Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto

...

"Morning," said Temari as she waved at her fellow blond.

"I forgot what it's like to be up this early," said Naruto as he continued to rub some of the sleep out of his eyes.

"Didn't sleep well?" asked Temari.

"On the contrary, best sleep I've had in a long time," said Naruto, happy to find that his bed had practically been occupied by himself and himself only. It wasn't so much that he didn't like waking up to find that he was surrounded by members of the opposite gender but for once his sleep had been uninterrupted by people either tossing in their sleep or going to the bathroom at all hours of the morning.

"That's nice to hear," said Temari as she rocked back and forth from the balls of her feet to her heels. "Shall we be on our way?"

"Why not," said Naruto as he took the hand that Temari offered towards him. With a smile upon both their faces, the two of them began heading towards their destination as three heads bobbed around the corner to make sure nothing was going on between the two blondes that could put a deficit in their relationship with Naruto.

"You sure we should be doing this?" asked Kin as she pulled her head back in order to not be seen on the off chance that Naruto turned around completely.

"It's nothing but a little recon mission," said Sakura. "It's not like we've got anything better to do."

Tenten remained silent at that, having only joined with the other two girls as the rest of her team would be with Tsunade as the medical professional briefed them on just what would be needed for Lee's operation. Despite knowing that it was a long shot she had faith in Lee, undoubtedly the boy would survive as he hadn't fully unlocked the potential of his youth, as their sensei would say.

"But still..."

"But nothing," said Sakura as she grabbed Kin by the wrist. "We're doing this as a team."

"Is that just so that if one of us get caught the blame gets shared equally?" asked Tenten deciding to voice her opinion.

"As if they're going to catch us," said Sakura equally. "C'mon they're getting away."

As the three girls moved to catch up with the two blonds, they were unaware of the conversation going on between them. "You know we're being followed," said Temari as she walked by Naruto's side.

"Yep."

"And that doesn't bother you?"

"Nope."

"Really?"

"Well I guess I could pull a good old fashioned prank on them, it's been years since I've done anything like it but I think I've still got it in me," said Naruto. "What colour do you reckon would look good on the girls?"

Temari lifted a finger to her chin, knowing that the minor interaction would cause those following to wonder just what she was thinking about. "I think they'd look good in green," she said absentmindedly.

"Green it is then," said Naruto as he grabbed Temari's wrist and pulled her into the alleyway they were just passing which startled the older girl slightly. Behind them the three girls tailing couldn't help but gasp in shock before giving chase. Turning to face the alleyway they were just able to see the backs of the two blondes as they turned around a corner.

"Hurry," shouted Sakura as she, Tenten and Kin took off unaware that they were following clones and the real Temari and Naruto were currently standing upon the rooftop watching them.

"It's like a game of cat and mouse isn't it," said Naruto as he summoned several more clones. Without a word they all moved away and began to prepare for the big finale. "Let's head back down into the street, we've only got a minute before the entertainment begins."

"I'm starting to like hanging out with you more and more," said Temari as she and Naruto dropped down onto the road beneath them.

"People generally get that impression around me, well those who want to hang out with me that is," said Naruto.

"Don't tell me that people try and avoid you," said Temari.

"They did for a long time, I did my best to simply look past it," said Naruto as he walked towards their destination. "Despite the odds I made friends when I was a ninja and even though I retired from that the friendship still remains."

"I'm going to need to work on that friend thing when I get back home," said Temari. "Really sick of people treating me above them because I was the Kazekage's daughter; I guess it's why I like it here where people treat me like everybody else."

"Even so, I'll treat you like you're special," said Naruto which caused a minor blush to fall upon Temari's face at the compliment. She was stopped however as Naruto held out his hand and blocked her path. "And three, two, one."

At the end of his countdown a giant plume of white smoke burst from the alleyway in front of them before three figures stepped out coughing vigorously completely unaware of their change in appearance. As the smoke cleared and their airways were clear, Kin, Sakura and Tenten looked at Temari and Naruto standing before them while the kunoichi from Suna was doing her best to hold in her laughter. Unsure as to what was so funny, the three Konoha shinobi looked at one another.

Their reactions were priceless.

