Disclaimer: The Naruto franchise is owned by Masashi Kishimoto, Shueisha, Studio Pierrot, TV Tokyo, and Viz collectively. Please support the official release.

Author's Note: So, this story was written because I lost a bet. Way back when the Naruto manga was in the middle of the Fourth Great Shinobi War, with all the ridiculousness of Madara and Black Zetsu and Kaguya and the Sage of Six Paths, I turned to my friend Igornerd and said something along the lines of, "Hey, I bet that the Sage's brother (Hyūga ancestor) is gonna possess Neji's dead body at some point in the manga." Whoever lost the bet would would have to write a 5K-ish story for the other person.

Obviously, I lost. Igornerd requested a crack-fic, the premise of which I'm not going to spoil in the author's note.


~o0O0o~

The Greatest Infiltration Ever

~o0O0o~

The months since Sasuke's defection from Konoha had been productive, to say the least. He was immediately taught to control his curse seal, and once that was mastered he'd moved on to the more conventional shinobi skills of taijutsu, ninjutsu, and genjutsu. Every waking moment was spent honing his skills, forging himself into the ultimate weapon.

Each day, he was one day closer to killing his brother.

He heard a sudden knocking at his door. That must be Orochimaru right now, even if he was behind schedule.

Sasuke jerked opened the door to his room with more than a little annoyance. "Orochimaru, you're la—"

He froze. Instead of his new mentor, standing before him in the pale fluorescent lighting of the hallway was his former teammate . . . disguised with a very bad fake mustache and a trench coat.

Naruto raised his hand in greeting, an obnoxious grin far too familiar on his face, even if most of it was covered by said mustache.

"Hey, bas—I mean Sasuke . . . sama." By Naruto's grimace, it was obvious that that was the absolute last thing that he wanted to say. "Snake-fa—I mean . . . Orochimaru-sama sent me to come get you!" Despite the remarkable attempts to be polite, Naruto couldn't quite reduce the volume of his voice. So basically, Sasuke opened the door to have a blond idiot screaming into his face.

The Uchiha prodigy blinked owlishly, not sure if he was just imagining things or not, dozens of questions—and threats of agonizing pain—running through his mind.

Then he decided that none of that mattered and shut the door in Naruto's face. This was obviously just a dream. A very, very weird dream.


This was not a dream. This was a fucking nightmare.

"Orochimaru," Sasuke ground out, "why are there Konoha shinobi here?"

"Hmm?" The Snake summoner tilted his head in bemusement. "Sasuke-kun, I'm afraid I don't know what you mean. If Konoha shinobi were here, they would all be spotted immediately, then summarily disposed of after being used in long and excruciating experiments."

"But—"

"Quite right, Great Leader! We would immediately spot those Konoha scum! Such is the prowess of the Sound nin!" bellowed the muscle-bound man dressed in a green leotard and a bowl haircut. In fact, the just about the only thing different about Gai was the fact that he was wearing a pair of fake glasses (complete with the nose) that were far too large for his face. Well, that and the Sound headband strapped to his arm.

While Sasuke puzzled over how the man wasn't stabbed on sight, Kabuto stepped forward, glasses flashing in the fluorescent lighting. "Orochimaru-sama, allow me to reassure you that our security is impenetrable. There is no possible way that a bunch of vagrants from Konoha could have snuck into our sanctuary."

Sasuke stared with disbelief. First at Orochimaru, then at Kabuto, and finally at the infuriatingly smug-looking Gai.

He turned and wordlessly left the room.


Sasuke rounded the corner on his way to his room, froze, then backpedalled a few steps. He turned to the girl who was so obviously staring at him (and were those hearts in her eyes?).

"Sakura, what do you think you're doing here?" he hissed. Seriously, how did all of these people from Konoha manage to break into here? This place was supposed to be top-secret!

"I-I'm not Sakura! My name is Cherry Blossom In The Wind!"

If there were any crickets in that concrete hallway, they would have sang like nightingales in the incredulous silence that followed.

Sasuke raised an eyebrow in an effort to convey his thoughts of 'how stupid are you?'. "Really? That's the name you chose?"

The girl blushed, but stubbornly stuck to what she'd said. "My name is Cherry Blossom In The Wind! I earned it when I overcame One Who Bullies Little Girls in my warrior trials!"

Sasuke stared. Sakura stared back, except that she was now smiling for some reason. That bothered him.

