You guys didn't have to wait long, but I'm just going to act like you did - YES, Team Itachi: Shippuden is finally HERE.
This is the sequel to my other story, Team Itachi, so if you're a new reader, just pop on over there to read it first.
First and foremost, welcome to my newest story, Team Itachi: Shippuden. I've got high hopes for this one and I really hope it can surpass Team Itachi in number of reviews.
Obviously arcs like the Sasuke and Sai Arc as well as the Itachi Pursuit Arc can't be implemented into this story for very obvious reasons - so YES, I will be replacing them with arcs of my own. I have already thought out some of them, but of course you readers won't know anything about them until we come to it.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce to you...
Team Itachi: Shippuden...
The first chapter!
"Hm?" Naruto cast a glance towards his mentor. "Of course! I haven't seen everyone for so long! I can't wait to go back!"
Jiraiya grinned. "Naturally."
The pupil-teacher duo casually stepped into one of the many forests in the Land of Fire. At the end of this pathway was their destination.
Konoha, the Hidden Leaf Village. Home.
"Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you about this."
Naruto held up his right hand, winking at Jiraiya.
"Eh?" The old Sage raised an eyebrow.
To his surprise, a familiar blue spiraling sphere formed in Naruto's single hand. What surprised him more was the fact that no Shadow Clones had been summoned.
Naruto deactivated, and cheered.
"I did it!"
"Well, it is impressive," Jiraiya admitted, getting over his initial surprise quickly. "But... Rasengan is meant to be formed with one hand, you know..."
Jiraiya chuckled heartily.
Then, he stopped, although there was still a wry smile present on his face.
Naruto stopped as well, yawning, before drawing a strange-looking three-pronged kunai. "Come on out, whoever you are!"
Five masked men leaped out from hiding, glaring at the two shinobi. From their attire, one could tell that they were bandits.
"Good-for-nothing bandits," Naruto growled.
"Give us your money," the apparent leader of the five demanded. "Or we'll take both your money, and your life!"
Jiraiya and Naruto ignored the five and walked past them, much to the leader's chagrin.
"Let's go, boys!" He called, and sped toward his intended victims.
But the leader suddenly froze, as Naruto turned his head slightly back and gave them the scariest glare they'd ever seen in their lives. A massive wave of killing intent washed over the five bandits and they fell to their knees, trembling.
Satisfied, Naruto turned away from them, and continued walking forward with Jiraiya.
The leader continued to stand frozen in place.
He could have sworn he'd saw the boy's pupils turn from blue to red.
"You should really watch that glare of yours. It can be really, really scary," Jiraiya remarked, although he didn't seem the least bit afraid.
Naruto shrugged. "Those assholes were asking for it."
They continued on their way to Konoha, with little issue.
Sasuke swung a fist.
Itachi blocked it easily and grabbed onto Sasuke's wrist. He was forced to release it as Sasuke's other fist came rushing towards his abdomen, forcing him to dodge by jumping back.
Sasuke leaped into the air, and aimed a flying kick.
Itachi side-stepped, easily avoiding the hit.
With another roar, Sasuke kept up the assault with a series of punches.
Itachi blocked them all, but was eventually punched in the cheek and fell to the ground.
"Is that all you got, brother?" Sasuke grinned, cracking his knuckles.
Rubbing his new bruise, Itachi was soon up on his feet.
"Nope," the older Uchiha smiled, getting into a fighting stance.
Returning Itachi's smile with a smirk of his own, Sasuke charged, his foot flying up to kick his target. Instead, he kicked the air. Itachi was swiftly behind him.
Sasuke turned sharply, but was too late to stop a punch coming from Itachi, that landed on his cheek.
Or maybe not.
Sasuke turned into a log.
"Good work," Itachi complimented, turning to see Sasuke behind him.
The younger of the two siblings smiled widely. Feeling rather hot, he took off the black singlet he was wearing. It bore the Uchiha symbol at the back. Itachi was wearing something similar.
"Is that all you got, Sasuke?" Itachi then teased.
Sasuke shot Itachi a glare that was meant to look fierce. Instead, the look on his younger brother's face was somewhat amusing.
Itachi beckoned. "Come on, then."
His singlet back on, Sasuke charged, his first attacks being a series of kicks.
"You seem pretty enthusiastic today," Itachi commented, as he dodged the last of the kicks.
"Of course," Sasuke replied with a small smile on his face, as Itachi ran towards him with his fist raised.
The crow summoner lifted himself off the ground, and aimed his fist straight for Sasuke's face.
