|First Try: Team Tetsuo
Author: Lucillia PM
Kakashi was a bit late to fill out a bit of paperwork, and as a result, Tetsuo manages to keep his student and gain that year's Rookie of the Year and Top Kunoichi. With what he sees as a potential dream team, or at least one that won't drag Naruto down, he decides to prepare them for the Winter Chunin Exams that are coming up in two months. Diverges from First Try Chapter 11.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Naruto U. & Sasuke U. - Chapters: 36 - Words: 81,185 - Reviews: 1,035 - Favs: 1,190 - Follows: 1,307 - Updated: 05-10-13 - Published: 06-29-12 - id: 8270212
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Yamanaka Inoichi sighed as he filled out the paperwork that was sitting on his desk, while he waited for, but didn't particularly anticipate. what was to come in a few short hours because, at some point today or perhaps early tomorrow, he would be dealing with Naruto, which was never fun. Dealing with Naruto was like a highwire act at the best of times, and right now wasn't the best of times since, by all accounts, Naruto had been on a mission that would give even seasoned Jounin issues.
When he'd first encountered the boy earlier this year after that debacle in Kiri, the child had had the most precarious mental balance of anyone he'd encountered who wasn't stark raving mad. Since then, he'd been working on carefully integrating the darker parts of the boy's psyche before they jumped out of hiding and took him over in the middle of a mission or something. If Naruto had gotten to him any later than he had, it was entirely possible that all of those things that the boy had been trying to repress would have broken off and formed an entirely new personality. As it was, it had been a close thing, and integrating the repressed memories and emotions without driving the boy over the edge of madness was long, hard, and delicate work. This last mission could have undone a great deal of the progress he'd made with the boy over the last several months.
The fact that he constantly had to watch over his shoulder because the Kyuubi was capable of appearing in the boy's mindscape didn't help matters at all.
After he dealt with Naruto today, he would be dealing with the boy's teammates, Uchiha Sasuke, the boy Ino had a crush on, and Haruno Sakura, Ino's little friend whom she'd been feuding with over said crush for the last year or so. He wasn't looking forward to seeing them either. Especially since he'd be mentally exhausted from dealing with Naruto when he did and, by all accounts, both of them had serious issues that needed to be worked through, issues that had not been helped by the mission they hadn't been ready for, but had been forced to undertake nonetheless.
Today was most definitely not going to be a good day. And, if Team Tetsuo didn't return by this evening, tomorrow wouldn't be either.
"So, are we going to ambush them?" Kisame asked from where he was hidden in a tree, watching the trail that led to Konoha.
"No Kisame." Itachi replied, carefully studying the group that was traveling along the path he and his teammate were hidden alongside.
Sasuke looked to be in bad shape based on the way he was leaning in close to Kakashi-sempai for comfort the way a number of his teammates had after a difficult mission, but he didn't look to be broken yet. At this point, the motivation he had been considering giving his little brother if he thought he needed it would break him rather than build him back up, which was something neither of them needed. Based on the tensing of Kakashi-sempai's and the other Jounin's shoulders, and the way Naruto was sniffing the air like a dog or some other wild animal, they could sense that someone was there, and it was making them nervous. Seeing as his presence could be detrimental at the moment, and nothing would be gained from a fight, he decided that it was time to leave.
The time he had spent heading out to rescue Sasuke who had proven not to need a rescue since his team had it handled hadn't entirely been wasted though. By seeing Sasuke and his teammates, he had gotten a reminder of exactly what he was fighting for. He was fighting for his brother, who should have been seeking comfort in his presence rather than Kakashi-sempai's, he was fighting for little Naruto, who had grown up to become a warrior, and he was fighting for all of his other comrades like the pink haired girl and the other Jounin, and most of all, he was fighting for the villagers of Konoha which was a ways up the road.
"Let's go Kisame." he said to his partner who looked to be gearing up for a fight. A fight that he'd be forced to interfere with and win for his brother's sake if it came down to it.
"So, what was that about?" Kisame asked as he followed his partner, who he had begun to think of as a friend, away from what looked like it would have been a fun fight, giving him one chance to tell him the truth, or their quasi-friendship was over.
He hated it when people lied to him, and it looked as if that had been what Itachi had done. On the way through Fire Country, when they'd stopped to eat, he had heard some rather interesting rumors. Rumors of a fight that turned into a massacre that had supposedly involved a Uchiha. A Uchiha who wasn't Itachi, despite the fact that Itachi had supposedly slaughtered his entire clan. He had joined the Akatsuki to get away from the lies, and help create the world without lies that Madara had envisioned. He wouldn't have a partner who lied to him while he was here.
"It would seem that my little brother didn't need my help after all." Itachi replied in that flat, emotionless tone of voice that gave him the creeps.
"Excuse me," he said, wondering if he heard the teenager right "But, your little what? !"
