Merry Christmas. Here's a present

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto

"Don't." Sakura turned to her mysterious new teammate, her hands inches from the cord that would open the blinds of the academy classroom. "Sakura, as poor of a first impression as this is going to seem, know this. I can only imagine the stories your parents must have fed you as a child, but remember this above all. I detest sunlight. I hate it. So before you attempt to open those blinds, know that if you do, I'll show you why mothers and fathers tell their children to avoid me."

The pink-haired girl did indeed remember stories told by her parents. But rather than of a young man, they told stories of a monster that enjoyed feeding on human blood. It was actually a rather common tale among parents, trying to keep their young children in line. The story went that if the children were bad, the monster would sense it and come for them. The stories came from a young blonde, who they said had been attacked by a strange beast. They said the boy vanished, only appearing in the village at night on the rooftops. But this couldn't be that boy. However, respecting the wishes of the young man, trying to make a good impression, she sat down, leaving the room bathed in darkness.

The trio were the only three genin left in the room, their sensei having not shown up yet. Naruto was no stranger to waiting. Patience was one of the many things his mental instructions with Inoichi had taught him. But the wait was in fact tipping Naruto off as to the identity of their jonin sensei. Only one person could be almost two hours late to a meeting of such importance. From beneath his hood, his eyes began to dart over to the younger of the two surviving Uchiha. The boy hadn't spoken a single word the entire day, and Naruto couldn't help but to recognize what was happening.

Based on what the blonde could see, Sasuke, like the young vampire, had a bit of trouble keeping out of his own head. It was like looking into a mirror. The only difference was the reason each boy was lost within themselves. Sasuke was stuck carrying the weight of the collective rage of the slaughtered Uchiha clan, while Naruto's own shoulders carried his guilt at being what amounted to a parasite, and what his parents would think of that life. Two completely different circumstances, creating two very similar children. And Naruto hoped that perhaps their similarities would be enough spark some sort of friendship between the two. But if the boy realized he had a connection with his older brother, he had no doubt there would be no friendship between them.

His attention diverting to the door, his sharp ears picking up the light footsteps, the team all watched the door creak open, the masked face and silver hair of Kakashi poking in. "Team 7, I presume?" Upon receiving no answer, he sighed. "Meet me on the roof in five minutes please." Shutting the door behind him, Sasuke and Sakura rose to follow, but Naruto didn't move. Turning to him, Sakura raised an eyebrow.

"Are you coming?" she asked, and Naruto just fixed his shadowed gaze on the pink-haired girl. To be honest, it was quite uncomfortable.

"He said five minutes," the vampire-boy replied, lowering his face and putting his feet up. Still feeling uncomfortable, Sakura just shrugged and turned toward Sasuke...only to find him gone already.

"Sasuke!" she yelled, picking the pace up to a run. "Wait for me!" As the two made their way up the stairs, Sakura attempted to make conversation, but Sasuke didn't say anything. But as they exited the roof access door, they were astounded. Sitting, with his feet up, making conversation with their sensei, was their new teammate. His cloak covered his body, but he also had a black parasol, giving him even more shade than his clothing already provided.

"Hello you two," Kakashi said, smiling slightly beneath his mask. "Took you both long enough." Sakura and Sasuke were flabbergasted. They hadn't seen their teammate pass them in the hall or the stairwell. Where Sasuke was actually somewhat intrigued, Sakura was more creeped out. Finding no words, the two cautiously moved toward Naruto, who for all intents and purposed looked as though he hadn't even changed his position he was in within the classroom.

"Shall we get the introductions out of the way?" Kakashi asked.


"Now, your task, is to collect these bells," Kakashi announced, holding the shiny ball-like bells out on strings. The day before, Kakashi had the group introduce themselves, and it was 'interesting' to say the least. While Sakura had been pretty open with her introduction, the three male members of the team barely gave anything more than their names. Each was looking forward to seeing just what their teammates could do, with the majority of the attention being focused on the jonin and Naruto. Clearing his throat, the vampiric blonde spoke up.

"If it is indeed our job to obtain the bells, shouldn't there be three?" The other genin took note of what Naruto was talking about, as Kakashi only held up two bells. "Is someone not meant to collect one?" Kakashi nodded and smiled beneath his mask.

"Very perceptive, Naruto," he replied. "You're correct. Only two of you will be able to get a bell from me. Whoever does not, goes back to the academy." Sasuke and Sakura widened their eyes in shock, while beneath the shadow of his hood, Naruto adopted a bored expression. "I suggest you come at me with the intent to kill me, or you won't be able to get one," Kakashi continued. "You have exactly til noon, which gives you an hour and a half, starting...NOW!"

Sasuke and Sakura leapt away, looking for a place to hide and plan their attack, but Naruto didn't move. Kakashi raised an eyebrow at this. "Now, don't tell me the famous village 'Death Bringer' has given up before we've begun," he said.

"No, I merely know my limitations," Naruto replied. "I can't beat Anko in a spar, and I know for a fact you're a superior shinobi. Coupled with the fact that I could accidentally become exposed to the sunlight during our fight and you have a recipe for disaster. So for now, I think I'll play spectator, and see just how Sasuke and Sakura do." Kakashi was stumped. He knew Naruto would play differently than all the teams he had tested before, but he hadn't realized just how different the vampire truly was.

Hearing a familiar sound, Kakashi twisted his body to avoid the two kunai aimed at his back. Once moved, the two throwing knives were set on a path toward the blonde's face. With speed that betrayed his rank of genin, he reached out and caught one kunai, ripping it from it's trajectory and pulling it up, stopping the other weapon in the ring loop at the end. From his position in hiding, Sasuke's eyes widened at the feat, before he smirked. It seemed he had a teammate who was more than competent, meaning he wouldn't hold the Uchiha back.

