Helping a friend

BY : Slurppy
Category: Naruto > General
Dragon prints: 24111
Disclaimer: I own nothing of the Naruto franchise and make no money off this in any way, shape, or form.

Edit 9/24/18: Made some changes so the story fits later chapters better, and fixed a few issues.
Edit 9/26/18: Added Tie-In to things mentioned in later chapters, and fixed new errors in content added last update.

AN: Just want porn? Maybe come back to this fic later or skip to a later chapter. I'd rather not blueballs anyone who's midway through their business and this chapter would "Kill the mood" as it were, the fic has a kinda slow start so theres not much hot and heavy action for a while. For anyone left here's a quick explanation on why the characters aren't bangin 2min in, and a small request from me to you. I decided to try my hand at writing a more traditional story rather than just back to back smut scenes. I say a more traditional story as if this isn't about a threesome and won't have adult content by chapter 5 (it will). This is more something I'm writing as a 1/2 way point to try and get better at writing longer more plot focused stories. I'm aware that there will probably be a lot of minor errors that add up to be annoying however those more improve with practice rather than general feedback.

So If you do find yourself with some free time I would really appreciate any review giving criticism or advice on more general things. Like the amount of dialogue, too much or too little. The pacing of the story, too slow or skipping important things. Or even things like "You switch PoV way too much and its confusing as shit you dumb fuck cancer ass shitty writer!"

Even if you don't have any writing related thoughts, any reviews are nice. This story is somewhat "thought up as I went along" so if I see a good Idea or suggestion I'll probably put it in as there's no "future plan" for it to conflict with. Fresh ideas make it a lot easier to write and get me thinking even if they don't show up in a chapter. That being said, I'm not gonna hold future chapters hostage for reviews, One they would probably just never get released because I average like 0.7 reviews per chapter, Two I'd probably just forget I was holding one back, and then post a later chapter without realizing I never uploaded the chapter before that, and Three its against the ToS on the site so... onto the story.

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Chapter 1: The setup.

Sakura blew her bangs out of her face as she ate her Ramen. She sat there eating and feel her aggravation building up as she remembered her past few days. About a week ago her boyfriend, no ex-boyfriend, had show up at her door for the first time in months.

"Sakura I know you love me but I've decided to take Karin as my wife instead. As a medical Nin I'm sure you understand the important of genetics and I simply can't have the Uchiha clan's gene pool dirtied by a normal civi-" She cut him off by slamming the door in his face. God that jerk. His words had pissed her off. Not so much the middle part, but the first and last bit. Sure they were dating and she'd liked him as a kid, but she wasn't in love with him. Not really. No, the only person who Sakura honestly say she loved was her other teammate. No not Sai, the blond one. Sakura had thought back to her confession to Naruto, how he had rejected her because he thought she saw him as the second best.

She went back to eating her ramen and almost wanted to laugh at how ass backwards her love life was. When Naruto had first come back after training she had gone on a date with him. At that time she truly had seen him as a simple consolation prize. The date hadn't gone anywhere but her feelings for him had. As time progressed she realized that she honestly didn't know which of her team mates she liked more, that was when she confessed to him. When Saskue returned, Sakura immediately knew who she truly loved, it was Naruto. With Saskue back she realized that she had been remembering him with rose colored glasses. In her head she had changed Sasuke to her ideal man, her knight in shining armor, someone who always cared for her, someone who saved her when in danger, or just the name Naruto would be a quicker way of saying all those things. Her stupid self had projected a lot of Naruto's traits onto her past image of Saskue, and never realized it until the emo returned.

When she had gotten her date with Naruto, he was her second choice. When she confessed to him he didn't believe her because of her feelings for Saskue, which had actually been her feelings for Naruto corrupting her memories of Saskue. When Saskue returned she realized Naruto would never believe she loved him and tried to date Saskue, who was now the second best in hear heart. Actually that wasn't even true. She was probably closer to falling in love with one of her female friends like Hinata, than she was to actually falling in love with Sasuke.

Saskue had been an awful boyfriend. He was a child when it came to doing anything he didn't want to. He was unable to put anything or anyone else first. It had been awful. However she had continued to date him in the hopes that Naruto might look at her with jealousy and fight for her in the same way that he had when they were younger. However Naruto had somehow become the most mature member of team 7. He had been happy for them and simply tried to be comfortable as a third wheel when they hung out as a group. When they first told him about their relationship, Saskue asked if he was mad. Naruto's response had hurt.

