Zabusa waited impatiently for the Konoha nin to show up. He had become very antsy when he realized it was going to take much longer than a week to undo the problem with his tenketsu. Haku was unlucky enough to play nursemaid, and already she had a roaring headache.
Naruto bounced onto the bridge, grinning. Kakashi was still worn out, but he could fight if need be.
"We want out," said Zabusa firmly.
Haku twitched, and felt the need to hit him with a senbon where the sun didn't shine. He had been getting on her last nerve for the past two hours.
"We can certainly arrange the transport. Need help carrying anything?" asked Hizashi, amused.
"I sealed everything in a scroll. Everything else is replaceable," said Haku, eager to avoid Zabusa.
"Said the brat who hid my sake stash," he growled.
"Master Zabusa, you are bad enough as a patient. The last thing I wanted to deal with was your hangover," she said flatly.
"Said the girl who lost half her kimono selection," he shot back.
"Touch it and I swear I send that sake to Lady Tsunade of the Sannin!" she growled.
The two glared at each other before looking away. Naru couldn't help his reaction to the scene.
He laughed his ass off.
Both of them glared at him, then at each other.
"Oh man that was hilarious!" cackled Naru.
What no one saw until after his laughing fit was Gato walking up with a large group of mercenaries.
"So you think I'll allow you to break my contract? It's a good thing I already planned to kill you," he sneered.
"Your stupid contract only covered Jounin level protection. Under no circumstances would I protect a scumbag like you from a damn Jinchuriki. You can kiss my ass, Gato!" snapped Zabusa.
Gato sneered at him, and directed the mercenaries to attack the shinobi. There was just one tiny problem.
The genin weren't fans of waiting patiently. They had summoned their personal favorite animals, and they were eager to fight.
The kitsune Naru summoned was roughly the size of the average Fire Country tiger (which was bigger than most men and could eat them with little trouble). The Nekomata Sasuke had brought out was small...until the fire chakra it specialized in took effect and became taller than Kakashi. But the real kicker was Hinata's summon.
The Kappa she brought out was as tall as the bridge, and it was standing easily in the river...which was thirty feet deep.
The mercenaries took one look at those summons, then at Gato.
"I'm out," said the one closest to the shinobi.
"Screw this! No cash is worth getting eaten over!" said another.
Soon all but fifty of the bandits were gone. Naru snickered, because it was blatantly clear that those guys had some common sense.
"Mwahahaha! Prepare to feel the wrath of the Kidnapper's best students!" cackled Naruto.
In an instant, the remaining bandits paled.
"T-T-The Kidnapper?! Are you serious?!" stammered the youngest bandit.
Naru grinned evilly.
"Screw this! I ain't tangling with anyone trained by that psycho!" said the youngest bandit.
Gato didn't look happy. At all. Most of his forces had abandoned him, despite being paid half up front. Then the one bandit who had any shinobi training hears one name, and he leaves as well.
"Who is this Kidnapper?"
"The most insane Kunoichi to ever come out of Konohagakure. No one has ever seen her face, or know what she looks like. But the mere mention of her name is known to make people piss themselves," said Sasuke.
"She's crazy...and she holds no regard for human life. Crossing her is one of the worst things you can do," shuddered Nami.
Hearing the cackles of the genin, the bandits shuddered.
Soon the screams of the bandits were heard all the way to the village. Needless to say, the villagers shuddered at the sound of absolute humiliating pain.
Naru grinned as he deposited Gato to the Redpool T and I. They were some of the most sadistic, ruthless and downright evil people in the entire Fire country.
It was his favorite division, because they often used his pranks in creative ways to get information. (It was something of a nightmare that Naru wanted to go into the T and I division before he made Hokage. Even though he wasn't raised in Konoha, he could still get that position because he was technically one of their genin.)
"Fresh meat for the division! We need the full works!" Naru called out cheerfully.
"Whoot! Fresh meat boys! Gets the newbies and let's show them how to really get a rich boy to talk!" yelled out Niko.
The cheering from that announcement had Gato sweating. The citizens of Wave were all too happy to let Naru take Gato to the one place where his money wouldn't mean squat. In exchange, they would work with whoever Redpool sent in to take over Gato's operation.
