Hayo everybody, sorry for updating so late I've been kind of busy lately… Anyway hope you enjoy. Warning for a bit of Sasuke, Sakura and Ino bashing in this chapter. Thank you to;
Immortalis Cruor Elf
Tora No Musume
evil-x-love (again )
Disclaimer – I don't own Naruto, I just play around with the plot a bit.
Naruto woke up with a start, it was 6.30. He wasn't due at the test centre for the Chunnin Exams until 9.30 so he had let himself lie in for once. He quickly decided that a large breakfast was in order as he had no idea what the test was going to be. He had pestered his Kaa-san for hours on what the test was but all he got for his troubles was a smack across the back of the head.
He went down to the kitchen without getting lost; this feat had taken all week to perfect. He cooked himself a full fry up; something Jiraiya had taught him while complaining the things Tsunade had taught him to cook were too healthy for the godson of the great toad sage. He cast his mind back to the week of training as he started. The week had passed surprisingly quickly; his training combined with hanging out with the genins of Konoha had made it a pleasurable one also.
There was only about three genin in the entire village that he didn't like, namely Ino, Sakura and Sasuke. Sasuke was a stuck up ego-centric git, he had refused to talk to Naruto at all! Naruto all in all found that particularly offensive. It didn't help that Ino and Sakura seemed obsessed with fanning the flame of his ego by being hyper fan girls. Naruto hoped that the Chunnin Exams helped them grow a backbone and train a bit or they were going to end up dead. He seriously felt sorry for Shikamaru, Choji and Kiba, not that he knew the latter very well. He got on well with Choji and Shikamaru finding the lazy ninjas company refreshing especially after he realized how clever the guy was.
Naruto stuck his plate in the sink, leaving it for Shizune. She was working as Tsunade's assistant at the moment but still did most of the housework. Tsunade had worked tirelessly creating training schedules for the other teams and trying to get at least one of them up to scratch in a week. Naruto's team was left until after the Chunnin Exams as they already had him.
He quickly made sure he had everything he needed; kunai, shuriken, food, field medical kit and water, everybody always seemed to forget how important water was. Naruto had to until he had ended up passed out due to dehydration with his Kaa-san scolding him. With a satisfied smile on his face he left the house under the impression he was prepared for the Exam.
He arrived at the outside of the training centre at 8.00 he had figured that it didn't hurt to be early and quickly spotted Lee practising outside. When he had first met Lee he hadn't noticed the weights he wore as he moved around in them so fluidly, it had taken Hinata pointing them out for him to notice. It was then he heard a rustle in the trees behind him, he quickly turned around and threw a kunai directly at the noise.
He looked up into the tree and saw Gaara standing there, his sand having reached out and stopped the kunai. "Gaara," he shouted waving. He and the red head had been firm friends since Tsunade had helped him.
"You really shouldn't go around sneaking up on people like that!" He continued, shaking his figure up at the tree in jest. "I could have died of a heart attack." Gaara jumped down beside him.
"I doubt it." Gaara didn't talk much and he and Naruto had an agreement that Naruto would prattle on about something or another and he would nod and interject every now and again.
"So, how are you doing? Haven't seen you in ages," he looked around Gaara. "Where are Temari and Kankuro, I can't see them? They have to be here somewhere unless you're planning on entering the Chunnin Exam on you own, not sure that is entirely in the rules but it's you so that doesn't really matter."
"They'll be here later."
"That's good, less paperwork. My team should be here soon I'll introduce you, they are very nice. I wonder what the first test is, I hope we don't have to fight anyone first round. I'd rather leave that till later weed out the completely incompetent before sending them to their deaths."
"They graduated the Academy, no?"
Naruto sighed, "You only have to know three jutsu to graduate and they are surprisingly simple. It is demoralising the kind of shit that get to genin rank in this village, you'd have been able to beat them at the age of six. They are fan girls and idiots and don't know a thing about being a ninja."