"To be honest I think part of my crush might have just been me wanting to one up you Saskue, I guess in my 11 year old head if I could steal your girl It would make me better." He scratched his cheek as he said that and they all laughed. Sakura ended up laughing so hard that tears fell out of her eyes. Ok that was a lie. She had simply used that as an excuse for the tears she had been unable to hold in. It had probably been that moment that turned her affection toward the blond into a partial obsession. As if some part of her had always been supported by his affection in their younger days, and was falling apart now that she knew it to be fake, that part of her couldn't function without his support and affection and was scrambling to regain it. Sometimes she wondered if the majority of her confidence had come from the knowledge that he loved her.

While she was thinking back on her love life, a muttering voice had been talking across the table from her, an unusually long chain of stuttering broke Sakura out of her thoughts and the Pinkette accidentally projected her anger on the interruption. "God Hinata, If you're so worried about those damn fangirls why don't you just go fuck Naruto's brains out so he can't focus on other girls." Sakura bit out and snapped her chopsticks. She had been half listening to her friend's rambling about “hussies stealing her man” and while she sympathized with the girl she could also totally understand those girls who practically threw themselves at Naruto. The poor Hyuuga let out a squeak and began to poke her fingers together.

Shit, now Sakura felt bad. She let out a sigh and pressed her palm to her forehead. They had both gotten back from a long mission together and were stopping by a 24/7 ramen cafe for a late night meal. It had been a long and cold trip, and she hadn't had any time before or on the mission to deal with her anger with Saskue. She may not have liked him very much, but him assuming she loved him and then rejecting her because she was "bad for breeding" really made her want to punch something. Hard.

Hinata chose that moment to speak up, "B-b-but we aren't even dating or anything. I don't think he even notices me. B-besides I can't even sit alone in a room with him without freezing up. Even just talking about this is making me stutter like when I was younger." Hinata went from embarrassed to annoyed as she talked. The situation obviously bothersome enough to the girl to make her forget how shy she was. Sakura was partially reminded of the alternate Hinata she and Naruto had met when they went into the Genjutsu world where he had his parents. While her own Hinata's self confidence (or lack thereof) made the girl shy, the blue haired girl had quite the backbone when in the right mindset. She had gotten better over the years about asserting herself when it mattered, but still had trouble with being self confident in the small matters of day to day life.

They sat there in silence and Sakura looked out the window to the book store across the street. She couldn't decide if she should laugh or roll her eyes at the sight. On the snowy sidewalk outside was a short line of chairs and a tent set up in front of the bookstore. In the front of the line stood Kakashi with a large scarf instead of or over his mask. He seemed to be talking to Kiba who was resting against Akamaru as they both sat down in the snow. Behind them were a few people she didn't recognize and she thought she saw Konohamaru's tutor but the man had a trench coat on and was hiding his face.

There was a New Icha Icha being released at midnight and a line of perverts was camped outside in the snow in anticipation. The weirdest part was that the bookstore was actually open and they could have waited inside, but that would require thinking and all their blood seemed to be going to the wrong head. She looked at the store window and saw the poster for the new book. "Icha Icha Threesome" She couldn't help but hold back a blush at the image. There was a tall man with long red hair, wrapping his arms around a shy pale girl with long light pink hair, and a tan girl with short blue hair and a circle mark on her forehead.

The illustration made her blush. Sakura had always had some bisexual feelings. She had never acted on them per say, but looking back it seemed pretty obvious that her initial reason to chase Saskue was due to a suppressed crush on Ino. The psychology classes on behavior and sexuality had been quite awkward for the young medic in training, its hard to be objective when you keep seeing your own history written in textbooks about sexual frustration and anger issues. She tried to imagine herself on the cover of the newly released book across the street and quickly realized something. One of the girls looked quite similar to her. Change the blue hair to Pink, the circle mark to her own diamond from the Creation Rebirth technique, change the outfit, and boom. You'd have her twin. Fuck, once you switched the hair colors the two girls almost looked like her and Hinata. Actually forget almost, it looked like someone had drawn them and then just made changes so it wouldn't be noticed, like some store brand version of a copyright cereal.

