Sasuke's No Good Very Bad Teammates
Summary: Naruto and Sakura have gone insane.
Or: Just after becoming Team 7 Naruto and Sakura go through a massive shift in personality, leaving Sasuke out of the loop and wondering what in the name of sanity could have happened to them. His only consolation is that Kakashi is just as weirded out as he is.
Sasuke Uchiha was going insane. Or rather, his teammates were. He couldn't think of another explanation for their sudden – and incredibly jarring – shift in personality.
As if they hadn't been bad enough when their team had been assigned: Naruto loud and annoying and at the very bottom of their class, Sakura shy but no less irritating with her childish crush on him. Both of them had just been destined to slow him down, to hold him back from reaching his goal.
Sasuke glared at them, leaning against a tree near their usual meeting place. They'd been waiting for Kakashi for an hour now, and so far there'd been no whining about their lazy teacher, no bantering from either of them, and no attempt at a conversation from a blushing Sakura. No stuttering and blushing from Sakura, period.
In fact, there had been no conversation at all. Nothing but oddly gloomy looks, both of his teammates avoiding eye contact with everyone.
Naruto looked up from his place on the ground, a startled look on his face. "Eh?"
"Aren't you gonna, you know." Sasuke made a vague hand gesture. "Complain about Kakashi-sensei being late?"
"Oh. Yeah. Totally, what a douche."
Sasuke frowned at the half-hearted attempt. What was wrong with that idiot? He'd have to try harder. "I learned a new technique, you know. I'll kick your butt easily next time we spar."
"That's nice, Sasuke."
Naruto wasn't even looking at him. Time to go all out.
"Hey, Sakura. Did you notice how p-pretty Ino's hair looked today?" He nearly choked on the sentence. But there was no way she wouldn't react to that.
"Oh yeah," Sakura said, absentmindedly. "Really pretty."
Sasuke scowled. What was going on?!
Not that he missed Naruto's weird drive to be better than him – their "rivalry", whatever – or even worse, Sakura's crush. But this couldn't be normal.
He gave up, resigning himself to wait in silence with his sullen teammates. Had something happened to them? Why were they acting so weird, all of a sudden?
His only consolation was that Kakashi had noticed, too. How could he not? It was impossible to miss when at times both of them seemed like completely different people, especially with those weird looks they kept sending them. They nearly looked mournful.
One time after another of their missions (Or rather chores. D-ranks did not deserve to be called 'missions'.) Kakashi cornered him, asking if he knew something.
"Did something happen? Between the three of you?"
Sasuke could only shrug. "Not that I know of. They just started being weird, that's all."
Kakashi had looked into the distance thoughtfully, telling Sasuke to come straight to him if he found out more.
It reached a whole new level of crazy when Sasuke had two insane conversations with each of them on the same day.
"Hey, Sasuke!" Naruto said, grinning and more cheerful than he had been in days. Maybe Sasuke was imagining it, but something about his smile felt off. "You still spend most of your time brooding, right?"
"Yeah, and like, planning out your revenge and stuff. Is that still a thing?"
Sasuke could feel heat pulsing through his body. How dare he? "It's none of your business, moron! Don't talk about things you don't understand!"
Naruto's smile fell for a second, quickly enough that Sasuke nearly missed it. This time it definitely looked forced. "Right. Yeah. Sorry 'bout that, just wanted to make sure."
Make sure about what? Naruto wasn't making any sense! Sasuke stared after him, more than a little perplexed.
Naruto turned around one last time. "Right, uhh… Say, does Sakura seem kind of different to you?"
Sasuke turned around and stalked away.
His next conversation with Sakura was strikingly similar, and no less insane.
"So um, Sasuke. You still think this team is a waste of time, don't you?"
Sasuke stared at her.
"Come on, just answer!"
"I've got better things to do than dragging deadweight with me." The answer had slipped from Sasuke's tongue automatically. It was just the way he felt.
Sakura chuckled, a brittle, hollow sound. "Yeah, that's what I thought."
What was it with his team lately? They knew perfectly well how he felt about them.
