Flash Tempest of Konoha - Konoha no Senkou Arashi
Baka- idiot, fool
Bento- Japanese lunch box. The equivalent to brown paper bags in America.
Ano- pretty much means "um"
She passed! She'd had to create ten clones with Bunshin no Jutsu, rather than two. She couldn't make any less without overloading the jutsu and making the clones pasty shells of her glorious self. She'd been afraid that more than two would make her fail, but that turned out not to be an issue.
Iruka-sensei, bless him, treated her to Ichiraku Ramen to celebrate her graduation. Naruto was fully prepared to break his wallet, but she only got to the fourth bowl when the ninja were thrown into a frenzy. Another chunin came by, blathering about some scroll being taken while the Hokage was otherwise occupied speaking with some 'concerned shinobi' about this year's graduates. The chunin gave Naruto a pointed glare.
Naruto just stuck her tongue out at the man, but Iruka slammed some money on the counter and hastily excused himself, instructing his student to go home.
The blonde nodded innocently, and, in his haste, Iruka foolishly dismissed her.
Trailing them was easy, her stealth aided by their state of panic. She crept along the walls and kept to the shadows. Eavesdropping, Naruto learned that it had been Mizuki that stole this whatever scroll. She never trusted that greasy-haired guy anyway.
Iruka and the other chunin split up, each looking in different directions. Iruka veered off into the woods and Naruto followed him. Iruka came to an isolated shack surrounded by trees. Well, it was Konoha, so everything was surrounded by trees. But there were no other buildings or people around.
Naruto felt Iruka use chakra in some kind of jutsu, and then Iruka whipped his head around to glare at her, somehow knowing exactly where she was. He had probably been ready to say something to her but the shack door opened and Mizuki stepped out with a large scroll strapped to his back. He looked stunned to see Iruka, who demanded he hand over the scroll.
Mizuki thrash talked and hurled an overcompensating sized shuriken at Iruka, who dodged faster than Naruto thought he could. They exchanged kunai and shuriken, then engaged in a bout of taijutsu. Naruto stayed and watched, even as she wanted to help. She was good, much better than she let on, but she was no chunin. After the traitor received a high kick to the face, the scroll went flying off of Mizuki's back. Mizuki made to dash to recover it, but Iruka made a hand-seal and seals spread across the ground in a circle that engulfed both chunin. Mizuki cursed loudly and struggled, but couldn't move.
Naruto was very surprised; Iruka-sensei was kinda badass. She had thought he was useless at everything but lecturing and administering punishment.
"Naruto, come out!" Iruka called out, also unable to move while using his barrier.
"That little demon bitch is here?" Mizuki snarled.
Naruto glared at him as she stomped out of her hiding place, arms crossed.
"Take the Forbidden Scroll and return it," Iruka ordered, "and tell the Hokage where I am. He'll send the others to take care of things. Hurry, I can't hold this technique forever."
This was one of the few times she offered her sensei no backtalk. Naruto ran over and picked up the scroll, ready to hop away.
"Naruto, wait!" Mizuki cried. "Haven't you ever wondered why everyone hates you?"
That stopped her in her tracks. Why yes, that had crossed her mind rather frequently. She just pulled pranks in retaliation, but never understood why people looked at her with such cold loathing...
"Shut up, Mizuki!" Iruka yelled. "Naruto, don't listen, just run!"
"The truth is that twelve years ago, the Kyuubi wasn't killed by the Fourth Hokage. It was sealed away!"
"Shut your damn mouth!" Iruka yelled, looking ready to drop his technique just so he could strangle Mizuki.
"You are the Kyuubi no Kitsune, Naruto! That's why everyone hates you, because they all know! Even Iruka is just using you, he doesn't care about you! No one could ever love you!"
That was it. She finally learned why she had been so hated all her life. There was a reason. Naruto felt too shocked to remember what Iruka said and run away. Her eyes were wide but unseeing as memories of being ignored or reviled surfaced. Happy families brushing by her, spurning her with their silence...
"Naruto," Iruka said, his voice as kind to her as always, no matter how much she messed up. She looked on his caring expression. "It's true that the Kyuubi is sealed inside of you... but you aren't the demon. You're my precious student."
Her head was swimming, flooded with years of frustration. Combating those memories were ones she shared with her best friend, and the sensei currently pleading for her help. Naruto did the only thing that made sense to her: she held the large scroll by attaching it to her hands with chakra, and used it to beat the immobilized Mizuki in the head until he was rendered unconscious.
Iruka, stunned, released the jutsu and Mizuki fell to the ground.
"Iruka-sensei just treated me to ramen," Naruto said, looking at the traitor disdainfully. "Don't try to make him out as a bad guy."
"Nice job, Naruto," the chunin congratulated. He was looking at the beaten Mizuki, which is why he didn't notice Naruto opening the scroll and skimming through it.
"What's so special about this thing anyway?" Naruto said in a huff, reading the first jutsu listed. Kage Bunshin. Solid clones. Cross index and middle fingers. Chakra divided. Something about memories. Naruto might have given it another read but she dropped the scroll with a yelp when Iruka's fist bashed her on the head.
