Hashirama glared at the crowd that had gathered around the tower. Though they'd appeared reluctant to do so, they parted, clearing a path between him and The Desk. Despite the fact that he'd loved that desk dearly up until that morning, he couldn't keep the look of disgust off of his face as he approached it. The thought of several generations of people including Madara doing THAT on HIS desk sickened him.

The Grand Fireball Jutsu was a Uchiha trick, but that didn't mean he couldn't do it despite the fact that his main affinities were Water and Earth. Closing his eyes so he couldn't see the offending piece of furniture, he started the handseals for the jutsu, ignoring the cries of "Not The Desk!". In the middle of the jutsu, shortly before he was to release a massive fireball that would have uncreated his creation, he'd felt someone Shunshin up next to the desk. There was a brief Chakra flare, and then whoever it was Shunshined out of the area before the fireball was released.

From around him and behind him there was a loud cheer and a yell of "He saved The Desk!".

Moments later, there was confusion as the crowd searched for the hero of the hour in order to lift him on their shoulders or something, and the person who'd rescued the desk from the cleansing fire was nowhere to be found. Said hero of the hour had likely booked it as quickly as he could in order to avoid his wrath.


The spy from Kumo smiled. Sealing the desk which appeared to be some sort of sacred relic to the citizens of Konoha and getting away with it had been all too easy. Sure, he would be catching hell for abandoning his mission, but such a prize as this was something that Kumo couldn't do without. If the stories he'd heard about this piece of furniture from the members of the crowd who'd gathered to rescue it were to be believed, the desk that the Shodai Hokage had been about to destroy despite the protests of his subjects was the source of Konoha's extreme fecundity. Once he brought it home, it would be Kumo that would be blessed with great increase and there would be more Kumo ninja than you could shake a stick at in a mere generation or two.

Grinning and waving at the Konoha idiots who were guarding the gate, he slipped outside of the village where he ran straight into an Iwa ninja who'd been ordered to test Konoha's defenses while the village was in a relative state of turmoil...


The Tsuchikage frowned at the report he'd read on one Uzumaki Naruto. Rather than being like his father, the boy was like a certain other Uzumaki he'd had the misfortune of being acquainted with.

Back when he'd been a young man who was barely starting out in the world, he'd been assigned to a long-term spying mission in Uzushogakure. The people there had known he was a spy, and hadn't cared. They had ruthlessly exploited him however, constantly sending him out on any number of make-work missions that they hadn't wanted to bother with. The ninja he was most often paired up with on these missions was an Uzumaki who'd had the most atrocious luck.

He couldn't count the number of times that Uzumaki had gotten them into trouble, nor could he count the number of times that the Uzumaki had just barely gotten them out of it again with a few quick words that had left their opponent standing there scratching his or her head while they made a quick escape instead of creaming them as they could and should have. According to this report he'd received, the Yellow Flash's son was the same, except for the fact that instead of completely bewildering his opponents, he somehow made most of them want to become better people. The Godaime Kazekage was a prime example of this, as the boy had been a complete psychopath before he'd met Naruto three years before.

If he decided to do so, getting rid of the boy would be a bit tricky. Any assassin he might send would more than likely end up like the last three. Two of them had left their respective villages' forces in order to join religious orders, and the third had retired to become a lumberjack. The fact that the third ninja hadn't wanted to become a ninja in the first place was immaterial. If the Uzumaki could subvert Tanigakure's best assassin who was apparently very happy spending every day except Wednesdays when he wandered around a small Fire Country town dressed in drag as he went shopping for lingerie cutting down trees, chances were that he could subvert anyone.


Madara scowled over the fact that he'd been sent out to hunt for the guy who'd stolen that damned desk since it wasn't his day to be Hokage. If he'd known that he'd be stuck taking orders from those damn Senju and their puppets every other day of the week...

Deciding to kill time by "interrogating" the gate guards, he headed over to the village gate. After an hour of chatting about nothing in particular after his first question hadn't revealed anything of import since the pair of Chunin he was talking to hadn't been on shift at the time of the furniture theft, he noticed a pair of figures coming up the road.

Actually, he'd noticed several figures coming up the road during that hour. What made these two unique was what they were wearing. The pair of men, one taller and the other shorter were dressed in the Akatsuki uniform. The hilt of a certain sword was visible over the shoulder of the taller of the two, marking the pair as Itachi and Kisame. Kisame who had joined the Akatsuki which he himself had recently abandoned upon being given a liberal dose of sanity during the detox because...Well, shit.

"This is going to be awkward."