Naruto joined in with the laughter as the three Genin ran for the hills, completely shocked by the fact that their clothes, skin and even their hair was so green that even Gai's jumpsuit looked pale in comparison. "That should keep them away for a while," said Naruto happy with a job well done.

"I'm actually curious now as to why you had the equipment necessary on hand to get rid of them," said Temari wondering why Naruto kept green paint in a seal on his person.

"When you've got rowdy customers who refuse to leave, sometimes you have to use unconventional methods to get rid of them," explained Naruto. "For most of the shinobi, the fear of being in a bright green spandex outfit is enough to scare them; I just play on those fears."

"Clever, anyways, shall we continue on our way to breakfast?"

"I suppose we shall," said Naruto as he allowed Temari to lead the way.

...

Sasuke flipped out of the way of Shizune's oncoming punch, her fist missing his face by the barest of margins before he charged at Tsunade's apprentice thinking he had finally gotten an upper hand against the vastly superior opponent. His efforts were all for not however as Shizune leant backwards and allowed for Sasuke's attack to fly effortlessly over her form before she sprung back upwards and dealt two quick blows to his open ribs. Shizune had not put as much strength into the attack as she could have knowing full well that this was a training exercise more than anything else, that didn't mean however that the blows didn't hurt.

Bouncing off the ground and into a crouching position, Sasuke grit his teeth in anger as he clutched at his injured ribs. The attacks had stung and would likely bruise but he knew full well that if Shizune had wanted she could have broken his ribs with little to no effort. It wasn't so much that he was angry at her strength, he was angry at his own weakness.

"Calm down," said Shizune as she pointed at Sasuke's hand. Sasuke blinked a couple of times in confusion as he looked at his appendage to find that the black markings of Orochimaru's seal had spread across half of his body without him even feeling it. Concentrating, he watched the cursed pattern glow before retreating back to where it had come. Once he was certain that he had forced the seal back into the bite mark he exhaled loudly as he got to his feet.

"Did something happen yesterday?" asked Shizune as she closed the distance between them. "I'm just noticing small mistakes you're making that you haven't shown the last couple of days."

Sasuke grit his teeth at that knowing full well that he couldn't tell Shizune about the fact that two high ranking criminals had merely strolled into Konoha without anybody noticing, word of that spreading would cause mass panic. "Just some nightmares last night," he lied.

"Well you want to talk about it, sometimes discussing things like this may help calm the patient down," said Shizune.

Sasuke looked at her and her trusting smile and knew full well that he could wheedle some manor of truth into his statement. "I woke up in a cold sweat," he said as if trying to remember from the previous night. "I'd been standing alone in the darkness and all I see is Itachi. All I feel is anger and hatred and as much as I want to strike out at him I'm held back, by Naruto of all people. All he keeps repeating is 'one day.' I'm trying to make heads or tails of this but for the life of me I can't figure it out."

"I think you're trying to over think the scenario," said Shizune. "Itachi, from what I've heard, is someone who could potentially take on a Kage head on and the two of them would fight on equal ground. The aggressive emotions are natural because of what he has done and Naruto holding you back can be seen as your reason taking form and preventing you from doing anything stupid."

"What am I meant to do though if he just suddenly appears? If I'm out on a mission and by some chance of rotten luck I bump into him, I know my reaction straight away is going to be to confront him," said Sasuke knowing full well that this scenario had played out the previous evening.

"I can see where you're coming from," said Shizune. "You need to get better control of your emotions because if you made any move on Itachi chances are that you'd end up dead, the strength between the two of you is just that great at the moment."

"At the moment?" repeated Sasuke.

"It may not have been as obvious to you since I've been targeting your weaknesses over the past few days but you are getting stronger," explained Shizune. "Not only physically but mentally, a combination of both is always necessary to take out somebody stronger than yourself. All you need to do is continue your training in such a way that when you eventually do confront Itachi you will be able to do so on a level playing field."

"So you're not telling me to give up on my quest?" said Sasuke, picking up on the fact that nearly everybody else who had confronted him about this topic had told him to give up.

"Temporarily, but defeating Itachi is your drive and because of this you will continue to grow stronger. What you need to work out though is what you're going to do afterwards, a long term plan that you may need to start upon now," said Shizune.