"Baka!" Iruka shouted as he snatched up the scroll. "Forbidden means forbidden! This is not a toy!"
Naruto felt herself pout as she prepared to whine. "But that clone one looked kinda interesting. I wanna try it!
"Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!"
Naruto marched down the streets with her head held high, ready to be assigned her team. The sun glinted off her shiny new Konoha hitai-ate. She was finally going to be a ninja. And now she had an even better jutsu.
Naruto practically skipped down the street.
She soon arrived at the Ninja Academy and sat herself down with none of the pristine grace her best friend possessed. Hinata wasn't there yet. Probably getting a lecture from Hyuuga-san about not letting her teammates hold her back. So instead she plopped herself down next to the icicle Uchiha.
"Mornin' Sasuke!" she greeted with bright enthusiasm.
Sasuke merely glanced at her and made a distinguishable grunt before going back to his brooding and staring at nothing.
The classroom was quiet, save for some excitable chattering and the soft snores of one of the class' worst students. This relative tranquility ended with twin shouts that resounded throughout the room.
Naruto rolled her cerulean eyes. Here we go...
"What are you talking about, Ino-pig? I so got here first!"
"Not on your life, Forehead-girl!" The two made their way over to where Naruto and Sasuke sat as if they were siamese twins, pushing against one another as they scrambled.
"Out of the way, Naruto-baka! I'm sitting next to Sasuke-kun!" Sakura screeched.
Naruto snapped. Slamming her hands on the desk, she stood. "I can't take this shit anymore! Everyday it's the same thing! Potential kunoichi degrading themselves over this bastard!" Naruto yelled, gesturing to the stoic Uchiha. "It's disgraceful!"
Ino readily defended Sasuke. "Like, get a clue, Naruto. Sasuke-kun is totally awesome! He's handsome, smart and cool. No one is half the ninja he is."
With an incredulous expression Naruto looked at Sasuke. He was sitting there like a log only glancing at them out the corner of his eye. Determined to find out for herself she flipped onto the desk and fixed the Uchiha with her patented squinty-eyed look. He returned the gaze impassively. "Hmm..."
Sakura bristled. "Naruto! Stop invading Sasuke-kun's personal space!" Other fangirls that had gathered around the spectacle nodded fervently in agreement.
Sasuke inwardly snorted at that. Did those stalkers even know the meaning? They couldn't even follow a simple restraining order.
Naruto glanced confusedly at them before continuing her inspection of their obsession. Obsidian colored eyes bore into her own with quiet intensity and unflinching resolve. The contrast between his dark hair and pale skin framed his flawless face perfectly. Her speculative gaze lowered slightly to his toned arms. Naruto imagined the rest of him was in peak physical condition as well. She almost found herself licking her lips. Yeah, Sasuke was hot, she was willing to admit it.
But that didn't change the fact that he was an uber bastard.
Sasuke held his ground. He refused to let the dobe know that her blatant staring and close proximity made him uncomfortable. Only intending on returning the gaze, Sasuke subconsciously began to make his own examination. Her eyes were special. He didn't know why, just that he had never seen such a unique and vibrant shade of blue. The intriguing whisker marks on her face. Her pink lips that hinted a cherry scent. Two lengthy twin-tails of sun kissed hair that ended at the elbows, held at bay by red scrunchies. And a jumpsuit of a rather obnoxious shade of orange indicated she was concerned with neither fashion nor basic shinobi dress protocol.
Satisfied for the moment, Naruto prepared to the take her seat before some kid's head tapped her rear just enough for her to lose balance in the awkward crouch she was in. Before even having the chance to frantically flail her arms about, Naruto found herself staring into the shocked eyes of Uchiha Sasuke as their lips connected.
Floored silence with an undercurrent of outraged tension took hold of the room as all the graduates froze in place. Some in disgust and aforementioned outrage at not being Sasuke's first kiss as he was 'molested by the blonde tart'. Others felt shock and then pity for Naruto as she was about to be dismembered by the bloodthirsty pack of killer kunoichi cronies. Two were faintly amused by the whole thing.
Heh. Better than cloud watching.
Pale eyes watched the scene with no small amount of humor. Very ambitious, Naruto-kun.
The two parties involved in the actual kiss managed to have their own strained thoughts as they each pulled back, embarrassed as hell and starring at each other awkwardly.
Naruto's cheeks visibly warmed even through her tanned complexion. Wow, her only coherent thought. She'd never felt anything so electrifying since first discovering chakra. But even that hadn't been so.. Wow.
A slight tremor ran through Sasuke's body as he stared at the girl in front of him, blinking numbly. Even though his skin was far paler, the Uchiha's blush was less noticeable. This was due to his nearly catatonic state. But he still attained one intelligent thought. One that caused his blush to deepen ever so slightly.
Before either could say a word, a thick blanket of killing intent that only Kage level shinobi could hope to match enveloped the area. All of the kunoichi had enraged expressions that only amplified when Sasuke did not vehemently react to the kiss.
"Na-ru-to! You hussy!" Sakura growled out and then hissed, "You stole Sasuke-kun's first kiss!"
A loud round of cracking knuckles told Naruto the sentiment was widely accepted.