Impressively, Sasuke dodged it - despite the fast nature of the attack, and followed this up with a strong kick straight into his brother's nose, knocking Itachi to the ground. Instead of yelling in pain though, 'Itachi' became a flock of crows that started ascending into the sky.
"He's coming back today, after all."
"Are you certain?"
"Very, Sakura," Tsunade smiled at her pink-haired pupil. "Jiraiya sent me a message earlier on. Naruto is returning today!"
"Oh." Sakura replied lamely. Then, her insides started bursting with excitement. She tried not to let most of it show though.
However, she failed miserably, and Tsunade was amused at the excited half-grin Sakura had on her face. "He should be at the gates in an hour or so," she provided helpfully.
Sakura stepped quickly towards the exit of the office. "Oh, right. I'll see you later, shishou..."
Shizune shot a quizzical look at Tsunade as Sakura rushed out of the Hokage's residence into the streets of Konoha.
The past few years had felt weird without Naruto in her life. She had missed him - a lot. There was of course, Sasuke, Itachi and the rest of her friends, but strangely, nothing had been able to compare to the knucklehead ninja. Not even her dear Sasuke-kun.
Tsunade had once pointed out that she was in love...
14-year-old Sakura Haruno did not respond, simply glancing up into the ceiling.
Sakura jumped in fright.
"Pay attention!" Tsunade shrieked.
"O-Oh right. Sorry shishou."
Sighing, Tsunade glanced at her. "What were you thinking about? You seemed pretty... engrossed."
"Naruto," Sakura blurted out. Then she looked away. "You know, just thinking about how he's doing and all that..."
"Hmph," Tsunade smirked. "You're in love, aren't you?"
Sakura had denied it. In love with Naruto?
But where had her initial obsession with Sasuke gone? Why was she now rushing home to make sure she was looking as best as she could? These questions struggled to be answered.
She ignored them for now, walking briskly towards the apartment she shared with her parents.
As Sakura reached her door, a thought flashed through her mind. It was a reminder, a reminder of something good. It made her smile.
Naruto... is back.
"I can see it! I can see it!"
Jiraiya stuck a finger into each of his ears. "Not so loud, idiot! I can hear you perfectly!"
"Hehe, sorry," Naruto apologized sheepishly. "I was just excited."
He then broke into a run towards Konoha.
Urgh, he has unlimited stamina, Jiraiya thought, and started charging after his pupil.
Naruto stopped at the gates of Konoha, and Jiraiya pulled up beside him, panting.
The poor Chunin on guard duty today were Izumo and Kotetsu, and they were in shock at the sight of Naruto, decked in his brand new orange and black suit, racing into the village. Jiraiya followed right after.
Finding a pole, Naruto pushed chakra into his feet, and leaped onto the top of the pole.
"The village hasn't changed at all!" He remarked, and his line of sight moved towards the hardly unnoticeable Hokage Monument. "Hey, they added Grandma Tsunade's face up there!"
His mentor took a moment to glance at the newest addition to the stone faces of the Monument, before looking up the pole. "Seriously, Naruto, get down from there."
Naruto landed on the ground, a wide grin on his face.
"Naruto nii-chan!" A familiar voice called.
Naruto turned at the source of the voice, and his grin turned even wider. "Konohamaru!"
His protege yelled his name again as he reached. Meanwhile, Jiraiya excused himself, making a beeline for the Hokage's to report Naruto's return to Tsunade.
"How are you doing?" Naruto asked, his hand ruffling Konohamaru's hair.
"Great! What about you? What kinda cool new jutsu did you learn?!"
Naruto gave a playful pout. "The first time you see me in three years, Konohamaru, and you ask me about jutsu, huh?"
Konohamaru smirked. "Come on! Spill it!"
Clearing his throat, Naruto stretched. "Well, since you ask, I'll show you my new and improved... Sexy Jutsu!"
Konohamaru's eyes lit up.
Then he nervously turned and fled the scene.
Naruto did the required hand seals. Dog. Boar. Ram. Then, he noticed Konohamaru running away as if there were a hundred flesh-eating dogs on his tail.
"Hey, don't you wanna see my jutsu anymore?"
It was apparently not heard, as Konohamaru continued fleeing.
Shrugging, Naruto turned.
A very familiar pinkette stood behind him, with the fiercest glare present on her face.
"AHHH! S-Sakura-chan!" Naruto said nervously, backing away.
"The first time I see you in three years, and you go babbling about your pervertic jutsu, eh?" Sakura's hand balled into a fist, hitting Naruto's head hard. "Little pervert!"
The Uzumaki teen groaned as he nursed his new bruise. "O-Ow... that hurt, Sakura-chan..."
