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Naruto belongs to Masashi Kishimoto
Fullmetal Alchemist belongs to Hiromu Arakawa
Devil May Cry belongs to Capcom
Venom belongs to Marvel Comics
XX Chunin Exam Stadium Stands; Konoha, Fire Country XX
There was a stunned silence that followed Sasuke's announcement. Those who had witnessed his battle during the prelims, or at the very least heard about the events, couldn't believe that Hinata Hyuuga of all people had forced the Uchiha boy to surrender. As he staggered back, driving his oversized sword into the ground to steady himself and began coughing up blood whispers began to spread throughout the gathered shinobi and nobility.
"He looks hurt!"
"Rumours are he has the regeneration of Hashirama Senju…"
"… heard he bested Momochi of Kiri…"
"… exaggerated? That or this 'Hinata Hyuuga' is stronger than the details given indicate."
"… cannot believe the Uchiha lost. But that girl, she'll be one to watch…"
"What was her team again? I have issues with bandits and if her teammates are anyway as good I may hire them…"
"I-I don't…? but I didn't hit you… I chickened out." Hinata said, stupefied as to why she'd won.
"I may have leaned a little too far forward… My mistake." Sasuke chuckled and sprayed blood in front of him. "Eh… Think you could help me off the arena floor? You may have taken out a lung."
"A… A lung?!" Hinata shrieked before rushing forward and letting him lean on her for support. "H-Hang on… I-I-I'll get you to the medics."
"Relax, I'll heal… give me about fifteen minutes and I'll be good as new." Sasuke told her before nodding towards the arena exit. "Just get me over there and I'll be fine."
As Genma announced Sasuke's defeat and called for Tenten to come down for her match against the Hyuuga heiress said heiress helped Sasuke off the arena floor and part way up the steps to the spectators area. Pulling away from her, and leaning against a wall for support, Sasuke shot her a cocky grin.
"Good match… I think you really impressed a lot of people… Congratulations." He laughed as he gently rubbed as his chest and hissed. Cupping his right hand and forming a glowing sphere of pale blue light Sasuke examined the light for a second before tossing it to her. "Catch!"
"Wha-?" Hinata managed to get out before she caught the light, out of surprise more than anything, and her brain felt like it was exploding. Her vision was filled with flickering images, sights of herself handling the beautiful scythe Osiris like someone who had trained all her life to master it. Her entire body ached and muscles screamed at the sensation of liquid fire flowing through her veins. By the time the visions and pain ended, by the time Hinata could focus again, Sasuke was nowhere to be seen.
"Not bad… Not bad at all." A voice sounded from the top of the stairs as someone gave Hinata a slow clap. Leaning over the railings, no sign of any discomfort or injury, was Sasuke. "Consider Osiris a gift, my way of saving thanks... That was a fun fight."
By the time Sasuke rejoined his teammates in the competitor's box the second match was well underway. Naruto barely spared him a second glance, just made a vague grunt of greeting, as he watched Hinata adapt to fighting with Osiris. She was good, using wide, arcing swings of the scythe to deflect Tenten's volleys of kunai.
"Why did you quit? We've hit you harder than that!" Sakura hissed as Sasuke settled down against the railing.
"I was offered a lot of money to do so." Sasuke said like it was the most obvious thing in the world, which it was really. Hiashi Hyuuga had noticed an improvement in Hinata's performance following her victory in the prelims, the praise and positive reinforcement having done wonders for the girl's self-esteem. Deciding to further boost her self-image and standing, Hiashi had simply offered Sasuke a considerable sum of money to make it a good fight and then throw it.
"You took a bribe?" Sakura whispered, any hint of that fact could see her teammate in serious trouble. "Why?"
"I have bills to pay." Sasuke shrugged. "Besides… it's for a good cause."
"… How?" Was all Sakura could ask.
"How's Hinata doing?" Sasuke chuckled as he looked out just in time to see Tenten barely avoid a shredding propeller like attack from Hinata.
