An hour before dawn she awoke. She re-packed all her things into her bag and checked out of the hotel. Getting her bearings in the pre-dawn light, she set off towards the Anbu headquarters. She arrived a little early. Coming to a short Anbu wearing a dog mask, she was told to sign in on a clipboard with her name, age and sex. She filled in the columns and passed through to a waiting room where she saw one other ninja, a girl, wearing a pale pink ¾ length sleeve dress lined with red that fell to her knees, sitting on a bench. In a cloth belt she wore were several different coloured scrolls and her dark brown hair was plaited into two braids hanging past her shoulders. She seemed nervous. Within a few more minutes, two other ninjas showed up. One was a tall, strong-looking man with jet black hair, spiked at the back. He wore a high, broad necked deep blue shirt and black shorts with a mesh suit underneath that could be seen on his arms and legs. On his back he carried a huge shuriken; half his height. He stood to the side and surveyed the room coolly. The last shinobi to walk into the room was a smaller man wrapped in bandages which covered his whole right arm and half his left and went down to his mid-calf. Over these were a Chuunin vest and knee-length dark red shorts and a holster tied to his left leg. A shock of fire-red hair was tied in a short ponytail at the back of his head.
Dawn had just barely risen when a slender Anbu wearing a ram mask came through the door and addressed the four ninjas.
"Thank you for arriving on time. I trust you four are Tenten, Lei, Uchiha Sasuke and Ichimaru Shouri?" The four nodded. "Good. Your mission today will be to retrieve a scroll containing a secretive new jutsu that could cause great damage in the enemy's hands. Bring it back as swiftly as possible. This scroll contains the finer details. Even though this may be a simulation, the dangers are not. Begin immediately." She handed the scroll to the closest shinobi, the man in blue. As he took it, she exited through the same door she entered through. The man opened the scroll, scanned its contents then tossed it to the man with the red hair. Fumbling with it, he managed to not drop it as the black-haired man just rolled his eyes.
"Okay, since we're all in this mission together, we might as well learn each other's names," he announced in his low, confident voice as the scroll was passed around. "I'm Uchiha Sasuke." He then looked expectantly at the ninja in red. Catching his drift, the man in red told the other three his name. His voice was anxious and he spoke very quickly, slurring his words together slightly.
"I'm Ichimaru Shouri."
"I am Tenten," the brown-haired girl informed them in her light voice.
"My name is Lei," the girl in grey told them expressionlessly.
"Could we say a little about ourse-"
"No. Let's just start the mission as soon as possible. Time for long introductions is time wasted." Sasuke interrupted Shouri in an impatient and almost bored voice. The red-haired shinobi looked disappointed. 'I bet he even had something planned…' Lei thought.
"We need a leader for the mission. Anyone have any preferences?" the cold voice asked. Shouri opened his mouth, about to speak, when the Uchiha cut him off. "Okay, I suppose I will then. Our first move should be to scout out their hideout deep in the southern forest and gather more information. We will travel in a group until we are closer to the base." With that, they turned and followed the taller shinobi out the door. They were soon speeding through the forest, on their way to retrieving the scroll and becoming Anbu's.
Lei could see that they would most likely be travelling for a while, so she decided to learn a bit more about her other members. Moving a little closer to Shouri as they bounded through the trees, she inquired about their leader, Sasuke.
"Do you know Sasuke-san very well? He seemed a little harsh back there when a leader was chosen." She had noticed how the black-haired man had cut off the other before he had a chance to say anything. Shouri wrinkled his nose into a small sneer.
"Yeah. We were in the Academy together," he explained in his fast voice. "Just because he's thought of as a prodigy, coming from the Uchiha clan, he thinks he's better than everyone else. He's really just a stuck-up prick, although he is quite strong when he's in his element. What he really needs is someone to stand up against him since he's never really had proper discipline. He's just too proud." Lei could hear how her fellow team mate spat out the name Uchiha, but, not being from Konoha, had never heard of this clan before.
"Uchiha? I've never heard of them," at a slightly startled look from Shouri, she added, "I come from a small village outside of Konoha. News from the bigger villages is rare," she explained. He nodded.
"That's understandable. The Uchihas are a prestigious clan of Konoha that have the bloodline limit of the Sharingan. It allows them to copy any jutsu and sometimes 'foretell' the future. Anyways, there are only 2 Uchihas left; our leader and his brother Itachi. Years ago, Sasuke's older brother slaughtered the whole clan, save for Sasuke."
"Must've been hard on him," she said expressionlessly. Something about the way she said it made Shouri look at her sharply. 'That was so… cold and unsympathetic. Just like he would say it,' He thought to himself.
They travelled the rest of the way in silence. Around mid-afternoon they halted as a hairline crack in the rock face of a cliff was barely distinguishable.
"We're here," Sasuke needlessly announced as his voice took on a new, no-fooling-around tone. However, Shouri had his suspicions.
"Are you sure this is the place? The information scroll only told us it was in the southern part of the forest. Maybe we should scout a little furth-"
"No. If we scouted any father, we would only be losing precious time. This is the place," came the flinty, no-nonsense answer from their leader. Shouri narrowed his eyes slightly in annoyance. Lei noticed.
"I'm sure he meant no harm in suggesting that we be 100 sure." Lei's reprimand was equally as stony as Sasuke's. Shouri flashed her a startled, then grateful look. Sasuke sneered slightly, but stayed quiet. While they waited for the leader's signal to approach, Shouri continued looking at Lei, making her feel a little uncomfortable. After a few minutes, he turned back to the cliff.
"Okay. We'll keep watching the hideout for any movement. Then, when it gets dark and I give the signal, Shouri will make a bunshin and slip inside. He will then find a way to silently open the door so no one knows we're here," Sasuke ordered, turning his dark eyes on Shouri the way one would sternly look at a dog as if forcing it to obey. Shouri averted his eyes from the glare as they al nodded to show their understanding. They soundlessly crept around the fort, finding places to hide.