Naruto was so caught up in his rant that he didn't respond when Hinata turned up behind him, she turned to Gaara. "Is he going on about Sakura and Ino again? He really does find them annoying."
Gaara seemed a little taken aback by her presence when Naruto butted in, "Hinata meet Gaara, Gaara this is Hinata she's on my team."
Gaara nodded relaxing slightly if she was on Naruto's team then she was probably trustworthy. "Nice to meet you."
"And you," she said smiling warmly. "Have you seen Shino yet Naruto?"
"No," Naruto replied. "We are just going to have to wait for them." Hinata was slightly confused about why he'd said them but let it go.
And wait for them they did. Soon they were surrounded many of the leaf genin teams bar 7 as Naruto refused to be near them. Gaara stood right next to Naruto talking very sparingly but smiling and laughing all the same. To say the least, Temari and Kankuro were very shocked to see their reclusive and sometimes scary bother surrounded by all these people smiling happily. That was until they spotted Naruto next to him. Temari turned to Kankuro, "He really is a nice guy isn't he?"
"Yeah," He muttered, "Yeah sure is. Do you think Gaara will tell him about…?"
"If he does we'll have to go with his decision, he's sand's best fighter without him we'd all die."
Temari nodded grimily she knew how close a friend Naruto was and how far Gaara goes to protect people he considers friends.
Team 8 and The Sand Team headed into the building together, that way they didn't have to deal with any of the idiots who got stuck with the simple genjutsu on the door. The fact there were so many standing outside trying to get in was just showing how many people weren't ready for the exams.
They stopped outside the entrance to the testing area after handing their details in. "Guys if you go in first we'll follow in a moment, it's not a good idea to let your enemies know who you'd go out of your way to try and save." Naruto looked at them smiling happily, "Good luck, if you guys don't make Chunnin then the world has gone insane!"
They smiled at him and went in front all of them smiling, though some were more forced than others.
Hinata turned to speak to Naruto, "I know they seem like nice people but you don't know what the Kazekage is planning."
Naruto looked at her slowly, his tone turning serious "I know that but in truth going into this exam they are the ones I trust the most. Yeah I trust you to do your best in these exams so you'll watch out for me and I trust you to be loyal to the Hokage and protect the village. Don't get me wrong I think you're a really great person but I've only known you a week and I trust them, especially Gaara with my life. I've known them for about 7 years now, we have an understanding." He looked her in the eye. "You don't have to trust them and I don't expect you to but I will."
She nodded, only slightly offend. What he had said was true, he couldn't trust them properly yet because he didn't know them. "As long as you trust them that much then I shall trust in your judgement as a ninja."
"Thanks," He then switched back to his usual tone, "Right shall we go in; I think we've waited enough."
Naruto went first, followed by Hinata and Shino and was faced with a room packed with genin some much older than them having obviously taken the test before. Naruto turned and whispered to his team. "I don't like the look of this, I'm going go outside, make a clone and send it in instead of me ok? I'll in the air vents; I figure it is better to send the one that can die in first, less chance of me facing the chop."
Hinata looked at Naruto and then around at the room and whispered back, "Why not send the clone into the air vents? You get their memories back don't you? That way if your clone saw anything it could cancel itself or you could cancel it if you wished and you'd get the information and be able to act on it. "
Naruto tilted his head to one side thoughtfully, "I think it would be better if I made two with that strategy just in case something happened after the first one cancelled." He looked Hinata up and down quickly, "You are good at this tracking lark you know."
"It's what we're trained for, now go and get those clones sorted before the test starts," she said with a smile.
It was when Naruto was gone that a silver haired 'genin' with glasses walked up to Hinata and Shino. "You guys look new to this, would you mind telling your friends over there," he gestured to Ino and Sakura who were arguing loudly over who got Sasuke. "To quiet it down a bit they're just making themselves enemies."
Hinata snorted, "They're not our friends, and they have already made enemies of their own age group. If you want them to shut up go and tell them yourself."