"You know," Sasuke said to fill in the uncomfortable silence, "just because you dyed your hair black and gave yourself a ridiculous pseudonym doesn't mean I can't recognize you. You have the same eyes, the same face, and even the same voice. Not to mention that Naruto and Gai-sensei have somehow followed you in."

Her smile turned blinding. "Awww, you recognized me? Sasuke-kun, that's so—" Her eyes widened, and she cut herself off mid-tirade. "Er, I mean, I have no idea who this Sakura person is! But she sounds gorgeous and you should definitely consider dating her!" She finished with a suggestive wink.

Sasuke deadpanned. "How on earth did you manage to get in here?"

"Isn't it obvious? It's because I'm such a strong and talented kunoichi! Just the kind of person that Orochimaru-sama is looking for! You like strong women too, don't you, Sasuke-kun?"

He was torn between laughing hysterically at what she'd just said and banging his head against the nearest wall.


"Orochimaru, I'm telling you, numerous Konoha shinobi have somehow infiltrated this base! One of them is standing right next to you!"

Orochimaru glanced over at Kakashi who merely shrugged in bewilderment. "Seems to me that all that tough training is getting to the boy, Orochimaru-sama. Prodigy or not, he'll be far more useful to you with a few days of rest."

"Yes, quite right, Bakashi." Orochimaru nodded to himself, then turned back to a seething Sasuke. "You get the next two days off as a recuperation period."

"I don't need any rest!" Sasuke snapped. "How can you not see that that man is Kakashi the copy nin?! He's not even wearing a disguise!"

Kakashi—or Bakashi, seriously, what kind of a name was Bakashi?—blinked. "The copy nin? Me? I wish I was that strong. Maybe then I'd be able to get a promotion."

"Kukuku," Orochimaru laughed, slitted eyes glinting with a murderous sort of amusement. "Prove your worth to me and I just might decide to give you a reward."

This was not happening.

Sasuke felt like tearing out his hair.


Sasuke slammed the door to room shut, then locked it. Then shoved the dresser in front of it for good measure.

Maybe if he went to sleep, everything would go back to normal by the time he woke up.

He had just slumped into bed when someone cleared his throat. Sasuke shot up, flinging half a dozen shuriken in the general direction of the noise as he did. When he'd finally regained his bearings, he realized that Shino was standing at the foot of his bed.

Of all the little—

"What are you doing here?" Sasuke demanded, enough venom in his voice to bring down an elephant.

Shino sighed a little before straightening, his dark glasses making him look far more creepy than he had any right to be. "I was assigned to find you by Orochimaru-sama, and I was waiting for you in your room." He casually plucked one of the shuriken out of his arm, and Sasuke saw something black and shiny (a lot of black and shiny somethings) writhing underneath the jacket. He quickly looked away, sudden nausea assailing him.

"But when you arrived," Shino continued, still removing Sasuke's shuriken from his person, "you didn't notice that I was here and proceeded to lock the door. Why? Because people never notice me." He finished with a dark glower that had Sasuke rather unnerved.


So it turned out that Sasuke didn't get any sleep that night. Even after he'd made Shino leave, he was far too paranoid to get any shut-eye.

That's why when he got up, his eyes were completely red—and not the Sharingan kind—with the darkest bags an Uchiha had suffered from in the past hundred years. He was also feeling rather cranky.

When the usual maid knocked and came in with his breakfast, he almost melted at the sight of hot food.

Then he heard her voice. "Open wide, Sasuke-kun!"

Sasuke went rigid and took a closer look at his once-familiar maid. Pupil-less teal eyes and platinum blonde hair that was pulled up in a high ponytail. "Ino?" he groaned.

Ino blinked owlishly. "I'd heard you were seeing your past friends everywhere. Perhaps you still have attachments to them?"

Friends? That almost made him laugh. But more importantly, "Ino, why are you wearing a fake mustache?"

The Yamanaka's hands shot to her face as she gasped in clearly forced horror. "Sasuke-kun, how rude of you! Some women can't help being born with facial hair!"

She turned and ran out the door, her fake sobs ringing in Sasuke's ears. The Uchiha rolled his eyes, then ate his breakfast. It tasted delicious.


Sasuke stepped into the sparring room, glaring as the boy across from him did the exact same thing, just with white eyes instead.

"You too, Neji? Is everyone from Konoha here? Should I expect Tsunade in the medical bay? Perhaps Iruka-sensei is teaching the mutant-children!" He laughed a hysterical sort of laugh that caused Neji to give him a bit of a strange look.

