THE Party Fic.
-or- There's a Ninja on the Ceiling!
Chapter 1: Par-tay!
A/N: A brief word about the title. The second part comes from Sifl and Ollie, of course. The same routine that The Ninja of the Night and the Village Hidden in the Lemon Peels (another excellent fic) takes its name from. The first part is because I started this story in 2005. Dear old NekoRaven discovered it, and has done nothing but pressure me to post it ever since. And then Celeris, another friend, got a hold of it somehow, and my life became one constant nagging guilt trip. ("Did you write more party fic?" "No." "Why not?" "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, don't hurt me!") Come to think of it, this is what happened in Lemonpeelgakure, too, and that's named after a Sifl and Ollie thing... a pattern, perhaps?
Anyway, this is for you two. Happy belated graduation.
(I would also like to stress that this story is ancient, and was written long before Naruto Abridged came out.)
"I'm bringing my I-pod," said Shikamaru.
"The girls are on it!" Ino announced excitedly.
Naruto turned to the males present and said, in an undertone, "Good movies?" Shino raised his hand, and Naruto went back to his checklist.
"Snacks are always Chouji's domain... games?"
Sasuke raised his hand. "I've got a Playstation and DDR," he offered, "but I only have one dance mat, so if we want to do versus,"
"DDR?" exclaimed Rock Lee, standing up and making his signature hand motion at Sasuke, who, seeing where he was going with this, wished he had kept his mouth shut and his Playstation locked in his brother's room (ok, so it wasn't Sasuke's Playstation per se...). "I accept your challenge, Uchiha! I shall provide the second dance pad, and I will prove once and for all that hard work and determination can overcome natural talent!"
For a moment, silence. Naruto scribbled something on his clipboard. "Ok, so Sasuke and Lee are bringing DDR... what else?"
"Hinata has Twister!" Sakura trumpeted at a whisper from the girl next to her. She (Sakura) grinned mischievously at Sasuke.
"All right! I love Twister!" cheered Naruto. Hinata blushed and hid behind Sakura once more.
"Gai-sensei won't miss his karaoke machine," Tenten added. She and Lee immediately burst into song.
"Everybody was Kung-Fu Fighting! Those cats were fast as lightning!"
Neji sat off to one side, his expression clearly conveying the concept "Don't look at me, I'm just on their team."
"In truth it was a little bit frightening,"
"Hey, is Gaara in town this weekend?" Sasuke interrupted Team Gai's performance.
Sakura shot him a look she usually reserved for Naruto's stupider non-sequiturs. "I think... why?"
"We should invite him."
Sakura shot him that look again. "...Why?"
"Because I think it would be fun to see him drunk."
Sakura mulled this over. "True... I'll drop him a note."
"Which does bring us to the most important topic," Kiba broke in. "Who's getting the booze?"
Naruto grinned. "Just leave the drinks to Squad 7."
The voluptuous, young, blond woman, clad in Daisy-Duke shorts and a bikini top, leaned seductively over the counter of Big Stu's Discount Liquor Store. "'Cuse me, handsome," she breathed at the clerk, pushing her purchases towards him. "Can I buy these?"
"I'll need to see some ID," answered the clerk mechanically.
The girl made a big show of pulling her wallet from her cleavage and opening it (the wallet, that is). "Oh, silly me," she laughed alluringly. "I forgot to bring it with me..."
"I'm sorry. I cannot allow you to purchase alcohol unless you have some identification."
"Oh," she pouted. "But, you can make an exception for me, right?"
Naruto shook his head sadly as he was thrown out of the liquor store. "They've never once fallen for it. You guys get the stuff?" he asked Sasuke and Sakura, who had been stealing the necessary intoxicants while "Sexy no Naruto" distracted the clerk.
"Hey! Naruto! What'd you do with the cups from last time?" Sakura yelled from the kitchen. It was about two hours until the guests were scheduled to arrive, and Squad 7 was bustling to prepare everything.
"They're in the cupboard!" Naruto yelled back as he helped Sasuke set up his Playstation. "But be care-,"
"-ful... you all right, Sakura-chan?"
"I'm buried under a pile of ramen, what do you think?"
"So, you're fine then," Naruto guessed. "Hey, Sasuke, maybe if we plugged this wire in here..."
