūyon Shō(Protection of the Eight Trigrams Sixty-Four Palms). Pushing her chakra out farther she began to swing her arms about. Faster,faster; Naruto came back hat her chakra sheilding his hands in a red sheath.
She saw his red hands, but that didnt worry her. They traded blows for a few minutes, blocking chakra with chakra. Red with Blue. She watched him carefully through the weaving of her arms and his. There, thats it. She saw him hesitate for just a second, as a memory flashed behind his eyes. Sticking one beam of chakra out just a little farther the made a clean slice through his left cheek.
He jumped back, but she wasnt about to let up just yet. She didnt want to kill him, she just wanted to show him how strong she really WAS. His eyes widend as he saw her come forward. He formed the Rasengan in his hand while still in the air. She saw it just in time to stop herself as he thrust it into the ground causeing a massive explosion sending all manner of rocks and large chunks of earth everywhere and leaving a small crater about fifty feet in diameter. Seals flashed through his hands at a rapid rate calling out Suiton: Bakusui Shōha(Water Style: Exploding Water Shockwave)! He spit out a large amount of water into the crater, filling it to the brim with him standing atop. Nowhere near as powerful as Kisames, but I dont have it completley mastered yet.
I cant attack him there. He must have an affinity with water, if I attack him there then Ill be at a disadvantage. But there!, hes sweating.
If youre not coming here, then Im coming to you! he called out. She could barely dodge his punch much less the knee to her stomach a milisecond later. She hit the ground with a thud. Pain wracked through her body as she tried to get up. Get up. GET UP! she screamed to herself. She stood shakily, her knees barely suppoerting her body. She knew he could see this. She knew, that he knew that she was almost at her limit.
So be it. Looks like you arent stronger than I after all. Then Ill have to finish this. He ran up to her stopping a few feet from her. He was standing in a half-crouched position.His left hand low and to the floor his right arm back up behind him, the hand palm-up towards the sky.
She stared at him. But, you cant do that. You cant see the tenketsu!
I dont aim for those. He said with a smile. Dont worry I wont kill you. You still get one favor. He said with a smile.
She dropped in a stance to mirror his.
Fūton: Kaze no Rokujūyon Hira(Wind release: 64 Hands of Wind)!
Hakke Rokujūyon Shō(Eight Trigrams Sixty-Four Palms)!
Both of their attacks collided. However, Naruto was frozen after his first hit, which she blocked with one of her strikes. During his absence she had finally gotten her Byakugan to the point of where his tenketsu finally came into focus.
I closed them, but I have to work fast, because he can re-open them. Her thoughts went to his fight with Neji. She remembered watching him get up sending out massive waves of chakra, forcing them open again. You really are amazing Naruto-kun, but you underestimated me. she said to him as he fell to his knees.
Then thats two I owe you he smiled weakly. I underestimated you, forgot that I cant move when Im within range of your Divination. I guess its lights out for me, huh?
She nodded weakly; putting her hand on the back of his neck, pushing chakra into it effectively knocking him into unconsciousness. She smiled again, You fought well
my Naruto-kun. And then she collapsed to the ground next to him, exhausted.
She drifted off, going over the fight in her mind as she slumbered away. She thought about him holding her earlier that night, and about the match. And even more importantly what she was going to have him do. Suddenly, the dirty thoughts ran their usual course through her slumber as they did almost every night for the past few days that Naruto had been back. She was glad that they had returned. It meant that the ones of him dying in gruesome and horrible ways had left her mind completely.
She softly let herself be led into the land of dreams, waiting for the next day when they would wake up, and start anew.