Hinata saw Sakura staring out the window and looked over. A blush adorned her face as she saw the line and the book it was for. "It looks like Naruto's book is coming out tonight." She casually mentioned. Sakura seemed to grow stiff at her words and turned to Hinata.

"What do you mean 'Naruto's book' ?" Sakura slowly asked, looking from Hinata to the poster as she did.

"W-well I'm not totally sure because of the pen name," Hinata paused as if now unsure if she was right "b-but we all know Jiraiya was the original author a-and when Naruto got back from a mission with me and team 8, Shino was impressed with Naruto's writing skills when we all wrote up reports." Hinata seemed to get lost in thought and Sakura cleared her throat at a dramatically loud volume. "O-oh sorry, anyways Naruto mentioned writing part of his sensei's books when he was training. A-at the time we thought he was talking about Kakashi,” Holy shit, Sakura had forgotten all about Kakashi's disastrous attempt at being an author, that was a memory that could stay repressed. “ b-but now with the series continuing after Jiraiya's death, it kinda seems like he had been helping Jiraiya and took over once we all had some free time." Hinata began to twirl her thumbs as if expecting Sakura to tell her that the whole thing sounded like a dumb idea.

Sakura sat frozen. The thought of Naruto writing those books wasn't a big deal. Well normally it wouldn't be. However Sakura's mind was very sharp, so whenever she got new information she looked at related or recent events to see if anything else became apparent with the new facts. It was a habit she had always had and was most applicable in school or research. Most of the time she sped through the obvious connections and found nothing before thinking of more and more complex ways to look at the available info. This time Sakura's train of thought was simple because the available information led her to an obvious conclusion. It went a little like this;

Problem: Sakura loves Naruto but can't get him to give her a chance. Hinata also loves Naruto but isn't confident enough in herself to try and take him.

New Info: Naruto writes the Icha Icha series. The new cover has two girls who look like alternate versions of Sakura and Hinata.

Conclusion Based on new info: Naruto at least subconsciously is attracted to the two. Naruto also just wrote an entire book about a threesome with the fake Hinata and Sakura, thus the attraction is likely something he is aware of. Therefore it is probable that Naruto is consciously attracted to Sakura and Hinata.

Solution to Problem: Threesome. Sakura uses Hinata to get a single night to prove her love to Naruto. Hinata uses Sakura to feel more confident in their combined seduction and gets a chance with Naruto. Naruto uses them both as his personal cumdumpsters for the rest of their lives.

Sakura shook her head at the last thought. Bad Sakura, you're a strong independent woman and shouldn't be turned on at the thought of him treating you like an object and dominated as his lust overflows and fil- No! Bad Fetish thoughts! Begone! Sakura blinked her eyes and looked back outside. The stationary line of perverts had turned into a flowing mob. It seemed it was now past midnight, and people were worried about the stock running out. Sakura made a snap decision and stood up, pushing her chair back.

"Excuse me Hinata, I'll be right back. I might have a solution to your problem." Hinata gave a small smile that was shy, hopeful, and curious, at topic of seducing Naruto. The busty Hyuuga absent mindedly nodded and watched Sakura walk towards the door. A bell chimed and the Pink Haired medic was out of sight. Hinata peered out the window to see if the girl was going to walk past their window, or if she was going the other way.

She sipped her tea as she saw Sakura pass the window. The girl made an odd sight in her heeled shoes and tight leggings despite it being a cold winter, as her taijutsu style involved too many high axe kicks to wear any thicker and restrictive material. The pink haired girl crossed the street with a sway in her step, and then turned toward the crowd, stepping off the sidewalk and making her way across the road. Hinata gave a half frown. If she was going that way it would probably have been quicker to cross the street after the mob. Sakura would probably have a hard time getting past them to continue walking.

Hinata's internal confusion was answered as she saw Sakura begin pushing through the crowd. Hinata almost laughed as her friend vanished from sight but could still be tracked by the moving geyser of flying bodies. A few minutes later Sakura walked back out. Her face neutral as if nothing had happened. The only evidence of the event was a small brown paper bag that was something she had bought in the book store, oh and of course the piles of groaning bodies from her short rampage.