"Whatcha doing?" Sasuke nearly fell from the tree limb he was lying on as the voice whispered in his ear. Turning, he saw his cloaked teammate standing on the tree next to him, using chakra to root himself to the trunk.

"So fast," he thought. Sasuke hadn't even seen Naruto move, and that got him thinking. "If Naruto is this good, and still doesn't think he's a match for Kakashi...How strong is he?"

"You can't beat him on your own, you know," Naruto continued. "He's a jonin, we're genin. We're out of our league." Sasuke frowned and narrowed his eyes.

"Then what do you propose we do?" Sasuke asked. "I refuse to go back to the academy. I don't think you even went to the academy, so you don't even have anything to worry about." Naruto sighed.

"Let's find Sakura," he said. "We can't get the bells by rushing in head-first. We need a plan." The Uchiha growled, but conceded the point. Nodding, the two boys quickly disappeared into the foliage.

The pink-haired genin was crouched in a bush when her male-teammates found her and Naruto re-explained what he and Sasuke had already discussed regarding trying to get the bells. As time ticked away, they began to formulate a plan that would at the very least get them close enough to the bells to get a hold of them. That only left one thing.

"Who gets them?" Sakura asked. "I don't want to go back to the academy just because you want to stay a genin." Naruto just shook his head.

"Look, if it makes you feel better, I'll be the one who gives up his bell," he replied. "At least they can't send me back to the academy, since I never attended to begin with."

"Wow," Sakura said, feeling shocked that Naruto had actually been big enough to give up a bell if they got them. "Thanks."

Turning towards their cloaked teammate, Sasuke spoke. "So what's our next move?" Closing his eyes, Naruto tried to think of a plan of attack that wouldn't backfire on him. Smiling, Naruto gazed at the two with a glint in his shadowed eyes.

"How good are you both at wire-work?" Sharing a look for a moment, the other genin shared a look with each other, before signaling Naruto to explain.

Kakashi was disappointed. Not one of his students had come out to attack him. Sure, it allowed him time to catch up on his reading, but he had thought at least one student would try for the bells. He entertained the thought that they were planning a joint assault, but quickly realized it wasn't going to happen. Sasuke was arrogant and a loner. Sakura was too unsure of herself as a Shinobi, and Kakashi could see it written all over her. And while Naruto was fairly level headed, he could get irritable, and Kakashi knew Naruto would have a soft spot, a hole in his emotional defense, when it came to the young Uchiha.

Snapping out of his thoughts, Kakashi ducked as Naruto attempted to club his sensei with his parasol. Reaching up with lightning-reflexes, he grabbed the makeshift weapon, holding it in place. "You know," he announced. "I knew one of you would try something sooner or later." Smirking, Naruto pulled the handle of the parasol, sliding a long, razor-thin blade out like a sword from a sheath. Kakashi leapt back as Naruto swung his weapon, coming a bit too close to Kakashi for comfort.

Throwing his blade toward Kakashi's stomach, the jonin flipped backwards, using his arms to push off the ground, up and over the flying razor. As he landed, he brought up his arms to block the hook punch from the vampire. As Naruto threw a front kick, Kakashi brought down his arms in a X-form block, bringing them back up to block and catch the right, straight-punch coming at his face. Gripping the wrist, Kakashi weaved under the arm, and Naruto saw his chance. Reaching across his body with his left arm, Naruto managed to touch the bells, making them ring a bit.

Cursing his mistake, Kakashi slammed his elbow into his student's ribs, knocking the wind out of him. As Naruto bent over in pain, Kakashi kicked Naruto straight in the face, forcing him to stand back up. Dropping to his knee and spinning, the jonin threw his leg out and swept Naruto down, before leaping away, putting some distance between them, not risking letting the blood-sucking blonde get too close to the bells again.

Rolling back and standing, Naruto sent five shuriken flying at his sensei. Ducking and weaving through the unusually sloppy throw, Kakashi caught a glint of a ninja wire on the ground.

"So that's your game, is it?" he muttered, dodging the final throwing-star with a flying leap, avoiding the trip-wire trap. Naruto smirked.

"Now!" Kakashi's eyes widened as he felt several wires tighten around him. Crashing to the ground, he looked behind him to see Sasuke holding the discarded shuriken, and keeping the ends of five wires pulled tight, while Naruto had the other ends. Kakashi realized his second mistake. The stars hadn't been thrown sloppy or lazily. They were thrown in such a way as to make him dodge while unknowingly tangling him in a wire web. The trip-wire had been a set-up. It was then he got his next surprise.

"Sakura!" Sasuke shouted. "Do it niw, before he gets loose." Hearing the bells jingle, Kakashi looked to the small silver balls as they were ripped from his belt-loop, pulled by the pink-haired genin by another Ninja wire. Kakashi sighed. Things had been over since Naruto managed to touch the bells. That had to be when he attatched the wires to them. The plan wasn't flawless, but they executed it perfectly, and as a team, no-less. The jonin couldn't help but smile beneath his mask.

"Congratulations you three," he announced. "Team 7 starts official missions tomorrow morning." The genin looked confused for a minute, but rather than look a gift-horse in the mouth, they all cracked a small smile. "Now then, could you all let me loose?"

Chapter End.

Christmas Present number two, the next Blood King chap is ready. As I told the fans of my MLP crossover, if you've all been really good this year, I may have a special present for everyone.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good read

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