Iruka grumbled in irritation and annoyance as he headed back to his classroom. After several hours of searching around his house for Class Two's exam papers, he'd been frustrated to realize he must have left them in the classroom for graduating gennin.

Iruka strode angrily through the door and rifled through his piles of papers. Finally he found the stack he was looking for and turned about to leave the room.

A pause. A twitch.


¤Chapter Five¤

'I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad
These dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had.'
Gary Jules (Mad World)


It was a fairly cheerful Naruto that decided to sleep in until 6 o'clock that morning. He merely shrugged it off when Sasuke mentioned it. They both knew that Kakashi wouldn't bother to show up until nearly ten, so there would be no point in waiting around when they could be doing better things.

Sasuke was the one who set out breakfast, which they both ate leisurely in comfortable silence.

Until Naruto broke it, that is.

"What are we going to do about Sakura?" He watched as Sasuke's relaxed posture went stiff and one of his chopsticks suddenly snapped in his hand. Sasuke turned a cold gaze on him, but Naruto sat unaffected.

"We counted on asking ojii-san to change the teams around, but we both forgot. Sakura isn't part of our plans, so what are we going to do?" he asked again. But in his mind he was thinking, 'Can you handle this?'

"I don't know," Sasuke averted his gaze to his palm, were he started picking out the splinters of lacquered wood lodged there. "I doubt the Hokage would be willing to change the teams now. We will just have to work with her." Sasuke tried his best to sound uncaring, but Naruto knew him far too well for that.

He knew the things Sasuke thought about in moments like this. They both had memories of things that ought not to be remembered, but neither could discard them or the feelings that came with them.

Which brought forth another question.

Can I handle this?


Naruto twitched, pulling at his vest once again. The concealed inside of his vest was literally covered with various types of weapons: senbon, shuriken, kunai, even a fukidake. The majority of it was probably overkill, but with Kakashi you never could tell. He and Sasuke had decided that it was time to start wielding a bit more of their strength in public. The only one to know even a margin of the truth about them was Lee, and after much convincing he agreed to keep quiet until the chunnin exams.

Naruto glanced over to where Sasuke leaned against the bridge railing, stiff as a board. One of his hands was clenched white-knuckled onto his katana, where the other was occupied by Sakura hanging off his weighted arm warmer. She was chatting into his ear excessively and whenever her voice reached a particularly high pitch, Sasuke's fingers flexed on the blade. He was desperately suppressing the urge to kill her, Naruto could tell.

It had only been five minutes since they arrived at the bridge. He sighed. It was going to be a long day.

Sasuke broke from his stony expression to give Naruto a look that most clearly pled 'Save me!'

Naruto simply grinned at him and indicated for Sasuke to deal with it himself. There was no way he was going to touch the pink leech.

A long day indeed.

A/n: Everyone has been so patient with me, and I'm sorry to say that I still won't be continuing this quite yet. I really want to finish my current HP fic before I lose all inspiration for it. Anyway, I've had this sitting around forever and figured I should give you guys something, even if it's pathetically short and pointless. Please forgive me!