Sasuke paused at that and he couldn't help but ponder just what he would do after he had avenged his clan. He had the casino but he didn't want to live his life like he wanted to be the richest person on the planet, he was nowhere near that snobbish. If he was strong enough to best Itachi then Hokage was a potential option but that was possibly thinking decades down the track, a little too long term thinking.

"There's the restoration of my clan," said Sasuke.

"Is this something you can start working on before you avenge your clan?" asked Shizune rhetorically. "While the casino is keeping you occupied while you're not training at the moment you need social activity to prevent yourself from letting your hatred for Itachi consume you. Friendship is the best start."

"Thank you," said Sasuke.

"Cheers, I wasn't entirely sure if everything I said made sense," said Shizune as she rubbed the back of her head. "I think I may have tried to push too much onto you at once."

"It was enough," said Sasuke as he readied himself, naturally sinking into his patented battle stance. With a smile on her lips Shizune did the same and knew that Sasuke would be coming at her harder than he had ever done.

...

Kin, finally free of all the green on her person after what seemed like an eternity of rubbing at her skin and hair, marched down the street with one purpose in mind. Everybody around her could clearly see that this was a girl on a mission and anybody who got in her way would be dealt with accordingly. The crowds practically split for her less they suffer her wrath.

That aura came crashing however as she bypassed two Chūnin who were having a discussion and she managed to pick up a single line on the way past.

"You hear about that foul mouthed, red haired chick in prison?"

Her aggressive march became slower and slower until she crawled to a stop. She turned her head to try and spot the people she had unintentionally eavesdropped on but couldn't see them among the crowd. It didn't matter though; there was only one person that sprang to mind that fit that description.

With a new destination in mind, Kin leaped onto the rooftops in order to get there quicker, all thoughts of vengeance having been erased from her mind.

...

"Alright kids, today I've brought a guest speaker in to tell you about the dangers of the street," announced Iruka as he held his hand towards the door and beckoned his guest to join him. "Kiba here graduated from the academy only six months ago and has already experienced more than some of our Chūnin."

"You make it sound like a bad thing," said Kiba brashly as Iruka took his seat. With Akamaru atop his head he looked out at the class of nine and ten year olds who would be joining him in three years time as shinobi of the Leaf. Inhaling deeply, he began his speech. "Kid's I'm here to talk to you today about drugs."

...

Kin stood awkwardly outside the prison, fidgeting on the spot wondering whether or not it was right to do this. Since having been kidnapped resulting in her transition into a Konoha kunoichi she had never been happier. Even the fiasco this morning was certain to bring entertainment if she brought it up in conversation later that evening. There was no anger or fear, only a little embarrassment which would soon be replaced with laughter.

So why was she here?

She had been so certain that she had put everything from Oto behind her. It turned out however that even if she thought she would be rid of Oto forever it would find a way of coming back to her. Kin knew that inside this building there was the one person that had actually looked out for her when she was first training to be a shinobi. Even though it had been for a little while, the fiery red haired kunoichi inside was the closest thing she ever had to a sister.

Did she really want to bring her two lives into one however?

Steeling her resolve, Kin stepped forward and into the building. As she went through all of the procedures necessary to see a prisoner, she could not stop thinking about whether this was the right thing to do? What was she meant to say? Hey it's great having changed sides, I went out for a walk today with a couple of friends without the fear of being sent on a suicidal mission or killed on the street, how was your day?

"Kin, it can't fucking be you can it," said Tayuya as she looked at the raven haired girl. Kin blinked a couple of times as she finally realised that she had reached her destination, having followed the guard while completely lost in thought. "Considering the wolf whistles I heard I guessed it had to be someone fucking hot but I can say I wasn't expecting you."

Yep, definitely lost in thought.

"Yea, I guess it would be a bit of a shock," said Kin nervously.

"So how'd you manage to ship countries, don't remember you having a Leaf headband," said Tayuya as she spotted the most obvious difference with her friend. "Who'd you have to shag in order to get a pardon after the invasion?"

"I umm, never partook in the invasion," said Kin which caused her to receive a curious look telling her to continue. "Well I fought but I fought for Konoha."