Staring at the classroom from a bird's-eye view were a number of assorted jonin and their leader, Sandaime Hokage. The spectacle before them earned a number of amused chuckles.
"That girl looks like she's in over her head," Kurenai stated with only a trace of worry. Granted they likely wouldn't kill the blonde but... She knew how vicious kunoichi could be when it came to these things. Hell, she still had faint bite marks to prove it!
"Naruto is always causing trouble," Sarutobi noted with a small but fond smile. In the next instant the grand-fatherly figure took a back seat to the Hokage as he gazed at the ninja before him. The weapons of his will and the prideful protectors of his village. "Now then, for those of you selected to take up the honored mantle Jonin-sensei, congratulations. May you lead your teams well and unify their bonds. And to everyone else...try not to crush their spirits too badly."
It was one of the more unpleasant decisions he had to make as the village's leader. Konoha was successful because of their vast wealth. Said wealth came from completed missions and contracts. And the missions and contracts were, of course, performed or carried out by shinobi. They simply did not have the resources to assign more than three jonin a year to take students from the academy and mold them into warriors of the night.
With a heavy heart, Sandaime selected three teams every year to join the ranks of Konoha's shinobi, as the rest were doomed to fail. This year had proved surprisingly easy to decide who would pass. Such an accumulation of genin from the most important clans in Konoha was rare. The only question was who would take charge of this fine crop.
"So that's Uchiha Sasuke, eh? Top shinobi of the year. I have to say I'm impressed." Kakashi's tone was light. But there was wrongly vindictive gleam in his lone eye for anyone who cared to look. He was clearly looking forward to torturing, humiliating and irritating the boy to no end.
Hatake Kakashi was a rather obvious choice to tutor the last Uchiha in Konoha. He was the only one who could teach Sasuke to wield the Sharingan when and if the boy invoked his birthright. The Elders Council would likely not tolerate Kakashi failing whatever team Sasuke was on. Which is why, Sandaime suspected, Kakashi intended to make the bell test even more hellishly difficult than it initially was.
The Copy-Ninja did not like having his hand forced. And as such he would childishly and viciously lash out into the hides of whatever genin he was assigned. For a while at least. Sandaime knew that no matter what he said, Kakashi wanted this team. He wanted to repay the debt he owed to the teammate and the sensei, both of whom Kakashi outlived.
Asuma stepped forward a bit. He chuckled, an unlit cigarette hanging between his lips. "Yeah. Lucky you. I get the loud one, the lazy one, and the fat one." He failed to mention that Shikamaru had an IQ that likely surpassed the output of their combined brainpower.
Ah. The Ino-Shika-Cho. A classic synergy that flowed seamlessly together. The term 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it' had briefly come to mind as he selected that team.
"I for one am looking forward to working with my team. I'm going to bring out that girl's potential." Her smile was perhaps not the most gentle, but spoke of genuine intentions.
Yuhi Kurenai. She really was the best person to lead Team 8, a reconnaissance and tracking squad. Her ability with genjutsu far surpassed any other in Konoha, with the exception of the Sandaime himself. Fooling the enemy into seeing whatever illusion you have laid out before them was ideal for breaking and entering.
Along with the Inuzuka and Aburame, the crimson-eyed jonin would just have to work her magic on the girl she had specifically requested for her team upon seeing the original roster. Sandaime had allowed it, finding Kurenai's intention of affecting the young girl's outlook a suitable reason.
The Sandaime couldn't bring himself to force a newly instated jonin to crush the dreams of a group of Konoha's children who did not and could not meet the standards of being a genin. That was what they had Anko for.
It was a good thing that Naruto could think on her feet. She shifted her eyes between the enraged kunoichi and the boy who now had the honor of her first kiss. Sasuke was still a bit shaken but otherwise had regained his composure. Following suit, Naruto grinned a bit and stuck her tongue out. Her face was still a fair bit red so she decided to use that.
"What's the matter? Jealous because I was Sasuke-kun's first?" Naruto asked mockingly, knowing damn well that was the reason. She ran her tongue over her lips as if savoring the sweet taste of ramen. "Mmmm-mm!"
Sasuke had to focus entirely on his breathing to keep from flushing. She was still sitting right in front of him!
The devious blonde continued with a maniacal laugh. "Now I'm the only one who knows what he tastes like... and I'll never tell!" Naruto cackled. That was one of many, many, many things about Sasuke that was heavily debated on the bathroom stalls.
It was peppermint, she learned.
The girls were paralyzed with rage for a moment. The fury was simply too much. With a combined effort forged from their lust for Sasuke and their hatred for Naruto, they spoke as one demonic entity.
"YOU'RE DEAD, UZUMAKI!"
Not exactly the most attractive of qualities to show in front of their mutual crush.
Just as Naruto was about to be rendered limb from limb, Iruka-sensei strolled into the room, completely healed from two nights before. "Alright everyone, settle down. Ladies, please take your seats."
Gradually the girls did just that, grumbling about the 'blonde bimbo's' good luck. Naruto sighed in relief as she seated herself... next to Sasuke again. It would be a while before she could even look him in the eye. Even as Iruka-sensei congratulated them all on becoming shinobi of Konoha, she couldn't bring herself to face him. Sasuke himself was content with facing almost completely away from her.
