Summary: Naruto will need special training and a secret identity to perform an S-Class mission and spy on Kage-level ninja at the Cute Polar Bear Hot Springs Festival.
Disclaimer: Kishimoto owns the toybox, I'm just playing with his action figures.
S-Class Mission Revealed
Tsunade sighed, and leaned back in her chair and rubbed her forehead.
Iruka scrupulously looked the other way.
"We're boned, aren't we?" Tsunade said.
"Er... yes, Hokage-sama." Iruka agreed, brow creased with hesitation.
Shizune strolled in the door with a pot of coffee and frowned. "What's the problem?"
Tsunade sighed, and reached down to pick up an intelligence report and wave it in the air. "There's going to be a special hot springs festival in the southern part of the snow Country in a little over a month."
Shizune blinked, then frowned. "You're not going."
Iruka cut in when he saw Tsunade's 'anger' vein throbbing. "Er, that's not what the Godaime meant, Shizune-san. Intelligence reports place both the Tsuchikage and the Raikage's wife at the festival."
Tsunade sighed. "So, the two most powerful kunoichi from the Stone and Cloud countries will be attending."
Shizune nodded, eyes widening. "You think they're going to negotiate an alliance."
Tsunade scowled, crossing her arms (Iruka pinched his nose). "Any alliance between those two would definitely not be good for our country, but at the very least we should send a spy."
Shizune put the almost-forgotten pot of coffee on the desk. "So, we need to send a spy to the hot springs. A ninja that can spy on kage-level women in the bath."
"Jiraiya already volunteered," Tsunade said sourly, "but the idea is not to unite them against the leaf." She grabbed the pot and refilled her cup.
"So, we send a kunoichi." Shizune said.
"That's the obvious solution." Iruka said, sighing.
"Too obvious..." Shizune said, picking up on what he really meant, frowning. "They'll probably have their own guards... ones who'll recognize all our jounin."
"And chuunin." Tsunade said. "That's the downside of the open exams. Other countries can easily compile lists of all the chuunin-level or higher ninja in a village, if they have intelligence people present at all of the exams."
"So, we need to send a genin-level kunoichi to spy on kage level shinobi." Iruka sighed. "The best answer would be Hinata, because of her Byakugan, but even if she had the confidence for it, those very eyes would make her too obvious."
Tsunade growled. "I could do it, if my age-change jutsu wasn't so famous." Among kunoichi, it was the single most sought-after ninjutsu in the world.
Shizune raised an eyebrow. "What about me? I haven't built up the reputation you have, either."
Tsunade snapped at her. "You're my public assistant and apprentice. The most obvious choice for the spy, even if you were never officially ranked as a ninja."
Iruka, sensing another cat-fight, and being the wonderful sort of guy that averted them instead of encouraged them, stepped in. "So, we basically need a kunoichi that doesn't actually exist, with the guts to spy on a whole bunch of really good ninjas."
Tsunade rolled her eyes. "It's not like there's a 'sex-change no jutsu' that we can use on Kakashi or something."
Iruka coughed, doubling over in the chair as his eyes went wide.
"Eh? You ok?" Tsunade said. She did not get out of her chair.
Iruka nodded. "Well... there isn't such a thing as a 'sex-change no jutsu'... but what about, 'sexy no jutsu'?"
For a moment, Tsunade glowered at him, thinking it was a come-on.
Abruptly, Tsunade laughed. "I remember now!" She turned to her apprentice's. "Shizune... could you go get Uzumaki Naruto for me?"
He was unpredictable enough, it might actually work.
Currently, Naruto was beating the tar out of himself. Himselves, more accurately.
He'd pestered Sasuke about training together, but his rival blew him off. Kakashi and him were doing some special Sharingan training.
Then he'd went looking for Jiraiya. The old pervert blew him off to peep at women bathing. Naruto had just stormed off when the old pervert told him he was training for an S-class mission.
Neji was doing some weird training with his uncle, and Naruto knew better than to go pester a whole entire clan of people that hated him. Who could do that fruity eye thing and screw up his organs.
Kiba was training with his family. Shino was training with his dad. So was Shikamaru.
He'd even went to track down Lee and Gai. They were off in one of the more forested training areas. They'd begged off, since Gai had been teaching Lee to open another Gate.
That sounded so gay.
But he wasn't about to tell them that.
Even Sakura was busy, practicing a jutsu on a fish like Tsunade had told her to. Naruto, reminded (again) that both his teammates had sensei that actually taught them stuff on a semi-regular basis, had finally just stormed off, shouting that he'd practice by himself.
So he did.
Sakura had rolled her eyes and told him he'd just be wasting his time.
Naruto smiled. Actually, this was probably the most productive training he'd had since he'd learned the Rasengan.
He jumped out of the way as a shuriken whizzed past, and threw one of his own. That's what he got for being distracted during training!
While he was dodging, he was tackled from behind, and he rolled around, grappling. Finally he managed to pull out a kunai and stab his opponent in the throat.
The kage bunshin disappeared in a puff of smoke.
Naruto's success was short-lived, however, as he had to immediately evade another batch of shuriken. He hid behind the tree, and looked out across the field. "So... it came from other there, so I must be in that patch of bushes..." He thought out loud. Then he frowned.
Shizune scowled. "Naruto, what on earth are you doing?"
"Ahh!" He shouted, and lept away from his hiding spot while pulling three kunai out. He blinked. "Shizune-neechan! You shouldn't sneak up on people like that!"
