Disclaimer: We do NOT own Naruto that belongs to the genius of plot holes, Masashi Kishimoto.

Summary: What if the Forest of Death lived up to its name? For a shinobi, the mission comes first. Set around chunin exam. HinaXDosu (cracktastic)

This was another forum challenge that I took up, the sentence we had to expand on was (with minor alternations to fit in my text) :"You know.." Zaku commented as they left the battle ground. "When Orochimaru-sama ordered us to kill the Uchiha I was looking forward to a decent challenge, but slitting him and his friend's throat while they slept just felt kinda...anti-climactic, y'know?"

Chapter One: Orders Received

Kin walked through the underground complex filled with nervous excitement. Her skills were mediocre, she would admit to herself, and yet Orochimaru-sama saw fit to enter her into the chunin exams in Konoha! She passed a group of depressed looking prisoners but only gave them a cursory glance. Once upon a time she had been one of them, a child from a poor family that couldn't give tribute to the new shinobi leader, and instead offered their youngest daughter.

She had spent a year in the cages unnoticed with the rest, waiting to be used for experimentation, before he took notice of her. It was a miracle the golden eyed man saw her or rather heard her humming along to some tune he himself had been idly humming. She had good ears and her chakra coils were unusually strong for a civilian. She was allowed into the shinobi training program, not to be used for human experimentation. At least, not in any capacity that would kill her.

Kin resisted the urge to rub her lower arms where countless needles had poked into her veins and pumped various hormones and drugs into her body. If it weren't for her leather bracers people would think she was a druggie or something from the scars. It hurt to grow up so fast, but Orochimaru-sama needed the information and she was glad to be useful. Better than a prisoner. Better than a non-person.

She was a somebody. She was Kin Tsuchi, genin kunoichi of the Sound, soon to be chunin. Maybe. Probably. So long as she didn't die.

Kin had no intention of dying as she paused at the thick heavy doors marking the entrance to the audience chamber. Swallowing her fear because she knew she had been summoned, Kin rapt she door sharply with her knuckles and opened the door. Orochimaru-sama was in his usual loose robes, a soft gray, sitting in a relaxed almost lazy position. It was a bit rude, her mother's finely ingrained manners grumbled in her mind, but he was a sannin and she was no threat. She was amazed to be considered up for promotion, anyway.

Kin let her eyes scan the room to take in the other occupants. Dosu Kinata was waiting in a crouched position close by, but she could forgive him because of his arm. He was one of the experiments, a horrendous melding of man and machine and for what? Kin honestly didn't know but she had heard that his taijutsu was dangerous. Never get into close combat with him, even the misses will 'fuck you up' as her acquaintances had said.

The kunoichi gave a respectful nod to the other genin after bowing to the exiled sannin, not so much exiled anymore. He had, after all, gotten invitations to send a team of genin to the chunin exams in Konoha though the leaf nin didn't really know it was him. The irony wasn't wasted on the snake summoner and he had meshed together a plan with his genius mind in days.

That was the rumor, anyway. Kin wouldn't have been surprised if the man had planned everything from the beginning, his founding of a hidden village only part of it. Pity they needed the Sand to pull it off.

Faintly the sound of running feet came to her ears, overly sensitive that they were, and Kin turned back to the door. The running feet slid to a stop, a burst of chakra keeping the unknown upright, and the door opened. Zaku Abumi entered with a slight sheen of sweat, and factoring in his earlier running Kin could safely say he had been out in the training grounds. He must have run all the way through the maze-like village to arrive so soon.

She caught Orochimaru's mouth quirk in amusement as the boy regained his breath. He shifted, his movement's fluid like a snakes, and he watched them. "Do you know why you are here?"

Kin had her suspicions, but it was hard to tell if it was a rhetorical question. Orochimaru-sama was hard to judge. Seeking to fill the silence Kin offered with false confidence, "To follow your orders, Orochimaru-sama, whatever they may be."

Zaku shot her a glare, and it irked her. From Dosu's slight narrowing of the eye, he only had one visible as most of his face was wrapped in bandages, he didn't like the other boy much. Zaku was another of the experiments, but his wasn't as drastic as Dosu's. He still looked and moved relatively normal even though his attacks were so-so.

Kin had heard, thanks again to her great ears, some medics refer to the emotional boy as Orochimaru's failure. She still wasn't sure if it was because of the experiment or the boy himself. What she did know was that people didn't like working with him because he was headstrong and easily took to insults.

"That too." Orochimaru replied to her comment with an amused smile. "As you may already know, you three will be our representation in Konoha for the chunin exams."

Zaku visibly fought down a cry of glee. Kin nodded to herself, she had been told to prepare earlier though she did not know who else was nominated. Dosu was expressionless.

The village leader continued. "You will be entering as a team, as per regulations. Utuke-kun will serve as your jounin-sensei." A faint sneer showed what the man thought of that little tradition. Unlike most hidden villages, Sound didn't do jounin-sensei. They didn't even use teams. After three years of group conditioning/basic training genin were expected to make deals with their seniors for further teaching or learn on their own between missions. Kin lost count of how many favors she performed for her genjutsu training. "However your main goal is not to pass, though, by all means do so if you wish. You're true mission is to eliminate Uchiha Sasuke."

