Quest of the Green Beast:

The Impossible Challenge

Disclaimer: Naruto is the copyrighted property of its creator, whom is in no way me.

Summary: A brilliant idea, shining like the most glorious of stars, descends from the heavens and crosses paths with the ever so beautiful Green Beast of Konoha, or rather, Maito Gai to his friends and rivals. Sometimes, to be a Shinobi, means that there are times when you must socialize with others and there are also times where you must speak more than three words in each sentence. Gai-sensei and his dazzling thumbs-up signs now must tackle the largest challenge in his lifetime: to turn Aburame Shino, Hyuga Neji, and Uchiha Sasuke, into happy, smiling, socializing citizens of the Hidden Leaf Village. Will Gai succeed? Or will his quest be in vain? Read on to find out... or not...

Pairings: There probably will not be outright pairings in this fanfic, although there may be many small hints just to keep readers content.

Also featured in this story: All the other Leaf Genins and their teachers (with similar missions)

Warning: Mild character bashing once in a while, a bit of Gai bashing (but nothing very severe), mild OOCness and mediocre not following the Naruto timeline.

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(Review Responses)

I'm sorry for the slow update. I was a bit caught up in my studies and I was also busy watching Naruto... sorry!

Slashreaper: Sorry about the mix up... I know what it was called, but I forgot the spelling... Thank you for your help, though! -

Slyver rain: Actually, they were delayed since I was at a lost of what to do... Heheheh...

Usagi-mun: No offense for the Naruto bashing! I, myself adore Naruto too! It's just that you can see him fall, better than the others...

Aeja Tsuki: ... um... hi? Sorry about the Kakashi shortness. I'll make it up...

And sorry if I haven't answered your review! It's just that it takes too long to go through each one, but I give a big thanks to everyone else that reviewed!

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(Key :)

"................." talking

'.................' thinking

--- Beginning/End of Chapter/Change of Scene

(End of Key)

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Thump. Thump. Thump. The steady pounding of many scandal-clad feet colliding against soft, moist soil rang through the warm, humid morning. Three figures ran weary laps around their designated training area, their movements and steps, often punctured by deep, breathless gasps, trying to acquire the much needed oxygen that their lungs were deprived of. Finally, the middle one of the three girls slowed to catch her breath, her knees giving away to rest on the damp earth while she proceeded to cough viciously and her cotton candy hair bounced around her shoulders.

Chocolate coloured orbs met vanilla in a worried gaze as the other two girls ran back to check on their worn out comrade, both wondering the same question.

Were they really to last an entire week?

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Chapter 6: Day One: Wanna Cookie?

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CRACK!

THUMP.

GROAN!

CRACK

Naruto winced silently as he heard the sound of a rock colliding against Kiba's skull, then at the sound of Kiba hitting the ground, and then at the sound of a rock hitting his skull again. Wasn't Kakashi going just a little bit overboard?

CRACK!

THUMP.

Ouch. Now Rock Lee is really, ROCK Lee...

Kakashi grinned malevolently, behind his mask, with his windswept silver hair falling into his eye.

How about that? He asked himself. It had been an hour, and still no peep out of them. He loved his job.

Naruto, Kiba and Lee all wondered the same thing.

Will they really last an entire week?

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He knew that look.

He knew it so well and had seen it so often that the vision still plagued his dreams at night, along with the slaughter of his dearly departed father. The look signified danger, humiliation, dread and pestilence. Whenever it surfaced, it would always bring chaos and pandemonium in its wake, promising pain and destruction to those it was directed to. And it was staring right at him.

Neji discreetly backed away from the grinning entity that they called Gai-sensei, wondering if there was a way to reduce the blinding glare of light that was strangely emitted by his teeth. The Green Beast had cheerfully announced that they were given the most wonderful mission. Then he 'pinged' at Shino, Sasuke (not Susake) and himself. And then he told them that they would love it.

Neji was appropriately horrified. He wished there was a way for him to warn his fellow prisoners, without arousing suspicion. They deserved to know the horrors that awaited them. The horrors that he, himself had to live through for the past year and a half of his life. Neji cursed the examiners at the Chuunin exam. Oh, why didn't they allow him to be raised to the ranks of Chuunin? Why wouldn't they just allow him to leave this pain behind?

Maito Gai smiled on, with his perfect whites, oblivious to the inner turmoil boiling within the stygian corners of his student's tormented mind. His new pupils would simply L-O-V-E this new mission! And it was one of a kind, too! In fact, he didn't remember ANYONE, EVER hiring ninjas for this kind of job before! It was a one in a lifetime opportunity! And it was PERFECT for the antisocial ninjas...

... And it was such a shame that Lee would not be able to join them. Gai's perfect smile subsided for just a split second, before returning again at full throttle. He shouldn't let himself be depressed about the absence of Lee! He wouldn't want him to be depressed! Yes! He would have to be strong! Be strong for Lee! And plus, Lee was probably having a very nice time with his new team anyway... Plus! He had a job to do!

