Disclaimer: I do not own any characters found within, with the exceptions of Yami Ryumura, Keri Enaku, Wakizashi Hana, Ryu Hishou, and Keri Enraku, as well as newcomers Hyuuga Hayai, and "Pacchi-Kun".
Ryumura gave his best yellow-eyed glare at the young med student prodding him with... medical instruments.
The young, pale-eyed chunin healer cowered a little, visibly shaking, but did not retreat.
Enraku just shook his head and sighed. "Ryumura, I would appreciate if you didn't intimidate my learning medics."
Ryumura turned his glare on his 'best friend'. "You know I don't like any one other than you handling me medically. Besides, this one has the look of clumsiness about her.
The student flushed crimson, and started poking her fingers together.
Enraku just sighed again. "Hayai, would you mind stepping out for a minute?"
The young girl shook her head and ran out the door.
Ryumura smirked. "I never knew you had a Hyuuga student."
"She's new. However, I have high hopes for her."
Ryumura stared incredulously. "Her?!"
Enraku placed his palm on his face. "I'll have you know, she wasn't nearly this nervous when I interviewed her. It likely has something to do with you glaring at her like that. Are you waiting for the day you gain heat vision or something?"
"X-Ray vision, actually. But seriously, her?! What could she possibly have others don't?"
"For one, her knowledge was superb. Also, she actually has X-ray vision. Got her from the branch family."
Ryumura laughed. "Main family wouldn't give one up, would they?"
Enraku glared at him. "I kept saying Hinata would be perfect for Medical, but no, she's the heir, and can't make her own damn choices!" He slammed a fist against a wall. Ryumura backed up in alarm. If Enraku was angry, it couldn't be deep right now.
Enraku pulled a bottle out of his pocket, popped out a capsule, and swallowed it. He calmed down rapidly. "Right, what were we talking about?"
"Erm, the results of my check-up?"
"Right, right. Well, you're cleared for duty. May I ask how you managed impale your arm on a branch?"
"Enaku needs to learn that wood-gathering does not involve explosives. Branch would have killed him if it hit him."
A glint flashed in Enraku's glasses at the mention of his son. "Speaking of Enaku... I know your next mission!"
Ryumura groaned. Enaku wagged his finger at him. "This will be the Team's first mission outside of Konoha! It's an important, B-Rank, one too!"
"How could you possibly know that?!"
Enraku shook his head. "As you should remember, as Head of the Medical Corps, I am officially part of the Village Council."
Ryumura groaned louder than before. "The council seriously decided on us?! I thought you had to be recommended by at least 2 council members before they even considered you!"
Enraku grinned nervously. "Umm..."
"Don't worry, I know you were one of them. You put me up for all the fun missions." He smiled at his sometimes best friend. Suddenly, his grin turned suspicious. "Wait... no one else on the council likes me much, do they?"
Enraku chuckled. "You haven't kept up with the Council Roster since you became a Chunin! That was 17 years ago!"
Ryumura froze. "He wouldn't. He's not..."
"On the contrary. He is. Pacchi-kun actually voted for you before I did."
Ryumura had never heard the nickname before, but he could easily put a face to it. Gray hair, beard, looked about 55-ish, well-liked enough for people to actually call him that. Above all, the eye patch that gave him the nickname. "The old goat is a councilman?! Since when?!"
"Since he retired from active ninja duty 15 years ago."
Ryumura sighed. "I bet the decision was unanimous?"
"He's very charismatic, when I think on it."
"Very well. What's the mission?" Ryumura asked with dread.
Enaku sighed. Ever since he'd healed, he's been helping out here at Ichiraku Ramen in his time off. He had to pay off that roof somehow. He knew that, if he had asked his father, he could have just given them money and be done with it. However, his sense of honor dictated that he pay it himself.
Ichiraku had been understanding, and so agreed with this arrangement. His acceptance was helped along by his daughter, Ayame, who told him she would appreciate the help, but really wanted it so she could get time off.
Now that he was here, he found that it wasn't that bad. If he hadn't been a ninja, he'd probably work somewhere like here...
If only the uniform weren't so embarrassing. The outfit itself wasn't terrible... it was when his classmates saw him in it. He thought on the reactions his fellow genin had shown.
Kiba had burst out in laughter when he saw him, and last Enaku had seen, he'd been carried to the hospital for a collapsed lung.
Shino had shown up for a bowl. He didn't really give a feeling that he actually noticed...
Hinata gave a soft 'eep', and bolted the minute she saw him working at the counter.
He thanked the heavens he never saw Ino. She was probably on a diet right now. One lettuce leaf every five days, by her usual dieting methods... and she wondered why she was in the hospital so often!