Sakura sighed. Maybe she'd overdid it a little. She looked at Naruto again, looking him over from head to toe. He'd gotten a lot taller, and although he was still wearing something that was disastrously orange, he had at least lost that baggy outfit that he'd worn as Genin. He'd even grew handsomer... maybe even more so than Sasuke.
She blushed at such a thought, and turned around. Unfortunately, Naruto noticed it.
"Are you okay, Sakura-chan?"
"Y-Yeah, I'm fine."
Sakura looked back, and her brows furrowed when she followed Naruto's line of sight. It was directed at her butt.
Is he... is he checking me out? She quickly turned back to face Naruto and could have sworn his lips had curled downwards a bit. Well... he did travel with Jiraiya-sama after all...
"Sooo, how have you been?" He asked, placing his hands at the back of his head.
His eyes widened as Sakura pulled him into a hug.
"I've missed you a lot," she muttered shyly. "It's... it's good to have you back."
Naruto laughed, and returned the hug. "Yeah! It's good to be back!"
She released herself from Naruto awkwardly, on the other hand, the spiky-haired Chunin still had that foxy grin on his face.
"Come on, Naruto," Sakura murmured, just loud enough for Naruto to hear. She took him by the hand, catching him by surprise once again. "I'll lead you to Tsunade-sama. You'll need to tell her you've returned."
She blushed again at her boldness, but her grip on Naruto's hand simply tightened.
Naruto still had a look of shock on his face, but it eventually eased into another wide smile.
He felt the need to say something as they were closer to the Hokage's.
"You've grown a lot more beautiful, y'know, Sakura?"
She felt happiness culminating within her - maybe a little too much.
"Shishou! Naruto's back!"
Sakura opened the door to the Hokage's office. Jiraiya was already standing there. Tsunade looked at the two members of Team 7, and nodded in approval.
"Hey, Grandma!" Naruto greeted.
Tsunade's eyes narrowed. "Stop calling me Grandma, you brat!" She relaxed, stretching her arms. "So, how have you been, Naruto? Did Jiraiya teach you anything indecent?" She shot an accusing glare towards the Toad Sage.
"He brought one or two prostitutes into our inn rooms before," Naruto shrugged. "I don't know what they were doing but the Pervy Sage said something about bonding. The Pervy Sage won't tell me why they bonded while screaming and shouting though-"
"Shut up, kid!" Jiraiya yelled.
"Jiraiya..." Tsunade growled, as her old teammate stared nervously at her.
Sakura bit her lip, wanting to say something, but reminded herself that Jiraiya was an elder she needed to respect.
Naruto watched on cluelessly.
"Knock knock." A voice comically called on the other side of the door, as knocks began rapping on it.
"Who's there?" Naruto yelled with a stupid grin.
"Um... Itachi. Itachi Uchiha."
"Itachi Uchiha who?" The ramen addict laughed.
Itachi opened the door and entered. "Naruto!"
"Itachi-sensei!" Naruto shrieked.
"Not so loud, idiot! I'm right beside you!" Sakura screamed into his ear.
Jiraiya nodded sagely, having experienced Naruto's loudness just recently in the forest. Then he shot a thankful gaze at Itachi, having been saved from Tsunade's potential outburst.
"Come on in," Itachi called to a shadow standing outside.
Sasuke Uchiha stepped in with a smirk. "Yo, Naruto."
Naruto ran over, giving Sasuke a hi-five. "Sasuke!"
As the reunited best friends caught up, Itachi turned to Tsunade, presenting her with a mission scroll.
"We're back from our mission," he reported. "Just in time too, it seems."
"Yes," Tsunade nodded, accepting the scroll, chucking it aside without bothering to read it. "Since Naruto is back, the four of you can go on missions as a team again. The three Genin and one Jonin sensei of the previous Team 7 will now be reformed into Team Itachi. All of you will work as Leaf shinobi, as equals."
"I understand," Itachi bowed.
"But first, I want to personally know first-hand what he's been up to these past three years," the Fifth smiled.
"What do you have in mind, Hokage-sama?"
The busty village leader looked up.
"What about... a training exercise?"
I was expecting to complete this by Saturday evening, but it's 8.45am as I'm writing this. Well, it's always good to be early, I suppose.
Put a dose of NaruSaku in there because I am such a NaruSaku fanboy. But ultimately this story is about Team Itachi, so don't expect too much on the romance part.
In the next chapter, the new Team Itachi does their first training exercise together in three years. Meanwhile, a mysterious individual invades Sunagakure in search of the Kazekage. Now who might that be?
Question of the Day: Which character do you hate the most in Naruto?
Leave your interesting responses in the reviews.