Hinata blinked her eyes at the strange sight she'd seen and just stared ahead at the empty seat, anticipating her companion's return and explanation for the comical scene. A good 30 seconds passed and the ring of the door bell sounded before Sakura was back in the seat across from the Hyuuga, a smug smile on the Medic's face and the bag in her hands. The two of them stared at each other and a good 20 seconds passed before Hinata let out a sigh.

"You're going to make me ask aren't you?" Hinata said, Sakura gave a cheery nod and the bluenet wanted to role her pale eyes. "You know I could just look through your bag right?" She said, trying her best to give Sakura a deadpan look. Hinata failed to keep her face still as a small smile crept onto her lips. It was really nice to be this comfortable around Sakura. The girl was probably her best friend and had shared an apartment since Hinata left the Hyuuga clan over an arranged marriage. The announcement had shocked those in the clan and those out of it that knew her. All her life the girl had bent over backwards to make her family proud, until one day she flat out left after over a seemingly small issue. After all, arranged marriages were still somewhat common and by no means were the most barbaric thing that one would have to put up with in that family.

However, it had been pretty simple to Hinata at the time. The contract was to the nephew of the lightning country damiyo. Naruto didn't have an uncle and thus was not the nephew mentioned in the contract. The contract was to the Hyuuga heiress and mentioned no specific name. Hinata was the heiress. The position could only be changed if the elders said so, she died, or she was banished. She wasn't an elder and couldn't resurrect herself. The obvious answer was to leave the clan, effectively banishing herself.

Hinata smiled more to herself as she remembered her first night staying with her best friend. She had felt guilty for being selfish and abandoning her 'family', until Sakura slapped some sense into her before shouting "If those idiots want to be a clan instead of a family then its their fault when you play by the same rules!" Those words had lifted a weight off Hinata's shoulders and had begun their transition from comrades/old classmates, to friends who were closer than sisters.

"You know If you had just asked you would know by now." Sakura was bouncing a bit in her seat. Hinata wanted to laugh, it seemed her friend had seen her brief space out as some nefarious plot to avoid needing to ask what was in the bag. The Hyuuga leaned forward as if sharing a secret. And let out a tiny giggle at their over serious attitude.

"Alright, tell me the super secret book you just bought." Hinata whispered across the table. Sakura nearly jumped with energy and tore an orange book out of the bag. Hinata quickly recognized the cover as the novel they had just been talking about earlier. Sakura placed it down on the table with a look of triumph. "U-um Sakura, I know we talked about giving each other time to release stress in the apartment without the other one there to interrupt, b-but I don't think you really need to be showing me the things you buy for your alone time." Hinata was equal parts confused and embarrassed, and a slight bit turned on, even if that part was so small and repressed that she herself didn't notice. Her face was heating up and she had to resist the urge to clap her cheeks with her palms and hide in her hands like she had as a kid. They were both aware of what each other did with their personal time but that was no reason to show her specifically what was happening.

"N-no Hinata not that," Sakura's face turned pink and in a comical way it became hard to tell where her cheeks ended and her bangs began, if you kinda squinted your eyes, and it was dark out, and you needed glasses. Skin and hair looked very different after all, but the colors were still comically similar so the point remained. Sakura ran through a set of three handsigns before using an old academy genjutsu “Image color swap”. The genjutsu served as one of the first external chakra techniques a ninja would learn. It could only change colors of two things on a printed image, but it did help train the students to later use the henge, or illusion clone. It was so simple that she didn't need to call out the name or put much effort in, but she'd never needed to use it much so she still ran through the handsigns.

Hinata resisted the knee jerk reaction to flip her byakugan on for a moment to dispel the genjutsu. She recognized the handsigns and assumed Sakura wanted to show her something. The hair colors on the two swapped, then the man's shirt turned orange and his hair blond. Finally the provocative clothing on the two women became a light purple for one, and a crimson red on the other. Hinata blushed at the sight. Now the cover looked like a long haired, no whiskered Naruto. Who was wrapping an arm around a sluttier version of herself and Sakura. Hinata's thighs squirmed at the thought and her face went red again. She focused on cooling the heat rushing to her cheeks and refused to acknowledge the heat rushing further down and between her legs. The poor girl couldn't decide what part was worse, the picture of herself in such indecent clothing, the fake Naruto grabbing her, the fact that the fake Naruto was also grabbing Sakura, or the fact that her friend still hadn't explained what the book was for.