"To actually allow the stress to affect you like this." Neji shook his head in what Sasuke assumed was some kind of disappointment. "There are rumors you know," he continued, giving Sasuke a piercing stare. "They say you're going crazy. Seeing the people that you left behind in Konoha. It's truly sad to witness it firsthand," Sasuke watched unamused as Neji assumed what was obviously the Gentle Fist stance, then activated the Byakugan. How were people not seeing this?

"Orochimaru!" Sasuke called half-heartedly to the spectator booths. "Are you aware that Neji Hyuuga is my opponent?"

Orochimaru twitched, starting to get rather annoyed with this whole thing. "Sasuke-kun," he said, tongue lolling out menacingly, "if Neji Hyuuga were here, he would immediately be captured and and tortured since that Caged-Bird seal of his makes his Byakugan useless. After an appropriate amount of time, we would harvest his seed to produce children whose eyes aren't sealed, thus procuring an unlimited supply of Byakugan for future research."

Then Orochimaru tightened his grip on the railing, his face abruptly shifting into a snarl. "However, there is no Hyuuga here, you imbecile!" he roared. "Stop seeing things that aren't there!"

Sasuke's mouth dropped open.

Neji noticed. He smirked in that condescending way of his. "Tell me, Uchiha. Are you so surprised that people have noticed your insanity?"

Sasuke twitched. Then his eyes abruptly blazed red, and corrupted chakra surged through his form as the curse seal activated. "You—"


He was walking by past the prison cells when he heard her.

"A-And you'll all l-learn to fear m-me!"

Just . . . what?

He almost didn't turn around, wanting to spare himself from whatever the hell it was that he was about to see, but curiosity won out in the end.

Hinata dyed her hair blonde. Hinata dyed her hair blonde. What the hell?!

Sasuke approached her as though she were a stick of dynamite.

"Oi, girly," one of the prisoners called out. "Aren't you a bit too cute to be a guard?"

"I-I'll have you know th-that I'm incredibly vicious! You all should f-fear for your lives!"

Oddly enough, none of the prisoners seemed concerned. But Sasuke was fearing for his life. Hinata had dyed her hair blonde. And not only that, but she was punked out in a leather jacket.

And were those piercings?!

Screw that. Sasuke turned and sprinted the hell out of there.


"How the hell does the Hokage have time for some ridiculous infiltration mission?!"

Tsunade sniffed as she finished healing one of Orochimaru's many monstrosities which rawr'd appreciatively and waddled away with a bit less of a limp than it had before. "Well, Sasuke-kun, those are some incredible delusions. Perhaps you should come in yourself and have us take a look at you."

Sasuke stared, sharingan activating from frustration alone. "You're the Hokage," he repeated, seemingly unable to get over the fact, "and you have time to waste with bullshit like this? This is exactly why I left in the first place!"

"Well, kid, I don't know what you're smoking, but I'm not the Hokage. That woman is gorgeous."

Sasuke face-palmed. "All you did was wear some wig," he groaned. And it was true. Tsunade Senju's hair was now blue and in a high ponytail. "Why are none of you at least using a Henge? It would be less painful if it wasn't so obvious!"


It was a while before Naruto found him again. Sasuke wasn't pleased.

He was alone in one of the many caves, sitting on a concrete bench while staring as water dripped unendingly from the many stalagmites. The darkness was held at bay with florescent lighting, and an ever-present chill lingered against his skin.

"What do you want, Naruto?" he sighed. He'd more or less resigned himself to the fact that no one else would ever notice the presence of his former comrades from Konoha.

True to form, Naruto plopped down next to him on the bench without permission, his trench coat spilling over around him. "I'm not Naruto!" he shouted, echoes ringing unpleasantly against the cavern walls.

Sasuke winced. "I'm right next to you, you know. I can hear you just fine without you shouting."

Naruto shot him the evil eye, but he didn't shout, so Sasuke counted that a small victory. "Meh. Whatever, weird kid."

". . . Kid?" Sasuke growled.

"Well, yeah! I'm obviously older than you!" Naruto declared, gesturing towards his 'facial hair'. "And I'm probably way stronger, too!"

He didn't even care anymore. "Whatever, Naruto."

"For the last time, my name's not Naruto! Even though that's a pretty awesome name."

This dumbass.

"Hn."

"I'm Menma! Pleased to meet you!"

