A/N: Sooooo...Sasu and Saku pic on profile...yada yada...Let's start the chapter!
Previously on Adolescence:
(Sasuke and Neji) then both proceeded to glower at each other and get in a fighting stance. Sakura sweat-dropped and sighed. It was still a long, long ways away until sunset.
'It's gonna be a long day.'
Chapter 3: Outlaws? Missing-nin? Cool!
It was approximately twenty-seven minutes until sunset. Team Seven could be found where they normally were found, along with two Hyuugas and Bugboy. Our favourite blonde knuckleheaded ninja was standing next to Hinata, attempting a conversation. Hearing a growl, they both turned to look sideways across the bridge, and sweat-dropped.
Neji, who was covered in scratches, bruises, cuts, burns, and red hole-imprints that looked suspiciously like mace-marks, stood with his back leaning against the railing, arms crossed. He was glaring at the also bruised and beaten up Uchiha across from him, who had his hands in his pockets and a nonchalant look that Neji knew was made to mock him. He activated his Byakugan to add intensity. Sasuke just gave him a bored look, but we all know he was smirking on the inside.
'After all, I won.'
With that thought, his internal smirk became external as he quirked a brow, secretly--or not so secretly-- scorning the loser of the sparring match. Neji narrowed his eyes, getting the message and then proceeded to fry a deeper hole through the inflated head of Sasu-chan, the great. Sasuke's expression shifted to blank once again, muttering something under his breath.
The person next to him heard what he said and snorted.
'He calls Neji a sore loser? Tch. Compared to how he himself takes a loss, Neji smiles while embracing the winner to congratulate him on discovering his inner youth and then announces his own loss to the world in a superman pose.'
Sakura partly covered her mouth with her hand, trying to stifle a laugh when imagining that scenario, but a few giggles escaped anyways. She stopped and put her hand down when Sasuke raised his head to her; she was currently seated on the railing next to him.
He raised the same eyebrow at her while she rolled her eyes and glanced at Neji. He had stopped glaring and had his eyes turned to her. She looked to her side; Hinata, Naruto, and the ever-silent Shino, who was across from the latter, were looking at her as well.
"What? I was just imagining Neji doing a superman pose…"
There were several different reactions. Naruto burst out laughing. Hinata smiled, secretly envisioning the scene. Shino just stayed quiet, but he was smirking behind that high collar. Sasuke gave her an emo look and smirked at the victim. Said victim gave Sakura a what-the-hell look with a slight glare.
"I don't. Even. Want. To know."
A moment later, a quiet giggle left Hinata's lips but it wasn't unheard. Naruto started laughing again as well, followed by giggling from Sakura, mocking silence from Shino, a roll of eyes from Sasuke, and a twitch of the eyebrow from Neji.
Only five minutes had passed.
Sakura started playing with Sasuke's hair. She moved over him so his head was right under her chin. Sasuke didn't stop her since it felt kinda good, but frowned in order to show his 'annoyance', him being Uchiha Sasuke and all. Shino held up his index finger and a mosquito landed on it. Naruto gave him a weird look. Hinata was already used to this. Neji observed Sakura play with Sasuke's hair and closed his eyes. Three more minutes had passed.
A bug landed on Naruto and he swatted it away. Two bugs landed on him and he once again swatted them away. Three bugs landed, he swatted. Four bugs landed, he swatted. Annoyed, he looked suspiciously at Shino, who was still in the mosquito-on-his-finger pose. Hinata looked from one to the other. Two minutes passed.
About five dozen bugs buzzed around Naruto and he ran back and forth across the bridge to get away from them. Sakura played with Sasuke's hair. Sasuke slept with his eyes open. Neji hadn't moved. Hinata gave the blonde a worried glance and turned to give Shino an if-you're-doing-this-please-stop look. He lowered his finger a little. Another two minutes passed.
Naruto kept running around and shouting curses directed at either the bugs or Shino, or both. Most probably both. Shino's mosquito moved up to his forehead. Sakura got an elastic band and tied small parts of Sasuke's hair together. He looked so funny, she decided to once again capture the moment with her Saku-cam. Sasuke kept staring at nothing. Neji opened his eyes and closed them again. Hinata stood up to Shino with furrowed brows and a frown. Three minutes.
Sasuke snapped back to reality and looked around. Sakura was still playing with his hair.
Hyuuga was acting all 'look-at-me-I'm-so-cool-I-can-sleep-standing-up-and-not-move-at- all' again.
