Standard Disclaimer still applies
A/N: Unfortunately no, I am not back. However I do have a chapter here for everyone to read, to whet appetites as it were. Consider it an early christmass present.
Chapter is unbeta'ed with the introduction of swear words (were there any before?) and a dark theme that may or may not prevail throughout the story. You have been suitably warned. There are also lots of different POV and each one take place roughly at the same time until they start progressing.
Previous Chapter Heading:
Lackadaisical: Lacking enthusiasm and determination; carelessly lazy
In the end, Naruto had opted to trade places with Anko. So while the sadistic snake-jounin of Konoha trained Kakashi's genin, Naruto and Kiba watched Tazuna. It was tedious work and grated easily on their nerves. Especially since, after tending to Kakashi, Naruto had once again slipped into his Iron clad mask.
Kiba wanted to smack him. However, the Inuzuka refrained from doing such, seeing as Naruto was without Ino to soothe his nerves and was facing a daunting task without a member of their team. Plus, he had his own issues to deal with concerning the people of their academy class.
However, Kiba was regretting letting Naruto keep one of the eye-sore orange jumpsuits. Secretly, he conspired to talk with Ino and burn it… again. Kiba let his eyes wander; taking in more of the sights he missed. People were thin, too thin. They moved slowly, as if they hadn't the energy to move quickly, let alone remain happy. His jaw clenched, fist made in his hand.
A subtle touch froze his burgeoning rage. Naruto's eyes hardened, before softening imperceptibly, but the dog-man caught it and sighed, calming down and returning to his task, as Naruto returned to his ways as well. No one noticed the interaction, not even the small fly attached to Akamaru's collar.
"MORE! Do it Harder! Get up you lazy snots! Do I need to take out my whip! STOP SLACKING! Don't make me tear off that which makes you a man!"
Kiba and Naruto, upon seeing Tazuna home that day, went out to find their sensei. Happening to the clearing however came the telltale sign of a rampaging Anko. The Two boys exchanged a look and Naru cracked a grin.
"How much you wanna bet..?"
Following this minimal exchange, the boys (and one dog) proceeded into the clearing. They were met with a rather amusing sight indeed. Haruno was lying on the ground, panting… or at least she would have been had she not forgotten how to breath once Anko started her rant.
Shino was sitting cross legged ram-rod straight and quivering slightly. Naruto and Kiba both smelt fear from him. The Uchiha… well… he was hugging a tree, hiding behind it in terror as Anko cackled at them.
Each child looked exhausted and now horrified as Anko, with a puff of smoke brought out a whip. Naruto and Kiba did the smartest thing they could.
They ran for it.
Almost a week later had seen Naruto sleeping in the grass, once again donned in his transsexual yutaka and shinobi ensemble. He had, the night before been scouting (with Akamaru, bless that Dog's nose!) for Gatou's hideout, as well as the nuke-nin that had become their opponent. He hadn't gotten very far, but had been out for too long, and had decided to 'take a morning nap' just outside Tsunami's house.
"oi, you'll catch a cold if you sleep out here." Came a soft, demure voice that woke Naru up. He blinked, sitting up straight and yawning.
"Gaki… this ones no civilian.."
At this proclamation, Naruto's mind switched back into Shinobi mode, before freezing as he took in the person before him. Was it a man? Woman? She-male? THING-IT!?!?!? He stared unashamedly until the thing blushed and cleared its throat. Naruto scratched the back of his head and laughed awkwardly.
"Hi! I'm Naruto. Who're you?" the thing giggled androgynously before replying.
"I'm Haku. Say, Naruto-san are you a ninja?" the she-male pointed to Naruto's get up and kunai holster. Said blond nodded and studied the male-woman-thing before him. Pink flowery kimono, long brown hair, round face, and brown eyes; this person was totally unassuming in every way.
"Un." He mumbled affirmatively along with his nod. The girl/boy smiled back.
"You must be pretty strong then-" at that point Naruto intervened, shaking his head vigorously in rejection to the androgynous being's comment.
"Nope. I'm only as strong as my team. What about you Haku-san? Are you strong?" he inquired gently and without suspicion.
"Hmmmmm, I think so. Do you have something or someone precious to protect?" At Naruto's confused face Haku started to elaborated. "When someone has something truly precious to them then they are very strong. To protect that something is true strength." Blue eyes widened in a broad yet sad smile.