"I never asked."

"You're a rude little kid, aren't you?!"

"Hn."

Naruto glared at him again before apparently letting it go, and turned his head to stare into the darkness. "What are you even looking at? There's nothing there."

Sasuke marveled a little at how Naruto was able to speak without screaming at the top of his lungs, and almost considered saying it just to get under Naruto's skin. "Do I need to be looking at anything?"

Naruto looked at him like he'd grown a second head. "Why else would you be staring in the dark?" He shivered. "This place is creepy. Those pointy things all look like teeth."

"The stalagmites? You're afraid of rock formations?" Sasuke allowed a small amount of mockery to leak into his voice, and Naruto immediately snapped back.

"Shut up, you jerk! I bet you're afraid of something really stupid!"

As Naruto grew progressively louder, Sasuke fell into the old habit of ignoring everything his former teammate was saying.

Do you even care that I severed our bond?


After Sasuke got used to being around the people he'd tried so hard to abandon (and their horrible disguises), life more or less went back to normal. He once again dedicated every ounce of his being towards vengeance, absorbing new techniques and taijutsu styles with astonishing speed.

"Sasuke-san! You must become even faster to be able to face Itachi-san!"

Well, from time to time they got more than a little annoying. Sasuke hung like a bat from the ceiling of the training room and glared a red-eyed glare at the teenager who was cheering enthusiastically from the sidelines.

"Lee? Is that . . . you shaved off all your hair?!"

Indeed, Lee was there with a shiny bald head. And no eyebrows to speak of.

"But Sasuke-san!" Lee roared, and not for the first time Sasuke wondered if some deity was using his life for its personal amusement, "We must show our youthfulness though our hard work! If that means that to become faster we need to train nonstop for days on end, then so be it! The fires our Springtime of Youth shall burn brighter than ever before." He paused, blinking. "And I must add one thing! I am not this 'Lee' you speak of! I am the humble Lao, here to assist you in all of your taijutsu needs!"

Sasuke couldn't stop staring. Then he noticed something else. "Lee, is that leotard purple instead of green?"

"Yosh! Purple is a color that beautifully conveys how evil I am! Don't you agree, Sasuke-san?"

Sasuke did not agree.

He decided that training was over for that day.


Somehow, he wound up playing Shougi with Shikamaru, who was unsurprisingly too lazy to disguise himself.

Sasuke didn't bother pointing that out. He instead moved a piece, frowning at the board. "You're the laziest person I've ever met, but you still make the effort to play this game."

Shikamaru captured one of Sasuke's pawns with his Silver General and shrugged as he pocketed the piece. "It's a lot less troublesome than everything else."

"Hn."

Sasuke had to agree with that. This little bubble of sanity was an oasis in the chaos of his life.


Sasuke was on his way to the training room to beat up Neji again when he saw something out of the corner of his eye. He glanced over and offered a short nod of acknowledgement. "Tenten."

Stop.

Spin.

Waitaminute.

"Tenten?"

The girl didn't even turn around, steadily walking in the opposite direction. Sasuke didn't hesitate, immediately pursuing her. "Tenten, just wait!" He put a hand on her shoulder, and she turned around in surprise.

Sasuke recoiled as though he'd just been slapped. "You're wearing makeup? You?"

Tenten's eyes widened and her jaw went slack with disbelief, the expression accentuated by her excessive eyeliner and lipstick. Then Sasuke recoiled again, this time because he really was slapped.

"How rude!"

The girl haughtily turned on heel, hitting Sasuke in the face yet again with her twin pigtails. What happened to her buns?! "And my name is Twotwo, asshole!" she called out over her shoulder.

Sasuke stared, eyebrows practically disappearing into his hairline. He didn't even care about the change in name. Was Tenten girly?


"Sasuke, wait!"

Sasuke didn't even bother hiding his exasperated sigh. "What is it, Kabuto?" His opinions of the man and Orochimaru had taken a lethal blow when they'd both failed to see the obvious. "You're interrupting my training."

"Yes, of course training is important and all, but I have something that you might want to know." Kabuto's spectacles seemed to flash in invitation.

Sasuke's interest was piqued. "Oh? And what is it that I might want to know?"

Kabuto leaned in close, before whispering, "I think there's a spy among the Otō ninja."

". . ."

". . ."

Sasuke kept his expression blank. "Interesting. Have you told Orochimaru yet?"

"Of course I have, but Orochimaru-sama won't believe me!"