Strangely enough, only 2 people didn't seem to think it was weird. Choji had just given him an approving nod, and whispered something like "The food is strong in this one."
The other was Hana, who kept him company pretty much whenever he worked. She also seemed to really hit it off with Ayame.
Amazingly, he'd yet to see Naruto in the time he's worked there. Apparently he was on some mission in the Land of Waves. No one knew when he would be back. However, apparently when he'd be back was...
"Huh? Enaku! What are you doing in an Ichiraku's uniform?!" Enaku just pointed at the yet to be rebuilt roof.
"Fell through it." Enaku took in the odd sight. Not Naruto... well, he's odd, yes, but it was more of what Naruto had with him. "Naruto? Who's that?"
Naruto had with him the prettiest girl he's ever seen. Well, third prettiest, anyway. She was wearing an odd green outfit, and she had long, black hair. Though this isn't the odd part. No, the odd part was that she was wearing a Mist headband. Kiri and Konoha may not be enemies, but they weren't allies either.
Naruto grinned. "This is Haku!I'm showing her around the village! Haku, this is Enaku! He's the son of the guy I told you about!"
She looked a little unsure, but she nervously smiled. "It's... nice to meet you."
"Nice to meet you, too. What's she doing with you, Naruto?"
Naruto grinned. "Well, Kakashi-sensei told me not to tell anyone yet, but..."
Naruto was suddenly cut off by Hishou's sudden appearance. "Ryumura wants us to meet him in Training Field 14 now. As in, right now."
Enaku sighed. "Naruto, I'll be sure to ask you about it later." He quickly ran to the back of the Ramen stand to retrieve his regular clothes.
Enraku frowned grimly at the man laying before him. He shook his head before cradling his head in his hand. He looked to the silver-haired Jonin leaning against the wall.
Kakashi stared at him blankly. "Is there anything you can do for him?"
"It's a lot of wounds. He's in a coma. I can treat the wounds of the flesh. Wounds of the mind, however... did he give any reactions at all on the way back?"
"Only when we do one thing." Kakashi reached to pick up the huge sword lying next to the patient. The patient twitched a little.
Enraku nodded. "That's a good sign. He can feel you handling his sword. (Accidental Innuendo? That didn't sound nearly as dirty when I wrote it.) If he has any friends or family, tell them to visit tomorrow, after I put him through surgery."
"Enraku-san, Kakashi. I am your senior. What did you say his name was?"
"The Council is NOT going to like this.
Training Field 14
"This is a very simple exercise." Ryumura grinned at his team.
Enaku frowned and looked around at the forest they'd been brought to. "What exactly are we going to be doing?"
Ryumura shook his head. "I'm getting to that. We... are going to climb trees!"
He could see them struggling not to laugh. "Isn't that a little... primitive, sensei?"
Ryumura just grinned wider. "That's the interesting twist! You have to climb these trees... without using your hands!"
He watched their faces and could immediately tell what they(at least, Enaku and Hishou) were thinking. "Before you attempt to pelvic thrust your way up the tree, I'll show you the trick. Though that would have given me endless amusement."
He made a hand sign, stood still for a second, and placed a foot on the tree. Taking in their shocked faces happily, he placed the other foot on the tree and walked upwards. He stood upside down from a branch, and frowned at them. Being upside down, this meant he was smiling.
"You have to gather chakra in your feet and think... STICK! If you pour in too much chakra, you'll break the wood. If you use to little, you'll fall on your face. It shouldn't take more than a few minutes.
A half-hour later...
Ryumura grimaced at his team. None of them could complete the exercise. "Are any of you really trying? You're supposed to defy physics and walk up the tree!"
Enaku muttered irritably.
Ryumura coughed. "I'm sorry, I didn't catch that." Ryumura looked around warily. "Wait... where's Hana?"
Ryumura looked up, where Hana was waving at him from the top of the assigned tree. He turned back to the other two. "Are you two trying! Hana made it already!"
Hishou started twitching. "Why are we even doing this idiotic exercise!"
Enaku grinned at him. "You're only saying that because I got further up than you did!"
"It's not my fault, my tree keeps bursting into flame!"
Ryumura grunted angrily. "Hello? Forgot your sensei, huh! The one who's yelling at you? Fine! I'll tell you what this exercise is for! It's to build chakra control!"
"Why should we need to do that!"
Ryumura punched a tree in anger. "You want to see what perfect control can do, huh?!" He pulled down his sleeve to activate his weapon seal. A sword poofed into existence. "See this sword?"
