Shinzui: Aaaand, we're back! Finally!
Ominias: After several months of being patronized by Shinzui here, anyway.
Shinzui: Sh-shut up! X3
Ominias: Mhm. Well, at least it's here. I'm sure we're going to get tomatoed for this wait. -_-;; Enjoy.
Kenshin knit her eyebrows together in thought. She and Battousai was playing a game in her head, as a result of waiting for half an hour for Kakashi, who still hasn't turned up after 3 hours of playing.
Battousai raised an eyebrow. 'Morning.'
The exchange kept going back and forth between the two red-heads, oblivious to the people staring at them (her) while Kenshin's face went from frustration, to happiness, to worry, to hyperness. The three bystanders jumped as she suddenly yelled out, while jumping up and down.
"I DID IT! WOOO! TAKE THAT BATTOUSAI! WOOOO!"
Sasuke winced, Naruto fell down, and Sakura glared.
"Shut up, Kenshin! Not only are you crazy, but do you have to be so loud about it?" Sakura said to Kenshin, who was still ecstatic.
"Hai, Pinky-chan!" Sakura growled. Suddenly, Kakashi appeared, and Sakura started yelling at him, instead. Kenshin paid no heed, since it was because of her sensei's tardiness that she won against Battousai in a word game for the first time.
"Thank you so much sensei!"
Kakashi raised an eyebrow, but just ignored her odd comment and started leading the group to the training area.
They arrived at a big field, surrounded by a forest an a river to the side. Four thick stakes stuck out vertically from the ground, on one of them was an alarm clock.
"I've set this alarm clock to go off at noon." Kakashi said, placing a hand on the clock. Then, he pulled out three silver bells from inside his pocket. "I have here three small bells. You have to get these away from me before the alarm rings. If you fail, you don't get any lunch, and you will be tied to a stump while I eat your lunches in front of you."
Three teammates' stomachs growled. 'See Rurouni? I told you.'
'Hah! You actually thanked me!'
"All you need is one bell a piece. But since there aren't enough to go around, one of you is definitely headed for the stump, and whoever that is will fail the test, and be sent back to school with disgrace."
Sakura, Naruto, and Sasuke looked nervous, while Kenshin had a blank mask perfectly coating her face. Kakashi looked at her. Was it just him, or was her eyes more blue than before?
"You may use shuriken, kunai, swords." He nodded to Kenshin who seemed happy. "Attack as though you're going to kill me or you won't stand a chance."
Kenshin nodded, Sakura looked horrified, Naruto looked overconfident, and Sasuke was indifferent to the statement.
They all dashed away, leaving Kakashi scratching his head.
'Well...let's see what these punks have got.'
'...Is it just me, or are we in a genjutsu where ducks are running around pecking each other on their heads?'
'It's just you, Rurouni. It's just you. Now, FOCUS!'
Naruto could honestly say that he felt like a moron. He watched Sasuke and Kenshin flit away into the trees without hesitation, and all he did was move to stand directly in front of his potential sensei, and taunt him like there was no tomorrow.
Which there very well wouldn't be if he managed to fail the exam for Sakura and the others.
He tuned out Kakashi's lecture, and studied the tall, silver haired jonin. He could find nothing remarkable about his appearance, except for the hitai-ate that slanted to cover his one eye. He cursed out loud, drawing the jonin's attention to him.
Of course he would have the annoyingly mysterious sensei. Karma just loved to screw with him.
Abandoning all caution, Naruto drew a kunai and charged at the jonin, instinctively creating a good dozen kage bunshin for back up. He picked up his pace, for the umpteenth in his life cursing the baggy pants he wore, and all thirteen Naruto's let out savage cries as they descended upon their teacher.
Ten minutes later, Naruto was dangling from his ankle under a tree, watching as Sasuke appeared to maim and possibly kill their sensei.
Needless to say, Naruto desperately wanted to learn some cool moves like that.
His jealousy was replaced by amusement as Kakashi poofed away, revealing a warped log in his place.
Naruto couldn't help but grin. "Owned," he whispered.
'There! His guard's down!'
I threw shuriken at him. He used substitution!
'Damn!' I ran away. Well, what do you expect me to do? I've just alerted an elite ninja to my position! Oh, so you expect me to go out there and fight? I'll do that if he finds me! Ninjas use the element of surprise to their advantage!
Dashing through the trees at top speed, I suddenly came to a halt as I saw a flash of red. 'Wha...?' I was suddenly reminded of that dreadful night...red like...' I angrily shoved that thought to the back of my mind. Now is not the time!
I brushed a stray black lock of hair away, even though it wasn't in my face in the first place.
"A duck walked up to a lemonade stand, and she said to the man..."
Confused, I hid behind a tree. I peered out to see...Kenshin, was it? What's that baka doing? She's in a clearing in plain sight, singing a demented song about a duck! Faintly, I think it was my imagination, but I thought I heard very faint yells of aggravation. Or, at least, while one part of her was all bouncy and weird and...sugary, the other was screaming bloody murder.
Blinking, I almost missed the streak of silver heading for the red. I put my guard up and flinched when I heard collision.
Wait...That didn't hit her? How...!
"Finally, de gozaru! Sessha's been standing here and singing for, what a whole five minutes, and it took this long to find me. Honestly!" I saw our 'sensei' twitch.
"Anyways, good that you're finally here! Sessha's been meaning to practice this move that she couldn't practice without good reason! You know, with me not going out at all, and people don't really like debris in their streets and forests, ironically. So, let's go!"