Both girls showed small nicks and cuts from the fierce battle, the arena floor littered with discarded weapons and shallow trenches from avoided attacks. The battle was one hell of a crowd pleaser, with nobles visibly excited by the displays of skill and ability… Sasuke really would have to look into getting some kind of 'finder's fee' for bringing this much positive press to Konoha.
"So… She took the scythe in the end?" Naruto asked as Tenten attempted to use her trump card, the Twin Rising Dragons, and covered the entire arena floor in sharp instruments of death.
Tenten smirked as the barrage of kunai, shuriken, swords, axes, spears, daggers and spiked balls rained down. She felt really bad, using something like this on a fellow Konoha ninja, but Hinata had beaten that loud mouth Sasuke… And the skills she'd shown with that beautiful scythe… so surely the younger girl wouldn't come out of it too injured.
"What the…?" Shikamaru muttered as a burst of ethereal blue flames surrounded a diving Hinata and Tenten's weapons passed harmlessly through the heiress.
"Oh that's just Osiris' angelic nature, if you're lucky the scythe might distort time-space for an instant and let you phase through just about anything." Sasuke yawned after asking what had everyone gasping, he'd been checking out the blonde from Suna at the time.
"… You have a weapon that lets you perform the kind of things Time-Space ninjutsu users can only dream off… And you just gave it away?" Choji asked aloud, summing up the opinions of just about every shinobi in the stadium.
"Oh I've got another one lying around somewhere." Sasuke shrugged as a rather confused Hinata decided to 'act now, think later' and push her advantage while Tenten was still in shock. "Besides it's nothing compared to the Kamui!"
"… And what, exactly, is Kamui?" Temari inquired slowly. She'd been listening in, trying to gather any last minute Intel she could, and the idea that Konoha had some kind of secret time-space weapon lying around was very worrying… Although not as worrying as the small smirk Gaara's Armour of Sand was wearing since any sign of emotion on that usually meant he was barely containing his insanity.
"Rare Dojutsu technique that occurs in a very small number of mutated sharingan… Getting said sharingan is a pain and even then you might end up with the Kotoamatsukami or more than likely the 'Eyes of God'." Sasuke them her as he started clapping, Tenten had just surrendered and so Hinata would be advancing further in the competition and should be feeling real good about herself.
"You named one of your clan techniques 'the eyes of god'?" Naruto couldn't help but ask. He knew Sasuke was a cocky little idiot but, even for him, that was some show of arrogance.
"I didn't name any of them, I just took the time to look it up after finding some scrolls on the sharingan." Sasuke defended before breaking into another round of applause once Tenten and Hinata entered the booth. "Sweet party you two had down there... Kinda bummed I missed out on it now."
"Shut up." Tenten all but snarled, she hadn't forgotten what Naruto had said, while Hinata looked like she really wanted to ask him something but was too shy to bring it up in front of the others... That and Naruto openly praising her had the girl all flustered.
"Ahhh, that's cute." Sakura cooed before leaping off the guard rail and landing at Genma's feet in that primal, yet dignified. Crouch she often adapted.
"Eh, what's cute?" Naruto whispered to Sasuke as Genma called for the other competitor.
"You could have the sharingan and you'd still be blind, wouldn't you?" Sasuke muttered into his palm as Shikamaru and Choji rolled their eyes at just how dense the blond could be. Deciding to do one more nice thing for the Hyuuga heiress, Sasuke spoke up. "Hey Hinata, Naruto is gonna take you out to dinner later."
What followed was comical! Hinata fainted with a blissful look on her face, Tenten forced to catch her in case the girl cracked her skull on the tiled floor, while Sasuke tried to explain to Naruto that Hinata liked him. It took Shikamaru, Choji and even the girl from Suna pointing out evidence that she liked him before Naruto caught the hint... All the time Genma yelled up for Shikamaru to get down and start the match.
"Hey Shikamaru, shouldn't you really get going?" Choji asked once Naruto finally agreed to the meal, no promise of dating just the meal.
