Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
A/N: Slight AU. Random silliness and spoilers. Blame too much work and not enough sleep on this one, for the both of us.
Mission, Class-C: Sandwich Thief!
Collaboration by: TailFear and rembrandt
In Wave Country Inari sat down to a delicious sandwich made by his mother. Just as he was raising it to his mouth for that first tasty bite he found himself biting down on empty air. He looked around with a few blinks, finding his hands and plate empty except for a few crumbs left behind. Inari frowned and checked the room, finding it empty except for a well-watered potted plant.
"Mom?" Inari called, still frowning at my empty plate. "You did make me a sandwich, right?"
"Did you give it to me?"
"Uh, no reason," Inari called back, still looking around the empty room in confusion. The window was open on the far wall, but his sandwich couldn't have just sprouted wings and escaped, right?
Kakashi looked up from the mission scroll in his hands, face barely concealing his surprise as the elder Third Hokage watched him from across the prominent wooden desk. It was a newer Class-C mission, nothing particularly difficult, but pertinent to Team 7.
"We're in the middle of the Chuunin Exams," Kakashi said, still processing what he'd read as he stared at the elder figure situated in front of him.
"I realize that, but you will agree that these are special circumstances," the Third said, watching the jounin in front of him squirm.
"This is just ridiculous," Kakashi said, waving the mission scroll in his hand. "You can't possibly think that this is something we need to cover immediately when we could be training."
"Ah, but you're only training Sasuke. Naruto is currently under the wing of Jiraiya, and Sakura can't continue. It would be a good team building exercise, especially before an event meant to pit them against each other," the Hokage said in a tone that welcomed no argument. "Besides, this could technically be a follow up on your last mission to Wave Country, and since your team did so well in the area, it's best that you take care of this mission."
Kakashi sighed and leaned back in the uncomfortable chair, mission scroll lying limply in his lap as he considered the Hokage's request. After a moment he sighed again and nodded, rolling up the scroll and placing it in his pouch before standing up, "I'll take it. We'll leave tomorrow, that will give me enough time to round up the rest of my team."
Sasuke was waiting outside of the Hokage Tower, leaning against one of the dark walls as he glared at anyone who dared to look in his direction. At the sound of the doors opening and the feel of his sensei's chakra he turned, glaring darkly at the masked jounin when Kakashi blinked at him.
"What took you so long?" Sasuke snapped, falling into step with the older ninja as they made their way down the streets of Konoha.
"We have a mission," Kakashi said, ignoring his student's question in favor of the matter at hand.
"A mission? During the Chuunin Exams?" Sasuke asked, raising one eyebrow as Kakashi nodded.
"With Naruto and Sakura. This is a mission for Team 7."
"Why do we have to do it? I should be training, getting stronger, not wasting my time on some mission," Sasuke growled, angered at both the thought of the mission and the thought of working with the rest of Team 7.
"Too bad, Hokage's orders. It shouldn't take to long, so you'll be able to get back to training within the next few days," Kakashi said, shrugging at Sasuke's glare. "I have to go find the rest of your team. Meet on the bridge at 7 tomorrow morning."
Sasuke was left glaring at a puff of smoke as Kakashi disappeared with a small wave, leaving the Uchiha heir fuming in the middle of Konoha's crowded streets.
"So what's this mission supposed to be about? I have better things to be doing," Naruto complained, glaring at Sasuke who was standing on the other side of the bridge with his back to the rest of his team.
"Kakashi-sensei just said that it was a follow up mission that only we could do," Sakura said, blushing when Sasuke glanced back at her.
"You're late Kakashi-sensei," Sakura said, leveling a mean look at her jounin instructor. Naruto was too busy starting a glaring match with Sasuke to notice their chronically late teacher had finally showed up.
"Well, now that we're all here, let's get going. We need to make it to Wave Country by nightfall."
Naruto broke the glaring contest to look at the tall man quizzically, "You mean that we aren't going to be attacked on the way?"
"No, Naruto. We shouldn't be attacked along the way."
"Then why won't you give us all of the details of this mission?" Sasuke snapped, still mad about being left the day before.
"I'll tell you as soon as we get there. This mission is, uh, unique," Kakashi said, pausing to come up with the best word to describe the odd mission that they'd been assigned.
