Here's the next chapter! Sorry for being so late! I just ...didn't have that 'write-write-write' thing for a while, preferring to focus on other, more interesting ideas...but I finally finished it. I'll try being faster with the next chapter, but I can't promise anything...

DISCLAIMER: I don't own Naruto! Understood?

Ikimono Shinobi

Chapter 12: Exams are a hassle.

They all stood in front of Aoba. The sunglasses-wearing Tokujo (Special jounin) was looking at them all with a slight smirk. "I hope none of you are planning to start an invasion this time." He stated, pointedly looking at Gaara and Temari.

Gaara smirked. "I do not think so. It would be unfortunate to destroy our chances to become chuunin once more." He said. Aoba nodded. "Well, you all better look good, and you'll get your chance." He smiled, and waved up to the Hokage in the booth.

XXX

Lots of people sat in the stadium, excited. The chuunin exams were always something to see. There were those who would bet and use force to win if necessary, but mostly everyone came for entertainment and normal bets.

"Okay, the first match is Karui vs Temari! All the other contestants go up to the waiting place." Aoba announced. The others left, with Toboe flashing thumbs up at Temari.

XXX

Temari and Karui stood in front of each other. Karui had her hand on her sword, and Temari stood with her arms crossed, fans in the sash around her waist. She still wore the spandex suit, if only because it increased her mobility.

"Start!" Aoba yelled, and moved out of the way.

Karui immediately dashed forward, brandishing her sword. She swung it, and Temari back-flipped away. "You'll have to do something else than dodge all the time!" Karui yelled, when Temari continued to evade her strikes.

Temari scoffed. "Fine with me." She said, pulled her fans out of her sash, and threw one of them with surprising accuracy. It cut of some of Karui's hair. Karui on her part didn't care much, but she was surprised that when she tried to grab the fan, her hand was cut. "Wind…?" She murmured.

Temari smirked. "Yup." She said as the fan somehow came back to her. Karui narrowed her eyes and looked at Temari more closely. Around Temari, there were a lot of small, cutting winds. Trying out her theory, Karui threw a kunai. It was deflected before it hit Temari.

"My wind defense." Temari explained, grinning. Karui narrowed her eyes. "Well, wind is weaker than fire! Katon, goukakyu no jutsu! (Fire style, great fireball jutsu)" She yelled, and breathed out a big fireball. Temari huffed, and began waving her fans while spinning faster and faster.

The fireball impacted…and everyone was surprised when it span around in the same pattern as Temari's wind defense, wildly trying to break trough, but the winds were too powerful. Then, Temari suddenly stopped spinning, and used the wind to send the fireball back at Karui, now much larger because of the wind.

"Shit!" Karui cursed and kawarimied with a three branch. Temari was panting slightly, and put her fans into her sash again. "Time to end this! Konoha Daisenko! (Leaf great flash)" She yelled. Karui had no time to think as Temari was suddenly over with her, kicked her, and sent her spinning into the wall of the arena.

"…Ouch." She groaned, and gritted her teeth. "You able to fight anymore?" Aoba inquired. She scowled. "Yes! … No." She mumbled defeated. Aoba nodded. "Winner: Temari!" He yelled. The crowd cheered.

XXX

"Yeah! Temari won! I knew it! My undefeatable logic said so!" Toboe cheered. Gaara rolled his eyes. "You sent her to train with Gai. And she has her wind defense. Of course she would win." He drawled. Yugito, or Aoiro, snorted.

"She has become more skilled though." Akame-Itachi said.

XXX

"Next match is Aoiro vs Kiba! Can the contestants come down here?" Aoba yelled. Aoiro grinned at Kiba, and flipped over the fence, before landing smoothly. Kiba huffed and just jumped down, together with the rather large Akamaru.

"You'll go down, kitty!" Kiba declared. Akamaru barked in agreement. Aoiro rolled her eyes. "Sure thing, kibble. Just don't think you can go easy on me." She taunted. Kiba scowled.

"Start!"

Aoiro … looked at her delicately manicured nails. Kiba gritted his teeth. "Well, you shouldn't underestimate me either! Shikyaku no jutsu! (Four legs jutsu)" He yelled, fell down on all fours and gained claws, and sharper canines.

Aoiro looked interested. "Hey, that's similar to my jutsu…let's try out the differences! Neko ni kyūshō ari! (Cats have nine lives)" She yelled. This time, she stood still, so you could see the changes happening.

"I'm still better!" Kiba growled, and ran at Aoiro. She swiftly dodged, moving elegantly like a cat. "Oh? I don't think so!" She taunted, and slashed off an arm of his grey jacket. Kiba retaliated by having the forgotten Akamaru slam into Aoiro.