Sakura had one more thing to add. "Is it just me, or is Naruto a lot less hyperactive lately?"
Sasuke didn't bother to answer her, either.
It was after their next training session that Sakura and Naruto broke their mutual avoidance and unspoken vow of silence with each other, and even though he had complained about their behavior before, he wasn't sure if this was any better.
"Hey, Naruto." Sakura's voice was odd, strained and yet fond in a way she had never been when talking to Naruto. "I'm sorry for every time I called you annoying. You're not. Annoying, I mean."
"Huh?" Naruto sounded as startled as Sasuke felt. "Where's this coming from?"
"O-Oh! It's nothing." Sakura sounded flustered. "I just thought. With us being a team now, I thought we should try to get along, you know?"
"Right. Because of the team, yeah." Was that disappointment? "Oh! And I'm sorry for asking you out even though you never wanted to."
"Don't worry about it!"
They looked at each other awkwardly, and then left in opposite directions. Sasuke didn't move, watching the whole thing incredulously.
A few days passed, and dare Sasuke say it, things started to normalize between them. Sort of. Naruto was still not interested in competing with him over anything, and Sakura had not regained her interest in dating him, but at least they were talking instead of shooting around wistful looks.
Of course Sasuke didn't miss either the rivalry or the crush – of course not! – but he still felt unbalanced. Like their dynamic had shifted, and he didn't know why.
By the time they were about to receive their next D-rank, Sasuke had nearly tricked himself into thinking their team could work out. Of course, Sakura and Naruto decided then that they could not go a single day without being weird.
The mission room was louder than usual, a man arguing about needing well-trained escorts with a shinobi trying to tell him that his request was a C-rank at best. Their own mission, meanwhile, was another garden chore.
"Um, Naruto?" Sakura said as Sasuke was already on his way out of the room. "Aren't you gonna say something?"
Naruto stared at her, and Sakura went on with gritted teeth. "I thought you were sick of all the D-ranks?"
"O-Oh!" Naruto's eyes widened, sweat collecting on his forehead. "I was, but. Um. B-Being on a team showed me just how important it is to learn to work as a team and not get ahead of myself. Y-Yeah."
"B-But-!" Sakura looked close to panicking. "Well, I'm sick of them! Can't we get a C-rank instead? In fact," she said, moving closer to the previously arguing elderly man, linking their arms under his disbelieving stare, "why don't we take on this one?"
"NO! Don't give us a C-rank!"
"Yeah," the man agreed. "Don't bother with those-"
"Naruto!" The shouting had drawn in the attention of every single person in the room. "What about the mission? People- Um. Our client! Our client needs our help, we can't abandon them. Him!"
"Don't worry, it'll sort itself out! Soon. While we're still here. In the village." Naruto coughed awkwardly. "Maybe overnight."
Sakura fumed. "What are you even talking about?"
"I don't know, what are you talking about?"
Nobody paid attention to the client, who was still trying to protest.
"We're not ready! What if something happens?"
Sakura murmured under her breath, and Sasuke nearly missed it. "Well better it happens to us, than-"
"What was that?" Kakashi chimed in.
"Nothing! I just really think we're ready. We can do it, right Sasuke?"
"Oh, that's dirty," Naruto whispered under his breath, but Sasuke ignored him. This was their chance to rise higher than the stupid D-ranks!
"Yeah. We're ready."
"Doesn't my opinion count for anything?!"
Their client went ignored as their D-rank mission was exchanged for a C-rank, Kakashi simply having accepted his fate of having two insane students under his wing.
Sasuke didn't care. This next mission would bring him closer to becoming a real shinobi, to become stronger and to reach his ambition. He smirked, indulging in the feeling of coming one step closer to beating Itachi.
Not even his crazy teammates could ruin this for him.
A/N: The idea for this actually came from the wonderful To Mockingbird, who was kind enough to let me play around with it! She, PyrothTenka and Igornerd are my betas and all brilliant writers, so check them out if you haven't already!
Visit me on tumblr as xxgwenstacyxx.
Thanks for reading, see you next time!