Summary, Gai is not pleased when Neji's mark is activated during training.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, or the characters.

The morning was filled with youthful energy-at least in Gai's mind it was. The sun was bright and shining. The air was clear and filled with a refreshing breeze. ahhh the perfect day for training. No one was going to remind him that everyday was his perfect day for training. No one, except for Neji. The kid could scowl his way through a batch of fluffy kittens, that was for sure.

Gai pouted dramatically. Then brightened, "We'll just have to make this the day then!"

Lee sat forward, catching onto the enthusiasm. He narrowly missed the mad leap Tenten made to cover his mouth, "the day for what?"

Two loud groans rang through the air. Now they would hear about it for sure; once Gai started, there was only one way to stop him. . . But which one had the courage to do it today?

"The day for us to better ourselves, go farther than yesterday-"

"Hey Sensei, race you to that rock," Neji said. He didn't gesture in any direction, he didn't need to. At that instant, the teacher and his protege took off. Neji turned in the opposite direction, and began running. Even running as fast as he could, Sensie and Lee had reached every rock first.

"I go them all, Neji. who won?" Lee asked.

"You did, it was that pink rock, you touched before Sensie," Neji panted, remembering which rock he had originally picked. He thought Tenten may have tripped over it, but quickly decided that a trip didn't count, and dismissed it altogether.

"Alright team, that was a nice work out. . . FOR OUR YOUTHFUL MINDS! it is important to be youthful in your thinking as well. Now we must work on our youthful bodies as well!" Gai made his traditional pose. "We must do 1000 kicks, 2000 push-ups, and run 50 laps-"

Tenten's hand slipped from where she'd been covering Lee's mouth during Gia's assignment, "Only 50?!"

"Yes, we'll be joining Asuma's team after breakfast for teamwork training!"

"After breakfast?! Sensie!" Tenten tried, but Sensie was already getting the weights out.

The team members reluctantly got their equipment on. It was not everyday that they all agreed on something, much less training; Lee was always eager to start, and Neji and Tenten were always eager to leave. Gai acted a little put out that they were all reluctant for today's lessons.

"You know what? After training with Asuma's team, we will run 500 laps around the city. AND climb the city wall with only one arm! We can still have fun, don't you worry now," Gai reassured them, happy to see them scrambling to get to their posts. Ahhh, a little more youth into their training, that's what he had been looking for.

Gai watched today, not participating in the first part. He had wanted to watch his student's progress, something he always enjoyed. Tenten's feet hit the post in precise symmetry strokes. Her hits grew stronger the higher her aim was, Gai noticed. He swiftly told her of her error, and she hastened to fix it. Lee was erratic and unbalanced, but his strikes were powerful, and fast. Gai had a choice to make for the day, tell Lee his hits were uncoordinated, or get him to balance out better. After a brief internal debate, Gai chose that today, they should work on balance. Lee straightened up, and moved into the correct position. For Neji, Gai tried to force him to smile. No hope, oh well, there was always later.

Faster than should have been possible (even with chakra) the three were running their 50 laps around the training areas-only that area because Asuma might decide to show up early, of course! Gai let Tenten's theory go. She was very smart, a fast learning student in both technique and etiquette. She always ensured that her ideas made sense (unless you included how lazy Shikamaru was. . . they might not be here until lunch!).

His students dutifully lined up after they had finished their exercizes. Tenten's stomache growled, causing her and Lee to laugh. Gai gave them a moment to catch their breathes, it wouldn't do to have indegestion on this special day. He wouldn't allow it. When he heard their breathes calm down, and their heart rates slow, Gai sent them off.

"We will meet here after breakfast," Gai dismissed them. Things were looking good for the day. They were right on schedule for training, and Gai was certain his team would appreciate what they had planned for today's lessons. Gai's instincts were going off though. Something was about to happen, hopefully after the lesson though. He sighed to himself, Asuma was probably going to cancel.

Gai sat down, pulling out his breakfast basket. Neji never had breakfast with them, but sometimes the others would. Gai always brought a little extra just in case. Gai finished it up with his usual amount. he realized that he must have been more hungry than he thought before.

No matter, checking the time, Gai saw that his team members weren't due back for another fifteen minutes. Perfect time to go and meet up with Asuma. He could ensure then that he wouldn't lose them to any distractions. Most teams were lost to such things. Gai pretended to over look it.

Gai made sure to leave a letter to his team, telling them to start sparring without him. He knew that they would without him here. Securing his note to a post, Gai sprinted off. First he checked the team's training area. a thin layer of dust covered most utensils, the weights were carelessly thrown off the edge of the training area. Gai shook his head sadly, His team would have to 'show' them how to use their equipment effectively.

Gai grinned at the challenge. His team was going to like this new assignment, he was sure. . . but for now the present problem, where was the lost team?

Gai decided to try the restaurants. Asuma was probably still eating, after all, they did eat together. Jackpot, Gai found Asuma and Shikamaru eating together.

"ahh, Gai, I was just about to come see you, after this game," Asuma greeted him.

Shikamaru moved a piece, "Game."

"Was it about training, I have everything ready to go!" Gai punched his hand.


"I'll see you when I get back, Sensei," Shikamaru acknowledged them both, before he left the restaraunt.

"Shikamaru was called on a mission, and Ino and Choji are both sick. Choji ate some bad food-" the server who was on another customer promptly booted them both out.

"I understand, are you still coming over?" Gai asked, more relieved than disappointed. At least now, he knew why his instincts were acting up then.

"ahh, I think I have something else to do," Asuma tried.

"I see, well, we will miss you, but we understand the importance of -what ever it is that is keeping you away. It must be important!" Gai nodded enthusiastically. "you would never go back on a heartfelt promise if it weren't!"

"I never-"

"Nope, you go do your important thing. The children will understand. I will make them so busy, they will have no time to feel disappointed." Gai threw a little sympathy in there for good measure. Asuma didn't want to extend the kid's training for his sake.

"I'll be by then in-half an hour? Just tell the -children," Asuma nearly choked on the word. Really 15 year old children, "that I will be a little late. I need to check in with my team. I'd like to now their status."

"Of course," Gai nodded in understanding. "Training is not more important than the team's safety!"

Asuma nodded, and started heading off to Choji's home first. Gai smiled to himself, perfect. "I simply must tell the team!"

He sprinted off towards his training grounds. They would be very pleased. They might even convince Asuma to run laps with them!

I know, this first chapter isn't very Neji and Gai centric, but the next one will be. I am trying to make it more fatherly/son but I will leave it to you to decide what kind of love Gai has for his students. I personally, like the idea that he is supremely intelligent and likes to mold his behaviour into the image that his students need.