R (in later chapters)
The First Annual Genin Dance is a time for the blossoming of young love and ... punch spiking? Kissing jutsus? Streaking? And their senseis are behind it all? shikaino naruhina leesaku nejitenten shinotenten and others
Notes: This is a new and improved edited version of this fic, now edited by my English major brother, Masked4Now!
I realize that my ages (14/15) for the kids are a bit off, but I think their behavior is more like what high schoolers would be doing rather than seventh or eighth graders, so I took some liberties. Also, I don't know whether Shikamaru should be a genin at this point, but I'm writing the story, and I love Shika, so he's in it!
Hinata stood with her back to the punch bowl, knuckles white as she clutched her purse to her chest.
"It was so thoughtful of you to volunteer to help set up the dance," said Iruka, smiling broadly as he secured another balloon to a nearby wall.
"Th-thank you, Iruka-sensei..." Hinata managed, her down-turned face pale.
Iruka beamed. "Just like you to offer, you've always been such a sweet girl."
But Hinata didn't feel so sweet. In fact, her nervousness was starting to make her nauseous.
"I was a bit worried about how it would all turn out, this being the first time," Iruka continued, oblivious to her plight, "but it looks like everything is going to be just great."
Swallowing hard, Hinata gripped her purse even tighter and implored the powers that be for the eighty-seventh time that everything go off without a hitch.
"Don't worry, Hinata," the chuunin reassured, "you'll have a great time! There's nothing at all to be nervous about, I promise. And that sparkly dress looks so adorable!"
Hinata squeezed her eyes shut, adding her dress to her mental list of worries. She loved the rhinestones around the collar, but was it too much? Too sparkly? Too expensive? Did the style match her shoes?
Oh, this was awful! The dance was going to start soon, and HE was sure to be there...
Momentarily distracted by the thought of dancing cheek-to-cheek with dreamy Naruto-kun, Hinata almost missed her chance. Luckily, she noticed Iruka turn away from her to fasten a string of crepe paper.
Quickly loosening her stranglehold on her purse, Hinata swallowed against the nervous lump in her throat, taking a deep, shaky breath as she undid the clasp.
Quickly scanning the room with her Byakugan to ensure she wasn't being watched, Hinata reached into her purse with a trembling hand.
Don't look, don't look, don't look! she pleaded silently at the back of Iruka's head.
Using all the ninja stealth training she possessed, she pulled out the liquor bottle and quickly unscrewed its top, carefully pouring the contents into the foamy pink punch.
In her haste to stash the bottle back in her purse, the cap slipped from her grasp, and Hinata froze as it hit the ground beside her foot with a faint clink.
"Is everything alright, Hinata?"
"Oh! Oh, y-yes, of... of course!" she said as evenly as she could, sliding the cap under the table with heel. Did he see her? Oh, what would he do if he saw! She felt tears rise to her eyes as she looked up at her former sensei.
Iruka smiled another of his warm, open, vehemently oblivious smiles. "Truly, Hinata. Dances are fun! You'll see! Why, I remember a dance I went to when I was about your age..."
Hinata sighed with relief and smiled sweetly as she patted the empty liquor bottle in her purse, her nervousness subsiding to its usual dull ache.
XXX TWO DAYS AGO XXX
A thoughtful look appeared on Sarutobi Asuma's face as he took a deep drag from his cigarette. "A contest?" He said.
"Don't you think it would be fun?" Yuuhi Kurenai asked, securing a succulently-prepared morsel of chicken with her chopsticks. She loved it when the rookie instructors got together for dinner, and it wasn't merely because of the fact she could burn water.
"How would it work?" Hatake Kakashi asked, eyeing the waiter to see if his food had come yet. Considering the fact that he'd shown up almost an hour late, it was highly improbable.
"Well, we could offer a prize to the team that finishes first. We could each think up our own... or just threaten a punishment if they lose- sometimes that works just as well..." the jounin smiled mischievously, already knowing the threat she had in mind.
Asuma cleared his throat.
"...anyway," Kurenai pulled herself out of her reverie, "we would each write missions, one for each member of our team. The missions would be... certain things to accomplish at the dance... like... I don't know... convince one of your teammates to dance with someone they like. Or... dedicate a song to the person you like and then ask them to dance to it with you. All in the name of personal and growth team-building, of course! Then they'd report to us the next morning about whether they completed it or not."
Asuma swished the beer around in his mug pensively. "Or we could have crack really bad jokes. Or tee-pee the bathrooms," he supplied.
"Well..." Kurenai frowned, "that wasn't exactly what I had in mind..."
Kakashi stroked his masked chin in thought. "Lap dances...?" the copy jounin mused.