"Umm, how does this solve my problem of not being able to get Naruto?" Hinata asked with a bit of a raised eyebrow.

Sakura's earlier confidence had left her. She had been so excited over the original idea, and was brainstorming ideas to seduce Naruto while she'd been grabbing the book. Unfortunately she had somewhat skipped the step where she was supposed to slowly convince Hinata first. Sakura realized she didn't have a clue how to talk Hinata into going for the plan. She had just assumed the girl would. That may sound like she was pushing the girl around, but it was more like the idea of the three of them together seemed right and she hadn't even considered the fact that Hinata might not see it the same way. And was now up creek without a paddle. Well too late to back down now.

Sakura let out a long breath. "W-well I was sort of thinking I c-could help you seduce Naruto by o-offering to join in f-for-for ForAThreesomeWithYouTwo!" Sakura rushed the last part out a little too loud and covered her mouth and spun around to look at the room, no one else seemed to have heard but Hinata had obviously understood and was staring at her, bykugan active and no emotion visible on her doll like face.

Sakura rushed to 'explain' her motivation "I-I mean it would just be like a one time thing. I'm not trying to steal him from you or anything. I really don't have any feelings for him. I-I really think you both would be happy with each other, a-and you'd said you were nervous being alone and didn't think you could seduce and I wanted to help you out. A-and If you're really worried about him not getting turned on we could even put on a little show, j-just to get him interested." Sakura rushed through her recently thought out story. She'd had to make it up on the fly and was somewhat talking as she thought. As a result she had also accidentally mentioned some lesbian play with Hinata. Talk about a Freudian slip. It honestly hadn't been part of the original plan but she wasn't thinking and now couldn't stop blushing at the idea.

Hinata sat there frozen and closed her eyes. While she was no longer in the Hyuuga clan she still had been trained by them. Her eyes could pick up on small tells very easily. There were many twitches and gestures when lying that Ninja trained to suppress, however there was a whole slew of other internal indicators that only someone with the Byakugan would be able to see.

Hinata closed her eyes and began to mentally go over Sakura's story on bit at a time. "It would just be a one time thing", Lie. "I'm not trying to steal him", Truth. "I don't have feelings for him", Lie. Hinata twitched at this one but moved on. "I think you would both be happy with each other", Truth. "We could put on a show to get him interested." Half Truth, it was true but there was some other motive.

Hinata tried to process what had happened. She looked down at the novel in thought as her mind worked a mile a minute. Sakura wanted them to have a threesome with Naruto. Sakura liked Naruto. Sakura wanted Naruto and Hinata to be happy together. Sakura wasn't trying to steal him. Sakura didn't want it to be a one night stand. Hinata tried to sort out what it all could mean.

She continued to stare at the book and absent mindedly wondered what it could be about. She knew she was derailing her train of thought, but needed to calm down before she could sort through the mess in her head. She had read the new Icha Icha books once or twice and something Naruto changed was the character's relationships. Naruto's stories always had the sex scenes lead to long lasting love, rather than meaningless flings.

With that in mind she wondered how he could possibly write a story based on a threesome. If the girls were supposed to both sleep with him, and the sex scenes always lead to a relationship, would one guy be dating both girls at once? Hinata wanted to scoff at the idea, it seemed nearly impossible. First the guy would need to have some reason for falling for two women. If it "just happened" there would be no guarantee he would stay loyal to the two instead of just falling for more women. There would have to be some factor that made him fall for different girls, but wouldn't make him cheat on those two. Maybe if he was emotionally stunted, hadn't realized what love was, then by the time he knew what his feelings for the two meant, they were already too strong to give up.

On top of that the girls would need to be friends themselves. They would practically, or literally live together so they'd need to be on good terms. Maybe it would work if the two had know each other before the whole situation. They should also probably be different, It would make more sense for him to not pick favorites if they served different roles in his life. One could be shy and soft while the other was confident but brash at times.