"Yes, my family. Their not mine by blood… but in a world that rejected my right to even exist they saw me and my worth. They accepted me. I'd do anything to keep the smiles on their faces." Haku's eyes watered even as he (gender was now confirmed by an invisible hovering shinigami) smiled serenely.
"You're strong Naruto-lkun. You just don't know it." Naruto grinned back.
"Collecting herbs right? I'll help." Came Naruto's swift response.
Naru silently blessed that ninja's visit. If he hadn't arrived to collect those rare herbs Naruto wouldn't have been able to track down Gatou's hideout. As it stood, Kiba and Naruto were now waiting in a tree overseeing the base. For the past 12 hours they hadn't moved a muscle. Anklo had sent them on assignment here. She would watch the other genin to keep their cover as well as Tazuna's family safe.
Gatou had already retired for the night even as the others were still milling around. Mostly it was only Yakuza and a few times they say the demon brothers. But it wasn't until early in the morning, sometime after dawn, that 2 large chakra signatures were felt.
It was only thanks to Anko's training from hell that the two genin remained calm as Zabuza and his hunter nin accomplice left the hideout heading towards the bridge. They waited a long time before infiltrating the hideout. Kiba slunk in from the shadows even as naruto distracted the guards in his Oiroke technique.
Kiba smirked as Naruto charmed the guards. Ino really had the right idea when it came to playing upon this technique. Naruto's day-to-day 'training' that Ino and Anko had set up was to seduce various males around Konoha in various disguises. It had gotten to the point where Naruto secretly renamed the technique Kage-Henge instead, due to its perchance to actually changing a person's entire genetic structure from male to female.
Pity it didn't copy any bloodlines, but it was still a highly useful technique. Focusing back onto the task at hand, Kiba slipped in kage-henged as a small fly (an idea taken from Shino). Gatou's guards were drooling over the blond bombshell. She flirted with them, telling them some story about needed funding for medicine school so she was wanting To Whom It May Concern: approaching Gatou, and ask for money in exchange for anything he asked of her.
It was a good cover story, and even those tears Kiba could bet were real. Naruto was fantastic actor. He'd have to be in order to fool an entire civilization of people that he was a moron. The canine within him grinned savagely. That blond was his captian. He was proud.
Naruto resisted the urge to let his skin crawl as he was leered at and had his ass smacked. His character Midori visibly retreated every time that happened until 'she' pleaded with the guard to make the passing men stop harassing her. He grinned in a sick lewd fashion and held 'her' close to him, giving a mock glare at the others even as his look suggested he was going to take advantage of 'her'. Naruto wanted to roll his eyes.
"Now now, Midori-chan…. Do you really need to see Gatou-sama right now? I'm... interested…." His hand cupped 'her' 'breast' and squeezed. Midori shuddered.
"Please no. I need… I n-need to see him. He's my only hope." She pushed away from him feebly as Naruto gagged within his own mind. Still the man didn't let up, chuckling at 'her' pathetic attempts of resisting him. Naruto mentally groaned.
"S-sir please… whatever you're… you're interested in…" 'She' gulped nervously. "I promise to help you after I meet with Gatou-dono… please! I-I need him…" and if that didn't sound so utterly pathetic, Naruto didn't know what. The Guards at the door sighed.
"Leave the wench alone, Ozuno." Naruto cheered inside his mind. Finally the guards were going to help him/her. One gripped her upper arm, hauling her further into the base, while Naruto could distantly hear Ozuno's outraged cries as the other guard smacked him for insubordination. He said something about all women being untouched before getting to Gatou, not after. Thank god for corrupt business men and their paid goons with morals! Actually... Naruto mused, that didn't make an ounce of sense. Goons don't have morals.
He was jarred from his thoughts as he was thrown roughly onto the ground, into a thick plush red carpet with the brand-new-smell still lingering on it. He heard a very perverse snicker that he knew was a result of his kimonos perchance for becoming undone at the top and revealing his ninja technique derived cleavage. 'Midori' looked up with wide blue eyes at the short, fat man with golden glasses and a golden cane as he giggled and (drooled?) leered at her from the top of a dais centered on the back wall of the room Midori had been thrown in. Midori hiccupped, and rubbed her eyes to wipe away imaginary tears. She positioned herself into a kneel, uncaring of her now rather dishevelled state.