"Come on, just tell us," Naruto whined, trying to get Sakura to join him with a look but failing when she continued to watch Sasuke.
"As soon as we get there. Now, let's go, we have a lot of ground to cover before night falls."
All three gennin groaned before falling into basic formation as Kakashi took point and led them from the village and into the surrounding forest on the way to Wave Country.
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN "WE'RE ON A MISSION TO CATCH A SANDWICH THIEF"?"
Sakura's roar startled a flock of birds into flight as her teammates winced, cowering a few feet away from the angry kunoichi as she glared at Kakashi.
"We're on a mission to catch a sandwich thief. That's the gist of the scroll's information," Kakashi said, blinking when Sakura's face turned an even deeper shade of red.
"This is the stupidest mission ever! Why the hell are we here?" Sakura snapped, ignoring the fearful looks her teammates were sending in her direction.
"Now that is the question to ask. We're here because this deals with our last mission here. Gatou's son has decided that it is time to take over his father's legacy and start his own evil, uh, empire," Kakashi said, reciting directly from the scroll as the gennin rolled their eyes.
"By stealing sandwiches?" Sasuke asked with disdain, raising an eyebrow in disgust.
"By stealing sandwiches."
"Why?" Sakura asked, staring at Kakashi as the jounin shrugged.
"Who knows. Gatou was his father, so he may just be insane," Kakashi said.
"Well, at least this should be easy," Naruto commented, a large sweatdrop hanging from his head at the thought of someone's nefarious plan consisting of a plot to steal the country's sandwiches.
"It should be, except that no one knows how he's stealing the sandwiches. One moment a sandwich is there, the next it isn't."
Sakura and Sasuke stared at their instructor for a moment, confusion on Sakura's face and pure annoyance on Sasuke's (as if there's ever anything else other than anger). Naruto was still stuck on the fact that the guy was stealing sandwiches and was too distracted to notice the shift in conversation.
"Then how does everyone know who's stealing the sandwiches?" Sakura asked.
Kakashi looked at the scroll again and blinked before replying, "He's told everyone."
"He's told everyone? Then why haven't they done anything?"
"Because they can't catch him. He always seems to disappear in a puff of smoke before they can get their hands on him," Kakashi said, shaking his head over the stupidity of the situation.
"This is stupid," Sasuke muttered, crossing his arms over his chest, "A waste of time."
"Yes, but the Hokage ordered it, so here we are."
The gennin stood there for a moment, staring at their masked teacher for a few moments before shaking their heads and following him into the village. They were still well remembered, and welcomed into the country with open arms as they moved through the village on their way to the nearest inn.
"With this much popularity we should be able to flush this guy out fairly easily," Kakashi said, nodding when people waved or bowed.
"You mean that we should be a target for this guy because we're associated with Gatou's downfall," Sakura said, watching the smiles as they passed.
"Pretty much," Kakashi replied cheerfully.
At the inn they were showed to their room quickly and efficiently leaving them back in the village within the half-hour to search for the mysterious villain. While walking down the meandering streets Team 7 started to see some of the effects of the stolen sandwiches. A few small shopkeepers were looking hassled as people bypassed their stores, not wanting to be victimized by the disappearing meals.
"This thing is actually causing some problems," Sakura noted.
"The loss of something as small as a sandwich can cause more than just momentary hunger," Kakashi said, taking note of failing shops. "We'll spread out to question the shopkeepers. I'll ask while you three set up an ambush."
The gennin of Team 7 nodded before slipping into the crowd, spreading out as Kakashi casually walked into the nearest sandwich shop and, much to the surprise of the owner, ordered a sandwich. All four tensed as they waited for it to disappear as soon as it went into Kakashi's possession, but they were even more surprised when a large explosion and cloud of smoke erupted at their backs, distracting them long enough for Kakashi's sandwich to disappear into the smoke.
"Kukukuku! I knew that you would come to try to right my wrongs! But ho! You can't, because I am more powerful than my father, and even more powerful than you can even comprehend!"
Everyone in the crowd turned, the villagers with angry eyes, and the members of Team 7 with looks of disbelief as the thief appeared on top of one of the closer roofs. A long, sunny yellow cape trailed out behind the skinny man clad in bright purple spandex complete with a purple mask to hide his eyes and a sandwich emblazoned on his chest.