"My younger brother Sasuke." Itachi replied tonelessly as if he were discussing the price of dango in Tea Country, not the fact that the Uchiha clan wasn't as extinct as he'd been led to believe, and that Itachi had left at least a little brother behind.
"I thought you killed your entire clan aside from Madara." he said, wondering why he hadn't heard of this Sasuke kid before, especially considering how closely related to Itachi he was. "Are there any other Uchiha running around that I should know about?"
"Considering clan policy on bastards, I think it would be safe to say that the answer is no." Itachi replied as he made his way in the direction of the job they had been heading towards when Itachi had gone running back to Fire Country, apparently out of concern for his little brother, whom he'd spared when he'd slaughtered the rest of the clan including his own parents for some strange reason.
He would be having a long talk with his partner. They had all the time they needed, since Itachi had more than doubled their journey to Kumo, and there was nothing else for them to do on the way.
The Saida town Headman Ikari Denmaru scowled as he sorted through the papers that had been found in the merchant's rooms by the innkeeper who had brought the man's exceedingly spoiled children back to his rooms because they had been causing mischief. Amongst the man's contacts was the name of an infamous slave trader who was wanted in at least seven countries, and amongst the contracts the man had filed away was a tentative agreement for a possible B Ranked mission to rescue the man's two brats that had been dated the morning after the kidnapping, which had been signed by one of the Konoha ninja who had been acting as a representative of Konoha.
It had been as the ninja who had brought the man's children home had said. The merchant had used them all to stiff the ninja, not caring about the potential consequences to the town should the ninja choose to object to the treatment they had received. Based on the stories that were coming out of the southern part of Hot Water Country, the ninja could have killed them all without even breaking a sweat had they so chosen. Instead, they had risked their lives to rescue the merchant's children. And, how did the man repay them? With cruelty and rocks.
Most shamefully of all, they had helped him.
They would have to be more careful who they let into their town in the future. It was bad enough that several of their children had died because a criminal organization had decided to kidnap a bunch of Genin and a wealthy merchant's children for ransom. Having said merchant exploit the deaths of their children in order to stiff the ninja who had rescued his children as well as their Genin was worse, much, much, worse. The next time they held this festival, they would be more careful when they vetted the merchants they invited since inviting the wealthiest merchants they could think of hadn't worked out so well. The super-wealthy merchant that they had thought would bring in a great deal of money and bankroll future festivals had turned out to be thieving, slaving, criminal scum.
Coming to a decision, he wrote a letter, and handed it to his fastest runner to carry to the Capitol. Until the man returned with the Fire Lord's decision, the merchant would be held in the village on charges of theft, public disturbance, and inciting a riot, and his new quarters would be nowhere near as nice as this inn was.
Futoru Kinmaru smirked as he saw the mob heading towards him. The stupid back-country bastards who had failed to deal with the ninja as he'd hoped may think they had the upper hand now but, in the end it would be them who would be paying, and paying dearly. He may not have been say Gato for instance but, he had more thugs in his employ than this town had residents, and could hire as many as he wanted to with all of the money he had. These people would regret turning on him.
If they'd done what they were supposed to and followed his lead, he would have just bought up their town. Now however, now he was going to have to make an example of them, an example that would make people too afraid to oppose him as word of what he was going to do here spread.
"If you run me out of town, I'll just come back, and you won't want me to come back. There won't be a town left when I do." he said confidently.
"Run you out?" the man at the head of the mob said incredulously. "Why would we do something like that when we're here to arrest you?"
His smirk slipped slightly. This wasn't how these things went. It didn't matter though, his men would come to free him, and the example he made of them would be that much worse.
Renji smiled when the prognosis the doctor gave him was good. Mai would live. She would probably have a bit of a limp for the rest of her life, but she would live. He wouldn't have been able to live without his wife had she died. He and Mai had lived near each-other all their lives, played together every day as children, and had gone to the Academy together in those infamous days before Zabuza had forced reform by killing his entire graduating class to prove he had what it took to be a ninja. It had been Mai who had saved his life during their graduation exam.
Unitl Mai recovered, they would be staying here in Yugakure. The hot springs that surrounded the village could only help with Mai's recovery, and this would be his and Mai's chance to take the honeymoon they'd never gotten because they had been too busy working, and then they'd been on the run after Zabuza had failed to kill the Mizukage who was being controlled by somebody who remained hidden in the shadows. Of course, the irony of the fact that a pair of missing-nin were staying in a former ninja village wasn't lost on him.
As soon as Mai was a bit better, this trip could prove to be a great deal of fun. Fortunately, Zabuza had left them with a little money, taking away that worry at least.
As he smiled down at Mai, who was the love of his life and always had been, she opened her eyes and smiled back up at him despite the pain she was still in. They were near complete opposites, with her being bloodthirsty and he a near pacifist, but he loved her anyway, and wouldn't trade her for the world.