Naruto decided to focus on Iruka. "With that out of the way, I will now begin listing the three-man squads you have all been divided into." The class was silent as they listened intently to the teams Iruka listed. Only two girls in the room did not pray to be placed on Uchiha Sasuke's team so that they might woo him with their feminine charm, away from all the competition.
"Team 7: Uzumaki Naruto..." the kunoichi lifted her head from her desk. "Hyuuga Hinata..."
Naruto let out a cheer. "Hells yeah!" She turned to face the girl a few seats behind her and shot a victory pose she knew was cool. The heiress smiled slyly in return. All according to plan. Of course, if they were on the same team, that meant...
"...and Uchiha Sasuke." Iruka ignored the shrill cries of protest and groans of dismay. Both girls received heated glares for being in the rightful place of all Uchiha worshipers. Naruto just stuck out her tongue again while Hinata smiled serenely at them.
"Argh! Iruka-sensei," one Haruno Sakura called out, "why does a washout like Naruto get to be on Sasuke-kun's team!" Cha! You're a dead man if you interfere with true love! Inner Sakura raved.
Iruka only smiled and went into lecture mode. "Because, Haruno-san, to create balanced teams we place the person who had the lowest scores, which would be Naruto in this case, with the shinobi and kunoichi with the highest scores. And since Hinata and Sasuke tied for Rookie of the Year, it works out perfectly. Understand?"
It was true. Hinata had the edge in taijutsu and genjutsu thanks to her Byakugan, while Sasuke was ahead in ninjutsu and weapons skills, his specialties. Both performed leaps and bounds ahead of their peers and were each awarded the title of Rookie of the Year.
Sasuke couldn't hold back a sigh of relief. Anything but those useless fangirls he could work with. And while he wasn't one to share, it was a decent prospect that the second strongest in the class be on his team. And Naruto, as far as he knew, at least tried to have decent skills.
"Team 8: Haruno Sakura, Inuzuka Kiba, and Aburame Shino." Sakura continued to moan in disappointment. Kiba let out a grunt at not being with a cuter, more productive kunoichi like the chicks on Sasuke's team. Shino nodded in acceptance. Or resignation. He wasn't certain which.
"...Team 10: Yamanaka Ino, Nara Shikamaru, and Akimichi Chouji." Ino threw her hands up in surrender, muttering about how she was cursed. Shikamaru shrugged, having seen this coming a mile away. Chouji continued to eat his chips, finding the arrangement and his snack bittersweet.
After listing the teams Iruka dismissed them for a lunch break. Without so much as a second glance at anyone in the room, Sasuke stalked off. Naruto looked at his retreating form before shrugging and walking up to Hinata with an excited smile.
"So all our hard work paid off in the end, huh Hinata?"
The other kunoichi gave her a frank look. "Our hard work, Naruto-kun? If memory serves, I was the one who had to work their tail off to attain top kunoichi status while you defaced the Hokage Monument."
Naruto laughed, rubbing the back of her head sheepishly. "Uh heh, yeah..."
Their plan had been simple. After a little digging and some undignified use of the Byakugan, the two best friends discovered how teams were divided and the only sure way to be placed on one together. With Hinata being the heir to the glorious Hyuuga clan and Naruto being an orphan who was, for some reason, sabotaged by most of the academy's instructors... The roles in their plan were obvious.
Naruto was to be the dead last. Hinata was to be top kunoichi and possibly Rookie of the Year.
"What can I say, Hinata-chan? You're awesome!"
"I know," the Hyuuga said with a sly smile. "Now let's go eat lunch." Hinata withdrew three bento boxes from her desk. "Fetch Sasuke, would you? As a team, we should eat together. Drag him by the lips if you have to." Hinata exited to the halls as Naruto's indignant shouts trailed after her.
Yamanaka Ino was not happy. After a tiring foot race with Forehead-girl, that she knew she won, being ignored by Sasuke, yet again, and watching that dumbass girl that gave blondes a bad name steal Sasuke's first kiss, her mood soured significantly. And after finding out that she was paired with the laziest bastard she knew and the fattest kid in Konoha, she was royally pissed.
Not only because of all that, but because she had been outmaneuvered. Sasuke hadn't reacted at all the way she would have expected from that... that... she couldn't think of a word vile enough to describe that incident, but she knew one thing. Uchiha Sasuke, strongest shinobi of his year and survivor of the single most atrocious disaster to plague Konohagakure... had blushed. Blushed!
Even when Ino embraced him and was sure to rub her budding form against Sasuke, he would merely shrug it off. But when Naruto does something he almost melts into a puddle? Maybe Sasuke liked girls that played hard to get and didn't throw themselves at him. Maybe he enjoyed a challenge. That was clearly Naruto's game as she orchestrated that... event.
Damn. Too late to change strategies now. At least the aloof Uchiha didn't seem affected any longer as Ino gazed from the balcony her team ate on for prime Sasuke-watching. Sasuke was leaning against the window in that cool way of his, eating in a secluded classroom.