"G-gatou-dono. I've come here in seek of your aid. In exchange I am willing to do anything for you." Midori's voice came out soft, frightful as her hands remained pliant in her lap. Gatou giggled again.
"Hai, Gatou-dono. Anything." She sniffed, appearing to physically come to terms with 'anything' when in reality, Naruto was preparing himself.
"Very well, what is it you ask of me?"
Kiba watched with amusement at Naruto's rather lame attempts to get inside. But he didn't stay long. His objective was to get to the boiler room and plant the explosives. From there he was to relocate to the armoury, the kitchen and the barracks to repeat the same. The boiler room was the most important however, seconded by the need to evacuate any prisoners within the compound walls.
Kiba grinned as his bug form flew (an odd sensation that, flying…. Very peculiar) downward through the vents, following a vague heat source from down in the basements of the compound. The Technique, Kage-Henge was unique and very powerful from Kiba's point of view. The drain on his chakra was minimal; he could probably keep this form for hours more. The only dangerous thing about the technique was that with extended periods of use in a single form meant that one might forget their original form and be unable to change back. That was the one thing that scared him about Naruto's technique. Still, it was damn effective. Only someone with kage-tuned senses could probably detect the chakra usage on a small fly. It made subterfuge almost impossibly easy.
Maybe that was why Anko told Naruto to never teach it to anyone but their team. The technique was too perfect to be widely spread. If the knowledge of the technique were to spread, it would force a change in all shinobi ways. Frankly, Kiba could see it. Deception, spying would reach new levels, and people would have to develop new ways to overcome it. It would force the Shinobi era into a new, perhaps more deadly era. Something so small… could really make so much of a difference if it got out. Kiba grinned. Naruto probably didn't know just how much a genius he really was. And Kiba? He felt damn honoured to be on that genius's side.
The boiler room at last!... oh. Guards. Kiba cursed as his bug form flew close to the ceiling. Why did a boiler room have guards?
"Can you figure out what's wrong with it, Cap'in?"
"Shu'ya trap, Baka! Da'nobs stuc'd on di'al. Feh! 'fu'k'd thing 'ont budge!"
"What do we do, Cap'in!? Gatou-sama is probably overheating, and he gets very angry when he's like that…"
"No need, I'm already here." Kiba snickered. Really, the captain and his subordinate had made the perfect opportunity for him to get into the boiler room without trying! Just another swift application of Kage-henge once more and he was ready to play the music.
"Go on upstairs, I'll get to work, please tell Gatou-sama not to worry, I won't be like the last janitor." Kiba silently prayed Gatou was the type of person to sack the old janitor for not fixing the boiler. He was rewarded with a huff from the Captain.
"da'shit neva'din a good jaub be'fo, ani'uns betta tan'da'shit." The Captain waved him over as they vacated their positions. Easy like pie.
"Kaka-sensei, are you sure you should leave that…. Woman with Tsunami alone?" Kakashi looked at the monstrosity of pink before him, and sighed.
"Hai, Sakura. Anko-chan's team has been through a lot recently. If you'll notice it. Anko-chan deserves her rest. Though, I don't know where she sent Kiba-kun and Naruto-kun." Kakashi mused, his coal black eye observing his students shrewdly. Truthfully, if it wasn't for the councils (named Danzou) manipulations, he would have failed them. Only Shino showed true abilities of a shinobi. He was also the only one caring for Akamaru, who had been left behind from when Anko had given her orders to Kiba and Naruto-kun.
Oh yes, Kakashi knew very well where they were. He knew that it had been a tactical decision on Anko's part to have them go instead. It would take two jounin to take down Zabuza and his accomplice. That was, until Kiba had pondered if Gatou would be foolish enough to target Tazuna's daughter and grandson. Then Anko changed her plans.
Zabuza should have no reason to fight if his employer was dead. He hoped.
Really. Naruto better be of sane mind to have suggested it. And for once, Kakashi hoped the Jinchuuriki was right. He giggled to hide his nervousness behind his beloved Icha-Icha Paradise as Sakura and Sasuke scoffed at his habits. He didn't know about Shino, but perhaps that increased noise of buzzing was displeasure?
Kakashi continued his trek with his students towards the bridge. Noting idally that it was quite foggy out and Tazuna was fidgeting. Also… there were no sounds of construction carried on the wind. It was quiet.