Asuma laughed, taking a drink of his beer, while Kurenai rolled her eyes and pushed around the leftover rice on her plate. "Honestly, Kakashi! They're fourteen!"
"Of course. I was just picturing the reaction," he explained, which only made Asuma laugh even harder, considering the outcome should Choji be assigned such a mission.
"All perversion aside," the female jounin continued with a distrustful glance at the men, "anyone who accomplished their mission would be awarded five points. However, the missions are secret, and no one can reveal what they have to do. But if they figure out what someone on another team's mission was, they tell us, and they get an extra point."
Kurenai paused to lift her last bite of chicken to her mouth as her fellow jounin contemplated the idea. "What do you think? Lap dancing notwithstanding," she glared at the obviously amused Kakashi while Asuma chuckled, muttering something incoherent about crushed potato chips, "a little friendly rivalry never hurt anyone. And this way, they'll all go to Iruka's little dance whether they want to or not!"
Kakashi tipped his head to better regard his co-worker from his one visible eye. "Well, while I do like the idea of forcing the kids to attend a dance while making them perform highly questionable acts..."
"I didn't say 'questionable,' " Kurenai muttered, though she was too caught up in imagining the utter cuteness of her adorable students at their first dance to feel truly annoyed. Because, even though she didn't admit it to the men, that was half the point. Cuteness.
Kakashi shook his head, "Well it sounds like fun, but I suggest-"
Suddenly, a cloud of smoke burst into the room, and a bold, masculine, somehow offensive voice cut short Kakashi's objection. "Ah-hah! Now is the perfect time to intervene! Just as my eternal rival has foreseen that his students are no match for such a competition, I shall volunteer my superior team for this test of prowess!"
The copy-nin sighed. "Hello, Gai."
Taking the lack of enthusiasm for a sign of defeat, Gai smiled a broad, stunningly white, yet somehow uninspiring smile as he gave a sign of thumbs up to Kurenai, his ultra-bowl-cut black hair shining, his gigantic eyebrows twitching enthusiastically, and his forest-green bodysuit clinging distastefully to his every curve.
Kurenai was glad that she had already finished her meal. Her appetite was shot for the night. "Um... would you like to join our competition, Gai-sensei?" she managed.
"Not only would I like to join, I would like to change the rules!" Konoha's magnificent green beast declared with a flourish.
Asuma sighed heavily and took another slug of beer. Why wasn't he surprised?
"If we came up with missions for our own teams, some individual" he glared accusingly at Kakashi, "would assuredly designate much simpler tasks to his students to ensure their victory. In my genius, I have quickly discovered that drawing from a hat a random mission- written by a random sensei- would be a much more acceptable practice."
Gai posed dramatically as his colleagues processed his (clearly superior) proposal. If only Lee were here to see him in his glory! His young protégé's eyes would be overflowing with worshipful tears! Gai's own eyes filled with tears at the very thought, and he raised a triumphant fist in victory. Lee!
Kurenai's left eye twitched, and her face took on a greenish cast.
Asuma gaped as the cigarette fell out of his mouth, narrowly missing his knee in its quest for the floor.
Kakashi ordered a beer.
"Of course, that was what I was suggesting when you interrupted," Team 7's instructor said.
The dramatically posed, teary-eyed Gai suddenly spasmed as he gripped his head in his hands, his face twisted in utter agony. "NO! My speed has proven insufficient! He has beaten me once more! If only I had-"
"Ha ha, all right then, who's in?" Asuma interjected, sensing the incoming rant. He pulled out another cigarette to replace the one he dropped. "I think my kids'll do great."
"Yes, the random drawing of missions is a great idea, no matter who suggested it. That way, we can assure it's fair," added Kurenai, attempting to help distract the panicking tortoise-summoner. Gai hadn't exactly been invited into the competition, but it would be even better with more kids.
Heaven only knew what sort of "missions" Gai and Kakashi would think up... but at least she'd nixed the lap-dancing... hopefully...
"All right," conceded Kakashi, pulling a pad of paper out of his pocket. "Let's write out the missions right now. We'll keep them secret, even from each other, and the kids can draw them tomorrow."
That decided upon, Gai seemed appeased, and the jounins set about writing down missions for their students. Gai's hand flew at superhuman speeds, while the others thought out their missions with slightly more consideration.
Three slips of paper in hand, Kakashi's expression became thoughtful as he set about deciding on the perfect mission for a devoted young ninja to perform.
It had to be a challenging, engaging mission which would enhance a shinobi's skills while broadening their experience in stealth tactics. And lap dancing was apparently not an option, which narrowed his choices considerably.
Oh! Of course! It was so simple yet perfect, he thought as he put pencil to paper.
In small, concisely-formed kana, he wrote: SPIKE THE PUNCH.