At that moment, a large blot of orange entered her vision. Naruto was scaling the wall and inching her way towards the open window.
What is she doing now? Ino wondered.
The answer became apparent when Naruto jumped through the window, closing it, and tackled Sasuke in one swift movement.
"Kami-sama... that bitch just won't stop," Ino noted with morbid fascination and hypocrisy. "She's had a taste of Sasuke and just can't stop."
Shikamaru just rolled his eyes.
There were sounds of a struggle that quickly ended. Ino hopped Sasuke wasn't being straddled at the moment...
Sasuke smirked superiorly as he crossed his arms, staring at his attacker-turned-captive. "Come to defile me some more? I don't think so." His eyes showed the barest hint of amusement at the squirming girl he stood over. Naruto glared at him from the floor, gagged and hogtied. This only caused Sasuke's smirk to widen before it became a thoughtful frown.
"I should probably toss you out the window before someone thinks I'm being perverted," he murmured almost conversationally. Sasuke was caught off-guard when Naruto suddenly gave him a cheeky smile.
Even more so when she disappeared in a puff of smoke.
"Wha-" was all Sasuke could get out before the cold steel of a kunai pressed against his throat. A voice suddenly whispered into his ear.
"I know you've probably heard this before but... you're mine, Sasuke-kun." In short order Sasuke found himself pinned against the floor face-first as multiple hands descended upon him. They held him down and tied him up as mischievous, borderline sadistic giggles echoed throughout the room.
When he was sufficiently bound, a sandaled foot turned him from his stomach onto his back. His eyes widened in dread. Sasuke did not expect various copies of Naruto to be standing over him with triumphant and predatory gleams in their eyes.
Sasuke hadn't felt so small and scared since that night. Back then he'd had to face down a red-eyed armor clad assassin stained with blood. Not a horde of blonde haired girls with cheeky grins and bright jumpsuits.
To be honest, he'd first suspected an ambush set up by his more zealous fangirls when he was being tied up. A last and desperate attempt to get to him before he finally got to advance through the shinobi ranks. The fact that it was Naruto...
Sasuke doubled his efforts.
"You don't want to do that, Sasuke-kun," the original, he assumed, said in a sweet-as-honey tone. The various Naruto clones put their hands in seals and transformed into their various female classmates. "Struggle too much and I'll let the fangirls have their way with you." The clones began swooning and squealing to accentuate the point.
The young Uchiha might have whimpered were he not gagged.
Ino's eyes twitched viciously. What the hell was going on in there? Squeals and giggles?
"If Naruto takes further advantage of Sasuke-kun's innocence, I'll have no choice but to brutally retaliate!" Ino stated, giving a couple of jabs to the air. Her teammate scoffed.
"Tch. It's not like Naruto could even touch your precious Uchiha," Shikamaru said, his words intentionally gave Ino a mental image that made her blood boil. Shikamaru had always thought the other boy was a jerk. But he was strong.
Chouji simply continued to eat his onigiri. Either way should be entertaining.
All three paid avid attention as the window was propped open again. A flash of ebony hair caused Ino to sigh in relief... until Naruto hopped out of the window with a bound and gagged Sasuke thrown over her shoulder. Eyes wide and unblinking, Ino could neither speak nor even breathe as she watched the two forms disappear around the corner.
"Oh. My. God," Ino grossed out. A kunai made its way into her hand and the kunoichi gripped it hard. "That. Bitch. Is. DEAD!"
Shikamaru sighed as he halted his teammates attempt at murder with his shadow, ignoring her howls of protest. So Naruto actually managed beat Sasuke. Poor bastard. He smirked wryly, feeling no obligation whatsoever to help his fellow shinobi.
Sasuke prayed for the first time in a while as he was lugged across the campus of the Shinobi Academy. Please don't let Itachi get wind of this.
He could just imagine it now. Years down the road when he was the strongest in Konoha. A tall and powerful figure in the garbs of a jonin or perhaps an ANBU Captain. He would face down his brother with an amazing fully developed Sharingan that had picked apart and destroyed so many enemies before him.
Itachi would remain in the stoic facade that hid the bloodthirsty monster that he was. Slowly, clearly against his will, a small smile would make its way to his face. Then a few snickers and chuckles. Then Itachi would completely lose his composure and burst into hysterical laughter, falling to his knees and pointing at Sasuke. Tears of laughter streamed down Itachi's face as his younger brother withered away in utter shame.
His horrific daydream was interrupted as he was dumped on the concrete floor in an undignified heap. He couldn't see anything but the ground from his position. A soft and unfamiliar voice spoke up. A girl.
"It took you long enough. Lunch has almost ended," the girl said, clear displeasure in their tone.
"Aw shucks, Hinata, you didn't have to wait for us!" Definitely Naruto's voice.
"It's rude to begin a meal until all parties are gathered. A future Hokage should know this."
Hinata? He rarely heard her speak and even more rarely did he pay attention. His only concern with the Hyuuga was trying to beat her in spars.
"Whatev. We're here now so let's eat!"
"Aren't you going to untie him?" Hinata asked, sounding almost as exasperated as Sasuke felt.