Naru knew the only reason they let him take Gato away was because the T and I division would make Gato suffer for hurting Wave...and for Kaito.
"Ah Kakashi, how was the mission?" asked Sarutobi, taking a hit off his pipe.
"Turned A-rank. Had to call in reinforcements."
Sarutobi gave him a look.
"I didn't receive any requests or reports."
"Naru was the one to get reinforcements. Which reminds me, if you hear the Hyuuga screaming bloody murder, I had no prior knowledge of it..."
"Naru's planning a prank, isn't he?"
"One involving someone who should be a ghost."
"Double the trouble," was all Kakashi would say on the matter.
Sarutobi sighed. There was only one explanation for that comment.
Hizashi was coming back. He had read the report about the Kumo nin being killed on route to the village with Hizashi, and all reports claimed it was Kiri nin who did it.
What most people didn't know was that Mochi had been on the same road with some Mist kekkei genkai users on route to Redpool. Setting up Kiri for stealing the Byakugan would had been child's play.
At least they hadn't lost a valuable shinobi to such an overt set up.
Kakashi handed his report...and when the Hokage got to the point where they acquired two Missing nin, he looked at the man before him.
"Where are these two now?"
"Redpool. Easier to integrate them into Konoha if they go through them first," said Kakashi, as if repeating the words of someone else.
The Hokage nodded. Several Mist bloodlines had come in that way, and the Elders were none the wiser.
"So where is Naru and his team now?"
"Helping the seal masters investigate the spot where Mochi's chakra was last seen. Hizashi went with them to insure they didn't get in the way."
Just then one of the Redpool seal masters burst in.
"Hokage-sama! Hizashi and Team 7 have vanished! The residual seal from where Jounin Mitarashi went missing pulled them in!"
"What happened to the seal?"
"It's still there, but it seems to repeal anyone who touches it. We've tried everything, but nothing works. The only thing we can hope for is that Mochi finds them and manages to bring them home."
"Set up a patrol to watch that portal in case they come back. Naru is one of the best seal masters and Mochi was his teacher. If anyone can figure it out, it's them."
Two weeks later Mochi returned with Team 7 and Hizashi, who looked rather smug. Clearly it wasn't as bad as they thought on the other side.
"Jounin Mitarashi, report."
"The other side is an alternate reality with only one key difference to this one."
"And that is?"
"I don't exist on the other side. Trust me old man, it wasn't that pleasant for those who have been affected by me."
"How bad was it?"
"Naru was the village pariah and hated by almost everyone, Sasuke was a little emo brat, Hinata had almost no self confidence and Hizashi actually died, turning Neji into a fate obsessed brat. And that was just the surface. From what I can tell, the other Konoha is one of the most depressing villages I have ever seen."
"It's good to have you back Jounin Mitarashi."
"I found the cause of my disappearance, and I was only allowed to return on the condition that I change things on the other side. I made a seal that allows me to go to and from freely between them. Just imagine the possibilities of two Konoha!"
The Hokage could see the possibilities. Since they were essentially the same village, they could in theory double their missions on both sides, and the shear amount of power they could gain from an alliance.
"Which reminds me...I need a copy of out Academy classes. Danzo is still operating on the other side, and I'm trying to get rid of him solo. Their genin are pathetic!"
"Because of your intervention our genin are living longer," the Hokage reminded her.
"So do I have your permission to spread that seal?"
"Find a select team and give them the seal. I want to maximize that other side, and possibly help them when they need it."
Kakashi was unhappy to learn that his team once again jumped ahead of any schedule he set for them. He had wisely spent his time while they were missing looking up several elemental jutsu and jounin level jutsu so he could keep ahead of them.
As a side effect of training these genin, he had been horrified to discover that he had gotten soft after leaving the ANBU. He had started on the fast track of getting back to being at his best.
Some of the branch members of the Hyuuga were more than happy to deliver a beat down on Kak"ashi.
A week later he got the news that the Chunin exams were coming to Konoha. And that meant he could enter his team and really get back up to speed.
"I nominate Team 7 for the Chunin Exam."