Hinata blinked her eyes. She felt really dumb. Sakura wanted the three of them to have a long term relationship. It had taken the stupid porn book for her to realize it, but it was the only conclusion that made sense. Hinata looked up at the pink haired girl, she was biting her plump lips and looking at Hinata with wide emerald eyes. Hinata felt herself heat up at the idea. As a young genin, she would have said yes to the idea, purely out of fear Sakura would just take Naruto herself. As a Chunin, Hinata wouldn't have known Sakura enough to trust the other girl with Naruto's wounded heart, so she would have said no. However now Hinata was a Jounin and she didn't know what to think. As the snow fell, Hinata looked to her best friend. Hadn't she basically described their situation as the best way for a three person relationship to work? Her guessing at the book's plot had basically been her describing the scenario they actually lived in.

Hinata closed her eyes. She pictured herself and Naruto lying in bed. Her head on his shirtless chest with his prosthetic arm around her back. The white sheets under them made Hinata's short hair noticeable, she'd never wanted short hair after growing it out, but for some reason it seemed to fit with her older self. The couple opened their eyes and Naruto turned his head toward Her imaginary future self. The husband and wife shared a loving kiss, and the real Hinata had a small smile on her face.

Suddenly the dream couple were grabbed from Naruto's other side, and a pink missile flopped onto them. Lying half across, half ontop of the two was an older Sakura who was pouting for being left out. The imaginary daydream zoomed out to show the blond embracing both girls as the trio began to chat and wake up slowly. The small smile on Hinata's face grew much larger at the new image. She knew it sounded weird and she should probably be mad at Sakura for having a crush on Naruto. But the thought of all three of them sharing a bed, a house, a family, their lives, their loves, It just seemed right. Hinata had made her decision.

Sakura was getting worried as the silence stretched. She wanted to curl up punch herself in the head, it had been a dumb idea. She had known that from the start but the thought of being able to have the love of her two most precious people was too tempting to pass up. Tears began to well up as she saw her best friend stand up to leave. Sakura wanted to die, she had been selfish and ruined another friendship because she couldn't keep herself from going after a boy. It was just like the academy all over again. The fact that she had crushed on both of the girls she made enemies of almost made Sakura laugh. Her love life really was fucked up. Her eyes began to blur and Sakura could feel a meltdown coming when a small hand was placed on her shoulder.

Sakura looked up and saw Hinata staring into her eyes. "Come on silly," Hinata pulled the zombie like girl out of the chair "the lingerie store closes at 2 am, and If we're going to get ourselves a boyfriend, we're gonna do it right." Hinata said this as if talking about deciding what food to eat for lunch. Sakura started getting pulled along in confusion at the sudden twist in events. Even in this state Sakura's analytical mind was processing what she had heard.

"W-wait, don't you mean we're getting you, your boyfriend?" Sakura questioned. The situation had shut down any conscious filter and she had just blurted the question out the second it entered her thoughts. Hinata turned around with a smirk.

"Nope, I meant we are going to go Both seduce Naruto and show him how much we Both love him."  Hinata said this with a strange amount of confidence and looked right into Sakura's eyes. "Don't forget, my eyes see everything." Hinata flashed her Byakugan and gave Sakura a quick peck on the lips. The medic's blush told Hinata that all her assumptions earlier had been right, including the one about what the ulterior motive was for wanting to put on a lesbian show for Naruto. Hinata had never thought of herself as attractive, she had hoped maybe Naruto would one day overlook how unattractive she was and like her, but the ex-Heiress had never even considered her body being a turn on for anyone. It was kind of exciting.

Sakura's blush filled her with more excitement and confidence. If any of their friends had seen them on that night, they would swear the two girls had swapped bodies. Hinata walking confidently with purpose as she pulled a blushing and stuttering Sakura around into some very intimate stores that were on the boarder of the red light district.

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Naruto fell onto his back and his muscles seemed to melt into the bed. He put his arm to his face and let out a long breath. This wasn't what he wanted. His whole life he had wanted to be a hero, but he had been an idiot. Old man Hiruzen had once told him that, to the Hokage, the whole village was a family to take care of and love.

Young dumb Naruto had taken that at face value, but now that he had the attention of the masses he realized he had been wrong from the start. He didn't actually have a family, there was no one to come home to, no one to hold him as he slept, no one who loved him. Sure he might treat them all as family, as in someone he was related to who he would protect. But it wasn't family.