"Yikes! Bad dog! Ugh, what's with dogs?" She complained as she struggled to get free. Kiba grinned. "Akamaru! Here!" He yelled, and tossed a red pill to the white dog.

Akamaru swallowed it, and Aoiro twitched as the large dog became wilder, and red. Then he drooled on her.

"…Eww! Get off! Chakura Shojo! (Chakra manifestation!)" She yelled. Akamaru yelped as he was thrown of Aoiro by a large paw. Kiba blinked when the chakra around Aoiro seemed to form something. A…cat? A large, blue cat, with glowing yellow eyes…?

The cat yowled and hissed at him. He could barely see Aoiro inside the shroud of chakra, but he saw her satisfied smirk. "Oh, come on!" Kiba complained as a large flaming chakra paw reached for him. "Akamaru! Gatsuuga! (Fang passing Fang)" He yelled, and they both used the drill-like attack to evade, before trying to attack.

The cat-like chakra hissed as it was hit, but as soon as Kiba dashed away, it reformed. Inside, Aoiro narrowed her eyes. "Ma-katon, goukakyuu no jutsu! (Demon/demonic fire style, great fireball jutsu)" She yelled, her voice sounding dark and foreboding, as the giant cat-form seemed to assemble flames into a ball in its open mouth, before breathing out towards Kiba.

XXX

Itachi-Akame raised an eyebrow. "Certainly impressive. I take it she made it by looking at Nibi's monster fireball?" He turned the question towards Toboe. She nodded with a grin. "I helped her a little, but she did it mostly by herself! Just wait till you see Gaara and Naruto's versions…" She snickered. Itachi-Akame smiled slightly.

XXX

"Yikes! Fire-breathing kitty!" Kiba exclaimed as he searched for any way out of this development. "Damn, I haven't perfected it yet, but…Suiton, gyaku suiro no jutsu! (Water style, reverse water prison)" He yelled, and stepped on a water bottle from his jacket. Then, he made a thick sphere of water around himself and Akamaru, and braced himself for the impact.

In the stands, many people were surprised, and intrigued by Kiba's skillful use of an originally capturing jutsu. Of course, Aoiro's skills were nothing to scoff at either.

Fire hit water, and steam flooded the arena. People were at the edge of their seats, waiting to see whether the dog ninja was still alive, or dead.

The steam lifted…and Kiba was lying on the ground, unconscious. Aoiro stood behind him, now without the cat-shroud of chakra, and held a kunai with its blunt end towards Kiba, obviously meaning she had knocked him unconscious.

"Winner, Aoiro!"

XXX

People cheered, and Aoiro-Yugito smirked and waved slightly before she sat down up with the others. Toboe grinned. "Amazing! You've gotten better at controlling your chakra." She praised. Yugito smirked. "Of course." She merely replied.

"Will the next contestants, Gaara and Hinata, come down?"

Gaara looked at Hinata with a tilted head, before doing his sand shunshin down to the arena. Hinata smiled slightly and walked down the stairs.

XXX

"Start!"

Hinata was already moving. She dashed towards Gaara, eyes blazing and hands full of chakra. To most people's surprise, the sand-covered boy ducked under Hinata's strike, and tried to kick away her feet from under her. She jumped, and tried to strike him downwards.

Gaara narrowed his eyes, and willed his sand to move in the way, as he quickly got some distance between himself and the blue-haired girl. He waved his arms. "Suna shigure! (Sand drizzle)" He said, and Hinata's eyes tilted slightly upwards, seeing a sand cloud.

She quickly jumped backwards, away from the sand cloud, and the sand waiting to catch her on the ground. "You can't hide your attacks from my byakugan." she stated. Gaara tilted his head. "So be it." he nodded, and with surprising speed, he was close to Hinata with a palm towards her.

She sent her own palm to meet, and was surprised when she noticed his hand was full of chakra. 'I couldn't see it! But why? Is it his sand armor?' She thought. Gaara smirked. "You have an opening." He said, and twisted around to land a hit on her leg.

She yelped. "That-!" She realized something. Gaara smiled slightly. "I have studied your fighting style, and I am able to use it to ever so slightly. However, with sand…" He drifted off as sand gathered at his hands. He now had some impressive claws, and sand flowed over his hand. "Prepare yourself." He droned, and attacked with a slashing move.

Hinata's eyes widened. "Shugohakke rokujuuyon shou! (Protection of the sixty-four palms.) " She yelled, and began moving insanely fast, making her movements a blur. Gaara winced as he was hit with a chakra beam and leapt away. "Fine. Ryusa bakuryu! (Sand tsunami)" He declared, and people in the stands were sitting at the edge of their seats, watching a giant sand tsunami descend towards Hinata.

