I Do Not Own Naruto
A/N I was hard pressed to figure out a test for this one, and it took a long time to come up with one that focused on teamwork. I hope it doesn't bore you too bad.
Mizuki struggled to his feet, trying to smile at Naruto, "Hello, Naruto-kun," he said, "What are you doing out here?"
"I should ask you the same thing," Naruto said, eyeing the scroll on Mizuki's back, "Why do you have the Forbidden Scroll?"
"Too quick for your own good, Honorable Son," Mizuki pulled out two large windmill shuriken, "If I get you alive, there'll probably be a bonus for me."
Naruto leapt back as the first shuriken landed where his feet were, Naruto felt powerful instincts welling up, "Mizuki-sensei," he asked as his voice deepened, "how did you get the Forbidden Scroll."
Mizuki froze, hearing the change in Naruto's voice, but played it off as a Genjutsu, "Your form comes quite in handy, ANBU don't question the Honorable Son when he shows up, an advanced Henge was all I needed."
Naruto felt his body get longer, he tried to contain, he felt insulted that Mizuki would dare use his form, "You are going in Mizuki," he ground out as his body got longer, Mizuki taking an involuntary step back at the strange, disquieting sight he was seeing. It was like seeing that serpent he saw thirteen years ago.
"A simple Genjutsu won't affect me, Naruto-kun," Mizuki hissed as he brought out another shuriken, twirling it hard before slinging it at Naruto's form. Naruto felt a rage, none that he'd felt before, at Mizuki's comment. Naruto's body twisted at the middle, allowing passage for the blade to whip passed him leaving him unharmed.
Mizuki was now terrified, Naruto's form shifted to that of a dragon, his clothes seeming to melt into him. The form was not too dissimilar to the one he'd run from all those years ago. Naruto stood up to his full height, standing nearly three feet taller than Mizuki, and struck at Mizuki like a viper.
Mizuki leapt back as jaws snapped where he once stood, tearing off a small piece of his clothing. He didn't have time to stop though as Naruto came after him. He didn't last long as the young dragon coiled around in ways that he couldn't avoid; making it nearly impossible for him to dodge.
Naruto finally caught Mizuki, coiled around him like the serpent he resembled, "And now we wait for my father, Mizuki-sensei," Naruto ground out, he squeezed him a little tighter, "Why don't I make his job a little easier, tell me who you work for."
"He'll kill me if I tell you," Mizuki rasped out, having difficulty breathing.
"What do you have to lose?" Naruto whispered, "Your life is forfeit anyway, as is your soul for such dishonorable actions."
Mizuki struggled against Naruto as Naruto's tail pulled out Mizuki's hand, holding the fingers splayed, "Every time you don't answer," Naruto gagged at what he was going to say next, "You lose a finger."
"Thank you and curse you, Anko-chan," Naruto thought to himself. One of the Torture Division's experts had thought it would be good to, instruct, Naruto in interrogation.
"Yeah right, you spoiled brat," Mizuki said defiantly, "I don't think you have it in-AAAGGHHH!"
Naruto bit off one of Mizuki's fingers, spitting it out in front of him so Mizuki could see it, "I don't see why Anko-chan likes blood so much, it tastes disgusting. You have nine more Mizuki-sensei, then we move to other parts of the body."
Mizuki lasted, until seeing six fingers, and Naruto hadn't just had one hand, he took a mismatch from both hands, he finally gave in.
"All right brat," Mizuki said breathing heavily, blood dripping down Naruto's scales, "I'll tell you what I know."
Minato had gone after Naruto, after witnessing the events through the crystal ball the Hokage office had for watching happenings.
He leapt through the forest as quick as he could, wanting to get there before anyone else. He didn't want Naruto's secret revealed just yet, though Ibiki would most certainly have to know now.
Minato came into the clearing, seeing Naruto sitting next to a passed out Mizuki, in human form again, six mismatched fingers lying next to them. Fearing the worst, Minato ran to Naruto, only to see that they were Mizuki's fingers.
"Dad," Naruto said quietly, "I don't like that part of the job."
Minato hugged Naruto, "I know, I hate that part of the job as well. Did he say anything?"
"You're not going to like it," Naruto said in his father's chest, "He was working for Orochimaru."
"Are you certain that's what he said?" Minato held Naruto out at arms length.
"Yes sir," Naruto nodded.
"All right," Minato looked around, summoning the ANBU with a small burst of his Chakra in a quick pattern, "Let's go get something to eat. Ramen, sounds good doesn't it?"
Naruto smiled as he left with his father, ANBU already there, taking care of Mizuki.
Soon they found themselves in small out of the way ramen shop, the kindly old man and his daughter giving them ramen on the house, seeing Naruto's down face.
When Minato offered to pay for it the old man said, "For our two best customers, we can do that once in a while, and besides it takes a lot to make Naruto-kun look down like that, Ayame, two more bowls for our two greatest customers!"
The old man's daughter smiled, bringing in two more bowels.
"Thanks, Teuchi," Minato thanked the old man.
"Don't worry about it," he smiled, leaving them alone.
"I'm sorry you had to do that, Naruto," Minato said quietly.
"I didn't have to," Naruto answered, "A part of me was angry, very angry, when he called my true form a Genjutsu. I made the choice when I could have just left him to ANBU."
"Naruto, I'm not going to lie, and say what you did was necessary," Minato spoke, "I'm not going to say you did the right thing, but I think you did the best thing."
"What did I do?" Naruto asked, looking down.