Heh. What irony.

"How unfortunate," Sasuke said in the tone he usually reserved for Naruto. "And who is this dastardly spy that's managed to slip under all of our noses?"

Kabuto once again took his time to look around the room which was obviously empty before leaning in even closer. In a deathly serious voice, he whispered, "He's the one dressed like a hippie."


When Sasuke found Gaara less than an hour later, he was of the firm belief that the better your disguise was the better your chances of getting caught would be.

Why?

Gaara's disguise was fantastic.

He had those comfortable-looking, tie-dyed clothes, a bandana with a peace sign, and he was even smoking a joint with a dazed look in his eyes.

The kid looked about as dangerous as a puppy, but Sasuke wasn't about to forget about the sand demon lurking beneath the surface. Then the teenage turned to face him with those vacant eyes of his. He lifted his head in vague greeting. "'Sup! Wanna smoke?" He held out a freshly-rolled blunt as an offering. "Mother says I should make new friends and such. Spread the love, I say!"

Sasuke stared for a moment at the offered joint, then eventually shrugged. "Eh, what the hell."


Eventually, dare he say it, Sasuke came to actually accept the presence of his former comrades and reveled at Kabuto's numerous failed attempts at unmasking these mysterious intruders. It was a sick sort of revenge, but it was like a balm on Sasuke's soul to watch Kabuto desperately trying to see what he was obviously too stupid to notice.

In any case, the days more or less blended together after that. He would wake up, Ino would bring him breakfast (and try to make him apologize for commenting on her facial hair), and he would do a quick warm-up with Lee (although if he was in a particularly foul mood he'd find Neji instead).

When he wanted to learn a new jutsu, Orochimaru was more than willing to help him so long as he 'cooperated' in a few experiments. It was worth the price, in Sasuke's opinion. What were a few drops of blood compared to learning how to shape lightning chakra into actual weapons? Right around his training with Orochimaru, Sasuke could expect to find Sakura watching him from the shadows. It was creepy, yes, and it gave him the chills, but at least she wasn't Hinata.

After finishing his sessions with Orochimaru, he took the opportunity to find Shikamaru for a relaxing game of Shougi. That seemed to be the only place where the other people from Konoha wouldn't bother him, so Sasuke always looked forward to it. Unfortunately, all things come to an end, and Shikamaru would beat him for the fifteenth time that day in under forty minutes.

Following his crushing defeats in the strategy games, Sasuke would go into one of the more remote hallways where people usually didn't venture and sit down for meditation. As the body is honed, so too must the mind to achieve balance, and he needed to be at his very best if he hoped to stand up against Itachi. The only problem was that Naruto always found him.

Ever. Damn. Time.

It didn't matter that he kept switching hallways. It didn't matter that to throw him off, sometimes Sasuke didn't meditate at all and instead spent the extra time practicing some more taijutsu or ninjutsu.

Naruto always found him when he was trying to meditate.

The greeting always came in a yell.

"Hey, bastard, what're you doing sitting on the floor?"

Sasuke's teeth were grinding audibly, but his eyes remained shut and he didn't get up from his cross-legged position. "Meditating, Naruto."

"Meditating? What'd ya need that for? We're ninja now! We don't need to meditate! And for the last time, my name is Menma!"

Sasuke opened his eyes to shoot Naruto an exasperated look. "Not everyone is a hyperactive loudmouth, Naruto, and no I'm not going to call you Menma, you dumbass."

"What was that?! You wanna fight, you little twerp?!"

"We both know you wouldn't stand a chance, Dead Last."

Naruto lunged for Sasuke, and Sasuke simply stared, red eyes swirling hypnotically. Naruto dropped to the floor and began to snore.

Sasuke blinked. "That, I can't believe that worked," he whispered, as though scared of waking up and finding out it was some kind of dream. Approaching Naruto's slumbering, genjutsu-snared form, Sasuke toed the boy like he was a stick of dynamite. There was no reaction other than a snort that interrupted the more regular snores. Yep, out-cold.

Sasuke's face broke out into a grin that was almost maniacal in nature. Finally, peace and fucking quiet.

He sat down, studiously ignoring the motor-like snoring, and began to meditate once more. Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out. In through the nose, out through the mouth. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Feel your chakra circulating your body, humming in your blood. Let it resonate inside—

"Hey, bastard, what's Boss doing sleeping on the job?"