The dobe was being chased by insects.
Bugboy had a mosquito on his forehead.
'Weird, but Hn.'
The female Hyuuga was glaring at Bugboy.
'Hn--wait. She can glare?'
He looked back at Naruto and shrugged.
One minute and fifty-three seconds.
The next time Naruto ran by Sasuke, said person grabbed his arm and pulled him over the railing, down into the water. All the pests instantly flew away, leaving only their former target's head bobbing up and down in the water.
(T.T) "Thanks a lot, teme."
Three and a half minutes.
"Argh!" Sakura cried out in frustration. She looked up and glared at the sun, although had to squint her eyes to do it.
"Set you stupid sun! Set already! SET!" She banged her fists on the railing in order to show her frustration with the sun. The whole bridge shook with the impact. Everyone, excluding Shino, who just stared, sweat-dropped.
"Sakura, screaming at the sun won't make it set faster." Sasuke stated calmly.
"Besides, Kaka-sensei won't show up on time anyways!"
Naruto, who was soaked from head to toe, replied from beside Hinata, who kept glancing at Shino in order to make sure he wasn't planning anything. Sakura scowled at him.
"Thanks, Naruto. I feel a lot better."
"What? I'm just stating facts!"
Sakura just sighed and tried the patience thing again. Alas, it didn't last very long.
"SET DAMN IT!!!!"
Well that whole scene took up four more minutes and twelve seconds.
(It's been twenty-four minutes and thirty-five seconds so far.)
The sun was about to set any minute now. Everyone on the bridge was watching intently. Sakura rested her chin on Sasuke's head and had her arms loosely wrapped around his neck. Sasuke was leaning back into the embrace all the way. If he turned his head, his cheek would touch her neck.
"I can't believe I was mad at the sun a few minutes ago. Now I wish it would set slower…" Sakura's voice was muffled by Sasuke's hair but he still heard and shook his head.
"…and you call me immature."
She lightly smacked his head and continued gazing. They all watched until the sun completely set.
"That was pretty."
"Yeah—WAAAH!" A certain silver-haired jounin with a certain orange book in his hand stood between Naruto and Sakura.
"Where the fish-lips did you come from?!" Sakura was quite surprised by her sensei's uber-sneaky ninja-ness.
"Well see, when a mommy Hatake and a daddy Hatake consuma—"
"AGH! That's not what she meant!" And Naruto was quite irritated by his sensei's uber-sneaky smartass-ness.
"Shut up." Sasuke and Neji glared at each other, after saying the same thing at the same time.
"What's our mission, Hatake-san?" Hinata asked, with that quiet voice of hers.
"Ahh, right. Though before that, I have a question of my own."
Everyone stared intently, awaiting a critical query. Kakashi looked at Sasuke.
"Why does Sasuke have 'lolita' hair?"
Sakura burst out laughing instantly followed by Naruto. The rest of them looked over and also chuckled, or in Neji and Shino's case, smirked. True indeed, Sasuke's usual chicken-butt hair was tied up on many parts of his head , like a cute little girl. His face though, did not match his hair at all. It was the face of a demon. A very angry demon. He 'Sasu-roared' and pulled all of them out at once, almost ripping his hair out in the process.
"Shut. Up." He Sasu-glared at Kakashi, then Sakura, then Naruto, then each individual person, and then back at Kakashi. He spoke through gritted teeth.
"Just. Give. Us. Our. Damn. Mission."
Naruto raised his hand.
"Ne, sensei? Why are you giving it to us instead of Tsunade-baa-chan?"
"Ah...the Hokage's a bit...busy...so..."
"She's drunk isn't she?" Sakura knew her sensei quite well.
Kakashi nodded nonetheless.
"Out like a light. So do you guys want to know your mission?"
They all nodded.
"Are you absolutely sure?"
"Just spit it out already!" Uber-sneaky silliness annoys our dear blonde knucklehead.
"Okay...the mission is to..."
DUN! DUN! DUN!
Sakura walked the lone road to the Konoha Gates, planning to arrive early. As she approached the gates, she could distinguish a solitary figure leaning against the wall, his face cast in shadow. At first, the figure seemed like Sasuke, but she soon realized that it was in fact, not. She smiled at him when they locked eyes, his glowing against the darkness.
He nodded once.
She leaned against the wall right next to him, staying silent. It was currently eight-forty-two in the evening, and the team was supposed to arrive at nine-o-clock. They were heading for the Village Hidden in the Sand, as part of their mission.