"So… they're here already huh? I hope your ready Zabuza, I intent to kill you this time if you're unlucky. Pray, for yourself and your follower that Kiba and Naruto get done quickly enough to spare your lives."
"Neh, Tsunami-chan, is it difficult to raise a kid alone?" Anko asked in curiosity, watching the woman go about her morning without as much as a blink of the eye to Anko's presence.
"Hmm? Well I suppose to. But it's rewarding in its own way. I remember my husband… We were looking forward to raising Inari. A child that is the product of a union of two people is beautiful, no?"
"Hm." Anko made agreement in the back of her throat.
"I was devastated when Natsunoji died. When Kaiza came into our lives, I was hopeful to feel again. He wasn't Natsunoji, but he was someone I could see as a father for Inari. I was devastated again when Gatou took him from us. It's been hard, Anko-san. Truthfully, it's very hard to raise Inari. Without the influence of a father to teach him the things that I as a woman cannot-"
"Wait, are you being sexist to yourself?" Tsunami chuckled lightly at Anko's aghast look.
"A bit I suppose. But it's true. Inari won't come to me for some things. Boys need boys to be boys, and girls need girls to be girls. There are things that can only be taught or learned from male to male, and female to female. I am thankful that I have my grandfather here with me to help, but at the same time, I know he won't be here for this world forever."
"Hmm... I see." Anko hummed thoughtfully as she pondered on what Tsunami was really saying.
"The worries aren't all mental or emotional either, Anko-san. Raising a child alone is a hardship financially. Especially in wave. Right now, I'm living off my father, because I cannot get a job, Gatou has taken our industry away and monopolized it to the point where people like me will slowly die out. I used to be a seamstress, you know? But now I cannot find even the simplest of work. It's difficult enough feeding my family, and providing for my son so that he can have a better life than I. Truthfully, that is my only wish. I wish he can grow with enough knowledge and skill to escape poverty like Wave."
"That was quite the speech there, Tsunami. But I don't think you're poor. I think, really think, that your doing an excellent job. I asked because I was thinking of adopting someone who I believe to need it. I feel very paternal to this boy, its weird, ya know? He's like only a few years younger than I am and yet I see much suffering and myself in him. I was wondering if adopting him was the right choice."
"Hmm? I see. Anko, I think that for you, you could pull it off marvellously. Sure, you're a bit crazy, but I think behind this iron-clad surface there's a tender woman in there that needs someone to nurture. Am I right?"
"Ugh, I am NOT soft, Tsunami-chan." Tsunami laughed at Anko's disgusted face, bussing herself with making breakfast for Inari, who had yet to wake.
"Even if I am poor, So long as I do have my son, I wouldn't change it for the world you know. And I think, you feel the same way about Naruto-kun." Anko sputtered.
"Oi how said I was gunna adopt Naruto." Tsunami laughed.
"Woman's intuition." Anko scoffed at her response.
"Woman's intuition my ass… Tsunami get upstairs now!" Tsunami jumped, turning around to stare at Anko, confused. Anko had a kunai in her hand, glaring at the door. Tsunami edged slowly to the stairwell, wondering how their deep conversation about children, had gone from introspective to dangerous.
"We have company. Gatou's goons." Anko explained tersely. Tsunami ran for it, up into Inari's room and locking the door.
"Well boys, come and get me." Anko kicked Tsunami's door down right into their faces. What a bright and sunny day out…
Birds… chirping? Iwa didn't have Konoha birds, did it? Wait… not Iwa. Wave, she had been in Wave... wait… that bird call wasn't indigenous in wave either. Where was she..? Had she been kidnapped!?... No… that didn't make much sense. She must be in Konoha, all these bird calls belonged to Konoha.
An eyelid fluttered, straining to open. Pupil dilated quickly and a rusty groan broke the silence. Too bright. Far too bright. A gasp, voices. Whispering not so whisperish. Blue eye tried once more only to groan a second time. Plastic slid on metal and the lights dimmed. Blue eye tried once more. Pupil dilated slowly, and the eyelid blinked.
"Ino?" a hushed voice questioned. Ino, yes that was her name. She was a bit slow waking up though. What had happened? She remembered…. Waterfall, Iwa, explosion, Anbu. A… traitor? No. someone had betrayed them to the Anbu. Yes, that had been clarified. Naruto… choosing interrogation, that baka. Pain, yes she remembered that. Never let it be told to anyone that Ino was weak. She wasn't. She held on without saying a word. A proud Yamanaka.