Shizune blinked back, and frowned. "If you're having a breakdown, we should probably take you to the hospital."
"Eh?" Naruto said. "Why would you think that?"
Shizune pinched her nose. "Naruto, you were just wondering if you were hiding in the bushes of the opposite side of the clearing."
Naruto blinked, and scowled in confusion. "Well, of course I was. I don't know where the other two Naruto are, but I'm pretty sure one of them is in those bushes..." He pointed, trailing off when he noticed Shizune was staring at him.
"What?" He asked, half-shouting.
"Never mind." Shizune said, waving her hand. "Just... the Hokage wants to see you, immediately."
"Why?" Naruto said, ever obstinate. He'd finally figured out a great way to train all by himself, and now the old lady wanted to interrupt him?
"I don't know!" Shizune said. She didn't. Why would Naruto need to know about a top-secret kunoichi mission? She wagged her finger at him. "But, if the Hokage calls for a ninja, they should report immediately instead of asking questions!"
"Yeah, yeah." He turned and shouted at the clearing. "Oye! Naruto! Training's over now!"
Shizune stared. She fell down when he got an answer.
"What? Already? We just got started!" Naruto's voice back shouted from the other side of the clearing.
"I know, but baachan called, so we gotta cut it short!" Naruto said.
"Ok, I guess." Naruto's voice came from a third place.
Two Narutos popped out of the bushes, and waved. "Bye!"
The original Naruto waved back, and the second and third poofed into smoke.
Understanding hit Shizune like a train. Or maybe a truck. "Kage Bunshin?" She asked, staring at the genin her master had befriended.
"Yeah, of course." Naruto said. He laughed. "What, you didn't think I'd talk to myself if I wasn't there, did you?"
He laughed again, faster and louder, and ran off to see the Hokage.
His parting comment gave Shizune a headache.
"Hey, Tsunade-baachan!" Naruto said, coming in through the window. That way the ANBU wouldn't give him a hard time.
"Naruto, that's not the way to address the leader of the village." Iruka scolded, looking up from a series of mission profiles. He had a bunch to hand out later that afternoon.
"Sorry!" Naruto said. He tried again. "Hey, Hokage-baachan!"
Iruka just groaned and rubbed his temples as Tsunade raised an eyebrow.
"Oye, brat." She said. "I've picked you out to go on a special S-class spying mission in a month. But you'll need some special training first."
Iruka had to admire the way she phrased that. That pushed every button Naruto had about missions.
"YES!" Naruto said, pumping his fist in the air. "I'll do it!"
"Good." Tsunade said. "Here's the mission briefing." She handed him the scroll, and he practically pounced on it. "By the way," she said, with a hint of a smirk, "you'll need to be disguised as a girl during it."
"WHAT?" Naruto shouted. "Whattaya mean, I have to be disguised as a girl?"
Iruka grinned. Finally, an object lesson in patience, and not jumping ahead. This would do Naruto some good. "Naruto..." he pointed at the scroll. "Look carefully. You need to infilitrate a hot springs resort to spy on enemy kunoichi. To do that, you'll have to maintain your 'sexy no jutsu' for several days, at least."
Naruto frowned, peering at the scroll. He couldn't read the whole thing, since there were so many kanji, but he took Iruka's word for it. "I dunno..." he said, frowning. "That sounds an awful lot like a mission the ero-sennin would give me."
Tsunade's eyebrow twitched. It was bad that he said it. It was worse that it was true. "Well, it'll only be perverted if you're a pervert about it."
Naruto frowned, clutching his chin. "Yeah, I guess that's true." He looked up, and smiled. "Well! I'll definitely take the mission!"
Iruka grunted. "Just like that?" How was Naruto supposed to learn about jumping into things if he was a good sport about it?
Naruto rubbed the back of his head, sheepish. "Well, I accepted, and I can't back down. That's my ninja way!" He smiled. "Besides, it's not like you two would try and trick me into a mission... Ero-sennin would and Kakashi might, but I trust you two more than them!" He finished.
Tsunade's eyebrow twitched. 'Twist the knife a little more, why don't you?'
Iruka coughed. "Anyway, you really are going to need special training. Everything should be in that assignment... scroll..." He trailed off.
Naruto chuckled, embarrassed. "Uh... I can't read it all, so... could you help me?"
Iruka sighed. "Fine. I'll help you work out the details. Why don't you show up at my place? We can have dinner first, while we're at it."
Naruto frowned. "So, sevenish?"
Iruka smiled. "That sounds great."
"Thanks, Iruka-sensei!" Naruto said, jumping out the window and going back to his training.
"...What?" Iruka asked, a little nervous under Tsunade's leer.
"It's a suspicious circumstance that you've created for tonight, that's all." She responded.
He wasn't sure what exactly she meant, but it was probably bad. "Well..." He said, "It's not like that. I'll just be giving him some brotherly advice, I suppose."
Tsunade smiled back. "That's good. He could use more support."
Iruka scratched his face, blushing again. "Well, I try to look out for him, when I can, but... like he keeps telling me, he's basically a grown-up now."
Tsunade sighed. "Yeah..."
They both jumped as Shizune re-entered the room. Shizune raised an eyebrow. "Getting a little... close, while I was away, Tsunade-sensei?"
Iruka, mortified, stammered out an excuse.
Shizune wasn't listening. She had to dodge Tsunade's chair.