"Fine," Kabuto said while walking off. "People just don't usually take things like this well from strangers." Hinata watched his back with a look of hardened steel in her eyes.
"What?" She asked Shino, he was looking at her as if she'd just grown a second head.
"You were unusually sharp with him just then. I thought our tactic was not to make enemies?"
"It was, there was just something not right about him you know? Why would he come and talk to us? The ones who are standing away from the people shouting so obviously not friends with them. It just didn't sit right with me; I think he was just mining for information."
"You certainly gave him something to think about," Naruto said having appeared behind them his clones stationed in the air vents. "Making sure to tell him that we are not their friends, I wonder if he was going to use them as bait or something."
There was a smash and Naruto turned around to see a ninja from sound attacking the Konoha genin. Naruto slipped into fighting stance his hand sliding down his leg towards his kunai holster. If he had looked behind him then he would have seen Hinata's Byakugan activate and Shino practically vibrating from his bugs.
"THERE WILL BE NO FIGHTING IN THIS PORTION OF THE EXAM WITHOUT MY EXPRESS PERMISSION!" Naruto's head snapped up to see a strange man covered in scars and wearing a bandanna. This must be Ibiki, Naruto thought. Naruto hadn't ever seen him in person before but his Kaa-san had mentioned him, something to do with psychological torture and warfare.
It was at that point the Chunnin Exam proctors came in and lead them into another room. This was one with desks lined up in rows of 10, they were given a random number as they entered and were told to sit at the desk with that number on it. Naruto ended up with Gaara on one side and Shikamaru on the other. Hinata had pulled a worse number and had ended up between Sakura and a creepy ninja from grass. Shino didn't seem very happy either though, having to sit next to two people he had never seen before, not a friendly face in sight.
Ibiki stood at the front of the room and began speaking. "Welcome to the Chunnin Exams, this is not a test for the weak and for that reason you are allowed to withdraw at any time. A warning however, if you withdraw then your entire team will be withdrawn with you." A test proctor walked past Naruto and put a piece of paper face down on his desk. "The first test is a written test; if you are caught cheating then 2 points will be deducted from your team. Each team starts with 10 points, if you end up with 4 points having been caught three times your team will be removed from the entire exam. You will have an hour from when I say to begin, use this time wisely. BEGIN!"
Naruto flipped his paper over glancing down at the questions while mulling over what Ibiki had said. They obviously wanted people to cheat, in most exams if you were caught cheating then you were removed straight away. So weeding out the unintelligent who couldn't figure that out, he gave Ibiki and an appraising look. Good test, Ibiki-san he thought, good test.
He began the first question, one on working out the trajectory of a weapon. He was at this point glad of all the teaching Shizune had given him as a child. Though even to him it was obvious that these questions were well above the standard to be expected of a genin. He looked around him seeing the amazing techniques being used around him. Shikamaru had used his shadow possession jutsu to control Choji's hand to write the answers in for him, Gaara and his rather creepy but effective sand eye that was looking around at everyone else's answers and Kiba whose dog was sat atop of his head barking quietly obviously telling him the answers. He soon blocked out the sounds of the proctors failing different teams for being too obvious.
By the time Naruto had got to question 5 he was completely stumped, at this point he was very glad that he had already sent his clones into the air vents. He hoped they had had the sense to crawl through to this room from the other. He made the hand seal and cancelled out one of his clones, the memories came flooding back to him and all the answers his clone had seen written on somebody else's test paper. He quickly filled in the gaps that were missing in his answers and decided to wait out the last 15 minutes of the test in his own thoughts. This was of course after seeing one of Shino's bug land on his page and observed that he had all the answers and didn't need any help.
His mind drifted to his family, imagining what Tsunade and Jiraiya would do. Tsunade wasn't dull, not at all so she would have probably been able to complete the test without cheating. Jiraiya however would have had a problem at this age. He hadn't been the brightest or the most subtle, he had a strange idea that Jiraiya might have got up and started dancing or maybe he might have started a fight. Naruto thought back to what the test proctor had said 'no fighting unless they had permission'. Naruto bit a laugh as he imagined Jiraiya starting a huge brawl and then asking for permission later, he wondered if it would work. Not that he was going to chance it now that he had the answers but it was a good day dream in itself.