"How'd you manage not to get killed then?" said Tayuya asking a pretty obvious question. "Oto was instructed to kill everyone and since you wouldn't have been wearing a headband you would have been mistaken for a invader by the Konoha forces."

"I was kind of fighting alongside a Sannin," said Kin slowly.

"I don't fucking believe it, you got fucking Jiraiya to babysit you during the invasion. Guess that's one way to keep you safe," said Tayuya with a twisted chuckle. "Take it with him looking over your shoulder you're pretty much guaranteed a transition from an enemy village."

"Well how did you get caught? I take it from the giant barrier I saw on top of the stadium that you had to have been a part of that," said Kin.

"Got caught in a genjutsu made by some blond haired faggot of a kid," said Tayuya with a scoff. "Brat then has the nerve to showing his fucking face here and get this. I offer him sex and he fucking turns it down! What kind of teenager turns down free fucking sex?" Tayuya looked at Kin to see her face twist slightly and she shifted on the spot which caused a few cogs to tick within Tayuya's head. "You know who I'm talking about don't you?"

"Yea...he was the one who helped me originally," said Kin. "I was out one night and he praised me and I just don't know, it made me feel...amazing."

"So that's why he wouldn't fuck me," said Tayuya which only caused Kin to look at her inquisitively. "Well if you're there to cater to his every whim and suck on his pretty little cock whenever he wants it's no wonder why he refused me."

"Well..."

"Don't tell me you haven't had sex with him yet?"

"I may have...raped him?" said Kin with the last part sounding like a question more than anything else. Tayuya blinked a couple of times as she let this information sink in before bursting into laughter which only caused Kin to red in the face. "It's not funny!"

"No it's hilarious," said Tayuya in between laughs. Calming down and taking some deep breaths, the red haired woman looked Kin in the eye with a smile still on his face. "I can tell you have feelings for him, that much is for certain but let me tell you, if the two of you ever have sex on a level playing field, even if he can only do half the shit he does with that genjutsu of his, you're going to have your mind fucking blown."

"Alright, time's up Kin," said the ANBU standing on guard.

"You're just upset we're not talking about your cock aren't you," taunted Tayuya. "Next time you come visit you better tell me how good having consensual sex is like."

Kin said nothing as she was led away with the red still upon her cheeks. Needless to say this had not been how she had thought this conversation would have panned out. That being said she had picked up one piece of information that seemed a little odd and she would have to ask Naruto later about this genjutsu of his.

...

"Cheers for that Kiba," said Iruka as he shook his former students hand.

"Anytime sensei," said Kiba.

"Just one question though."

"Yes?" said Kiba wondering what Iruka wanted from him.

"Do you think it was okay to bring Shino in and describe him as a suspicious person to be avoided?" asked Iruka as he turned towards his guest speaker's fellow Genin who had been brought in by the Inuzuka clan member.

"It is quite alright sensei," said Shino. "In three years time when we join on the battlefield they won't even remember my face."

This comment however caused the same thought to pop into both Iruka and Kiba's minds.

'I don't even know what his face looks like.'

...

Battered and bruised, Sasuke made his way through the all too familiar setting as he headed towards the Lucky Shuriken to open up for the day. Shizune had explained to him that it would be a while before Tsunade would come down to gamble which meant he could get some paperwork done before having to deal with the biggest gambler in Konoha coming to visit.

He was stopped on his walk however as he found his business partner backing up against a wall with both Tenten and Sakura glaring down at him with fire in their eyes. Wisely, he turned his head from the scene knowing better than to jump into the fray.

He also wasn't sure whether or not he'd be able to prevent himself from laughing about the colour of Sakura's hair.

...

Hope you enjoyed.

First off, sorry about the delay. Kinda lost my way with this story and had no real idea where I wanted to take it. I looked at the draft of my original plan and found out I had deviated from that plan somewhere in between chapters 13-17.

Secondly, my updates aren't going to be that frequent as snow has fallen and I'll be spending most hours that I'm not working up the mountain having fun. Sorry, but I stayed in this country a year for the snow season so I'm not going to give up that opportunity anytime soon.

LolaTheSa: You say that despite his strength it's wrong for him to fear the Akatsuki. I think it's the other way round and that because he knows of his strength he is wise to still fear those who want to hunt him down.

'Til next time

Peace