A tear drop escaped his eye and he rolled over with his face down as he thought about the people who he cared for.

Saskue was out of the village again but this time Naruto didn't care. Much like his dreams, his feelings for Saskue had been misunderstood as the feeling of family when in reality they had just been the feeling of competition and the barest level of mutual understanding, or at least that's what he told himeslf. Anything else would mean that the only person he thought of as family had abandoned him twice, and that hurt too much to think about.

Kiba had been somewhat close to him in the academy, but they had very much grown apart over the years. In their teens Kiba had seemed mad at Naruto all the time. Thanks to his negative emotion sensing he now knew it was fueled by jealousy over something and brushed it off as Kiba wanting to be the hero or alpha male or something.

Choji and Shikamaru were both really nice and fun to be around, however the pair had both becomes representatives for the leaf in other villages. Choji off in Kumo and Shikamaru in Suna. It was nice to hang out with the two when they were around, but so much of that time was taken by them making up for business with their respective clans.

He honestly had no Idea what Shino was up to and Ino seemed to be stuck to Sai. Sure they were both around, which was nice, but Naruto had never been close to either of the two. He was friendly with them but felt like he was talking to strangers, or distant relatives at best. Sai's inability to understand and Ino's inability to shut up, making it impossible for him to ever open up around the two.

He thought about the people besides the Rookies. The Konohamaru gang were all off on missions these days. The little guy was kicking his progression into high gear in an attempt to pass up "The boss". Naruto had to laugh a little, he remembered their old promise to fight for the position of Hokage. Naruto didn't know if he even wanted the seat anymore. His original driving desire for family no longer had any attachment to the hat. He now knew that it wouldn't make him suddenly grow closer to everyone, if anything the work would probably isolate him more. Speaking of Hokage there was Kakashi, who was almost an uncle or another partial father figure. However needless to say, he was always busy these days as “Lord 6th”, the fact that Danzo was effectively written out of history always made Naruto grin. Honestly there were people and villains objectively worse than the old man, but he was just such a dick that it was hard to not hate him more than any of the others, even in death.

Naruto's thoughts drifted towards Tsunade and his heart pulled in pain. After the war they had gotten into a massive fight. Naruto had felt betrayed that Tsunade hadn't trusted him to be strong enough, and had gone with the Raikage to stop him and bee. It had hurt the young man a surprising amount. He hadn't realized that Tsunade had become like a mother to him and the feeling of her not believing in him was crushing at the time. But both of them were afraid of showing their emotions for various reasons, and it seemed like the bond they'd had was withering away.
Now, years later, Naruto knew why she had done it. The last time Tsunade had said goodbye to a spiky haired sage she loved, Jirayia had been killed. He realized now that she was afraid of history repeating itself and he could understand it. However their fight had been vicious and even years later Naruto didn't know how to fix the rift between them, so he just didn't.

There were only two people who could twist his heart more than Tsunade, Hinata and Sakura. What was it with him and attractive girls who could kill him with their bare hands. He felt so many ways about the two, for so many reasons. Both had at one point confessed their love for him but he had acted upon neither.

With Hinata it was a lack of trust, he believed that she thought she loved him, but Naruto was convinced she only loved the idea of him. In those days so soon after Jiraiyia's death he'd had a stupidly depressing mental state. If he'd faced his inner self at the waterfall he would have failed a thousand times. So he was convinced that she only liked the overly positive side of him and would reject the rest. He told himself the girl was just confused and when she never brought it back up he told himself he had been right.

With Sakura it was again a lack of trust, but this time in himself. He had known she cared for him to some extent but also felt sure that she loved Saskue far more. If he had accepted her then, there would have been no way for him to accept her and Saskue dating when they eventually did. When they got together he told himself he had been smart and was able to hold back tears as he lied about his feelings, brushing them off as a joke and a mistake.

That didn't change the fact that both girls had told him they loved him. Those words held a lot of weight to Naruto. Even if he told himself they weren't real feelings of love, the simple phrase uttered by the two girls still sat on his chest. No one had ever spoken those words to him before that time or after. Sure Iruka probably had some sibling or fatherly love for him, Jiraiya and he had been almost like a traveling father and son, and regardless of her feelings now Tsunade had cared for him at one point. But none of them had ever said it to him. That one magic word had only ever passed the lips of those two girls. It may sound silly considering he rejected them, but even now the sound of their voices speaking those words to him filled his thoughts and dreams. The words lay heavy on his heart and began to sink down. Their weight seemed to push the feeling they gave deep into his heart until it seemed a part of his very soul.