"Quiet you fool, another thirty seconds and I'll be disqualified." Shikamaru hissed, but it was too late. Naruto and Sasuke, having realised Shikamaru was effectively interfering with Sakura's fight, caught a grip of him and tossed him over the railing. He landed awkwardly beside Sakura and Genma. "... Fine, I'm here."
"Now that we finally have our second competitor, this third match can begin." Genma announced unenthusiastically. After the last two fights, not to mention what he'd heard about the prelims, the man was just too jaded to care. "Shikamaru Nara, Sakura Haruno... Fight!"
Neither made a move. Shikamaru because he knew he had no real way of dealing with someone as fast and stealthy as he'd seen Sakura be in her prelim match and Sakura because they were trying to think of whatever amazingly complex tactic Shikamaru must have developed to beat them, plus how to counter it. The pair stood, locked in a continuous cycle of awaiting the other's opening move, for some time.
"Huh... Guess I should start this." Shikamaru sighed before drawing a pair of kunai and launching them at Sakura, who easily twisted to avoid them without calling out her 'Other'.
And so it went, Shikamaru's 'going through the motions' failing to challenge Sakura enough to transform and Sakura holding back their true abilities [because that's what Shinobi are meant to do] left the gather crowd sorely disappointed after the previous two incredible matches. In fact, by the time Sakura finally got in close enough to punch Shikamaru and lay him out, all the energy and excitement Hinata's back-to-back matches had generated was gone. Drained away and replaced with boredom.
"Now that that waste of everybody's time is finished, let us move onto Choji Akimichi Vs. Temari of Suna." Genma yawned as before either had even left the arena floor.
When Sakura made it back to the competitor's booth they were practically spitting venom. Shikamaru had robbed them of a chance to showcase their abilities... Now that had to wait until the next round before anyone could see just how skilled a kunoichi their were. Sakura snapped at Sasuke when he congratulated him on making it to the next round and nearly ripped Naruto's head off when he tried to console her over not being able to show off. Although the news that Hinata had finally managed to get Naruto to notice her, even if it took Sasuke volunteering him, did bring a small smile to their face.
"That's wonderful news Hinata, we're delighted for you." Sakura told Hinata, who was still riding on Cloud-9, once the shy heiress managed to finish telling her how the 'date' had been arranged.
"Uchiha!" Someone barked just as Choji and Temari began their battle. It was Gaara, the young Suna shinobi having finally reached the end of his patience. "Why did you surrender? Why will you not face me in the arena?"
"Because A) Hinata deserved that win, no doubt in my mind. B) My reason are my own..." Sasuke said, not wanting to admit to having been bribed in front of Hinata. "... And 3) because I knew I wouldn't be facing you."
"Wouldn't be...? You think the 'monster girl' is your better?" Gaara demanded to know, he needed to know if killing her would validate his existence more than targeting the Uchiha.
"he may not look like much... May not know much about life and, unless he gets his head out of those dumb alchemy texts, I doubt he'll live much... But You have to face Naruto next." Sasuke declared, no sign of humour or his usual playful nature anywhere on the Uchiha's face. "And that's why I know you and I would never, in a million universes, face each other."
"Him!" Gaara snarled as he pointed at the red clad blond. "You think he'll defeat me?"
"I don't think it..." Sasuke snarled back as he draped an arm around Naruto in a show of support. "... I know it. In fact, of everyone in this tournament, Naruto Uzumaki is the one person I know would beat me. So you Gaara, and the little monster you got inside you, stopped being someone I even considered facing the second those balls got picked and he was announced as the one who would kick your ass!"
I've left it so long between writing chapters of this story I have actually forgotten the piss poor excuse for characterisation I gave the characters... Anyway here is everyone's Xmas present, I'd have posted it yesterday but I left my laptop in my parents house when I was there.
I'm dyslexic, so please point out any mistakes in the spelling or grammar [I use the Irish/English spelling structure, so some may look off to Americans]. Please leave opinions and comments via review or PM, I can't improve without feedback. Well, that's everything I've got to say… Thanks for reading.
PS: Anyone else having a problem where they upload a file to the site and everything they've underlined has had the formatting changed? Or is that just me?
Highvalour saying thanks for reading.