She continued with the protecting dome, and it held the sand away…for a while. While it didn't hit Hinata, or drown her, it was now pooling up around the dome. Inside, she was panting, and her movements became slower. Suddenly, the dome vanished. Hinata leapt high into the air, only to be surprised when the sand followed her.

Gaara caught her foot, and she was briefly hit with a panic attack, remembering what happened to Lee, but remembered that Gaara was nice now, and calmed down slightly. Gaara covered the rest of her body in sand, and gently lowered her down.

"Winner, Gaara!" Aoba yelled. The crowd was cheering wildly, and Gaara helped Hinata up. "Good match." He nodded to her before using his sand shunshin to get up to his friends.

XXX

"That was awesome Gaara!" Toboe grinned. Gaara smirked. "Of course. Hinata is strong." He said. Akame-Itachi nodded. "Yes…very much so." He agreed.

XXX

Toboe and Akame stood over each other. Akame was emotionless, Toboe was grinned insanely. "About time we get to fight, ne?" She asked. Akame quirked a small smile. "Indeed."

"Start!"

Akame rushed trough hand seals, while Toboe ran at him. "Katon, goukakyuu no jutsu! (Fire style, great fireball jutsu)" He said, and breathed a fireball at the charging wolf girl. She deftly dodged to the side, and span around, touching her wrist.

Beni Houkou appeared in all its glory, and Itachi narrowed his eyes. Toboe swung the scythe over her head with the chain, and threw it at Itachi. He quickly evaded it, and ducked under when it came a second time.

He grabbed a kunai, and using his natural agility, he got in close to Toboe. The wolf girl grinned and leaned backwards away from a kunai swing, let go of the scythe and kicked up. Itachi leaned to the side, and they continued like that for a while, one attacking, and the other evading.

XXX

In the stands, Aoiro frowned. "Why aren't they going all out?" She murmured, disappointed. The other ninjas looked incredulously at them. Gaara paid them no mind. "They would level the whole place. An S-rank missing nin and a wolf demon, remember?" He whispered the last part, and Aoiro grinned sheepishly. "Right. Should've remembered the last time they sparred seriously…"

XXX

Akame suddenly leapt away, and began going trough hand seals again. Toboe smirked, and began her own.

"Katon, karyuu endan! (Fire style, fire dragon flame bullet.)"

"Suiton, daisuiryuudan! (Water style, great water dragon bullet!)"

The powerful dragon-formed attacks attacked each other, leaving a lot of steam as they continued trying to overpower each other. Toboe kept the great water dragon in good shape, replenishing it with water from the steam, and Akame kept the fire dragon up by giving it chakra, and breathing in a circular way, allowing him to breath longer.

Toboe grinned as she suddenly cut off the water dragon, and it fell down over the other with a great splash. Akame's eyes widened, and he leapt up into a tree. Toboe followed. People were watching in awe as they could only see glimpses of color, and hear the sound of weapons meeting.

"Kage Bunshin no jutsu! (Shadow clone jutsu)" Both participants declared. The fighting arena was filled with clones. "Bunshin daibakuha! (Clone explosion)"

…Aoba got the hell out of the arena as all the clones exploded in a massive show of power.

"It's a tie! It's a tie! You're both going to the next rounds! It's a tie!" Aoba shouted hysterically. The dust settled to show Toboe and Akame without a single scrape on them. "Fine." They sighed in unison. Everyone was slightly disturbed.

XXX

"Wow…just wow." Aoiro was speechless. So was everyone else for that matter. Both the unimportant genins forfeited, seeing what powerful opponents there was. Toboe rolled her eyes. "That was fun, but too short." She claimed. Kiba twitched. "You know, I think you won." He decided.

Toboe grinned. "Yeah! I'm better than dog-boy! Whoo!" She cheered, dancing around. Everyone sweat-dropped.

XXX

The Hokage rose from her seat and used an amplifying jutsu. "That was certainly interesting, right? Well, you'll have to wait fifteen minutes before the fights continue. You are now able to place new bets, or reevaluate those you have already done!" She yelled, her voice booming over the arena.

Toboe blinked. "We're having a break?" She questioned blankly. Akame nodded. "It seems so. Probably to change some of the fights, seeing as both of us got to the next round." He stated. Toboe pouted.

"Quit sulking, you're amazing either way." Aoiro said. Toboe grinned. "Yeah, I am! Thanks for cheering me up! Now, move it, time!" She shouted. People looked weirdly at her.

