Waiting for Hokage

Sasuke gulped as he rose from his seat, cold sweat broke along his forehead. Resisting the urge to fidget, the last Uchiha inhaled deeply. And then…

"EXCUSE ME, EVERYONE! I HAVE SOMETHING TO TELL YOU!" With that so loud of a shout, he was successful in getting everyone's attention. Every jounin in the meeting hall stared quizzically at him, wondering why their normally-aloof colleague was screaming on top of his lungs. It was very out of character of him, so they thought.

Snickers came from Sasuke's tablemates that consisted of Naruto, Genma, Gai, Lee, Kiba, Shikamaru, Neji and Asuma. He tried to silence them with his trademark glare, but it only prompted them to laugh even harder.

Sasuke was about to die from mortification.

"THE TRUTH IS…"


His trouble began when Hokage-sama didn't show up on time for the meeting. Most of Konoha's jounin who didn't have mission to complete were already assembled in the spacious meeting hall, waiting impatiently for the arrival of their leader.

Much to his dismay, Sasuke found himself sitting at the same table with the abovementioned jounin. It was in itself a bad thing, because he was stuck with the worst bunch of trouble makers in all Konoha. Of course, that was if he excluded Shikamaru (who thought that making troubles were too troublesome), Neji (who considered himself too mature for childish pranks) and himself (who was too dignified to be labeled a mere prankster).

"What's that Old Hag doing! She's late!"

Sasuke lost count on how many times Naruto had said the same sentence in the previous hour. He just rolled his eyes at the blonde's uncreative complaints.

Genma slouched on his chair lazily and set his feet on the table, the ever-present senbon dangling at the corner of his mouth. "Maybe Kakashi's tardiness has finally rubbed off on her."

"Oooh! How cool of my eternal rival to be able to influence even Hokage-sama!" Gai responded heatedly, fire of youth burning in his eyes. "One day I, too, will---"

"Are you kidding me?" Kiba scoffed at the older jounin's idiocy. "Hokage-sama being as tardy as Kakashi-senpai isn't exactly a cool thing…"

"Speaking of Kakashi," Asuma lighted a cigarette and inhaled the tobacco aroma deeply, "w---"

"Hey, hey!" Naruto jabbed an accusing finger in Asuma's direction. "The meeting hall is supposed to be a non-smoking area."

"So?" Asuma replied nonchalantly. "Hokage-sama broke the rule by not coming at the appointed time; I figured that I also have the right to break some rules."

The other jounin sitting around the table didn't bother to protest further. It was an established fact that Asuma and cigarettes were inseparable.

"Before I was rudely interrupted," Asume resumed the topic he was about to bring up while throwing an amused glance at Naruto, "I was going to ask where the hell Kakashi was."

Right at that moment the door to the jounin's meeting hall was slammed open. Practically everyone's head jerked to the direction of the door, hoping for the long-awaited arrival of Hokage and her assistance.

They were, however, disappointed when the door revealed the slender form of a pink-haired kunoichi, who was quite embarrassed at the attention she was getting upon entering the meeting hall.

"Eh, why is everyone staring at us?" Turning around to address the person behind her, Sakura said, "Kakashi, are we late?"

Meanwhile at Sasuke's table, Naruto sighed loudly, "See? It's bad enough that Kakashi-sensei corrupted Sakura-chan…"

Asuma couldn't help but grinning as he watched the Copy nin and Tsunade's 2nd apprentice heading to a free table at the corner of the room. "Lately those two seem to be getting along awfully fine, don't you think?"

"Aaah! My eternal rival has once again beaten me in the quest of looking for---"

"Gai." Genma growled, exasperation apparent in his tone. He was tempted very badly to dislodge the senbon from its usual place and throw it at Gai to shut him up. He was not in the mood for Gai's bizarre speech. "Cut the crap already, will ya?"

"Relax, everyone!" Kiba tried to cool down his agitated colleagues. "While we wait for Hokage-sama to arrive, why don't we try something fun?"

"Oh?" Neji finally chimed in, his eyebrows rose in a patronizing manner. "And pray tell, what would that 'something fun' be?"

"Everyone in this table has to swear on his honor as a man and a shinobi that he will participate." Kiba was definitely excited. Occasionally Akamaru added a cheerful bark. "Then and only then will I reveal what that 'something fun' is!"