"Snap, I knew I forgot something!" Footsteps headed in Sasuke's direction. The ropes were cut with the flash of a kunai, freeing Sasuke. Sitting up and gingerly rubbing his wrists, he glared at her. "You're welcome." Was she joking? With even the nerve to roll her eyes!
Ignoring him, she sauntered her way over to an outdoor table with an umbrella attached and seated herself.
"Where am I?" he demanded.
"Our secret spot, Sasuke! So don't tell anyone!"
Hinata sighed and rubbed her unmarked forehead. "Naruto-kun, it isn't a secret if you shout it out."
This caused the girl to laugh sheepishly. "Yeah, well..." she trailed off before brightening. "One Uchiha Sasuke delivered, just like you said!"
Sasuke shifted his glare to the pale-eyed girl. "You put her up to his!"
Hinata shrugged innocently. "I told her to retrieve you by any means necessary. Though I can imagine her invitation lacked a certain tact." She ignored Naruto's pout.
"Invitation? This BDSM dropout attacked me!"
"Regardless," Hinata waved her hand to bat away the issue as unimportant, as she had seen her father do in clan meetings, "you're here now so let's enjoy our lunch."
"I already had a lunch!" He looked away and muttered, "Though it's probably smeared on the floor, now." Sasuke was still a bit hungry though, and noticed there were three bento boxes on the table.
"Don't be silly. A few onigiri won't fill a guy up." Naruto stood from the table and skipped over to him. Sasuke tensed. He didn't know what this girl was capable of. He breathed a sigh of relief when she merely dragged him over to the table. At least he could walk this time.
Naruto took hold of one of the bento and thrust it toward his chest with both hands. "Here, have lunch with us, Sasuke!"
As he felt faint tremors of annoyance that she hadn't just said that in the first place, Sasuke took in the girl's expression. Her eyes were closed and she was giving him a pleasant smile. Countless times he had been given the same offer. Sometimes it varied from sloppy slapped together onigiri to store purchased gourmet chocolates.
But no matter what food it was the intention was always the same. Win the prize. Win the company of Uchiha Sasuke to lord over the rest of your peers. It never mattered to get to know him in the end. Nobody cared.
Yet, now, here was this girl that, other than accidentally almost shoving her tongue down his throat, had never shown even the faintest romantic interest in him. There was no blush on her face. Or even a trace of effort to make the smile seductive, which all twelve year olds, to his knowledge and experience, failed at.
It was an attractive outlook. Er, pleasant. Yeah, pleasant outlook.
"...Thank-you," he said carefully as he took hold of the bento. He half expected her to drop a henge, reveal the form of one of his fangirls, squeal in delight and glomp him. Naruto nodded and took her seat, breaking out a pair of custom chopsticks from her kunai pouch. So... why did he feel a little... let down? Hn.
"Itadakimasu," the three voiced in unison, one clearly more eager than the others. Sasuke watched the two of them eat from beneath his bangs before relaxing slightly. This wasn't so bad.
Tentatively, he lifted the disposable chopsticks to the rice and shrimp with a few cucumber slices. It certainly looked good. Taking a bite, Sasuke sat straight up. The girls stopped eating and looked at him questioningly.
"Is something wrong?" questioned Hinata as she put down her tea.
After a second of thought he decided to shake his head. "It's nothing," he lied. It was something. He remembered the taste in an instant, one from his past. It tasted like... his mother's cooking. "Where did you buy these? They're good," he asked with forced neutrality.
Naruto shook her head and swallowed a rather large lump of food. "Didn't buy 'em. Made 'em. Me and Hinata make these every other day." The Hyuuga nodded, and politely corrected her friend's grammar.
"I see." Sasuke took a deep breath and pushed down any emotion he was feeling. He needed a change in subject. "So... Naruto," he almost called her by the 'nickname' he'd given her, but decided it would be out of place in such a serene setting. "How is it that you learned the Kage Bunshin?"
Hinata quirked an eyebrow at the question, unaware of that little talent. Naruto saw this and laughed nervously.
"Well, I guess you could say Iruka-sensei taught it to me because I have so much chakra. Heh, yeah." She chuckled nervously before sighing and casting Hinata an 'I'll tell you later so shut it' kind of look.
After about ten peaceful minutes of content silence the meals were finished. Sasuke sighed, but not tiredly. That was... very refreshing. A quiet meal with the only two girls he knew that weren't obsessed with him. Though one thing did bother him. Damn paranoia, a shinobi's bread and butter.
"Did you two know we would be put into teams today?" He highly doubted they brought a third bento every day, so he didn't bother keeping the skepticism out of his voice.
"Yep!" Naruto chirped. "We found out a while ago and worked towards being on the same team," Naruto said, causing Hinata to clear her throat roughly. "Well, Hinata-chan did, I just slacked off."
Sasuke stared at Naruto incredulously. "Are you saying you not only knew how the teams would be divided, but pretended to be a screw up on purpose?"