Sasuke's eyes shot open with panic, and without thinking his arm was whipped around the bewildered clone's neck, snapping it easily. Sasuke and the clone stared at each other for a moment before the clone disappeared with a pop and a puff of white smoke.

"Huh, wha—what's goin' on?!"

Sasuke turned to where Naruto was waking up. Shit, the returning chakra from the clone had disrupted the genjutsu. Now the idiot would be twice as hard to deal with.

"SASUKE, YOU BASTARD!"

Scratch that. Maybe three times as hard.

Do you really still want to be friends?


One day, Sasuke was up in the observation deck with Orochimaru and Kakashi, watching as one of the more skilled Otō nin tried to go toe-to-toe with one of Orochimaru's more recent monstrosities. They watched the jōnin slowly but surely take his opponent apart, dancing out of the way of lumbering swipes while delivering his own lightning-fast strikes.

Discreetly, Kabuto approached from one of the doorways and stood next to Sasuke. "Sasuke," he hissed under his breath. "I've discovered the identities of all of the infiltrators."

What?

Sasuke froze, then turned. He didn't know why this bothered him so much. "Who are they?" he asked, doing his best to seem disinterested.

His budding horror blossomed as Kabuto proceeded to name every Konoha ninja within the Sound Base's walls, as well as accurate descriptions of their identities. "Come," Kabuto whispered, glasses flashing triumphantly. "We must relay this intel to Orochimaru-sama."

Months ago, Sasuke would have celebrated that someone else had actually noticed the ridiculously obvious infiltrators. Now, he only felt dread. He reached out and grabbed Kabuto's shoulder, stopping him just as he was turning towards Orochimaru at the edge of the observation deck. "Wait. Are you sure that these are the real infiltrators?"

Kabuto frowned, adjusting his spectacles irritably. "Yes, I'm sure. I must have checked over a dozen times. Now, if you'll excuse me." He firmly removed Sasuke's hand from his shoulder, and turned once again towards Orochimaru.

In that moment, Sasuke made what was probably the most important decision of his life.

Lightning sang like a thousand birds as Sasuke's jutsu tore through Kabuto's side. As Orochimaru whirled around, eyes widening in incredulous surprise, and Kabuto fell to the floor with blood gushing in torrents from his already-healing wound, Sasuke took seized the opportunity to shout, "Kakashi, they're on to all of you! Run!"

There was a beat of silence as Orochimaru and Kakashi looked at each other, horrible suspicion dawning in Orochimaru's features. Then Kakashi smiled jovially, catching the Snake Sannin completely off-guard. "Well, I guess the gig's up." He lifted his headband, and a sharingan blazed to life.

Orochimaru gasped. "Bakashi, you were really Kakashi all along!"

Kakashi nodded in confirmation, smirking evilly as if revealing his dastardly plot. "And I would have gotten away with it, too!"

"I knew it!" Kabuto howled from his position on the floor, blood spraying from his wound far less frequently now. "I knew it all along!"

If the situation wasn't so serious, Sasuke would have started bashing his head against the wall.


After many (apparently) staggering revelations, Sasuke and everyone who'd infiltrated the Sound base somehow managed to make it out of there alive.

"That fight was awesome!" Naruto screamed in his usual annoyingly-loud voice. "I must have taken out a hundred ninja!"

Off to the side, Neji scoffed disdainfully. "If you took out a hundred, then I took out two-hundred."

Naruto bristled. "Liar! There's no way you did better than me!"

Hinata, still blonde and decked out with piercings tried to intervene in a rare moment of courage. "Guys, p-please don't f-fight. I'm sure you b-both did—"

Lee interrupted with a roar. "All of us performed gloriously, our flames of youth burning with a vigor never seen before! YOSH!" His bald head reflected the afternoon sun with a ping, almost as if to punctuate the statement.

"Quite right, Lee! You've done well!" Gai offered a proud, encouraging grin.

Everyone looked at the two leotard-wearing shinobi. Oh no.

Their embrace summoned crashing waves on a sandy beach while an evening sun that wasn't supposed to be there shone brilliantly as it set.

"GAI-SENSEI!"

"LEE!"

"GAI-SENSEI!"

"LEE!"

"GAI-SENSEI!"

"LEE!"

Eyes practically burning out of their sockets, Sasuke turned to Naruto who was whimpering while covering his eyes. "They weren't allowed to do this when they were disguised," he muttered.

"Yeah, can we go back to that?" Naruto whined.

Sasuke rolled his eyes.