Sasuke eyed the varying expressions on Gai-sensei's face and glanced at the morbid one on Neji's face. Judging by how happy and determined Gai seemed to be, Sasuke was sure that nothing that he would like was about to happen. And judging by the fact that Neji seemed to resign himself to death, his suspicions were confirmed.

All Shino wanted was for them to hurry up and get on with it. So far, almost nothing at all has happened to them and the readers were getting anxious, annoyed, or angry.

Gai smiled excitedly as he prepared to explain the details of the new mission.

"Today, you will have a D-ranked mission!" he announced, earning annoyed glares from some of his students.

"A D-ranked?" muttered Sasuke, rather disappointed. Was there ever going to be anything good happening in his life? Gai chose not to reply.

"Ms. Tsuki wants you to help her out with... some... fundraising activities!" chirped Gai-sensei, his beady black eyes shinning with infinite, malicious happiness. Three Genins took a synchronized step backwards.

"Fund...raising?" asked Shino, in a tone that suggested that Gai was completely crazy, while raising a dark, thin eyebrow that was thankfully not yet thick, from behind his dark glasses. Gai nodded enthusiastically.

"Yes, Shino! Fundraising!" he averred, just as enthusiastically. Sasuke, Neji and Shino stared at him with varying levels of distress.

"What... kind of... fundraising?" Neji inquired, the word fundraising seemingly foreign on his tongue. Gai smiled, what should have been a mysterious cool smile, which, unfortunately for him, just looked freaky.

"You'll... find out..." The eerie, uncanny, ominous effect that the words were supposed to establish was instantly reduced to rubble by Gai's cheerful 'Good Guy Pose'. But that didn't make our three ninjas anymore comfortable.

Gai lead his new victims along a small dusty road that was strangely void of all passersby, which makes you start to wonder what really happened to them. The steel grey sky grew darker, as the once warm air grew colder. The winds then began to pick up, causing Neji, Sasuke, Shino and Gai's dark hair to blow back and forth. A low howl sounded in the distance.

"Isn't it convenient that this entire scene just screams out: Doom." asked Neji, rather dryly, plucking away a stray leaf that had been blown into his hair. Sasuke had to admit that he was right. The wind that whistled through the trees created a strange wailing noise and their surroundings were unnaturally dim. Come to think of it, Sasuke didn't ever remember being in this part of town. In fact, he didn't ever remember there even BEING a part of town here. And the cemetery that they just happened to pass by really didn't help in the least.

Shino stared at Neji for a moment from behind his glasses.

"Remember that piece of advice that I gave you earlier?" he asked, suddenly. Sasuke and Neji frowned at him in confusion, apparently not remembering. "Don't attempt at sarcasm. It scares me."

"..."

"...speak for yourself."

Gai, who have been generously walking ahead of them, now turned around to face them, causing them all to flinch, unprepared at his eyebrows.

"We're almost here!" he called, in such a disturbing way that caused the trio to wonder if he was just saying that and that they were really in fact hopelessly lost.

"Where are we going, anyway?" Sasuke couldn't help but ask. The green-clad man seemed even less reliable than Kakashi first did. A flash of teeth and a thumb up sign were all he got for his troubles.

"I'm not deliberately leading you all to an early demise, if that's what you're worried about!" Maito Gai joked good-naturedly, unaware that that was EXACTLY what they were worried about.

And on the other hand, a heavy fog began to settle around them.

"Neji, do you remember any other D-ranked missions that you had before, that involved coming down here?" Shino asked, pulling his coat around him tighter. The cold was really starting to bother him. Neji shook his head.

"No." His negative answer did nothing to reassure them. Suddenly, Gai-sensei stopped once again.

"We are here." he announced to them, gesturing overly dramatically onward. "Youths first!" he declared, urging them forward. The mist ahead of them had grown so thick that all they could see was a hazy blanket of white.

But just as Neji, Shino and Sasuke stepped forward, all of the mist mysteriously disappeared! The sun peaked out from behind the clouds, the temperature lifted several degrees and the harsh winds were reduced to a gentle breeze.

"..."

"..."

"...that was... sudden." Sasuke managed weakly. Neji and Shino could not find the voices to express themselves. If Naruto had been here, he would have yelled out a very eloquent: 'WHAT THE HELL?'

Gai gave them a 'thumbs-up' and his teeth went: 'Ping!'

"What do you kids think of my fabulous Genjutsu? I decided to make our little trip to our client's place, a little more exciting!" he exclaimed, earning himself three glares, filled with murderous intent.

'That was Genjutsu?' glowered Sasuke. Damnit! He should have thought to use his Sharingan! Oh, he would pay!

'I. Am. Going. To. Kill. Him.' scowled Neji. Oh, he would pay.

'Damn. I should have known better!' Shino was vexed. Very vexed. Oh, he would pay!

They always said ignorance was bliss. And they never come any happier than Gai.

Therefore, he was oblivious to the three antisocial ninjas' promised death threats.

Anyway, before them, was a neat little spread of stalls, tents, rides, booths, and other things that humans use for amusement. Children ran happily from game to game, ride to ride and hotdog stand to hotdog stand. Three guesses to where they were. School? No, the children were laughing happily. The hospital? No, there wasn't any blood on the ground... yet. So where could they be?