Naruto rubbed her head sheepishly. "Well we didn't know how all the teams would be split up, 'cause it's mostly random. But there is one definite rule they follow when making teams. Like Iruka-sensei said: top shinobi, top kunoichi, and dead last. That's me! So as long as Hinata beat out the dumb skanks in our class, which she could have with her hands tied, and I got the lowest scores, we'd be on the same team!"
"Naruto-kun," Hinata admonished, "don't be rude." It would have been more effective without the unwilled smile.
"And I'm the top shinobi so we're on the same team. It's a callous, manipulative way to get the desired result." Sasuke nodded with a reluctant smile. "Nice."
Naruto giggled. "Thanks."
Sasuke frowned. "But there is one thing bothering me. If you're not as inept as you want others to believe, how skilled are you?"
In response, Naruto gave him a grin he couldn't interpret as anything but foxy. "You'll find out soon enough, Sasuke-kun."
Sasuke started to return the smile before a bell sounded, signifying the end of their lunch break. "Guess we should go." The three of them stood and made their way to the classroom, not wanting to be late.
Oh the irony.
"Where the hell are they!"
Sasuke and Hinata sighed, also annoyed with the situation.
Things had seemed hopeful upon returning to the classroom. Sasuke nodded to each of them before donning his mask of indifference and coolly ignoring everyone in the room. This included any questions his fanclub had pertaining to his whereabouts.
Naruto sat next to Hinata this time to avoid the fangirls' gaze. Though, for some odd reason, Ino was glaring death at her, not even glancing at Sasuke. Shikamaru glanced at Naruto before bursting into chuckles, which drew Ino's fury onto him for moment. Naruto didn't really care but she noticed Ino's hand a little closer to her kunai pouch than she was comfortable with. Especially with that level of hostility.
The jonin assigned to each team had swarmed the place soon enough. A guy with a senbon in his mouth took one team. Some sick dude with a katana took another. And then there was the 'lady' in the trenchcoat whose indiscreet bloodlust and overall appearance screamed 'I'm a scar you for life'.
A burly looking man in standard Konoha shinobi attire picked up Team 10. Shikamaru and Chouji shuffled after him, while Ino lingered behind to give Naruto one last glare, then waved goodbye to Sasuke and blew him a kiss. For some reason, Naruto didn't know which irritated her more.
Team 8 was escorted by a sleek woman with red eyes and a vest to match. She simply told them to follow her. Shino nodded and did as told. Kiba... well, he was clearly not upset about their assigned jonin instructor. Sakura, though, was even less enthusiastic than Shino. The pink haired girl trudged to the door and turned back to give Sasuke one last shy wave. Much as he did with Ino, Sasuke ignored her. Completely deflated, Sakura left after her team.
To be honest... it was a little sad.
But at least her sensei had arrived on time.
Naruto was just about ready to rip out her pigtails. Five minutes she could forgive. Fifteen minutes, hey, crap happens. But two hours! Unless their sensei was assassinated on his way there, it was time for some payback!
Her teammates watched curiously as Naruto walked over to the front desk and withdrew the colored chalk Iruka had used to explain the balance between elemental ninjutsu. Quickly, she made several wide streaks on the board and carefully wiped them away with the eraser. Satisfied, Naruto dragged a chair to the door and wedged the eraser in place. She giddily tiptoed back to her seat.
Sasuke was less than impressed. "Pft. You think a jonin will fall for such a simple trick? Dobe." Now it seemed appropriate.
"I don't think it will work, Naruto-kun..."
The Uzumaki girl waved off their concerns when her ears twitched. "Hinata, check to see if somebody's coming!" Naruto said with the utmost importance.
Hinata would have sighed had she not long ago resigned herself to being part best friend and part walking pair of X-ray eyes. At least Naruto appreciated her ability. She made a few hand seals. "Byakugan!" Sasuke turned to look at the doujutsu that supposedly rivaled that of the Sharingan; Hinata never used it during spars. He saw the blood vessels around her temple bulge, probably with chakra. Her lavender eyes suddenly gained intense looking pupils.
His stomach flopped a little. That was... pretty creepy, actually.
"Someone is headed this way, Naruto-kun." Hinata informed. And when Naruto inquired what they looked like... "Ano... you have to see for yourself to believe it."
A gloved hand slid the door fully open and a head of silver hair poked in. The eraser impacted with its target, giving the man's hair a rainbow-like streak.
Naruto broke into a fit of giggles. "Right on target! Hehehehe!"
Hinata disengaged her bloodline and smiled slightly. "You have arrived late... Sensei."
Sasuke found himself questioning the jonin's reliability. A man who couldn't dodge an eraser was supposed to hone his skills to Itachi's level and beyond?
"Hmm." The man rubbed his masked chin in thought. "My first impression of you is... I hate you." The alleged jonin's visible eye curved happily at them as he said this, causing his students to stare incredulously. "Meet me on the roof... whenever." He disappeared in a puff of smoke.
"Well that was weird," Naruto muttered. Her teammates nodded in agreement.
The new genin soon found themselves sitting before their Jonin-sensei. Said ninja was leaning against the railing with no care at all of falling to his doom. A part of Sasuke wanted to kick the bastard off the roof for wasting so much of his... so much of their time. They could have been training.