Enaku and Hishou nodded. Ryumura suddenly swung the sword at a tree. It embedded itself a couple inches deep. "That's what I can do without chakra. Now see what happens when I add some Fuuton chakra. Balancing the chakra can make many things possible. Without it, it's a waste of chakra." He swung the blade again, slicing cleanly through the tree. His students looked in shock.
Mistaking their shock for being unimpressed, Ryumura's mouth started frothing. He was grinning manically. "Not impressive enough, huh!? See what happens when I add some Katon and Fuuton! Kaze Nenshou!"
A short time later
Breathing heavily, Ryumura was on the ground, nearly out of chakra. The massive swath of burning wood around him continued to smolder. "Forgot how much chakra that takes..." He turned to his students. "What are you waiting for? Climb the tree before I can move again, and I'll treat you to dinner! Most expensive dinner goes to whoever gets there first! Hana, could you help me up, please? My body is numb."
Enaku was making some progress. Well, more than Hishou anyway, who couldn't get the trees to stop burning when he touched them. However, all this progress was lost about halfway up the tree.
Enaku started shouting toward Hana. "Hana, watch this! I can make it about halfway!" He started running up the tree with perfect control, until... he hit a hole. Which wouldn't be too bad, if it weren't for the fact that it was filled with squirrels. Very, very angry squirrels.
Hishou watched Enaku's mauling and rolled his eyes. He turned back to his tree, and put one foot on the trunk. It instantly burst into flame. "Damn!"
Ryumura was currently questioning why the gods had forsaken him.
The Hokage's Office
Hard at work at his desk, The Third Hokage stopped for just a moment as he heard the door open. He accidentally knocked his current book on the floor in his haste to stand up. "Pacchi-san! What brings you here today!"
The man's grin widened into a smile. "Hokage-sama, I know you're very busy. I'll make this brief. It was that mission we set Ryumura's team up for. I know you usually inform shinobi of their mission's personally, but I was wondering... would you mind letting me tell him?"
The Third shook his head. "Of course you can! You are vitally important to the mission, after all!"
The patched man bowed. "Many thanks, Hokage-sama. I will take my leave." Contrary to his claim, he was suddenly right next to the Hokage, a certain orange-covered book in his hand. "A little light reading, Hokage-sama?" He set the book down on the desk, and whisked toward the door, ignoring the Third's mumbling. He turned his head back and grinned. "I hear the next one comes out soon."
Training Field 14
Ryumura considered getting frustrated, but then thought of something. If he actually helped them... would that make him a better sensei than Chikan?
The boy looked up from his current injured position. "Ryumura-sensei?"
"Try simply walking up the tree."
Enaku looked confused but followed his direction. To his utter astonishment, he managed to make it to the top.
Ryumura smirked in satisfaction. "You tried to show off too much. It was disrupting your chakra." He turned to Hishou. "Hishou, your problem is that you can't turn off the fire, right?"
Hishou nodded, confused.
Ryumura rapidly did a hand sign. "Doton: Yurasu Hashira no Jutsu!" He slammed his hand to ground, a pillar of rock forming in front of him roughly the size of one of the trees. "Try it on something nonflammable."
Hishou tentatively placed a foot on the rock, and to his delight, it didn't go up in flames. He was about to shout to the sky, but regained his composure. "Thank you, Ryumura-sensei!"
Watching this brought a smile to his lips. A few minutes later, he grinned wider.
"All 3 of you did it! I congratulate you, and now, it's off to lunch!" He turned around only to come face to face with an eye patch. "Agh! You!"
An elderly man in robes stood before him. The man's face was softened by a smile and a small amount of wrinkles, but that didn't hide the sharp edge that used to be there. His gray hair was interspersed with flecks of black, and it was kept short. His eye was closed, and it didn't look like he opened it often. He waved at the whole team.
"Hello, Team 2!"
Enaku, Hana, and Hishou stared, all 3 of them thinking they'd seen him somewhere before. Ryumura was sputtering incomprehensibly.
"My name is Pacchi-kun. I'm a member of the village council. "I'm also... your new mission! Though, gossip that he is, Enraku-kun probably already told Ryumura-san about it. Though judging from the rapidly whitening face, I'd say he didn't know my part in it."
Enaku looked at Ryumura. "What mission is he talking about?"
Before the stunned ninja had a chance to respond, Pacchi-kun continued. "You have an important B-rank mission. You guys are going to escort a diplomat to Takigakure, the Village Hidden in the Waterfall!"
Ryumura regained his voice, and he asked with dread. "Don't tell me...?"
"You will be escorting me! ...Now... did someone mention lunch?