"A... CARNIVAL?!" stammered Neji, Sasuke and Shino incredulously. Large beads of sweat hung suspended over their heads.

Gai nodded happily. "Yes, a carnival!" he announced, overly delighted.

"...What is the mission?" asked Sasuke, dreading the answer. Gai did not notice his dread.

"Come with me, and I'll show you!" The three had no other choice then to reluctantly follow him. No choice but to follow him to their early demise...

The four stopped at a large blue and white booth with a haggard looking girl at the front. She was looking at the enormous spread of pastries with a weary expression and checked her watch. Sasuke and Neji gave each other questioning looks as Shino watched their sensei who now strolled over to the girl.

"I take it that you're Ms. Tsuki?" he asked cheerfully, when he approached her. The tired girl looked up, which proved to be a fatal mistake since she flinched and looked back down, avoiding eye-contact... or should I say... brow-contact?

"Um... well... yes! Yes I am! And you must be the ninja team that I hired!" she inquired, still staring down. Gai thumped his chest with his left fist proudly.

"Yes, that's us!" Ms. Tsuki looked visibly relieved.

"Great! All right, I'll explain my problem! I am supposed to be in charge of this booth, but I'm too tired to keep working. So, all I want you to do is to help me sell all of these pastries by five o'clock this afternoon! Okay, thanks!" she exclaimed cheerfully and rather quickly, before taking off, leaving Sasuke, Neji and Shino standing there in shock.

"All... of them?" they asked, their eyes now traveling toward the monstrous amount of donuts, cakes, muffins, cookies, chocolate, fudge, brownies, toffees, cupcakes, ice cream, gingerbread men and houses, cotton candy, Nerds, fruit bars, tootsie roll pops, jawbreakers, freezies, slushies, milkshakes, lollypops, jelly beans, gummy bears, Smarties, licorices, caramel, rieces, skittles, popsicles, gum, and every other sweet imaginable. Basically, it could only be described as a child's fantasy, gone wrong.

"Well, good luck boys!" laughed Gai as he took off too, leaving the boys to their work. He pumped his fist into the air, after he was sure that he was out of range.

"Aha! You've done it again, Gai! Now they will HAVE to be social, in order to be able to sell all those pastries! And I'm sure that they won't quit, (at least, I know that Neji won't,) because they won't be able to stand the shame of failing a D-RANKED mission! Oh, Gai! You're a genius!" Gai then proceeded to laugh. In fact, he laughed so much that he seemed to be more than one person.

"Bwhaha!"

" Bwhahahaha!"

"BWHAHAHAHAHA!!!!"

"BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

And then he stopped after noticing something. "Actually... it's not that funny..."

Meanwhile, Shino, Sasuke and Neji were not nearly as happy as Gai.

Everyone just seemed to pass right by their booth, as if not being able to see it. A little girl hopped by, tugging at her father's shirt, saying that she was hungry, while pointing at their booth. But Daddy said that sweets weren't good for you so the two went off to buy a hotdog.

Then two teenaged girls strolled by, and one pointed out their booth again. But the other girl decided that the sweets would just go right to their thighs.

A little boy came passed with his Grandma and asked for a sweet. But Grandma said that she would rather not since she no longer has the use of any of her thirty-two teeth.

Sasuke groaned, banging his head on the counter. How were they EVER going to sell all of this junk? And he hated sweets too. The smell was beginning to cause him to have a headache.

Neji was very close to pulling out his long, dark tresses. He felt a bit woozy and lightheaded. Apparently, he was allergic to something inside the mountainous pile. He decided to blame everything on their client. Why did she have to hire NINJAS?

Just then, a little girl walked up to their booth and pointed at one of their items.

"Eshcush me! How mush ish da cupcake?" she asked, standing on tip-toe.

"50 cents," answered Sasuke, glad that they were finally going to sell SOMETHING. The little girl was about to reach for the treat, when her small hand suddenly recoiled.

"Shorry, never mind!" She said in disgust, "dere sa big bug on tit!" And with that, she turned and left, leaving Neji and Sasuke to glare at Shino who tried to look relatively innocent.

"Why are you looking at me?" he frowned. "Why is it that whenever bugs are involved, you automatically suspect that I did it?" The other two glared at him with blank eyes... not that Neji didn't already have them.

"Gee, I wonder?" he asked thick sarcasm, dripping like water from a faucet. After a few more seconds of glaring accusingly at Shino, they decided to try a different approach.

They would have to be social and convince people to buy their goods. And they'll have to act fast.

Shino told his bugs to keep as far as possible away from the foodstuff and the costumers. He then spotted a little boy, holding his brother's arm. Shino put on his best smile, which was completely hidden behind his coat anyway.

"Hey there, wanna cookie?"

Would they really last a week?

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Announcer: And so, the antisocial ninjas will have to learn to socialize, or fail a D-ranked mission and be the laughing stock of the rest of their peers! Will they succeed? Will the kunoichis become un-underestimated? Will the little boy buy the cookie? Stay tuned!

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