"OK." The mystery ninja clapped his hands. "Let's start with introductions. You know. Likes... dislikes... dreams and hobbies. That sort of stuff."
"Introductions? You're the only one whose name we don't even know!" Naruto objected.
The ninja shrugged. "I'll go first, then." The genin would soon learn the man had an answer for everything. "My name is Hatake Kakashi. I have no intention of telling you my likes or dislikes." That certainly got their attention. "I have lots of hobbies..." Torturing genin, for example, a rare favorite. "Dreams for the future? Never thought about."
"At least we know his name," Hinata said, her left eye twitching ever so slightly.
"And that he's a bleak bastard," Naruto grumbled loud enough for everyone to hear.
Kakashi only gave her an eye-smile. "How about you next then, little miss?" Heh heh. He loved screwing with people.
Naruto gave a start. "Little miss! Little mi- Ha! I'm Uzumaki Naruto! I like my friends, instant ramen and Ichiraku ramen. I dislike the three minutes it takes for ramen to cook and arrogant bastards who think they're better than everybody because they're stronger. My hobbies include training to surpass my limits, cooking, botany and painting. Pranks too, I guess. My dream," she tapped her headband, "is to surpass all the previous Hokage and protect the village, to make everyone acknowledge my existence!"
Kakashi smiled a little at that, even though it made his introduction seem more jackass-ish than originally intended. What an interesting girl...
Sasuke thought it was pretty enlightening. Hinata already knew her friend's gaols, but it still made her smile to hear it.
Kakashi's eye lazily rolled to Sasuke. "Next is emo-kid."
That earned him a glare and a sigh. "Uchiha Sasuke. I dislike a ton of stuff and I don't really like anything but training. I don't have any hobbies or dreams. Only an ambition that I will make reality. To revive my clan... and to kill a certain man."
Kakashi's eye narrowed as his suspicions were confirmed.
Hinata gave Sasuke an odd look. For a twelve year old, no matter what rank or duty, actually wanting to kill someone was wrong. Not the moral aspect, for Hinata knew there were people in this world whose lives were worth less than the soil on which they were slain. It was simply... something must be wrong. With the circumstances or with Sasuke.
A shiver tore through Naruto's spine.
"Alright then... it's your turn, Hyuuga-san." Kakashi thoroughly enjoyed the miffed look Naruto threw him and the second glare on Sasuke's face. What? Hinata may not have pupils but she was the only non-freak on the roof.
"Arigato, Hatake-sensei. My name is Hyuuga Hinata, heir to the Hyuuga clan. I like my sister and cousin. I dislike... certain aspects of clan life that I am not at liberty to discuss. My hobbies include flower pressing and cooking. My dream is to help lead the Hyuuga clan to uninhibited greatness and desegregate it. So we can all be... One. Happy. Family."
Kakashi noted the girl's smile become a bit sardonic toward the end. Desegregating a traditional and harsh clan such as the Hyuuga was a daunting task. Naruto knew some stuff about Hinata's family, but the blue-haired girl was pretty close-lipped about it all. Sasuke didn't blink.
"Well, now that we all know each other, I'll inform you of our first team assignment. Tomorrow we'll be doing..." he paused dramatically, enjoying their rapt attention, "survival training." Heh, so gullible.
Predictably, Naruto loudly protested. "You suck! We already did that at the academy!"
Kakashi merely gave a disturbed chuckle. "Not this type of training, I assure you. Your opponent will be me. But I should warn you, of all the students who've graduated from the Academy, only nine will be selected to become genin. Everyone else will be sent back to the Academy."
Each of his students steeled themselves. Good. They'd need that resolve if they didn't want to be crushed. The jonin passed out the forms containing directions and when to be there.
"Oh and, by the way, don't eat breakfast tomorrow. You'll just throw up. Ja." The jonin vanished.
Sasuke stood up and began walking to the stairs.
"Sasuke?" Naruto called after him.
"Be there tomorrow," he said without glancing back at them. "We'll pass this test." Sasuke walked away without another word.
"We should each make preparations for the test. Goodnight, Naruto-kun." She also made for the exit.
The orange clad girl yawned, licking her sharp canines. "Night, Hinata." Naruto stayed on the roof for a bit longer, unaware that her thoughts mirrored Team Seven's other genin.
To become the Hokage...
To destroy Itachi...
To save my clan...
Failure is not an option.
Next Chapter: Bell Test!
A/N: Don't know what part of my subconscious this story came from. Like it? Hate it? I'm no review whore but feedback is good inspiration to write this stuff. Praise is an ego booster. And helpful criticism is priceless.
Changes: Naruto passed the exam because she had better control, and Hinata would make sure she could perform any jutsu that their test may require. It really doesn't make sense that they'd be unprepared, I realized that long after starting the fic. She didn't magically get better at controlling chakra, I let it make sense. Her control is better because Hinata's helped her from a young age. So I added the short scene with Mizuki to explain how she learned kage bunshin.
And if you're wondering where the Hokage was while the scroll was being stolen, as stated, he was calming some shinobi that really didn't want Naruto to become a ninja. Check out chapter 426 page 14, top-left panel of the manga to see where I got the inspiration for that.