Ex Tempore

By TwinEnigma

Warnings: Post-series, AU, implied NaruSaku, mentioned SasuKarin, Naruto and Sasuke friendship

Characters: Naruto, Sasuke, Ino

Follows my one-shot "Delivery," but it's not necessary to read it to understand this one.


It was near that time again.

Naruto sighs, unrolling the scroll. Another chuunin exam. Officially, it'd be the second one administered in Konoha under his reign and, ironically, he'd be one of two kage present who'd never managed to pass it.

...Not that it meant anything when you were the practical god of shinobi, but it was a bit of a point of contention nonetheless.

The jounin and chuunin in front of his desk fidget in place, each waiting patiently for orders.

Naruto looks at the scroll and starts calling off names for assignments. The first round of assignments is focused on preliminary preparations – chuunin with exceptional people skills were assigned to secure the hotels and lodgings of the village and redirect visitors from the civilian traffic. Several genin squads that had not been nominated would be cleaning up the streets and making sure the city was presentable. He's placed Moegi in charge of that operation.

His strongest ANBU have already been assigned to shadow Sakura from the hospital to their home and he doesn't need to tell them what sort of hell he'll put them through if they leave her alone for one second. It's already understood. Sakura, of course, will be flattered and angry in equal measure, but it's just temporary and for his peace of mind.

The second round of assignments is much more focused on the exam itself. Naruto assigns two teams of high-level ANBU to set up an emergency response station inside the practical portion of the exam. Another two teams, skilled at espionage, will be entering under false identities. He assigns Ino as their jounin contact and Lee as the overall proctor for that section of the exam. It's an Aburame, one of Shino's cousins, which he ends up placing in charge of the elimination rounds. The espionage rounds have a mix of special jounin and chuunin from the Torture and Intelligence division, but he chooses to crown off the mix by placing Sasuke as head proctor.

"Are you sure about this, Naruto?" Ino asks, giving him a particularly worried look. "Because I could do it."

"Ino," Naruto sighs, "You'll traumatize those poor kids."

She's heavily involved in Torture and Intelligence and he suspects she's started to emulate the most disturbingly distracting techniques of Anko. It's rather hard to ignore the fact that she's begun wearing the same cut of the mesh underarmor under her newer outfits. Naruto is a married man – and quite happy with Sakura, thank you very much – but he's not blind. Ino's a ten out of ten and uses that like a weapon with distracting effectiveness.

"And Sasuke won't?" Ino raises an eyebrow. "Naruto, I've had him under my command in T & I. He's a natural sadist. He'll turn those poor brats into meat pudding."

"Oi!" Sasuke protests, "I'm not that bad!"

"Yes, yes, you are," Ino retorts. "And you've only gotten worse since your wife had the baby."

Sasuke sniffs haughtily, "I have not, Miss Vapor Wear. I didn't even touch them."

Ino's eye twitches in barely restrained annoyance. "You don't have to with that genjutsu, idiot."

"And besides, you're wrong! My baby has made me a better man," Sasuke adds, pulling a photo out of his pocket and brandishing it like a weapon. "How can you not be inspired looking at such a picture of innocence?"

"Does Karin know she married a lunatic?" Ino retorts, climbing out the window to escape.

"Oi!" Sasuke shouts.

"You do that just to mess with her, don't you?" Naruto sighs.

"Oh, yeah, sure," Sasuke says, looking over his shoulder at him and then back to the photo. "Did you see this one yet?"

Naruto has a feeling he's going to regret this decision.


Two weeks later...

Sasuke is perched on the desk in the front of the room. Behind him, hidden safely behind a genjutsu, Naruto and several of the proctors from T & I wait while the genin file into the room.

Once everyone is seated, Sasuke looks up and begins: "Hello, I'm Sasuke Uchiha. I'll be your proctor for this stage of the exam."

He signals and one of the visible proctors starts passing out papers and pencils.

"You'll be filling out this test. Anyone who is caught cheating five times will be failed. If you refuse to answer all the questions, you will fail," Sasuke explains, mechanically. "Are there any questions?"

None of the genin raised their hands.

"All right," Sasuke says, shoving off the desk and taking something out of his pocket. It's small, slender and brown. "Before we begin..."

Sasuke's chakra spikes to combat levels as he unfolds the brown thing, revealing a plastic-wrapped chain of photographs. His sharingan blazes, rising into the Mangekyou stage, as he stares at the genin and says in an unholy voice:

"...Would you like to see pictures of my son?"

Naruto covers his face with a hand and groans.


AN: oh Sasuke...