Naruto sat and thought, an unusual occurrence for the young ninja. And his thoughts dwelled not upon a mission, no technique or anything related to his goal. His thoughts, for once were not even upon ramen. His thoughts were about his fellow team member, not Sakura but Sasuke. He was sure he had a reason to hate him, he was positive there was an excuse to fight him and pound his pretty face into the dirt, but however long he thought though he couldn't seem to isolate the reason for his undying hatred of the young man.
They had always fought, that he was reasonably sure about. They had always had some sort of unspoken enmity there, well not really unspoken but it was there nevertheless. When had they exactly become friends though? When had malice become respect? He was sure they had never exactly said anything about it, he certainly hadn't anyway. He had continued to regard the Uchiha with the same determination to destroy as he always had. If he hadn't changed though, what had?
Sasuke was also thinking, not exactly a novel experience for the young Uchiha. However he too was thinking of something quite different to his usual ideas of revenge and torture for the person who had once been his brother. He was also aware of the odd shift in the relationship between him and his team mate, once again not poor Sakura who would have loved to be in the Uchiha's thoughts, but Naruto. Something had changed, they had somehow moved beyond enemies, beyond rivals. Although Sasuke would most likely never admit that there had been any connection in the first place.
There was something odd about the blond haired boy, aside from the obvious of course. He was different to all of the other villagers who seemed to want to do things for him and talk about him, some even marry him! He had never been all that keen on the idea of all the girls in the village fawning over him. As he walked past a mirror he once again cursed his looks. Why couldn't he have been ugly? That would have been so much easier for the loner, although that may still have earned him the pity of the villagers who seemed to think that he needed to be looked after and pampered. Naruto had no family and no-one fussed over him. Sometimes Sasuke wished they could trade places. He would rather be treated with fear and suspicion than sympathy and God knows what other emotions those people wasted on him. Couldn't they see their emotions would be far more effective on Naruto?
Naruto couldn't figure the Uchiha out. They had been team mates for quite a while and never once had the boy made any attempt to make friends among the villagers who seemed to dote on his every movement. He could have had a different date for each night of the week and still some leftover in case of emergency. He had money to burn and room to spare and still he made no move on any of the girls in the village, none of the boys either for that matter. Sakura and Ino must have asked him out at least once a day and still he showed no sign of accepting either of their invitations. Meanwhile any advances on Sakura by Naruto were still doomed to fail. He just couldn't understand. If Sasuke didn't want any of those things, what else could he possibly want?
Team Seven had been called in to see the Hokage who had rare mission for the youngsters. As the younger team members walked into the room they saw the odd expression on Kakashi's face. If they could read his mind they would have known he had drawn the short straw which was why they had the mission. Although if truth be told ninja's were not above cheating, Kakashi could not have drawn any other straw even with his Sharingan, the Hokage was determined that Naruto would be on this mission.
"As you know I have called you here for a rare and interesting mission. Unlike your normal missions this is an undercover mission and instead of the relative shortness of your missions this mission shall be substantially longer. We are not quite sure what we are dealing with yet but there have been a number of strange occurrences in a foreign school. The headmaster is originally from this area and has asked for some of our ninjas to go undercover as students to find out what is behind them. So until you discover the meaning behind what is happening you will be living undercover in the city and attending public school. No-one is to know your true identity or your links to Konoha. That is all, Kakashi has the details of the mission and you will be further briefed by him. That is all." The Hokage breathed a sigh of relief as Naruto and Sasuke walked out the door.
'Perhaps we will all get some peace with the two of them gone. Now maybe we can fix some of the damage from their last fight,' The old man sighed and leaned back in his chair, 'three, two, one.'
Right on time he heard the shouting voices arguing with Kakashi. He sighed, if anyone could work it out it would be Kakashi, maybe with a bit of help from Iruka.
"Why do I have to live with Sasuke bastard?" yelled Naruto, "Can't we get our own places? We could all be rich overseas students! If we have to be undercover why can't we at least pick something cool? I could be Nish, the richest handsomest guy in my village coming to grace the school with my high level of intelligence and good looks."
"We're not meant to draw attention to ourselves dobe," Sasuke said rolling his eyes.
"Sasuke-kun's right Naruto we don't want to be too noticeable," Sakura said smiling at Sasuke.
'Alright!' she thought, 'Living with Sasuke! Why can't we get more missions like this?"
Kakashi sighed, he had a feeling he was being cheated here, "Look Naruto, if you have the money to pay for all that then you can play that part if you want to but we don't have all that much money to be able to throw it around like that. As it is we will be renting a small house to live in and Iruka will be coming with us and the two of us will have to work as teachers at the school you are going to attend." Kakashi shuddered inwardly at the idea of all the boring, mundane subjects he would have to teach.
"Iruka-sensei's coming too?" Naruto seemed to brighten at the idea. Kakashi knew that Iruka was almost like a father or big brother figure to Naruto and the idea of having him along cheered the Jounin immensely.
"Yes Naruto, I'm coming too. Someone has to keep all of you in line," Iruka put his hand on the boy's shoulder, "And make sure you eat something other than ramen!"
"Why?" Naruto asked as if idea was a stupid one.
"Because your body needs more than that," Kakashi told him, "Right well go pack some things we are leaving this afternoon. Make sure to take enough stuff that we won't have to wash too regularly."
Iruka rolled his eyes at him, "Make sure you take whatever is necessary but remember you have to carry everything so don't take too much and I will be quite happy to wash as often as we need it."
"Right, well go!" Kakashi told them. Naruto and the others dashed off to their homes to pack some clothes for their newest adventure.
"You don't have to do the washing you know," Kakashi told Iruka jokingly, "We can just burn it when it gets too bad."
"You're hopeless, thank goodness I'm coming along or you'd all be dead within a week," Iruka said smiling at the silver haired man.
"That's not the only reason," Kakashi said grabbing his hand, "I'm glad you're coming with us," he let go of the hand when he heard smashing, "If I had to break up all the fights I think I'd go mad!" He vanished in a puff of smoke and Iruka sighed and followed the sound.
Naruto looked around his room. What would he definitely need to be gone for so long? He picked up his sleeping cap, would it be too childish to take? After all he would be living with Sasuke-bastard and Sakura. It was the Sakura part that worried him he told himself. Would she think it was too immature? He had always had it. The blonde boy sighed, perhaps it was time they were separated. He bustled around his room packing whatever was clean as well as all the weapons he could carry. After all it stood to reason that wherever they were going would have nothing like this.
Sasuke had a rather simpler approach to packing. Anything that looked sharp was packed immediately, clothes were an afterthought. Although to say he was unconcerned would be stretching the truth, he didn't face the same agonising decisions that Sakura had over exactly how fat each of her clothes made her look. After all she was going to be living with Sasuke-kun. She squealed and collapsed on her bed. Living with Sasuke, could life get any better? She wondered if she had time to visit Ino to rub it in. An evil grin crossed her face, there was always time for that!
It was almost sunset by the time the team left, although for once it was not Kakashi who was late. They had all waited for hours for Sakura to return from her gloating session with Ino. It was then that she realised she had left her bag at home, she had then taken ages to drag her hugely overstuffed bag to join the others at which point Kakashi had wisely decided to say nothing. Iruka firmly put his foot down that if she was going to bring her whole wardrobe she would have to carry it. Sakura had gone home and weeded out everything that was not absolutely necessary with considerable help from Kakashi. The bag was now able to fit on her back and contained rather less sharp corners than any of the boys'.