"Okay, the mission is too...become outlaws!"
Everyone stared. Hard.
"Uh, not literally! You'll be in disguise!"
Everyone stared. Harder.
"Well, maybe I should start from the beginning. You see...lately a band of high-ranking missing-nin have formed a union under Komatari Masumane, an S-class missing-nin from--"
"If this Komatari is an S-class missing-nin, how come we've never heard of him from the Village Hidden in the----AAAIIIIIII!!!!"
Naruto's face was hit with a sandal. A ninja sandal. It slowly fell from his face, revealing a red print. Both his eyebrows started twitching.
"Where the hell did that come from?!?!"
He recovered and jumped up on the railing, angry.
"Someone out there want a piece of me?! Well, COME AND GET IT!"
This time everyone stared at Sasuke, who's right foot was suspiciously lacking a sandal . A ninja sandal. He coughed.
"I'm starting an investigation on this! Did you see who, Sas-ke-teme?"
"Hn..." Sasuke coughed a few times, and looked away. Kakashi clapped his hands together to gain their attention back.
"Ahem. Anyways, the reason, is that this guy's been pretty quiet until now, so the— "
"Achoo!" Hinata sure can sneeze loud.
"—Village had thought he had died. Now, he and his organization, the Shirogami, keep on robbing important items and documents from the Hidden Villages, mostly through killing ninja on missions. The latest was a Sand ninja, delivering an important artifact to the Kazekage."
"So, what does that have to do with Konoha ninja?"
Sakura slapped Naruto upside the head.
"Idiot! It means that our village is also bound to be targeted by them. Besides, wouldn't you want to help the other villages, by getting rid of these 'bandits'?"
Naruto rubbed his head and pouted.
"I get it...but you didn't have to hit me!"
Sakura stuck her tongue out at him. Neji smirked at her--not unnoticed by the Uchiha--and turned to Kakashi.
"Even so, Hatake-san, what is our involvement? Search and destroy?"
Kakashi scratched his head.
"Not exactly. You guys are gonna have to steal a secret scroll from the Sand Village, since they seem to be the recent target. This is where you become outlaws. If you steal that scroll, Shirogami is sure to come after you. You guys will pretend to be missing-nin from Konoha and somehow join their organization, the scroll will be an offering. You will spy on them, their tactics, strategies, skills and techniques, their numbers. Just get back as much info as you can to us. That's where Shino's bugs come in handy!"
He smiled under his mask. Everyone waited patiently for him to continue.
"Sounds like fun, huh? The villages will also put up wanted posters of you everywhere, to spread your 'bad' reputation. When you eventually go to their main headquarters and meet Komatari Masumane, we and the other villages will send out more teams to your location and together, you will all take down the headquarters and Komatari. Understood? Any questions?"
"Who's leader?" Neji and Sasuke had another glare-down.
"Neji is. He's more mature." Point one for the Hyuuga! Sasuke grunted, aggravated. It was Neji's turn to put on a calm-but-mocking facade.
"Are only Leaf-ninja doing this mission? I mean, the other villages have also been attacked...so..." Sakura found it odd that only Konoha was assigned this mission.
"Well, that's why. The other villages have already lost people and vital objects. Konoha is the only village that have not been targeted yet, and Suna just recently got targeted, so the other villages requested us to do it."
"So...does that mean that Sand ninja gonna join us?" Naruto reeeaaally didn't want more temes to join their team. Sasuke reeeaaallly didn't want more idiots on the team. Neji reeeaaally didn't want more temes and idiots on the team.
They mentally breathed a sigh of relief.
"But their Kazekage might."
End of flashback
Sakura sighed. It really had been a long day. And now, they were heading out at night. No waiting until morning. No sleep. Apparently, they had to travel to Suna in the dark, so as to make it seem like they were actually running away...or something...Damn Kakashi. Damn those stupid missing-nin. Damn the other villages for causing only Leaf ninja to lack sleep. Why, oh why, did she get up so goddamn early today?! Oh that's right...Damn Kakashi. She wants to sleep dammit! She shook her head.
'Gotta stop swearing to myself...'
The person next to her watched her facial expressions with amusement.
"Cursing to yourself?"
Sakura turned to him, stunned. This was the first THE Hyuuga Neji had actually started a conversation. On his own. With her, nonetheless. She couldn't help but just gape at him. He smirked.