"Why should we agree on something that maybe turns out to be no fun at all?" Sasuke commented dryly. Mainly because he knew that Kiba was known in their circle for his crazy spontaneous ideas.

"Well," the man in question refused to back down, "consider it as taking an unranked mission! You don't know how dangerous it would be, so you just have to take a leap of faith."

Naruto was the first to agree. "Great idea!"

Sasuke, however, did not find the idea amusing in the slightest bit. "Ridiculous."

"What, are you chicken, Sasuke-chan?"

-

After much goading and persuasion, Kiba finally managed to get everyone at the table to swear on their honor as a man and a shinobi to participate in whatever it was he had in mind. Smiling gleefully, he slammed his fist on the table in excitement. "We will be playing…," he paused for few seconds, attempting to achieve a dramatic effect, and failed miserably at that, "… the game of Truth or Dare!"

His thrilled gaze was met with incredulous looks and dumbfounded silence.

"Ugh, Kiba-kun," Lee was the first to break the silence, "would you care to enlighten us where the fun is in playing Truth or Dare?"

"It's not your average Truth or Dare, my friends. First, because you all have sworn---"

"...on our honor as a man and a shinobi to participate." Everyone at the table chorused the line that had sealed their fate and rolled their eyes. "Yeah, yeah, we know already. It's getting old, Kiba. Just get on with it!"

Kiba grinned triumphantly. "The rule is, in each round every participant will get two pieces of paper in which you can write one Dare-challenge and one Truth-question. These will go into two separate bags." Out of nowhere he produced two black leather bags the size of their shuriken pouch.

"When it's your turn, you may choose to do a Truth or Dare. Based on your choice, then you randomly take your 'trial' from one of these bags. No cheating here, please!" Kiba looked pointedly at Neji and wagged his finger in front of him. "No Byakugan!"

"Hmph," Neji crossed his arms sullenly, "as if I would use my Byakugan for something as trivial as this."

"As long as you got the point…" Kiba shrugged and continued, "If you choose to take a Dare, you'll have to read it out in front of everyone and then execute the task. In case that you take a Truth, you don't have to tell us the question…"

Sasuke swore he saw an evil glint in Kiba's eyes at that moment.

"… but you have to shout the complete answer loud enough that everyone in the meeting hall can hear it. And by complete answer I mean something like, say the question is 'What did you eat this morning?' You have to begin by announcing that you have something to tell. And then the answer would be something like, 'The truth is, this morning I ate ramen.' Got that?"

Naruto raised a finger. "Can we refuse to complete the trial?"

"You may, but for example if you take a Truth and decide not to do it, you are forced to take a Dare vice versa. Remember, you can only refuse once in each round, and your refusal cannot be undone! So choose wisely! In a battlefield, your decision to do or not to do something could be of---"

"Yeah, yeah, we got the picture." Asume had had enough of Kiba getting all philosophical. "Let's just get over with it!"

"One last rule," Kiba chuckled with amusement that people were actually going to play his little game, "No killing assignments allowed here, and you are not allowed to dare someone to sleep with somebody else either. The Dare-challenge has to be a task that can be completed in the perimeter of this room."

"What about the Truth-questions?" Shikamaru finally speak for the first time during the whole ordeal. "Are there any limitations?"

"No!" Gai quickly countered. "You should be allowed to ask anything! Otherwise it wouldn't be fun!"

And so Sasuke, Naruto, Genma, Gai, Lee, Kiba, Shikamaru, Neji and Asuma found themselves scribbling the trials they'd put their friends into on a small piece of paper.

-

A little while later, after arguing back and forth on the method of choosing the victim, it was decided that they were going to draw a lot to pick the first victim. Having completed the trial, that person then obtained the right to select the next victim and so on.

First victim: Shiranui Genma

"Oh man!" The said jounin groaned at his streak of bad luck today. "Oh well. The faster I get it done, the sooner I'll be free of this stupid game, right? I'll do… a Truth!" With that said, Genma rummaged through the Truth-bag and pulled out a piece of paper.

His eyes widened in shock as he read through it. "What the hell!" Glaring at his tablemates, he said accusingly, "Who's the moron who came up with such a… disgraceful, dim-witted and harebrained question!"

Whatever it was that was on the paper, apparently Genma wasn't willing to share it, so he discarded the Truth-question and proceeded to pick a Dare.

