Poker Night

Summary: How do Konoha's finest generation of shinobi relax? With a poker night! Various pairings. My first attempt to write something humorous.

"Hey! Naruto! Shikamaru! Choji! Wait up!" The three shinobi halted as they heard those words coming from a familiar voice. Shikamaru and Choji stopped talking. One of the boys, the blond turned around to see Rock Lee calling them. It seemed to him that no matter how many years passed, Lee never changed. At twenty-one, Lee was still a hardworking, high-energy ninja.

"Hey Thick Brows," Naruto greeted him. "Is this about Poker Night?" They had been discussing holding one that week because no one was out on a mission. Whenever the former members of teams Asuma, Kurenai, Kakashi and Gai were off-duty, they held Poker Night to unwind and catch up. They happened more and more rarely after the youngest of the group, Hinata, had turned twenty because they were all jounins.

"Yes, it is! I'm the host tonight! I wanted to know if you were coming," he answered. They each took turns hosting based on who had won the most last time. In the last tournament, Naruto had quit playing early after winning a large sum of money, but Lee had won the most by successfully fooling Sakura into folding when he only had a pair of twos. In her fury, she had accidentally broken Naruto's card table into a pile of rubble. He would not be able to host another poker night until he replaced them.

"We have no other plans tonight," answered Shikamaru with a sigh. The unmotivated shinobi actually rather enjoyed playing poker and was almost as good as it as he was at shogi. He had won a tidy sum of money last time. Choji nodded in agreement; for him, poker night was an excuse to see Ino outside of missions.

"You bet I'm coming! Team Kakashi has today off, so Sai and Sakura-chan should be able to come too," answered the blond. "Sai is picking her and Ino up from the hospital tonight because we were going to go out for ramen."

Lee smiled brightly. "Tenten-chan is probably inviting her as we speak!"


"Are you coming tonight?" Sakura looked up from the weapon user's injury. Tenten had returned from a B-rank mission with her former teammates Neji and Lee with a injury to her knee that was beyond the first aid skills of the two jounin.

"Who's hosting it tonight, Tenten-chan," asked the pink-haired medic.

"Lee, of course." she answered."I thought you of all people would know after losing to him in the last game." Sakura's hands started glowing as she healed what she could. Tenten added, "I know I'm going tonight. Will I be going on crutches?"

"No, your injury is not severe. I healed the worst of it, but the rest has to heal the natural way to prevent further strain," she answered. "You can't go on any missions until it heals."

The older girl then commented "You didn't say if you were coming or not." Sakura gave no answer. "Do you have a shift tonight," she asked.

"No, I just don't want to be cleaned out by Naruto, Shikamaru and Lee again," Sakura answered. Tenten laughed, remembering how Sakura had lost nearly a week's paycheck gambling. She was Tsunade's apprentice in more ways than one.

"You need to learn when to fold and how to maintain a better poker face," she answered. Hiding her emotions was far from one of Sakura's strengths.

"It's harder to maintain a good poker face than I thought. Not all of us are as good as Sai!" The two girls started laughing. The "emotionless" shinobi had the best poker face of any of the regulars.

"What's so funny?" Ino had come into the room with a box of medical supplies. She handed an ace bandage to Sakura.

"Here's the supplies you wanted Forehead," she told Sakura. "Are you okay," she then asked Tenten.

"Yeah, it's only a bad sprain and some bruising near the skin," answered Sakura. "We were talking about Poker Night. Are you coming Ino-Pig?" Ino enjoyed Poker Night as a chance to hit on Sai, who had yet to release she had feelings for him.

"Yeah, we could use a night off. We'll invite Sai when he comes to pick us up tonight," she answered blushing faintly.

"Besides I want to see if you actually learned your lesson from last time and actually fold during a hand when Naruto and Shikamaru keep raising."


The serene grounds of the Hyuga compound were far from serene at that moment. The sounds of fighting could be heard from the front gate. That could only mean one thing: Hinata and Neji were training.

"You have improved so much since we first started Hinata-sama," Neji commented. "You still have a long way to go before you can become more than just the heiress of our clan," he added.

"Well, I have no plans to become the Head so soon, Onii-san," she answered. "Our current Head is in good health and still has many years ahead of him." He gave her a rare smile.

"That should not give you an excuse to not train hard," he replied in his usual serious tone. "You have other things that you want to do before you become the Head."

"Hai. I want to be a good jounin-sensei. I'm going to be assigned a team soon," she informed him. His pale eyes widened.

"Already? You only reached this rank a few years ago. I didn't have a team until this year. It's a lot of responsibility." She nodded.

"I feel I'm ready for it," she answered. Neji gave another uncharacteristic smile.

"Before you take on the responsibility of a team, would you like to go to Poker Night tonight? Lee is the host this time. Also pass along the invitation to those teammates of yours," he asked her.

"Sure. It sounds like fun," she replied.