"HA HA! Look at this idiot! Purple, he's bright freaking purple!" Naruto's amusement rang out loudly, drawing a glare from the bright villain.
"What do you know you orange brat? You think that you can defeat me? Ha! You are nothing but a child," the masked man boasted, causing massive sweatdrops to fall from most of the heads in the crowd.
"At least I'm not purple and gay!" Naruto shouted back, pointing a finger in the masked man's direction.
"I am not gay!" the man shrieked, turning bright red under his purple suit. "I have never been gay! How dare you insult me so!"
While Naruto and the sandwich thief were arguing Sakura, Sasuke, and Kakashi were quickly forming seals and moving in until they had the man surrounded.
"Nya! You're a stupid, fruity, weakling with no fashion sense!"
With yet another screech the man tried to leap off the roof and onto Naruto, only to find himself caught and bound in wires controlled by the three who had surrounded him. A smirk crossed the man's face and he disappeared in a puff of smoke, leaving the wires empty, only to turn up a roof away under Sasuke who had him pinned with a kunai.
"He has some ninja talent," the dark-haired boy said, adding extra pressure to the annoyance under him until the masked man emitted a pained squeak.
"We can take care of that easily," Kakashi said, and with a quick flourish wrote some neat seals on the man's wrists and forehead, binding his chakra.
"Can we go home now Kakashi-sensei, this was stupid," Sakura asked when Kakashi and Sasuke dropped to the ground with the masked man in tow.
"Yeah, I'm hungry, and Ichiraku has the best Ramen ever!" Naruto said, flipping the masked man off when he was growled at.
"We'll deal with this once we give this guy to the proper authorities," Kakashi said, hauling the man along as he started walking towards the inn.
"You'll never contain me! I'll be out soon, back on the streets stealing sandwiches and depriving people of food, sending sandwich shops out of business, and stopping the practice of tea and sandwiches! I'll-"
The man was cut off when Sakura hit one of the pressure points on his neck, knocking him into unconsciousness and blessed silence. A hush fell over the crowd as they watched the man being carried away until someone started clapping and cheers broke out in the jubilant crowd.
The next day the four members of Team 7 and their captive left Wave Country and headed back to Konoha. It was a fairly easy trip, especially when they could shut their captive up whenever they wanted with a quick touch.
"This was the stupidest mission ever," Naruto complained, glaring at the masked man and occasionally giving him a quick kick whenever he got irritated.
"I could have been training," Sasuke growled, glaring just as nastily at the purple man.
"We'll be home soon, just deal with it," Kakashi called back, hauling the man out of Naruto's reach as the fox-boy tried to aim a kick at the purple man once again.
"Umm, we have a small problem," Sakura squeaked, eyes wide as she watched the road ahead of her.
"What do you mean, Sakura-chan?" Naruto asked, moving close to her in order to protect her.
"Everything ahead of us is coated in sand."
Kakashi and Sasuke sighed as Naruto blinked, "Sand?"
All four looked forward to see a raccoon-eyed red head watching them, or more specifically Sasuke, with a leer.
"Gaara, go away," Sasuke growled, rolling his eyes as the Sand-boy's crazy grin.
"I'll see you at the exams, Sasuke. There I'll taste your delicious blood," Gaara's grin spread across his face before he disappeared in a swirl of sand, leaving the four Leaf-nin and their captive alone once again.
"Damn it. I wish this guy would stop stalking me," Sasuke muttered.
"Cheer up, Sasuke-kun. At least we caught this sandwich guy," Sakura said, sliding away from Naruto and moving closer to Sasuke.
"Why doesn't anyone ever want fight me?" Naruto whined, pouting when everyone else rolled their eyes.
"Because you're an idiot," Sasuke snapped.
"No I'm not, you bastard!" Naruto yelled back as he jumped at the other boy, starting yet another fistfight as Kakashi and Sakura looked on.
"Leave them, we have a captive to deliver," Kakashi said, walking away with the captive as Sakura waffled between the fight and her teacher, finally following Kakashi, leaving the two boys fighting in the dirt behind them.
"Damn it, Naruto! No biting!"
"You bastard, no fire jutsus!"
"What the hell, a toad?"Fin
A/N: rembrandt and I came up with this at work (waaay to early this morning) so we apologize if anyone ends up traumatized…