Iruka, who had been silent to this point, protested loudly. Mochi leveled a glare at him.
"I can attest that those kids are ready. More than most of the other genin at any rate. If those kids can handle a fight against fifty bandits using only summons, then they can handle this test. Not too sure about the other rookies though."
Iruka looked uncertain, so when Mochi told him to test them to be sure...he came back looking like hell.
"I withdraw my objection...Owww..."
Mochi cackled. Naru and Sasuke took offense to the thought that they weren't ready for such an easy exam, and Hinata had worked him over good!
He really should have known better than to dress as a Kumo nin.
Naru happened to be playing with Konohamaru when he ran into Gaara. Since he had absolutely no fear of fellow Jinchuriki (even if the other clearly hadn't had a good night's rest in a long time) he held out his hand.
"Hi! I'm Naru!"
Gaara stared at the hand like it would bite him. No one had ever been so calm around him. Let alone held out a hand to shake.
"Why are you not afraid of me?"
"Because I can tell you're like me! But from the look in your eyes I think your seal isn't working properly. Don't you get any sleep?"
"I can never sleep..." said Gaara tonelessly.
"Would you like to?" asked Naru, curious.
Gaara gave him a long hard look. The kid wasn't lying in any way.
"What would I have to do?"
"Owe me a favor. I help a lot of people in exchange for favors to cash in later."
Naru grinned his usual grin, and took Gaara to see Mochi. She had recently developed a seal for jinchuriki which gave them more control.
Konohamaru went to find Hinata and Sasuke. Like Naru, they didn't mind playing with the younger Academy students.
(Iruka would later curse that fact, because Sasuke taught the Konohamaru Squad how to use fire jutsu...which the kids used on people who annoyed them.)
Mochi took a long look at Gaara's seal...and then took out her seal kit. Her long brush danced on Gaara's stomach, tracing an intricate seal. Using some of Naru's blood, which had the strangest effect when used with this seal, she completed the circle.
The pain was momentary, but the effect was immediate. Gaara's eyes widened in total shock.
"The voice...it's gone! Mother's voice is gone!"
"I seriously doubt that was your mother kid. There aren't any jutsu or seals that can seal a person's personality inside another. Well, almost no seals. There is one, but it only works in extreme circumstances."
Gaara could feel his eyelids drooping dangerously. But he didn't trust Baki that much. The man was a spy for his father, sent to keep him in check.
"Mochi-nee-chan, can Gaara stay with me tonight? That way he won't have to worry about anyone trying to do something to him."
"Smart gaki. Sure, he can stay the night. Take this chance to watch how the seal reacts to Shukaku and I expect a report."
Gaara didn't mind being a test subject. For the first time in over a decade, he was able to sleep through the night.
Later Mochi told him that the only way Shukaku could come out was if Gaara let him. The new seal made the demon work with his host, instead of the other way around.
Because of the fact that he wasn't technically a Konoha nin (he was officially listed as Konoha to keep Redpool more or less a secret) Gaara decided to spill the plan concerning the Chunin Exams.
Naru didn't seem surprised, or hold it against Gaara.
"What will your village do if they knew you told us?" asked Naru.
"They can go hang for all I care. They fear me and my own father has tried to kill me more than once. My own uncle tried to kill me and would have succeeded if not for my sand shield."
"Ouch. Well, if it's any consolation to you, Naru here would have been treated just as bad if I hadn't kidnapped him," said Mochi.
"How do you know that?"
"Alternate reality. One where I didn't exist. He became the village pariah and was hated until I showed up. So what do you say kid? Why don't you befriend Naru?" said Mochi easily.
"I...I would like to have a friend. One who wasn't afraid of me and my father couldn't influence."
"In that case welcome to the family kid. I'll give you the seals so you can carry a conversation with Naru here no matter where he is. Dead useful too!"
For the first time in his life, Gaara smiled and didn't scare anyone with it.
There will be a spin off fic to this story called Seal Mishaps. Before any of you complain that I didn't go in depth over where Mochi and Team 7 vanished off to, Seal Mishaps is the story where I explain what happened and where the seal leads to. Basically Mochi is going to completely ruin the canonverse.