"Ino… sweetie?" Blond and blue and pale hovered over her. Mother? Ino-blue eye hardened. No. she did not want to see this person. Blond-Blue-Pale flinched at Ino-blue eye's cold look.
Flick, flinch, flick twitch. Okay. Ino-blue eye could move her hands. She began to take stock of the rest of her body, turning away from Mrs. Blond-Blue-Pale and trying to rise. Calloused hands, warm, thick attached to muscular arms and solid hard chest helped her rise while Mrs Blond-Blue-Pale put pillows to her back.
"Ino… please…" Please what though? Ino-blue eye stared back at her mother unflinchingly in question. What did they want from her again? Someone better start talking before she blew a gasket. Team? Where were Kiba and Naruto and Anko? Oh... and Akamaru.
"Ino, honey, you've been in the hospital for a week now." Ino-blue eye focused on Mr. Blond-Blue-Pale and said.
"Water." Scratchy and broken, her voice still carried it's pubescence but now tinged with a hardness of shinobi livelihood. Her mother left her bedside to fetch a glass of water while her father to her mother's place.
"Ino…" She glared, not saying a word. She had left on bad terms with these people. Family was important to the Yamanaka, and the fact that her parents couldn't accept her new brother and sister, made Ino furious enough to forsake them before the mission into Waterfall.
Her mother handed her the glass of water, and Ino superstitiously sniffed and sensed around it, ignoring her mothers devastated look at the thought that her precious daughter might suspect them of poison. Ino was the type of girl to carry a grudge very far after all.
"How did I get here, when did I get here, Where is my team, why are they not here. Start explaining now." Ino looked at her mother and Father, before taking stock of the inhabitants of the rest of the room. A Nara man was there, as was an Akamichi man. Shikaku and Chouza.
"Out." She said to them, their presence was an annoyance, unneeded. And for once, under a little girl's unnerving blue eye gaze, they left without word. Ino refocused on her father, so far the only one willing to tell her anything.
"Two Anbu had been sent by Sandaime-sama to retrieve you from the Hotel in Wave. You arrived 6 and half days ago. You're…. Team had been asked to remain behind to assist team 7 with their escort and protection mission of a bridge builder. Ino… honey if you want… we could have you removed from team 8…" Ino snapped up, a vicious snarl on her lips.
"And I'd officially disown the entire Yamanaka clan!" she roared at him, hands clenching white sheets. Leave team 8!? Was he kidding!?
"How dare you... how dare you even assume I would want to leave team 8! They are as much as my family as the clan is, perhaps even more so! They at least withhold judgment! I bet you even see Naruto as the reason I'm wearing this bandage! Probably Anko-sensei as well! And you call THEM monsters!" Ino realized she had said too much by the pale pallor of their skin. But this… beast of hatred had sat festering in her since before the mission, and it was all coming out right now, too fast for her to close her mouth. Their guilty expression only added fuel to the beast's rampage, her inner fire.
"What if it had been me? What if the fourth had chosen me instead of Naruto! Did you ever once think of that! Would you have abandoned me then!? Huh! A shame on the family name! The black taint of Konoha, your very own daughter! Would you hate me too! Huh! Disgrace me, beat me, and rape me in alley ways; would you do that too! Would you care! They say monsters have hearts that don't feel, can you even claim to have one at all! You are parents, a mother and father, can't you love children, a child! Your actions towards my team, MY family, spits upon the fourths soul and grave!" Ino's chest was heaving, focused on the ashen color of her parent's faces, too horrified with herself to notice an equal color on Shikaku and Chouza's faces, when they had entered the room to inquire what the yelling was about.
A headache was forming, blue-eye watering noticed only to four shadows in the room. A Kage with wrinkles, a twice-cursed Shinigami with a grin and two Anbu guards chameleon and tiger. Ino now noticed the Nara and Akimichi from the corner of her eye. The beast was winding down, is fire having burned out for the meantime.
"Would you have cared at all? Would you have loved me as your daughter despite it all? If it had been Shikamaru, or Chouji, could your have… would you have loved them as you do now? Or would you be to them the monsters you are to Naruto?" The beast was satiated with its duty, happy with the words spoken and the silence there after.
