Title: New Teams
Summary: What would happen if the teams for the Konoha nine were different? Will Sasuke want to leave the village if Hinata was there? Will Sakura, Chouji, and Shino be able to work together? Will Ino and Shikamaru work well with Kiba?
Pairings: SasuHina, KibaIno
Warnings: May be OOC at times
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
Chapter Nine – Mission Start!
Nearly an hour after the predetermined time, Kakashi finally makes his appearance at the village gate. "Can we go now?!" Naruto shouts, his eyes narrowed in annoyance.
"Ah, sorry," says the sensei flippantly, "There was an old woman who lost her cat and had all these groceries. I—"
"We don't want to hear it," Sasuke says in a dull tone. He wasn't facing his sensei; he was staring through the open gates out of Konoha. He doesn't want to hear excuses. He just wants to get out of the village. His brother was somewhere out there. Sasuke's fists clench.
Hinata was eyeing Sasuke. He's been acting rather strange lately and it was worrying her. "S-Sasuke-san, are you okay?"
Snapping out of his stupor, Sasuke looks over at Hinata. "I'm fine," he says tersely.
"Let's go!" Naruto suddenly shouts excitedly as the gates open. He throws his fists up in glee, an erratic grin plastered on his face.
"What are you so excited about?" the man, now mostly sober, asks.
"I've never left the village before," Naruto notifies his team while looking around in barely contained excitement.
The man grimaces at Naruto's fidgeting and looks over at Kakashi. "Hey!" he shouts, pointing at Naruto. "Am I really going to be safe with this brat?"
Naruto glares at the man. 'This geezer is the worst possible client. I wish I could punch him in the face!'
"Now, now, Tazuna," Kakashi says in a placating manner. "I am a jounin; don't worry."
"Hey old man! Don't mess with ninjas!" shouts Naruto with a glare. Sasuke sighs silently and Hinata fidgets worriedly. It wouldn't be good if Naruto angers their client enough to make the man not want to cooperate. "I'm going to be incredible!" Naruto continued. "One day I will become the super elite Hokage! My name is Uzumaki Naruto! Remember it!"
Tazuna whips out another bottle and Sasuke grimaces. He was not looking forward to walking with a drunkard. There was a reason he rarely roamed the streets of Konoha after dark. "Hokage is the village's best ninja right?" the old man asks, looking down his nose at Naruto. He snorts. "I doubt someone like you could become it…"
Naruto clenches his fists and his arms began shaking. "SHUT UP!" he yelled, trying to rein in his anger. "I am prepared to do anything to become Hokage! Once I become Hokage you will acknowledge me!"
Hinata's eyes widen. Sasuke raises an eyebrow. Kakashi just sighs, looking out to the road. Why couldn't they have just started on their mission already?
"No I won't, you brat…" Tazuna says, taking a swig. "…even if you did become Hokage."
Naruto growls and takes a threatening step forward.
"Don't fight," Hinata whispers and Sasuke silently agrees. If Naruto insists on fighting the man, they could do it once they were far enough away from the village to not have to abandon the mission.
Before Naruto could do something more stupid, Sasuke steps forward and puts a hand on his shoulder. "Stop that. Prove it to him through actions not words. Now let's just get going."
Naruto relaxes a bit, but he still looked annoyed. "Fine," he grumbles.
Kakashi sighs in relief and leads the team out of the village.
Sasuke glances back at Hinata and nearly smiles at seeing her approving look. The walk was fairly quiet so far. That was until Naruto almost walks into a puddle. Sasuke and Kakashi were both immediately on edge. Hinata was looking at it curiously. It hadn't rained in a long time, so why was there a puddle of water?
A loud splash sounds after they had passed the puddle and Kakashi was suddenly wrapped in chains. "What?" shouts Tazuna in drunken shock.
"One down," the man from the pool whispers ominously as he and his brother pull the chain and split Kakashi into pieces.
"Ka… Kakashi-sensei!" Naruto shouts in horror.
"Two down," the same man whispers from behind Naruto. Naruto spins around and jumps back as Sasuke jumps up and pins the chain to a tree with a shiruken and kunai. He lands with one foot on each of their outstretched arms.
Thankfully, he distracts them enough for Hinata to come in unnoticed and use her Juuken on their arms.
Suddenly, the men grab the metal arm plates attached to the chain and Naruto shouts, "LOOK OUT!" He jumps forward and pushes Sasuke and Hinata away just as the two men break free. All three were up on their feet in an instant as the two strange ninja rounded on Tazuna. "No you don't!" shouts Naruto. "Kage Bunshin no jutsu!"
Four clones appear out of nowhere and charge the men. Two pounce on one man while the other two jump on the other. "Get off!" they grunts in irritation, easily dispersing the clones. It gives the three genin enough time to get in between the men and Tazuna.
The men growl, "This is getting irritating! Stupid brats!" They jump up to try and end this quickly when they are suddenly grabbed.
"Kakashi-sensei!" says Hinata in relief. Sasuke pouts a bit at knowing the fight was over.
Naruto looks over to where Kakashi had last been seen. 'Kawarimi?' he thinks, mentally kicking himself.
Tazuna just breathes a sigh of relief, glad he was saved.
Kakashi throws the men against a tree and ties them secure. "Now, Tazuna-san," he says in a threatening tone.
"What is it?" the man asks warily.
"Just what are you playing at?" Kakashi asks, frowning at him. "These two look like Hidden Mist Chuunin… they're known for continuing to fight no matter what."
"How could have possibly read our movements?" one of them growls out. He wasn't just looking at Kakashi.
"There's not going to be a puddle on a sunny day such as today when there hasn't been any rain for days." Sasuke and Hinata nod slightly and Naruto feels like hitting himself. Why hadn't he noticed that?