"Nah, I tried that already," Sasuke said distractedly as he fiddled with the VCR. All evening he had been acting like there was something on his mind. "Um... hey, Naruto?"
"I have a confession to make..." Naruto looked up. Sasuke fought back his pride. "I'm not very good at DDR."
"Well, don't worry!" Naruto grinned. "I've never even played before. It should be fun!"
"Wait, you've never played before... at all?" gulped Sasuke.
"No... Lee's going to kick our asses!"
The urgency of the situation dawned on Naruto. "But, we can't lose to that freak! We've got reputations to defend! Not to mention that Sakura would be crushed! She's been bragging about us to Ino and Tenten all week!"
Sasuke renewed his scramble to get his game platform up and running. "Hurry up! We've got to get as much practice in as possible before Lee gets here. Have faith, Uzumaki. Together we will prove that hard work and determination..." Sasuke froze. "Can... overcome..."
"Natural talent?" Naruto finished weakly.
Sasuke reached over without looking and unplugged the Playstation mechanically. "Why don't we wait for everyone to get here to start..."
"Yeah... let's ... um... go help Sakura."
"You know what we have to do tonight, Tenten," Ino reminded her companion as they lugged Gai's karaoke machine through the streets. "We have to set Hinata up with Naruto."
"Of course!" Tenten cooed. "They'd be too cute together!"
Back at Naruto's, guests had started to arrive.
"M & M's? Chouji, have I ever told you I love you?"
"Shikamaru, why do you have Clay Aiken on your I-pod?"
"Shino's gonna be late. He's got to say goodbye to every individual bug on his ant farm."
"Sasuke, I got your Playstation working! It wasn't plugged in."
Already green from this last announcement, Sasuke and Naruto felt physically ill when the doorbell rang. As of yet, Lee hadn't arrived. As of yet.
The doorbell rang again.
"Well, you going to get that, Naruto?" Sakura asked.
A sweatdrop beaded on Naruto and Sasuke's foreheads as Naruto opened the door...
"Do you believe in destiny?"
He'd never given destiny much thought, but one thing was for sure. Naruto believed in lucky breaks. "NEJI!"
Weak-kneed with relief, Sasuke sat down and took a sip of his drink. It wasn't Rock Lee and his no-doubt mad DDR skills. That was what mattered.
"Because Domino's was having a Buy 1, Get 1 Free sale," Neji explained, ignoring this unusually-warm reception. "So I went a little crazy. Could someone help me get my wagon up the stairs?"
He moved aside, revealing a red toy wagon stacked to breaking point with pizza boxes.
Gaara sniffed at the ink on this mysterious invitation as he wandered about, debating if he should go to this "party" or not. Cherry scented... how... odd...
Three shadowy figures turned the corner, walking in front of him. A fourth joined them.
"Hey, Lee," one greeted the newcomer.
"Hello, Kiba. Shino."
The smallest of the shadows barked.
"Akamaru," added the newcomer with a laugh, reaching over to pet it.
"You brought your DDR, right?" the one called Shino asked.
"Of course," the figure patted a large pack on his back. "... not that you care, you told me yesterday that you don't play."
"No, but I happen to have a friend who wants to impress a certain young lady by handing your ass to you on the dance floor."
Kiba started laughing. "Ha! Naruto told me it was a big secret. Guess he forgot."
"Naruto?" Shino asked. "Is he planing a move on Sakura, too?"
"When is he not? Wait, who were you talking about?"
"Sasuke. He was going to beat Lee in front of her. Thought it would be hot or something."
"That's what Naruto was going to do!" exclaimed Kiba.
"I was going to beat both of them to prove my love for the lovely maiden Sakura!" Lee moaned as his plans backfired before his eyes.
"There's still hope," Shino assured him. "She'll be drunk, she just might forget that Sasuke is paying attention to her."
"Yeah, since when has he cared for her?" Kiba asked.
"Since they were about six," shrugged Shino, "He never says anything because he's got the whole lone-avenger-with-a-mission going on."
"Well, we'd better get going," decided Kiba, leading the others away. "We don't want the punch to run out."
"Not that Team Kaka would ever let that happen," muttered Shino. "They always make enough to supply every bar in the village for a month."
"True," laughed Kiba. "Yo! Gaara!" he yelled over his shoulder. "You coming or not?"
Gaara jumped... but decided to tag along. DDR might be fun.