It took a while for everyone to recieve a scroll and pick a gate,but eventually the proctors lined up around the gate.There was an extremely tense moment of selence as everyone prepared for what was ahead.Anko yelled out "BEGIN"and the proctors opened the gates.

Shikamaru took off running on the ground as Ikiru jumped over the tree tops.Looking around,she realized that they were well isolated. The gates were spread out just enough so that they were concealed enough to begin taking action.She looked back infront of her and suddenly a large branch snapped infront of her.Ikiru planted one hand on it firmly before hopping over.

She jumped onto the ground and began running beside Shikamaru.He stopped abruptly and grabbed her arm,pulling Ikiru into the brush with him.She fell onto the ground clumsily as soon as he let go."What was that for?Are we already being followed by someone?"

Ikiru realized that he wasn't listening.Shikamaru was crouching close to the ground with his hands pressed together in that thinking pose he did so often.He was devising a strategy,Ikiru could tell.Shikamaru's eyes opened and he said"You need to rest"

"what?"Ikiru asked"Why?I already slept during the exam for a good twenty minutes.What are you up to?"

She could tell what Shikamaru was thinking.How troublesome she was.It was true.Ikiru was not one to follow orders.She was stubborn when it came to following.She felt the constant need to be in control."Think about it."Shikamaru explained."Right now everyone is wearing themselves out looking for each other so they can get started.They all want to get this over with so they will probably keep this up for days and tire out.But if we sleep off and on,we will have more stamina and therefore more chakra.when the time comes they will get desperate and find us to take our scroll.I intend to be ready"

'Typical Shikamaru.'Ikiru thought.'Doing things the lazy yet efficient way', "so,why am I the one that needs to sleep?"

"well for starters,you used up most of your chakra for that jutsu during the chuunin exams."He said."And besides,my shadow bind wont work at night.There aren't any shadows in the dark.You will be awake then and I will sleep."

Ikiru sighed."I don't trust you one bit."she said."but I guess I am worn out.If we fail,Im holding you responsible."Ikiru finished and laid down on the ground.She fell asleep soon.

-6:00 pm-

Shikamaru sat in the grass by Ikiru.He was thinking about right after the first exam only hours earlier.Ikiru was walking beside him. She asked"Do you remember anything about how I got here?"

Of course he did.Shikamaru reflected back to that day.It was sunny and bright out about six years earlier.Chouji was walking beside him as they looked up at the clouds.There were many out and the ground was damp from the rain that came the day before.He found himself wandering along the main road and looking out through the gates.

There was a figure in the distance.which wasn't unusual scince Konoha was a popular place for travelers.Shikamaru saw that the person was staggering when she got a bit closer.She collapsed on the ground only a few steps away from the gates.He saw that she was a girl,around eight years old.Her hair was plastered to her head by blood and wet from the rain.

She was bloody and her clothes were torn.As he walked closer to her,he saw that her hair had the most vibrant blood red streaks he had ever seen through it.She didn't seem to move as he picked her up."What should we do with her?"Chouji asked.

Shikamaru didn't pay much attention.He was too busy studying the Konoha mark on her stomach.Even now,he could see the mark on her as she slept.He knew that Naruto had similar markings that made his seal.But if Ikiru indeed had a seal,what was it that was sealed within her?

His thoughts were interrupted by a loud snap of a branch.He reached over and shook Ikiru awake.Kimori awoke as well and a low growl arose from her throat."I think Kimori smells something"Ikiru said."Did someone find us?"

"I think so.Prepare yourself."Shikamaru said.He jerked a kunai from his shuriken holster and crouched low.It didn't take long to find the attackers.Sakura,Chouji and Shino walked out from behind the bushes."I told you"Sakura said"That I would find some weaklings. this team only has two losers on it.they dont even have three people."

"They put us together because we work well in a team,Sakura.We are just as good as you."Ikiru said

"Whatever."Sakura said"lets just steal their scroll and leave."

"Sakura-"Shino started but Sakura ignored him and took a step forward.She found that she couldn't move.Shikamaru had already caught her with the shadow bind jutsu."Look before you talk."He said before taking a few steps forward.He let go as soon as Sakura went up in a trap.

Ikiru took out a kunai."Im ready"