Naruto laughed at the stinging pain his train of thought had brought. How pathetic could someone get? Sitting there falling in love with two different girls over some simple words. Words that he was sure weren't true. Words He had immediately rejected. Words he longed to hear again. If anyone else was in his shoes they would brush off the memories as cheap emotions from naive young girls, a poor imitation of true love. But to Naruto, that cheap imitation was all he had. He felt alone in the world as his smiles and laughs began to look more and more like they did as a child.

He wasn't suicidal and he wasn't “wearing a mask.” his optimistic cheerful nature was part of him. But there was a difference between hoping things would be better and believing it. Right now all he could do was hope. He knew that there were others who had it worse. His life was pretty good and he could deal with it. But that didn't mean he wasn't lonely.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ =^_^= ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AN: So a couple final things to address. Naruto, Hinata and Sakura are all acting different from cannon. This isn't because I just decided to make them different, the first draft had them much more in line with their manga/anime selves. However as their past and current surroundings became more fleshed out, it didn't make sense to keep them as our boi Kishi wrote them. I'll go through them in the order they appeared.
Cannon Sakura is much more confident than “my” Sakura. My mental reasoning for this is that Sakura's confidence springs from her position above others. I don't mean shes a dick, I mean that the fact that shes the only one with a boy crushing on her as a kid (that we know of), and then in cannon, the fact that she gets Sasuke, both make her confident in her self worth. In this story she has lost both of those things and is very consciously aware of it. If you add in the fact that her confession to Naruto was more real here than in cannon, thus making his rejection hurt more, then her lowered confidence makes sense. While this may seem like a bit too much self psychoanalysis, she is closer to Ino (who comes from a clan that focuses on the mind) than she is in cannon so theres your arbitrary reason for it.
Cannon Hinata is painfully shy. Well actually she kinda isn't. She's only really shy in the beginning of the series, filler episodes, and early shippuden. I could write a 5 page paper about how they ruined her character development just for comedic effect after the time skip, I could rant about that for hours. But to avoid inflating my word count with an authors note, I'll just say that Cannon Hinata was more confident than some of the joke scenes suggest, and the rest of the difference can be explained by her independence. Hinata was always fierce when backed into a corner and the marriage contract in this story did that, forcing her to “grow a pair”. I'm not going to have her be 100% confident, but she'll have a backbone here. As a general rule of thumb, Hinata is the confident one in stressful or personal situations, and Sakura is the confident one the other 85% of the time

Finally Naruto. My one of only reviews (as of now) is someone bringing up the point that Naruto is far, far more introspective here than in cannon. The reasoning for this comes down to three major things. First, there's nothing to do. I don't mean that literally but for most of the series Naruto is being tossed into deeper and deeper pools and made to swim. All his decisions are reactions, but when the fighting stops, he has to start acting because there's nothing there to react to. Second, his emotional sensing. I think a lot of general immaturity stems from emotional immaturity. If Naruto can now feel the (negative)emotions of those around him, id be shocked if he didn't have a spike in maturity. Finally is the fact that he is fundamentally alone. Part of that is the logical conclusion of the events in the story, he can't be friends with Sakura because their emotions are too charged for them to be comfortable, and partially its by design on my end. This leaves him with a lot more time to reflect inwards as he cant just throw his thoughts out and see how they bounce off those around him.

I hope this explains any “ooc” -ness in any of the characters. Sorry for the long authors note. I always hate it when I'm reading a good chapter and think there's a lot left only to realize that the last ¼ isn't the story. But hey, if you're feeling that way, it means you liked the story and want more.

Also quick little side note, the “My eyes see everything” line is a reference to Naruto Shippuden, Clash of Ninja Revolution 3. It was a game I played for probably a good thousand hours with my friend and is what got me seriously into Naruto. My friend played Neji a lot who had this voiceline “I see everything, Rotation!” whenever he used his counter, so the line has always been stuck in my head.

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