"You stopped a traitor from hurting our village, and found out who was behind it," Minato said with a small smile, "While it wasn't necessary for you to go that far, you did above and beyond the call of duty for a Ninja of your rank, and that is what a Ninja must always strive to do, and even if you did partly because you felt insulted, you also did it to punish a man who planned on hurting our precious village."
Naruto smiled, "Thanks Dad," he then dug into his ramen, which soon turned into an eating contest with his father. They left a sizeable tip when they left.
Naruto blinked away sleep as he stood in front of his Sensei, "Now," Kurenai said, looking at all of them, "You task for your final test is to only try and touch me. You will be under a Genjutsu while you do, and you must figure out how to get out of it, I will be standing right here."
Kurenai's form shifted out as she took several hundred paces from the team. Everyone in the team found themselves in what appeared to be a large maze.
Naruto looked around, he was by himself. He tried on his own for a bit, but he got what felt like he was hopelessly lost.
"I need Kiba and Hinata," Naruto said to himself, almost instantly, he could here Kiba.
He started towards it, hoping to find his friend. He followed his instincts, and soon found Kiba, "Finally!" Kiba called out, "I was so lost here, I've been trying to find you for a while now."
"That's great, we need to find Hinata-chan," Naruto said, "We're still under Genjutsu, so we'll need her to break out of it."
The moved around, Kiba followed his nose trying to find Hinata. It took a lot longer, but they eventually found her.
Hinata looked at them, "W-h-here w-w-ere you? I w-was calli-ing for you guys."
Naruto shook his head, "Hinata-chan, we're in a Genjutsu, it probably didn't allow for it. Can you use your Byakugan?"
"H-hai," She closed her eyes, "Byakugan!"
"What do you see?" Kiba asked impatiently.
"It's s-strange," Hinata stuttered, "I-i-it lo-ooks like three l-layers."
"And there's three of us," Naruto thought out loud, "I can't see or hear worth crap, Kiba's nose is working great, and you have your Byakugan. What are we missing? Is there anything different you guys notice?"
"I-I c-can see what l-looks like a-a s-specific rout-te to f-follow," Hinata thought out loud.
"I can smell Kurenai-sensei all over this place," Kiba said after taking a few sniffs.
"Okay, lead on," Naruto told them, "Tell the other when something seems different."
Quietly the wound their way through the maze, they were about to make a turn when Kiba spoke, "Hey, Kurenai-sensei's scent is stronger this way."
"The maze l-ooks m-more cor-rect this w-way," Hinata pointed out.
Naruto thought for a moment, "Let's go with Kiba's route."
"H-hai," Hinata said, a little depressed.
"Come on," Naruto said with a smile, "Trust us!"
Hinata looked up, a more affirmative look on her face, blushing at how close Naruto was, "Hai!"
They followed Kiba's route, they came upon a gigantic room, "Well, shit," was all Naruto could say. The room had thousands of pathways, and according to both Hinata and Kiba, all ways looked and smelled exactly the same.
Akamaru barked on Kiba's head, looking around sniffing at the air.
Naruto looked at his feet seeing a small inscription, "This is where the journey begins?" He read aloud. He thought back on all the metaphoric learning he had. There were thousands of doors. Thousands of passages. Thousands of choices. It was just like-
Then he chuckled before it erupted into full on laughter.
"What's are you going on about, Naruto," Kiba said, a little disturbed.
"N-n-naruto-kun?" Hinata asked.
Naruto waved a hand in front of him, stopping at a certain point, as if he touched something, "She's right here."
Hinata and Kiba mimicked the motion, putting their hands in the same spot he had, and the Genjutsu dissolved, they found themselves holding Kurenai's outstretched hand.
"You all pass," she said, "The object of this Genjutsu was to see how well you could work together. If you didn't work together, you would never have gotten out, I wouldn't have allowed it, I made it picking on what each person had unique about them. Hinata, you are good with the Byakugan, so I made it weaker at some points to allow you to see through part of it. Kiba, I left a phantasm of my scent to allow you to trace it. Naruto, ever the religious one, understood the meaning of the inscription at the end. Welcome to Team Eight."
The new Team Eight nodded their heads, "Your new journey as a Ninja begins here, meet me first thing in the morning in Training Ground Eight."
Kurenai left, leaving the new members of Team Eight together.
"So," Naruto said scratching his, "You guys want to go a get some ramen?"
Kiba and Hinata smiled while Akamaru gave a appreciative yip, "Ramen it is then!"
Team Eight spent the rest of the day enjoying each other company, chatting away pleasantly. It was hard to get Hinata to talk at first, but she opened up soon, enjoying the companionship it brought. Naruto and Kiba still couldn't figure out how to stop her from blushing, though.
Naruto noted that she seemed really sad when she had to go home.
When Kiba was out of sight Naruto hightailed it over to Hinata, meeting her about a block before she got home.
"Why are you sad, Hinata-chan," Naruto asked.
"N-n-nothing," Hinata said, looking at her feet.
"Hm, not my business I guess," Naruto said with a small smile, he kept on, "Oh, well," Naruto smiled at her, a deep blush forming on her cheeks, "When you feel down, just do what I do and pray to Amaterasu."
Hinata looked at him questioningly, "I always find it relaxing talking to her," Naruto said as he looked into the setting sun, closing his eyes, "Remember, she's not just light, the sun, she's also hope."
Naruto walked away leaving a very confused Hinata, quietly she walked into her home and to her room, and looked at the setting sun, feeling the heat on her face she closed her eyes. Feeling the comforting warmth on her face, she understood what Naruto meant as she offered up a small prayer.