Kin nearly shivered from the grin. Orochimaru-sama was just plain disturbing; brilliant and awe-inspiring, but disturbing nonetheless. Still, she wouldn't fail. With her eyes remaining on the older ninja, she scanned her new teammates. Dosu was... he didn't show anything. Straining her senses all she got was a faint ticking noise, or was it a heart beat? Zaku, the idiot, was looking at her and Dosu as if weighing their worth. Dumbass. Not subtle at all. Orochimaru's failure is right. He calls himself a ninja?

Surprisingly Dosu was the one to speak up. "Uchiha Sasuke, sir?"

Uchiha? Kin frowned. Didn't that clan get wiped out by a berserker a few years ago? She remembered her father laughing about it, right before they shipped her off.

"Ah, yes. Take the dossier." Zaku walked up and grabbed a set of thin folders. Kin took one, and was amazed at the amount of technical information on their target. "Surprised? Konoha's security standards aren't exactly... good. They're quite laughable really. That'll come in handy when we begin the invasion."

"When do you want this kid dead, Orochimaru?" Zaku spoke with a familiarity that irked the long haired girl. She wanted to smack him. Luckily the snake sannin either didn't care or notice.

"The best time to do it would be during the second portion of the exam. As we are currently in a time of peace... I believe it will take place in area forty-four."

"There are two portions?"

The man's knowing smiles were getting creepy. Seriously. "Three, actually. The first will be a written test which, depending on who the proctor is, should be easy to pass. I'm inclined to believe it will be either Anko-chan or Ibiki-san. The trick to the first test is to cheat."

The three genin gave confirmation that they understood and waited for further information.

"The second test will involve gathering a pair of scrolls. You will be left in a large training field, forest, and then to battle it out. A few deaths during this part is normal, your activities will go unnoticed."

Kin felt a smirk blossom on her lips at that. They could probably have a huge orgy during the middle of the test and no one would question it. Actually, that would make a good distraction, and anyone who saw it would assume genjutsu.

She needed to stop reading those little orange books.

Once again it was Dosu who spoke up, and Kin thought she detected a hint of resentment. "And the third part of the exam?"

Orochimaru-sama waved his hand as if it was unimportant but spoke as if he was doing so to small children. "That will undoubtedly consist of you three pummeling someone in one-on-one fights. Though, depending on how many pass the second test you might get stuck in a preliminary."

Confused now, Kin looked up from the time-table in the dossier. "I was under the impression that the attack would be a month from this time."

"It is. That's when the third round will take place. Gives a month to rest up so that the spectators can get a good show." Now, apparently tired with questions, Orochimaru dismissed them with a wave and a light threat of killing intent. The three genin scooted into the hall.

Kin tucked the folder under her arm and regarded the other two with undisguised annoyance. Dosu she didn't mind as much, but he was still weird. Zaku was an ass.

"I can't believe I got paired with an insignificant girl like you."

Insignificant? "At least I'm not full of air. I heard about your little exhibition fight in the woods, failure." If he wanted to exchange insults, he would have to do better than that. Kin had spent a year in the cages and wasn't about to roll over. He didn't even spend one week.

The boy's face screwed up with rage, and his hand twitched as if he wanted to attack her. She gave a predatory grin and had three senbon in her hand before he could blink. Dosu sighed and stepped between them as his bulk was a sizable obstacle for their mock fight to overcome. That and the underground halls of Otokagure were kind of cramped for fighting.

"We're supposed to be a team, for this. We can't get into the exams unless we all go." A voice of reason.

"Heh. Just don't get in my way, girl." Zaku finished as he gave to Dosu's authority. Kin chose not to reply, she could take him out with genjutsu in an instant. Thus team dynamic formed.

"We should at least do some missions together, so we can see where we stand with each other." Dosu offered, quietly. If she had one, Kin would have tipped her hat.

"I heard there are a few nomadic bandit camps around the east villages."

"Bandits? Nice... but you wouldn't want to get you're skirt bloodied up, would you girl?"

Kin refrained from grinding her teeth and smiled brightly. "I don't know, scarlet would look good on me, don't you think?"

She watched as something clicked in his big, jerk head. He actually laughed. "That was a good one. What's your name?"


"No last name?"

Dosu once again stepped in. "I doubt we will remain partnered long enough for it to matter, as attachments are useless. We only have two weeks to prepare."

Zaku laughed again as they walked toward the exit, presumably to begin hunting bandits. "Got that right, I'm Zaku."

"Yes." Dosu replied coolly. "I read it in the file."

"Oh? You must read really fast, like some kind of machine."

Kin resisted the urge to slap her forehead. If he wasn't picking a fight with her he was trying to get one with Dosu. Hopefully the other boy wouldn't fall for it. The girl giggled as Zaku's taunting face leaned a little too close to the annoyed experiment, and recoiled in pain. Her ears stung a little from the released pressure of whatever the attack had been, but she was sure to get used it. Eventually.

"Hey, Kin. Why is your hair so long? Don't you ever step on it, and, man look at those split ends!"

She wasn't sure she would get used to Zaku, however, and repeated the mission parameters in her mind like a protective mantra.