"Am I that pleasant to look at?"
She snapped out of it and smiled.
"Well, yeah…but I was more surprised that you were the first one to talk…"
He leaned in.
She leaned away, unconsciously.
"Yeah…I mean you don't really talk…"
He quirked an eyebrow.
"I know. But what I'm pondering on…"
He leaned in a bit more.
"…is the fact that you think I'm good-looking."
Sakura's eyes widened, realizing her little slip. Her cheeks stained with red, making a pretty blush at her embarrassment. She frowned and looked away, huffing.
"You prodigies are all the same! Condescending assholes!"
Neji leaned back to his original stance, entertained by her embarrassment. He looked down to her pink head--a head and neck shorter than himself--and saw her pouting angrily.
He then felt a sudden breeze, with leaves blowing in swirls, and he frowned. Hard. Way to ruin a good mood...the Uchiha had arrived.
"Ah." What kinda greeting is that? Sasuke walked over to stand in front of Sakura, ignoring Neji. She smiled up at him, forgetting her previous remark about prodigies and their asshole-ness. Sasuke smirked, and slid an arm around her waist. It made Neji want to gag on the spot, and the Hyuuga Neji never gags. Sasuke chose that moment to look at him--correction--glare at him. But of course.
"Stop flirting with her. She's taken."
"I believe Sakura," He stretched the word, "…said I'm pleasant to look at."
Sasuke growled. He wanted to wipe that stupid smirk off his girly face.
"Ano…" Sakura didn't know what to say, the atmosphere was too intense! A light bulb appeared, and she straightened up, pointing an accused finger at the two.
"How the hell did you two heal so damn quickly?!"
They gave her a 'weird' look.
"Why wouldn't I?" "Of course I did."
The two prodigies once again glowered at each other, after answering--or in Sasuke's case 'questioning'--at the same time. Sakura sweat dropped, everything was uptight with these two.
"SAAAKUUURRRRAAAA-CCHHYYYAAANN!!!" Naruto waved enthusiastically at her from down the road. Hinata was walking next to him, timidly waving. This was one of the rare moments where Sakura was thoroughly relived that Naruto was such a loudmouth.
She moved away and happily waved back.
"What took you so long, baka?!"
He grinned sheepishly as he got closer, and glanced at Hinata, who blushed. Sakura's mouth formed an 'O' and she also grinned. They both high-fived each other in their silent understanding, looking like idiots as they missed the first two times. Hinata giggled as she high-fived Sakura and then Naruto, when they put their hands up for one. Naruto turned around to high-five Sasuke, caught up in the mood, but the teme's don't-even-think-about-it glare froze his arm in place and left him hanging. So not cool.
Hinata looked around. Someone was still missing…
"I'm right here."
They all turned around. Shino came out of a dark, shadowed corner. Creeeeppy.
Everyone's eyes widened--except for Hinata's--but Neji's and Sakura's eyes widened for a different reason.
"Ha-how long have you been there?"
Sakura asked and Neji also wanted to know.
Shino's glasses seemed to gleam in the corner, as if to make up for their owner's lack of expression, a gleam that Neji and Sakura did not like.
They gulped. He's gleam got…er…gleamier?
"…So then, shall we leave?"
They gave him one last look, before Sasuke and Naruto slowly opened the giant gates--closed to make their lives harder. Neji walked out first, giving off an I-am-Leader-therefore-I-must-go-first-and-you-must-follow aura. Sasuke was already annoyed, but he walked out second, next to Sakura. Shino, Hinata, and Naruto followed them out. Outside the proximity of the gates, Neji stopped and removed his headband, the rest of his team also doing so. They all got a kunai out and at the same precise time, made a slash across the Konoha Leaf symbol. For Sasuke, this was the second time getting his hitai-ite slashed. He stared at it for a while, then slowly put it back on. Sakura and Naruto looked at him with concern, and the rest of the team also looked at him. He punched Naruto in the arm, making the boy grin and punch him back.
"Let's get going."
Neji started walking again. Sasuke, Sakura, Naruto, Hinata, and Shino, all walked after him, away from Konoha and into the unknown darkness, mentally preparing themselves for the long task at hand; living the dangerous lives of missing-nin.
A/N: Huzzah! I finally updated! And I somehow managed to change this story from comedy to adventure! Don't know how that happened…but oh well! REVIEW!! And joy will come to you all in the form of cyber-cookies! BWAAH!