Not a sound was made. A clock ticked, it's ticking growing in volume as it reached the pinnacle of its minute before fading and coming back. Ino took a sip of water, soothing her agitated throat; unnerving blue eye stared unabashedly at the four. Now that her words had been said, they could not be unsaid. One of the favourite quotes of Naruto that Ino liked to use.
Tick, tick, tick, tick
Tick, tick, tick, tick
Tick, tock, tick, tick.
"Get out. I don't want to see your faces. Get out." Ino finally spoke. Her arm and finger pointed to the door. But her words alone did not make the four traumatized statues move. A nurse's voice threatening decapitation amongst other things along with two doctors managed to haul the four parents out. Ino had regained her breath, as the nurse started to check her over, particularly her bandaged eye.
"I think your quite lucky, Yamanaka-san. If Healer Uzumaki hadn't removed the poison and started the preliminary healing, you would have bled out. You're lucky to be alive you know."
Words were never truer. Ino wished they carried to her parents and their close friends. As Sandaime slipped away, a small smile on his face, Ino's wish had been granted when the nurse's words floated into the hallway. There sat four parents in equal thought.
Kurotanbo however, laughed. "Omoishide. Naru-chan will be pleased and annoyed with the spitfire." The shinigami chuckled, patting his stomach with a large spike-toothed grin. "neh, Minato-kun."
"And I'd officially disown the entire Yamanaka clan!" Cerulean blue eyes opened into an expanse of white before yawning. Whose shout had woken him? Man it was boring here. Spiky blond hair shook lopsidedly as the man combed through it with his hands.
"How dare you... how dare you even assume I would want to leave team 8!" Huh? The man stood up, head tilted, ear straining to hear the words and understand. Team 8? That was… the boy's team. So this must be... Yamanaka Ino. How long had the man been sleeping for?
"And you call THEM monsters!" The blond cursed; he needed less internal monologue and more actual listening.
"What if it had been me? What if the fourth had chosen me instead of Naruto!" the blond sucked in his breath. This girl was talking… about him? Wait, what about Naruto. Who was she yelling at, defending his… boy so viciously?
"The black taint of Konoha, your very own daughter! Would you hate me too! Huh! Disgrace me, beat me, and rape me in alley ways; would you do that too!" R-rape? Blue eyes widened and darkened. What was going on! What was wrong with Naruto! Damnit! There wasn't enough information!
"They say monsters have hearts that don't feel, can you even claim to have one at all!" ouch. The fourth's face flinched. That was a comment meant to hurt.
"Your actions towards my team, MY family, spits upon the fourths soul and grave!" The man blinked. Looking superstitiously around, there wasn't any spit nearby, was there? Or did being in the Shinigami's stomach automatically meant he was covered in it. The blond sweat dropped.
"Would you have loved me as your daughter despite it all?" the Fourth frowned. Yes. He would have. He would have loved Ino as much as he loves Naruto now. Well… maybe not as much. But he would have cared for her. But because it was Naruto… there were… extenuating circumstances…
"Or would you be to them the monsters you are to Naruto?" Who though? Who Ino? The fourth, Yondaime sighed. Too little information had been given, leaving him with questions. Especially pertaining to a small slipped in comment that made his gut (within the shinigami's gut) clench.
"What a little spitfire. Oh Naruto-kun… is it true?" Pearl tears. And Yondaime Hokage cried.
"Hai, Gatou-dono. Anything." Naruto's fingers twitched as there grew a silence and was prolonged.
"Come here." Naruto took a deep breath, as 'Midori' got up and walked towards him, shy, unsure but sultry, her kimono nearly exposing her entire upper chest. Gatou had that perverse light in his eye as he beckoned her to kneel at his feet. Narto shuddered at the feeling of the man's hands on his imaginary breasts. Kage-Henge was an unfortunate technique that also gave tactile sensation to artificial limbs. The point was to make the illusion real, which it was. Right down to the genitalia (going from man to woman was weird enough, maybe he was mentally scarred from the constant loss of manhood? Ino and Anko would laugh at him; Kiba would at least be on his side).
Fat fingers probed his torso and as Midori whimpered, Mentally Naruto was gagging. Gods above and below! How did Kiba manage to blackmail him into this!
"What is it you wanted then, dear? In exchange for… anything" here was the defining moment, the character Midori vanished as hard Shinobi eyes glared out of feminine body. A spike-toothed grin curved on luscious lips as, in slow Motion Gatou made to move back. A puff of smoke and a clear, though boyish masculine voice broke out.
