Haio. Some things never change. XD

Red Dawn Eight-Constants

"This was an inevitable evil." grimaced Naruto.
"We knew this was coming." said Konan apologetically.
"Yes, but... escort missions?" he replied in abject horror.

"You really thought you could only take the important missions? Sometimes, we just need to perform a simple, dull mission to make money." said Kakuzu. "Without money, we are nothing."
"Get on with it." said Hinata quietly.
"Yeah, hurry up, un." complained Deidara.
"Some of us are fuckin' bored." snapped Hidan.

"You each have a separate mission." started Konan. "Naruto, Hinata. You're taking Yugito and Amaya to escort the Suna ambassador through to Iwagakure. Reports claim there are many missing nin in the area."

Naruto nodded with a petulant scowl, and Konan moved on.

"Hidan, Kakuzu, you take Kirabi and Darui and take out some entrenched ronin hiding out in the Land of Lightning."
"Kisame and Itachi... we'd like you to open diplomatic talks with the Mizukage."
"I tried to kill the Mizukage." pointed out the blue shark-man.
"That was at least one Mizukage ago." she said with a smile. "Kekkei Genkai are more common there now-the Kage has two. I expect you can come to some agreement. Try not to kill anyone."

The two nodded.
"...what about me?" said Deidara.
"There's a missing cat in Konoha..."

"Well, we're finally here." said Naruto.
"Right." said Yugito, a little officiously. "Where's the diplomat we need?"
"That way." said Naruto, pointing the opposite direction from the one she was looking in.
Hinata remained silent, staring coldly at the people in the village, who stared at them, none so much as her. Her gourd stood out like nothing else could in this village. Everyone knew exactly what she was, and likely who she was and what she held inside her.

And they kept their distance.

Naruto and Yugito set off simultaneously. Hinata followed, keeping close to her Naruto-kun. Amaya followed slightly more carefully.
It seemed to her that there was an argument brewing over who was in charge. And she'd rather nobody she was working with got hurt.

It was several minutes worth of awkward glances and terrified stares from the populace before they arrived at the house of the diplomat.

Naruto looked around, and then knocked on the door.
"This is Uzumaki Naruto. We're here to escort you to Suna." he called.
"Excellent!" came a rather friendly voice, female. The door opened, and a rather large woman, with an equally large smile, and brown hair in a motherly bow, appeared. "I'll just be a moment."

It was several minutes before she did emerge, carrying a small rucksack, a Suna-headband, and a small weapons pouch.

"You're a ninja?" asked Yugito.
"Yes, but not an amazing one." said the ambassador. I'll be no use against anyone of jonin level, I'm afraid."

"Right." nodded the two-tailed jinchuriki. "Then let's move out."
"Yugito." said Naruto, irritated. "I am in charge here, you know."
"Oh, of course." she said sarcastically. "What are your orders, Naruto-san?"

"...Let's go." said Naruto.

Time passes. It passes, while epic battles tear chunks from the landscape, while people live or die by skill and fortune. Or sometimes, it's just several days of travel as the desert blends into rocky canyons. But, whether they knew it or not, three jinchuriki, an ambassador, and a kumo-nin were just about to move from one type of time, to the other.

"I think we should make camp soon." said Naruto, as the sun was beginning to set.
"We can easily go for hours longer." argued Yugito, eyes looking straight ahead.
"Mai-san?" asked Naruto, referring to the ambassador.
"I can keep going." she replied, not all that convincingly.
"Let's find somewhere to camp." repeated Naruto, as Yugito steamed at the tiredness implicit in Mai's voice.

The canyon walls passed by quickly, stone pathways winding between strange, alien looking constructs of rock, carved millennia ago by forgotten rivers.

"There?" suggested Amaya, the Kumo-nin, her sharp eyes spotting a safe looking alcove.

It was sheltered from the wind and the rain, looking like a truly safe spot. Naruto nodded.
"Yeah, sure." he said, before yawning. "Everyone?"
"Well, if you want to rest." said Ambassador Mai, before yawning rather loudly.
"Fine." said Yugito.

"...Hinata?" asked Naruto.
"Whatever, Naruto-kun." she said.

Naruto blinked.


Hinata's being creeeepy!