"Damn… Naruto, I think this is your doing…" Genma threw the piece of paper on the table, all the while shooting Naruto a look that promised vengeance.

Get three strands of Sakura-chan's pink hair.

Laughter erupted from everyone around the table. Only Naruto would come up with something as trivial as Sakura's hair.

"Nihihi…" Naruto grinned with no remorse at all. "I'd like to see you try, especially with Kakashi-sensei around!"

-

A brawl and a lot of persuasions later, Genma returned to the table holding three strands of pink hair, several kunai sticking out of his back.

"Kakashi, you son of a bitch!" Muttering a string of curse toward the Copy nin, he threw the pink strands in front of Naruto. "Sakura was going to let me have it for free, but no, that bastard suddenly felt the need to defend her honor," he snorted grumpily, "and reasoned that since it's a challenge, it shouldn't be easy. And of course Sakura had to agree with that." He returned to his seat and grinned cheekily, "But now that I've completed my trial, I get to pick the next victim."

Suddenly everyone at the table was nervous. Genma's eyes scanned all eight shinobi at the table critically before coming into a decision. "You." He pointed a finger at Sasuke. "You're next."

"Hmph." What a stupid game, Sasuke thought to himself. Too bad he had already promised. Not bothering to state his choice of trial, his hand reached to the Dare-bag. Pulling out a paper, he skimmed through it and his face went as white as paper.

Parade around the meeting hall seven times wearing only your underwear!

"Is this even allowed…?" He didn't realize that he had voiced his question aloud.

"What is allowed?" Naruto tried to peek into the paper, but a violent jab to his rib sent him grunting in pain.

"Get lost, Dobe." Sasuke was at his wit's end. There's no way in hell he could complete this task and still maintain his dignity. But did he dare to wager taking the Truth-question? What if it turned out for the worse?

Sasuke hated to admit that Kiba had been right when he had said that it'd be like in missions. Only the stake here was not their lives, but their dignity. He couldn't decide which one he really preferred.

But then again, what could be worse than parading around the room only in your underwear? Bearing this thought in mind, Sasuke decided to switch trial—a leap of faith indeed!

"I'll take a Truth."

Everyone's face fell instantly, disappointed that he chose to exert his right to refuse. Sasuke was usually calm, cool and collected; he rarely lost his composure like he just did, even if it was just for a few seconds. It must be a very outrageous challenge to have perturbed him so. Too bad they'd never know what it was.

Sasuke's face turned several shades whiter as he read the question written on the paper. For the love of Hokage! He cringed inwardly. What did I ever do in my past lives to deserve this kind of humiliation!

On the other hand, Sasuke's tablemates' interest was perked up immediately. Everyone's thoughts were one. This is gotta be good…

Sasuke felt like he was heading to a guillotine to be slaughtered. He almost forgot about that particular incident. The only ones who knew were his classmates back then before he had become a genin. It made all the difference, the fact that he was about to announce to his jounin colleagues that his…

He shuddered at the prospect of such a shameful disgrace. But he had sworn on his honor as a man and a shinobi that he'd do it—that sly Inuzuka!

A promise is a promise. There's no way he could get around it.

Finally resigning to his doom, Sasuke gulped as he rose from his seat, cold sweat broke along his forehead.

The moment of truth is about to begin.


"THE TRUTH IS…" Sasuke faltered a little bit then. Unconsciously he snapped his eyes shut, and because of this he failed to realize that the doorknob was turning quietly, signaling the presence of someone at the other side of the wooden door. His voice was loud and clear as he shouted, "THE ONE WHO STOLE MY FIRST KISS WAS… NARUTO!"

Slowly he opened his eyes, and much to his mortification, he stared right into Tsunade's saucer-sized eyes. The 5th Hokage was standing at the meeting hall's entrance, her mouth gaping open, the papers she previously held in her hand scattered on the floor. Behind her stood the delegations of all five great shinobi countries in the same predicament as the leader of Hidden Leaf.

Oh brother…

Sasuke just wanted to keel over and die.

- The End -

Author's Note:
Never mind that Tsunade felt the need to gather all available jounin for a meeting with the delegations of the five great shinobi countries. It was just a silly idea that popped in my mind when I watched the clip from Episode 3 of the dubbed Naruto, the infamous kissing scene. I'd love tohear what you think of it…