|Keeping the Peace
Author: Chronic Hero PM
In a time of tension, the Hokage has commissioned Team Avatar (who are low on funds, as usual) to be the peacekeepers of the Chuunin exams. Aang and Zuko meet their match in Naruto and Sasuke respectively. Katara goes all gooey-eyed over Neji, and there's just the tiniest bit of TophXGaara and SokkaXShika. JUST BECAUSE.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure - Words: 1,246 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 9 - Published: 12-02-12 - id: 8760327
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
AN: This one isn't going to be continued; too much schoolwork for that! I wrote this one during summer school and thought I'd upload it, just 'cause :) Maybe I'll work on it during winter break—I really hope so.
"I can't believe it!" Aang chirped, "A place with real ninjas!"
A forest rushed by beneath Appa; bored as usual, Toph Beifong leaned back, rolling her eyes. "What's so special about this Konohagakure place? There are a whole bunch of other ninja villages, you know."
"Yeah, but we were hired to guard the Chuunin exams! Nobody outside of the villages has ever seen any of their traditions before!"
Toph suddenly jolted upright. "Guys! Pull Appa down. There's something big going on down there."
Bewildered, Aang complied and slowly steered Appa to the ground.
"Wow, look at this place!" Sokka grinned and looked around. Katara rolled her eyes. "Don't do anything stup—oh, and he's gone. Anyway, what were you saying, Toph?"
Toph furrowed her brows, concentrating, before a massive smile spread across her face. "There's an earthbender here! A really good one!" With a stomp of her foot, a block of paved ground catapulted her away. Aang and Katara blinked at each other. "I'll, uh, wake Zuko," Aang volunteered.
"And I'll find the Hokage."
With that, the remaining Team Avatar members split up.
"What is that heavenly smell?" Sokka mused to himself, "And more importantly, where is it coming from?" Turning the corner, he caught sight of a ramen shop. Grinning to himself, Sokka bee-lined for it. He plopped down next to a trio consisting of a pretty blonde girl, a chubby kid with swirls on his face, and a guy who was evidently sleeping in his bowl of noodles.
The blonde, apparently deciding Sokka was cute, grinned flirtatiously. "Hi! Are you new in town?"
"Yeah. I'm Sokka. Nice to meet you!"
"I'm Ino Yamanaka." She nudged the sleeping guy awake. "These are my teammates, Shika-baka and Fatty."
"Choji," the chubby boy intervened. "Where are you from?"
"The Southern Water Tribe. Man, this is so cool! I've never met ninjas before!" Sokka waved at the shopkeeper and pointed at #23 on the menu.
"Eh? You mean you're not here for the Chuunin exams?" Ino's eyes widened.
Shika-baka or whatever his name was rolled his eyes. "How could you not tell? Look at the Water Tribe get-up. Obviously, he's here with the Avatar. Sokka the Swordsman, right? I'm Nara Shikamaru. Ignore these two idiots."
Sokka grinned. This Shikamaru guy... Smart and just the right amount of cocky. He liked it.
A little closer... The tremors suddenly skyrocketed and Toph had to catapult herself again to avoid a sudden wave of sand.
"Who's there?" A distinctly male voice called out.
Finding him with her feet, Toph dodged three more shots of sand in rapid succession as she made her way towards him. She could hear the mixture of amusement and annoyance in his voice. "That was rather impressive."
"Thank you. I thought I sensed an earthbender."
"An earthbender?" The boy sounded slightly confused. "I'm a sand ninja."
"Close enough. I'm Toph."
It took the boy a full minute to respond. "Gaara." His voice took on a malicious tone. "And I suppose you're here for the exams from the Hidden Rock?"
"Nope. I'm here to run the exams, from the Earth Kingdom."
She could feel his eyes boring into her face.
"Pity. Fighting you could have been interesting. Good instinct."
"Gaara!" Another voice yelled suddenly from behind Toph. "It's almost time to gather for the first round." She was female and sounded a little older than Katara.
Toph felt the newcomer walk around her, then to Gaara. "Is that the Hyuuga girl? You know, the one who's..." Ah, the all-too-familiar blanking out of the word 'blind'. Toph smirked.
"No." Gaara's voice held a bit of a cocky undertone. "Far more interesting." With that, the two disappeared.
"Come on!" Zuko grumbled. "Hurry up, we're going to be late!" He silently scolded himself for allowing Aang to look the street booths.
Aang turned to firebender, arms full of merchandise. "So many stores!"
Zuko grabbed him by the arm and dragged him off. "We have five minutes until gathering time, we don't know where Toph or Sokka are, and we still need to find somewhere to drop off Appa!"
"Fine..." Sullenly, Aang dropped the merchandise back onto the seller's booth.
Finally walking again, Aang was suddenly knocked to the ground.
"I'M SORRRRYYYYYYY!" A blonde boy raced away, yelling his apology over his shoulder.
"He must be late for the exam," Zuko commented.
"Let's help him!" Taking a running start, Aang motioned for Zuko to hang onto the glider, and they sped away.
"Hey!" Aang called as they caught up to the boy, "Need a lift?"
"Thanks!" He grabbed on just in time for an updraft. "Awesome! I'm sorry for knocking you down!"
Don't worry about it! I'm Aang."
"I'm Naruto!" The blonde stared at Zuko.
"Zuko," he finally muttered, a little uncomfortable hanging so close to the rambunctious young ninja.
"You remind me of one of my teammates... Oh, there he is!" Naruto pointed down to a black-haired boy who was leaning against one of the outer gates of the building. "Wanna drop me on hi?"
Aang laughed. "Sure! See you in there!"
With that, Naruto let go. "Thanks for the liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiift!"
As Aang and Zuko flew over the gate, a furious yell of "UZUMAKI!" rang out over the complex.
"So yes, assignments will be as such," the Hokage was saying, "You can help Ibiki in the classroom. Your earthbender and firebender can patrol the second round under Anko, and the swordsman can help Hayate referee the third."
"What about Aang?" Katara asked, already not-too-thrilled that Toph and Zuko got the job she had wanted.
"He'll be with the Kages. It is of utmost importance that they don't fight. We need someone—an outsider with insight into all the elements and who, most importantly, will be able to stop all the elements should a fight arise."
Katara frowned. "I'm not entirely sure Aang can handle something like that. I mean, he's responsible and fully able, but he's twelve. His maturity—"
"Maybe that's exactly what we need. A child to remind us to behave. You know," the Hokage chewed on his pipe, "what with the war happening, we ninjas tried out best to stay out of it but tensions are slowly slipping in. I hope you understand."
"I do. I'll go tell the Avatar then, and be off." Katara waited until she left the room before sighing. Making her way downstairs and then outside, she caught sight of threesome making their way to the exams. There was a young boy dressed entirely in an unflattering green bodysuit, a girl whose clothing and hair reminded Katara uncomfortable much of Ba Sing Se, and the most gorgeous guy Katara had ever seen. He looked in her direction at that moment, his pale eyes that reminded her of Toph's flickering from her head to toe in one all-too-short moment.
A moment later, he had swept into the exam building.