"Why'd you let the brats fight them then?" Tazuna asks, somewhat fearing for his life.
"I had to find out who these two were after," Kakashi says, glaring at Tazuna. "And that was you…" Tazuna suddenly looks very nervous. "The mission didn't state that shinobi were after you… these genin were to protect you from mere thugs or thieves. Otherwise, this has now become at the very least a B-rank mission."
"You just didn't want to pay for a higher ranking mission, did you?" Sasuke asks, somewhat irritated, thinking Kakashi would send them back to the village.
"O-or you c-couldn't pay," Hinata supplies quietly. "W-what if a d-different team had gotten this m-mission? W-what if someone d-died? What if w-w-we die?"
Naruto pales somewhat and Sasuke clenches his fists in determination. 'I won't let her die!' Sasuke thinks, looking at Hinata.
Kakashi sighs, debating what to do now. If they went back now, a proper team would be sent on this mission, but his students wouldn't get the experience. If they didn't go back, the mission could fail and one or more of his students could die. And they could all possibly see their first death… aside from Sasuke. What to do…
Kakashi turns and looks at each of his students individually. Naruto and Hinata are both slightly frightened, but look to have resolved to go on. Sasuke is glaring at him with determined eyes.
Sighing, Kakashi turns to Tazuna. "We'll continue," he says slowly, "as long as you explain yourself."
"Fair enough," Tazuna grumbles. He sighs and says, "You're right. This job is most likely outside of your duties. It turns out that a super dangerous man is after my life."
"Super dangerous man?" Naruto asks, wondering who would try to kill this old man.
"Who?" demands Kakashi.
"You've probably at least heard his name before," says Tazuna with a sigh. "The wealthy shipping magnate… a man named Gatou."
Kakashi and Hinata stare at him in shock. "Huh?! Gatou…" Kakashi says. "…from that Gatou Company?"
"H-he's one of the w-world's few extremely wealthy p-people," Hinata says quietly and slightly nervously. Her eyes flick to Sasuke. He was another, seeing as he got all the Uchiha assets. Being extremely paranoid, each Uchiha left a long list of recipients in their wills, but at the bottom read, 'Should any of the previously mentioned names be unable to take my assets, they all are to go to the remaining Uchiha clan members.' Since Sasuke's older brother fled the village, he couldn't hold claim to anything, making Sasuke the sole recipient of all Uchiha belongings.
"Officially, he runs a large shipping company," Tazuna says gravely. "But, secretly, he sells drugs and other illegal items using ninja and gang members to take over businesses and countries. He's a very nasty man. About a year ago, he set his sights on the Wave Country. Through money and quite a bit of violence, he quickly took control of the country's shipping industry. He has a monopoly on all business traffic in the country. The only thing he has to fear is the completion of the bridge."
"Y-you're in the w-way," Hinata whispers in realization.
"So, those ninja were hired by Gatou?" Sasuke asks curiously.
"What?" Naruto asks quietly.
"If Tazuna-san were to finish his bridge, the people of Wave would have another way to transport goods besides using Gatou's company," Kakashi quickly explains to his student. "But, what I don't understand is… if you know ninja could be after you, why did you hide that fact when you hired us?"
Tazuna takes on a frustrated look. "The Wave Country is super poor. Even the feudal lord has no money. So, of course, we don't have much money either… not nearly enough for the expensive B-rank mission." An insane glint appears in his eyes. "If you quit the mission now, I will definitely be killed. But, don't worry about it!" he shouts. "If I die, my cute ten year-old grandson will just cry for a few days! Oh yeah, and my daughter will live a sad life hating Konoha ninja forever. But, it won't be your fault. Not at all!"
Sasuke's eyebrow twitches. 'He's trying to make us feel bad!'
'He's leaving us with no choice,' Hinata thinks, put out.
"Well, we will protect you at least until you get back to your country," Kakashi says with a sigh.
None of them speak for another little while after that. It isn't until they were riding in a boat that anyone decides to speak.
The guide warns them they should see the bridge soon, even through all the mist.
"WOW! It's huge!" Naruto shouts in awe.
"Hey you!" the guide whispers harshly. "Be quiet! Why do you think we are hiding in the mist and not using the engine? We'll be in deep trouble if Gatou finds us…"
Naruto sheepishly covers his mouth.
"We'll be there soon," Tazuna whispers.
Soon, they arrive at a small dock and get out of the boat.
Walking along the path, Naruto suddenly flings a couple shuriken into a bush. It lands just above a white rabbit's head. The bunny looks utterly terrified. Sasuke and Kakashi tense upon seeing the rabbit.
"Oh… just a rabbit," Tazuna says happily.
Naruto, feeling bad, runs up and hugs the animal, apologizing profusely.
"W-why is it w-white?" Hinata whispers suddenly.
Sasuke looks around. "Because it's not supposed to be here…"
Naruto stops and looks around. "I was right?" he whispers and stands up, suddenly determined. Someone had to be watching them.
"Everyone, GET DOWN!" shouts Kakashi, hitting the ground. Naruto pushes Tazuna down just as Sasuke leads Hinata down with him. When they look up, a man in cowhide leggings and arm warmers was standing on the hilt of an enormous blade lodged in a tree.
"Well, well, well," Kakashi says lazily. "If it isn't the Kirigakure's missing-nin Momochi Zabuza…"
I'm really sorry about not updating in forever… I kinda switched fandoms and got caught up. Now, I'm getting back into the swing of things… I hope. And, recently, I lost my flashdrive with all my stories, so… I'm trying to see what I could remember from what I already had written. Again, I'm really sorry! And hopefully this marks the start of the resurrection of MosukeHinata!