I face-palmed, while sensei twitched again. He let out a long sigh.
"Fine, let's go."
"Oh? I thought we already started!"
He looked at her, confused. Suddenly, his eyes widened in realization when he realized...
...The bells were GONE!
I stared in disbelief.
"Does this mean I pass, sensei?"
He blinked. I think that just took a big blow to his ego.
"...Can I still do that move, though?"
….Was this really the same person?
They all regrouped back at the stone and the stumps. Naruto was tied to one of them, glaring angrily. Kakashi cleared his throat.
"Well, then, are you going to give those to anyone."
"Yep!" Kenshin tossed a bell to Naruto, a bell to Sasuke, and a bell to Sakura. They all had confused faces.
"Wha, but Ken-chan! You don't have a bell now!" Naruto yelled out, his eyes wide with shock.
"Sessha knows, de gozaru! You all deserve it more than sessha does..."
'...Are you sure Rurouni?'
'Positive. Sessha...isn't anyone special. You are Battousai, but ne, please...wait one more year...?'
"Well then, Kenshin, come with me. The rest of you. Sasuke, Sakura, eat the bento, but don't ever give any to Naruto. That's what he gets for trying to cheat."
"Heeeey..." Naruto whimpered. Sasuke and Sakura nodded.
Kakashi and Kenshin walked away, Kenshin giving them goofy grins of encouragement. "Good luck Uzumaki-san, Pinky-chan, Emo!"
Naruto grinned, while Sakura and Sasuke growled, Sasuke albeit quietly. With one last wave, she poofed with Kakashi.
"Are you fine with this?"
"Well, yeah! Why wouldn't sessha be? I mean, there's always...next year."
"Is your conviction to be a ninja that small?"
Her smile faltered. "...Actually...Sessha...really wanted to be a ninja...Sessha...trained long and hard for this day..." Her smile slipped off but quickly got replaced with another. "But, sessha thinks that those guys deserve it more, de gozaru! Did you forget my dream?"
Kakashi looked dead serious...but then started mask-smiling (smiling with a mask on...duh).
Kenshin blinked. "Oro?"
"Mhm. Come, we've got to see if there are any...'rule-breakers' in our little trio."
Kenshin sweatdropped, but perked up slightly when she heard a familiar voice.
'Thanks Battousai!' Her face was brimmed with happiness. Battousai congratulating her...NOT being sarcastic! This is the best day of her life. Kenshin searched her gi but was disappointed to not be able to find a calendar within it's folds. 'Sessha wanted to mark this day in celebration...' Battousai snorted in annoyance and humor.
Kenshin pouted. Throughout this exchange, Kakashi sent weirded out looks her way. What he could see was odd. One second, her face was cold but proud-ish, the next it was overflowing with happiness. That soon turned to annoyance, then to a pout. What was with the maniac?
Naruto's eyes widened drastically as Sasuke grudgingly thrust his bento towards him. He stared at it, open mouthed and uncomprehending. He was so lost in his thoughts that he didn't even hear Sasuke speaking to Sakura when all of a sudden another bento was thrust in his face, this time by a flushed kunoichi.
Naruto made no move to thank them, and only smiled slightly, his face going bright red in the process.
Just as he was about to take a bite of his peace-offering, the clearing erupted into smoke and a booming voice rang through the air.
"YOU...!" Kakashi's face emerged from the smoke, eyes gleaming in rage. Naruto flinched back into the pole, his eyes closing. Sasuke jumped to his feet, battle-poised and kunai drawn.
Sakura fell on her ass with a shriek, rice and vegetables flying everywhere.
Kakashi moved forward to pick Sakura up by the back of her dress. "Up until now, you were all following my every command like mindless little drones." He eye smiled at them. "But you have to realize, that sometimes the right thing to do is to disobey your orders."
Kenshin peeked out from behind a tree and ran towards them, her violet eyes sparkling.
Kakashi's mood turned sombre. "My very best friend told me before he died...'A shinobi who breaks the rules is trash...but a shinobi who abandons his comrades...is worse than trash. Meet me here tomorrow at nine. We've got some work to do."
Sasuke and Sakura immediately started walking away, arguing about something. Naruto lay there stunned, unable to move because of his bindings.
'Mindless little drones...'
"...maki-san...Uzumaki-san!" Kenshin's voice cut through his musings. Naruto looked up to find himself unbound, with a grinning Kenshin kneeling in front of him.
"Wanna get lunch with me, Uzumaki-san?"
Naruto hesitated, glancing up at Kenshin's sincere violet eyes. He nodded slowly, a flush spreading on his cheeks. "Okay...but it's gotta be ramen!"
Kenshin only laughed, and they raced there way towards Ichiraku's, both proud shinobi of Konoha.
Shinzui: Aaaand, CUT! Phew! I didn't even write HALF of that, and I'm still tired! Damn exams!
Ominias: Yeah, well that's why I tell you to study, ne? Really, Shinzui. I mean it. Anyways, tell the readers who did who then.
Shinzui: Well, I BETAed and wrote the bits with Naru POV, but the rest is all Omi's work! Great job, Omi!
Ominias: Mhm. Bento...I want a miso soup. I'm hungry. No, make that wonton soup...
Shinzui: NO! RAMEN! Miso RAMEN! It's better, it has noodles!
Ominias: *rolls eyes* R&R please.