"Times up,"Ibiki said and Naruto looked around the room, no one from Konoha was missing and the sand team was still sitting pretty, no-one else mattered to Naruto. "Right now for the tenth question. This is the most important question in the entire exam; if you get this wrong then you will never be able to take the Chunnin Exams again. You can leave now with your team if you wish and return in 6 months completely able to retake but stay and fail the question, you'll be staying genin forever."
A shiver went through Naruto at this thought but then began to think about the question, it had to be important if you couldn't retake if you answered incorrectly. Must be something to do with being loyal to the Hokage or maybe to do with missions. Naruto then remembered that this was an expert in psychological warfare; the first part of the exam hadn't been at all psychological so this part must be. Maybe courage of convictions, every mission you went on could lead to your death you had to know you were good enough to go on them anyway. Naruto looked around in the time he had been thinking 10 teams had surrendered.
"Tell me Ibiki-san, why would anyone leave?" Said a voice from behind him. He looked around to see Hinata standing up. "We are ninja, we have been trained all our lives for this. If we are not good enough then why would we be next year? Questions like that breed hesitation and hesitation breeds death; I will never give up or back down from a challenge, for this is my ninja way. If we fail then we fail but to fail to try is a worse fate in my opinion."
Naruto blinked owlishly at her, she had just managed to echo his thoughts on the problem almost exactly. Only leaving the part about running away when the challenged you were faced with was impossible to beat but they didn't even know what this question was.
"Sit down, Hyuga-san," Ibiki said with a sigh. "Would anyone else like to leave now, before the question?" He did his best to sound menacing which in Naruto's opinion was very good. What he said made no difference however as no-one had moved a muscle after Hinata's little speech.
Clapping his hands together he began to speak again, smiling. "Well then, it is my upmost horror to inform you that you all pass. Don't take it easy however it only gets harder from here on up."
"Hold on, what was the tenth question?" Someone shouted, Temari possibly.
"Hyuga-san summed it up pretty nicely actually. Whether you left or stayed was the tenth question. Every mission you are sent on could lead to your death, you have to be ready as ninja to do the mission assigned to you, even if it might mean your death. Now it is again my upmost horror to introduce your second test proctor –"
"THE AMAZING, GORGEUS AND BRILLIANT ANKO MATARASHI!" A woman dived through the window with a small explosion. A banner appeared behind her in bright orange, Naruto couldn't help smiling this woman was bonkers. She was only wearing a trench coat and ninja mesh; she was also holding a kunai in her right hand but not for any reason Naruto could see. Thinking back hadn't Hinata mentioned an Anko-sensei Naruto thought. This must be her then; Naruto just hoped her test was a little saner than her entrance.
"Right, you've left a lot of them Ibiki," she said as he stepped out from behind her banner.
"You can blame that on your gaki," he said as if he was pained.
Anko barked a laugh before turning to address the assembled genin, "Right then you little bunnies, you all belong to me now. You have three days to prepare for the next test; anyone who comes unprepared will die." At this she waved her kunai at them. "You will meet outside training ground 44 at six in the morning; anyone who comes late will die. Oh, you might also like to know that it is more commonly known as the forest of death!"
She wiggled her fingers at them before saying "Bye bye bunnies," and performing a quick substitution leaving Ibiki to deal with the mess she had left.
Naruto smiled at the seemingly eccentric proctor and went over to speak to Hinata. "I know I shouldn't ask but I'm curious. Is that crazy women your sensei?"
The look on Hinata's face told him all he needed to know.
Hope you enjoyed it; shout out to anyone who happened to be at the Cardiff Expo last month. Went up with a group of friends, hope anyone who was there had a good time. We certainly did! Cya later.