'Til We Meet Again
by: cloudgoddess

Chapter 2

A good weather greeted Konoha. It was the perfect day for ninjas to train and improve their jutsus and other skills.

Taking advantage of the nice weather, diligent ninjas like those of teams 7, 10 and Gai were already present in their favorite training grounds. However, it was noticeable that their female members were missing.

"MAAAAAAAAAAAN! Where can my Sakura-chan be?" Uzumaki Naruto whined as he deflected a shuriken from the Uchiha prodigy, Sasuke. "Why do I have to spar with your ugly face? Why can't it be with Sakura-chan?"

"Urusei dobe."

Team 7 usually meets around seven in the morning. Sasuke will be the first to appear at the bridge, followed by Sakura and then, Naruto. All three of them will proceed to a clearing and wait for their perverted sensei, Hatake Kakashi to arrive an hour or two later.

It was a different scenario today.

Kakashi closed his orange book, got up from the three and motioned the two boys to come forward. "We're heading to the Hokage Tower." With a few hand signals, Kakashi was gone. Naruto and Sasuke followed suit.

The problem was the same with Team 10 that was not really doing any training. Nara Shikamaru was dozing off under a tree. Akimichi Chouji was munching on his chips. Their sensei, Sarutobi Asuma was smoking a cigarette near the two boys.

"I should have skipped training like Ino," Chouji said.

"Even if Ino is flighty Chouji, it is her personal goal to torture us with her outbursts during trainings. I don't think she would want to skip an opportunity like this," Shikamaru replied, lifting his fingers and pointing at their current state of laziness for emphasis.

Asuma looked piteously at his team. Without the loud blonde to push the two boys to train, they were just male teenagers, who did not care for a thing in the world. "We're visiting Tsunade-sama."

Maito Gai's team was a different story altogether.

Since the crack of dawn, kicks and punches have been exchanged. Tattered clothes, bruised bodies and destroyed grounds were evidences of the hard work the team put into. Pushing their limits was their daily goal.

"Gai-sensei! It has been four hours since we started training and Tenten has not yet come. I'm afraid her youthfulness has been stolen from her!" Rock Lee cried in anguish.

The sensei dramatically put his hands over his chest, telling his ward that his theory is breaking his heart. Meanwhile, Hyuuga Neji, who was the most tacit of the group, just looked down on his sensei and teammate with disgust.

To stop their inane ramblings and outrageous ideas on where their female teammate could be, Neji interrupted their youth-filled conversation and just presented the most practical suggestion. "I've already checked her house during my laps around the town. Let's just ask Tsunade-sama."

Team Gai hurriedly set for the Hokage's office, where they found teams 7 and 10 also waiting for their village leader.

Naruto was trying to take some chips from Chouji, who stubbornly refused to share, even the crumbs left from the foil. He reasoned that he can still gulp it all down. "And it's like a one whole chip again."

Angered by his friend's selfishness, the hokage-wannabe poised to attack and steal the remaining bags of chips in Chouji's possession. But even before his fist landed the chubby boy's face, an empty bottle of sake wheezed past his head and shattered upon hitting the wall.

"BAA-CHAN! That was dangerous! You could have hit me," Naruto complained.

"That was the point, you dumb brat."

Aborting his plan to attack Chouji, Naruto instead shifted his focus to Konoha's busty hokage, Tsunade, who was the culprit in the bottle-throwing drama. Taking a shuriken from his holster, Naruto readied to attack as retaliation.

But being used to Naruto's stupid antics, Tsunade preempted what she already expected to be a clumsy and outlandish attack. Gathering a significant amount of chakra in her right fist, the current hokage moved swiftly as possible and punched the kyuubi-holder in his stomach.

It left Naruto slumping on one side of her office, unconscious.

Turning around gracefully, like nothing barbaric happened; Tsunade faced the bored spectators on the other side of her office. Seeing their facial expressions changed from bored to expecting, the hokage gulped and motioned her assistant Shizune to bring her another bottle of sake.

Taking a shot, she composed herself and discussed what she expected them to hear. "As of today, Haruno Sakura, Kagami Tenten and Yamanaka Ino are no longer ninjas of this village. They have already pledged allegiance to another village."

"That's impossible! Sakura-chan would never betray Konoha!" the now conscious Naruto shouted. Lee, who was already about to burst into tears, seconded the statement with the addition of his teammate's name.

Exasperated, Tsunade bonked their heads, but flashed a somber look on her face. "I did not say that they betrayed Konoha. Special circumstances rendered them unable to become part of this village anymore. But they have not become enemies of Konoha."

"But why did they not inform us Tsunade-sama?" Kakashi spoke this time.

"They had to leave the village immediately," she answered. "Do not worry. They will be fine. And they all left you some things. Unfortunately, I do not have time anymore, so Shizune will be giving them instead. Please proceed to the room beside my office."

Tsunade abruptly stood up and headed to her private quarters, leaving the ninjas unable to question her further.

But that was not a problem.

All of them were trying to digest the information they received to even formulate a question.