"Why, your head on a silver platter of course."
Kakashi put away his Icha-Icha paradise when Zabuza and the hunter nin accomplice revealed themselves. He took a loose fitting stance and watched, waiting as Zabuza exchanged insults with Sasuke, Shino was watching the hunter nin and Sakura had been delegated the task of protecting Tazuna.
It wasn't great, but it was the best he could do at the moment. Kakashi watched in stillness as Sasuke fought the hunter nin, became cocky (he'll have to work on that one) and got overrun by someone far superior. Kakashi made a move to engage, but was prevented by Zabuza. The silver man sighed, wondering when Naruto and Kiba would finish.
He had just gotten to the good part of the book too.
"tch. Too easy." Anko sighed, looking at the 15 or so men that had been sent. Really, how did Gatou choose these ones? Based on how much their heads weighed on a scale?
"Moouuu…" Anko sighed, patting Inari on the head. The boy was brave, pivitol in providing enough of a distraction to get the last two that she hadn't noticed because of Inari's presence initially. The boy distracted her, then distracted the enemy. So maybe it was alright this time.
"You were brave kid. Good job. In the words of my infamous student, it's okay to cry when you're happy. You did a good job right? So go ahead and cry." Anko ruffled his head, thinking back to the conversation she had with Tsunami before this all began. Naruto really needed a good parent. Could Anko provide?
"Neh, Tsunami, Inari?" two head looked up from the kitchen table, Inari in Tsunami's arms. "I'm going to leave a clone here for you, while I head to the bridge. Kakashi-kun will need my help probably. Okay?"
"H-hai, Anko-chan. Arigato." Tsunami replied, the kid was still sniffling. Intent upon not crying. Hadn't he listened to her yet? Sheesh.
Anko was half way to the bridge when she heard it, the tell tale sign of a massive explosion going off. She grinned, wondering how much fun Kiba and Naruto were in right now. Kiba, even if he was training to be a spy/tracker/hunter, still loved his explosives. And Naruto? After getting over his initial kills, was shaping up to be the best war shinobi she'd ever seen.
The snake charmer made a mental note to take Ino out on a private C to B class mission to make up for her un-involvement in this one.
How lovely, Kiba managed to hit all four major zones after all. Anko grinned where she stood.
Kiba hummed the song "it was bringing to look a lot like Christmas…" under his breath as he worked, or rather, fake worked around the kitchen, pretending to be a health inspector. Seriously though, how gullible can someone get? The canine user snickered under his breath, setting the last of the tags in this area.
Kiba had already secretly released the few prisoners he'd found in the dungeons that had been next to the boiler room. Unsurprisingly the barracks, his last stop had been his second one. They too were located somewhere on the level above the boiler room, and on his route to the armoury. So far, the kitchen was his last stop and it was all too easy.
So of course it wouldn't last.
"I don't recognize you. Shinobi." Kiba stopped moving and turned around slowly, eyeing the person who had addressed him. Rough skinned, simple katana, badly dressed, not clean shaven and clearly drunk. Kiba sighed.
"I'm the health inspect-" well, a katana attempting to cleave off a person's head was defiantly a good way to make friends! Kiba growled, sinking lowly to the ground before lauching upwards towards the man, his claws sinking into his throat, ripping it out like a the rabid canine he'd turned into.
"Shikyaku no Jutsu!" on four legs he dashed out and around, hurting anyone who got in his way with his claws before making it to a clear room and using kage-henge back into a fly. Kiba's heart was racing, he needed to find Naruto fast, and detonate the tags ASAP. His actions may have doomed them both, was he was determined enough. Running feet alerted him to people having found the mass of writhing bodies.
"Sh.. shinobi." A weak voice told someone, and there was muttering. Fly-Kiba attached himself to one, the one who was going to alert Gatou-sama. The man's pace was jarring to Kiba, and he feared falling off before two wide doors sprung open.
Doors laden in gold. How dumb could he get, clearly those doors opened into Gatou's personal chambers.
"Why, your head on a silver platter of course"
"Gatou-sama! Preparations to leave are ready, but we've been infiltrated-!" Kiba sent out a mental pulse of Chakra, and set off the tags.
KABOOM! The entire compound shook, walls caved in, and the ceiling falling. Kiba detached himself and swiftly changed in mid-air. His Kunai flashed out, catching his unwilling host by the throat as his foot caught one guard in the stomach.