XXX

"First match of the second round! Temari vs. Gaara!" Aoba announced.

Temari blinked. "I was not expecting that. Well, let's do our best, Gaara!" She grinned, and jumped down to the arena. Gaara smiled and followed.

XXX

"Start!"

Gaara immediately went on the offensive, making his sand attack Temari. The blonde girl back flipped away and slashed at the paws of sand with her fans, cutting them into pieces.

"I won't let you near me!" Temari declared, joining her fans into one. "Daikamaitachi no jutsu! (Great Sickle weasel jutsu)" Gaara's eyes widened as he gathered sand to protect himself, though it seemed futile, as the powerful winds cut it up with powerful slashes.

"Hn. Fuuton, mugen sajin daitoppa! (Wind style, infinite sand cloud great breakthrough)" Gaara yelled, sucking in a whole load of air. Temari gulped as he blew the air out again, making a squall. "Holy crap! Well, let's see if this works…Fuuton, hogo eadomo! (Wind style, protective air dome)" She shouted, tossing her now separate fans into the air and moving them with the wind, faster and faster.

Powerful winds met, and Aoba held onto a tree branch for dear life. 'These are supposed to be chuunin exams! Not jounin!' He thought hysterically.

Temari was panting heavily as she grabbed hold of her fans again. Gaara was breathing slightly more heavy, but nothing much. "Forfeit." He said. Temari shook her head. "No way! If I lose, I'll go out with a crash!" She yelled, and put her fans in the sash, before doing a flying kick. "Dainamikku entorii! (Dynamic entry)"

Gaara stopped her by swerving away and grabbing a hold of her waist with his sand. Then he simply knocked her out with a fist to the head.

"Winner, Gaara! Geez, what a short fight…" Aoba muttered the last part. Gaara glared. "What does time matter? Or would you rather we had continued that wind attack for longer?" He asked. Aoba shook his head. "No, no. Get up now, kid." Gaara glowered at him for calling him a kid, but went up.

XXX

"Awesomeness!" Toboe cheered. Gaara blinked. "Sure." He shrugged. Toboe grinned. "Worried for your sister? Don't be. She'll be fine." She reassured the redhead. He nodded. Aoiro came over.

"What was that wind attack you did? I've never seen it before…" She wondered. Gaara smirked. "It's one of Shukaku's attacks, actually. I'm lucky I managed to pull it off." He said. Aoiro nodded.

XXX

"Next up; Aoiro vs. Akame!" Aoba yelled. Aoiro swallowed heavily. "Well shit. Akame…if you go into my mind, I'll have Nibi fry you." She warned. Akame twitched. "I will keep that in mind."

XXX

"Start." Aoba said, and leapt away. Akame and Aoiro stood stock-still.

"Magen, jubaku satsu. (Demonic illusion, tree binding death)" Akame intoned. Aoiro's eyes widened, and she gritted her teeth, as it seemed a tree coiled around her. "Kai!" She yelled, and tried to break the genjutsu. Akame came walking slowly.

"You may try, but I put extra chakra into it..." He said. Aoiro huffed and tried again. "Kai! Kai! Goddamnit, KAI!" She shouted, and Akame's eyes widened and he leapt away from a fanning wave of chakra, acting like fire. He winced slightly when he got a burn on his leg.

"Feh, I hate genjutsu. So I'll put you in your place!" Aoiro roared as flame-like chakra poured out of her to form a one-tailed cat with a green and a yellow eye.

Akame twitched. "At least she didn't power up completely." He muttered, before dodging her tail.

"Graaah! Stand still, pest!" Aoiro roared, sounding like a mix of herself and Nibi. Akame grimaced and evaded being slashed up by a wicked set of claws.

"I suppose I have no choice…" He muttered, and looked into Aoiro-Nibi's eyes. The large cat blinked, and then slumped. "S-Sleepy…" she mumbled. Akame nodded. "I would expect you to be. I hypnotized you. Goodnight." He said, just as the cat dissolved, showing Aoiro sleeping on the arena ground.

"Winner, Akame! Damn, that was a short fight…" Aoba muttered. Akame looked at him. "Err…never mind." The tokujo grimaced, looking at his unnerving red eyes.

XXX

"You put her to sleep? Mm…it just hasn't got that awesome feeling." Toboe shook her head. Akame rolled his eyes. "I'm not going for awesome. I don't even want to be here, remember?" He muttered. Toboe shrugged. "Well, you're here!" She grinned.

"Next fight is…"

XXX

Ah...I tried to make a cliffhanger. Keyword: Tried. It's kind of half-assed...-.-"

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