It's a beautiful spring morning in the Village of the Leaf. Delicate pink cherry blossoms bloom in the stately trees surrounding the small but pretty house where Tenten lives. She curls up in a cushioned seat by the open window and stares outside. It hasn't been such a beautiful day in quite a while. Pastel sunlight filters through the window onto her, warming her all over. A gentle breeze tickles her along the arm.
Today is a good day. Today, she –
Okay, not. A girl can dream.
Today is a dreary day, as it has been for, what? A whole week and a half? Tenten runs her fingers across the windowsill. Never has she been so bored! She would prefer to be on a torturous mission where the bad guy tortures her and makes her look like a tortured maiden in despair and torture, than bored like this! For weeks now she and her teammates have received only the kind of mission where you only get your nails broken and dirty. Not the kind where you break the bad dude's bones with a wooden stick. Fishing, helping out at various farms, digging holes, substituting for a manicurist, walking old ladies across the street, tying little snot-nosed brats' shoes… Tenten buries her head in her arms. She knows she's being selfish, but she… is… so… freaking… bored… she wants to hit something. Yes. That's it. Hit something. She will do that. With her fist already raised, she gets up. She will go to the training ground with the wooden post where she, Lee, and Neji always train together under the guidance of their most mature and calm cough cough Gai-sensei. Yes. That is where she will go. She goes toward the door and slowly… slowly…
So drammmmaticalllllly and sslllllowlllly and drawwwwwwwnnnnn outttttttedllly (you know, like they do in the movies, where the poor kid is on the outside side of the door, and he needs to go inside to save the day and the girl and kill the bad guy, and then he accidentally makes the floorboards creak, and the bad guy inside, on the other side of the door hears and goes and opens the door, but he always take a couple of hours to turn and rattle and shake and bang and clang and bam and click and clack the doorknob, and the kid on the outside is shaking with fear, but he will not run awau! No he will not! Because he is a brave golden exalted hero! So he stays there, his knees shaking, for a few hours, and then the bad guy finally opens the door, and then I don't know the rest, but you get my point. It took Tenten while to open the door. But you gotta forgive her, since it was with her left hand, since she's right-handed, and her right hand was raised into a fist, ready to punch. Oh, I should finish my sentence.) Tenten opennnnsss the dooooooooooorrrrrrr.
Anyway, she opens the door, and starts to step outside, when she sees those cheesy ahem ugly cough orange leg warmers that she knows oh-so-well, and the green jumpsuit of one of her best friends, the Beautiful Green Beast of Konoha! She looks up.
"Hey, Tenten-kun! Guess wha-" Lee starts, but is unable to finish, because
Tenten, unable to curb herself, has accidentally punched Lee with her right hand, which, you should remember, was ready to strike whatever go in her way. Lee flies in the air, high as a bird in the sky, landing in a tree in the dense forests outside of Konoha.
"Feeling a bit angry today?" asks another familiar voice. Neji! Tenten steps outside and looks around, and then sees her other teammate Neji, arms folded, standing on her roof, cool, calm, and collected, as usual.
"Oh, hi, Neji. What are you guys doing here? Is something going on today?" she queries.
"Not really," Neji closes his eyes and shrugs. "I woke up with Lee banging on my window, yelling at me to hurry and get up since Gai called some emergency meeting at our usual training place today. And of course, he told Lee to tell us."
"That's right!" yells a flash of green (and ugly orange leg warmers) as Lee comes running full speed towards Tenten's house. Then, graceful as always, he crashes into a fence post, knocking it over and falling flat on his face. He looks up. "So what are you waiting for! The springtime of youth waits for no one! Let's go! Gai-sensei is already patiently waiting for us!"
He runs off, creating a trail of dust behind him. Neji jumps off the roof, and he and Tenten walk casually and unhurriedly after him.
They walk in silence, as usual. Neji's not a talker. And Tenten, well, although she does like to talk, she's not as talkative as most other girls. Lee and Gai-sensei do more than enough talking for the four of them.
Upon reaching their usual training place, the silence is expectedly broken by a very loud Gai shouting: "Ah! Tenten! Neji! What are you doing, walking so slowly and lazily! Come, hurry up, for the springtime of youth is already here and quickly waning away! Isn't that right, Lee!"
Lee salutes. "Yes, Gai-sensei!"
"Exactly!" winks Gai, grinning his shining (in)famous grin. (He and Lee must take very good care of their teeth.)
Neji closes his eyes again and sighs, Tenten puts her hands behind her back and looks sheepish. "What are we going to do today, Gai-sensei?"
"As soon as you and Neji line up in your proper positions, I will tell you!" promises Gai, flashing is nice-guy pose.
Painstakingly, the two normal teammates line up, facing their sensei. They stand in their regular position: Neji in the middle, with Lee on his right and Tenten on his left.
"Today," bellows Gai, "we are going to have a training like we never have before!"
"Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!" shouts Lee, jumping up and down excitedly. "Yes! Yes! Yes!"
Sighs from the other two.
"We are going to have a type of training that will test your skills in… sneakiness!" Gai pretends to creep around stealthily until he trips on a rock. "Oof!"
"And not only sneakiness, but also strength!" Gai lifts his right arm up to show off his muscles.
Lee looks on adoringly.
"And not only sneakiness and strength, but also speed!" He runs around in circles like a whirlwind, then stops. "And not only sneakiness and strength and speed, but also your tracking skills!" He shields his eyes and looks into the foggy distance.
This is going to be easy, thinks Neji.
"And last but not least, your ability to outsmart the enemy!" Gai attemps what seems to be a smart look, failing infinitely.
Tell us the instructions, yawns Tenten inwardly.
"Wow! Wow! What are we going to do, Gai-sensei! Tell me, Gai-sensei! I want to know! What are we going to do? What are we going to do?" Lee yells, jumping around and waving his arms like a beserk monkey.
With all the drama he could possibly muster, Gai-sensei slowly puts his hands on his green hips and grins like a Cheshire cat. "We," he roars, making Tenten and Neji cover their ears, "are going to…"
The three genins stare at him, waiting in deep suspense.
"PLAY HIDE AND SEEK!"