A barley noticed sword flashed, and Kiba ducked, but not swift enough to avoid injury, not matter how small. He rolled on the ground, coming up and tacked the guard he struck with his foot, forcing him through the sword of the one coming up behind the two. Another kunai and the sword wielder was dead too.
"Shit." Kiba hadn't even a second breathing room before he was dodging falling tiles and pillars.
"WHAT!" a voice yelled in his ear and Kiba flinched, drawing back with an annoyed expression.
"The skies falling." Naruto said. Kiba scowled.
"Time to leave." Kiba said nothing about the bloodied burlap sack in Naruto's hands. The room had caved in, and only their skills and shinobi know-how had prevented them from being crushed with it. They took a few seconds to go through the wreckage before making a bee-line print towards the bridge.
Kiba, upon turning back, saw most of the compound still intact, and with a savage grin, ignited the remaining 3 bombs.
Zabuza was panting, as canine fangs gouged deeper into his limbs. Even with the explosion, he had fought. Gatou was a cockroach, he wouldn't die that easily. Kakashi stook there, with only a narry wound on his chest, staring at him as if waiting. Kakashi could have finished it by now, in fact, he wanted too, Zabuza could tell.
"Well? Whats wrong?" the missing-nin huffed.
"Nothings wrong" Konoha legend shinobi replied. Zabuiza tensed, aware of the dog summons warning growls as Kakashi's hand reached up into his breast pocket once more and lifted out… a… book.
With a familiar title…
"Is that Icha-Icha Paradise volume 12? That isn't even on in stores yet!" Zabuza gasped. Kakashi merely giggled.
Thump. Flop flop flop.
The two jounin turned to the sound, a burlap sack, freshly bloodied with some lump inside landed between them. Kakashi blinked. Zabuza blinked his concentration lacking and the Kirigakure no jutsu faded, leaving the bridge visible.
Kakashi sighed and with one hand, lifted the burlap sack up, only by the wrong end and out plopped a head.
"It appears you no longer have a reason to fight us." Dimly, Zabuza could hear the shrill pink child's scream at the head, and Haku's soft breathing by his side. When had he gotten there? In fact, when had the dogs been dismissed?
"Aa…" And what else would the missing-nin say, really?
"Hai…" Kiba answered, yawning slightly. They hadn't gotten any sleep in the past 24 hours. Anko nodded, appearing in deep thought while Naruto was mumbling something about 'get the fat fingers off, yes yes, bath shall doo…" in a creepy frankestein voice. And he thinks he's sane? Puh-lease.
"Alright, here's what we're going to do. Head back and clean up immediately, gather all the gear and get set and ready to leave. Frankly, I don't wanna see Kakashi's face at the moment, and I'm itching to see how Ino's doing. Agreed?" Kiba groaned. More travelling? Couldn't he rest first?
"We'll rest on the way, Kiba-kun." Naruto muttered, yawning now too.
"… Where's Anko, Tsunami?" Kakashi asked the woman as she bandaged his wounds (no longer trusting Sakura to do it). Tsunami blinked.
"She and her team left for Konoha. They said their mission was complete and didn't have a reason for staying. They also wanted to go see their team-mate."
"Aa…" "Damn you Anko! Leaving me with the bratty Uchiha and dimwitted Haruno! Couldn't she have stayed a bit longer! "
Unbeknownst to Kakashi, his third genin was thinking along the same lines. "Kuso, Kiba! Your presence was welcome, even Naruto-kun was more welcome than these two!" and although the Aburame's physically reactions did not betray his minds wanderings, there could be detected by someone who knew him well, that his right eye brow was twitching silently.
"That Haku must have gotten lucky… I am an avenger…"
"Kyaaa! Sasuke is so cool! Unlike those coward bakas! Kyaaaa go Sasuke!"
"Oh sweet merciful Buddha, someone save us." Alas, twas not to be Shino and Kakashi. Oh, that rhymed.
Note: I admit, this chapter is a bit dry, the end was meant to be funny, not that realistic to the story. I don't dislike those two characters as much I portray in this story, but they are good for some comic relief. Again, I would like to state that I have NOT returned to writing, but this was a chapter that was sitting at 4 pages done that I decided to finish it today.
I repeat again, this chapter is Unbeta'ed and will have many spelling, grammatical and punctuation related errors and for that I apologise.