Hi guys sorry for the long wait.
Over the last three weeks team seven has made excellent progress as a team. The boys under Kakashi's watchful eye had become a force to be weary of. Their teamwork was nearly flawless for only having work together for a few weeks. Sakura on the other hand spend most of the time working alone on her genjutsu and chakra control. She learned that her chakra is universally accepted and perfect for being a medic. The medic who administrated the test gave her scrolls on the three basic medical jutsu. The first is used to evaluate a patient, the second heals minor wounds and another that disinfects to stay off infection in the field. She had mastered the first already but is having problems using the second and third. After asking the medic who gave her the scrolls he told her she chakra control needed more refinement.
Their fighting skills were not the only things improved. Their friendship had as well. When Naruto found out that Zanichi was leaving the village he had been devastated but both Sakura and Sasuke had been there for him. When Zanichi left the village they had accompanied Naruto to the village gates with Hinata and Anko. Naruto wasn't happy and tears were shed as Zanichi left. But with Hinata, Sakura, and Sasuke by his side the tears didn't last. They took him out for dinner and spend the evening just hanging out. Hinata distracted him most of the evening getting him to help her push Sakura and Sasuke together. Which had worked with mild success, both Sakura and Sasuke didn't seem too hard to persuade. Not that a romantic relationship would just spring up just like that.
Anko on the other hand was alone. After Zanichi left she returned to the home she had made with him. Grateful that Ieyasu declared it the captain's house. To be available for him should he ever be in the village and as the captain's fiancée she is entitled to it as well. Though her friends are not as heartless as to leave her alone the whole night. An hour after she returned home Kurenai, Yúgao, and Hikare showed up with lots of sake and lots of dango. Surprising Anko on the front porch they hugged their friend and let themselves in. They all ended up seriously drunk and passed out in varied forms of dress and locations in the house. Which lead to a very surprising wake up for one of the woman. After they cleaned up from their party Anko as the future matriarch of the Uzumaki makes a decision. She tells them about the seals and asks for their help. The others agreed and together they came up with a plan using Anko's snakes and Yúgao's connections as Anbu to narrow down the search. Hikare being the oldest of them, being twelve years their senior, told them about the sealed off underground beneath some of the village. They others were shocked to learn about them. They adapted their plans to focus on the old tunnels and bunkers underground. Anko sent her snakes underground to begin mapping the forgotten tunnels and was surprised by the vast size. It would take all winter to map the entire network by their estimations. Which worked just fine for Anko as she needed a distraction for her greatly increased free time without Zanichi around to play with.
Outside the Hokage tower team seven waits for their sensei. Once again he is late. They have already been waiting for an hour and were getting inpatient. Sasuke is handling it better than his two short tempered teammates though. He had picked up his brother's practice of meditating when he had to wait for his old Anbu partner. Not that he knew he had. It was just an idea that came to him one day while waiting. Naruto and Sakura on the other hand come up with the practice of coming up with creative and complex punishments for their tardy sensei. Bouncing ideas back and forth like some pair of insane Nara. Some of the punishments that they could come up with cause Sasuke to worry about their sanity but he keeps his thoughts to himself. Seeing as one is the girl he wants to try having a relationship with and the other a skilled swordsmen with a quick twitch sword draw. They wait another thirty minutes and Kakashi finally shows up.
Both Naruto and Sakura yell at the same time. To which Kakashi just eye smiles and waves causing tick marks to appear on both their foreheads.
"If I didn't know any better I would say you were brother and sister with those matching tempers."
Jokes Kakashi. Surprising both of the genin they look at each other. Sasuke stands up and walks over to them. Standing be sides his teammates he looks up at his taller sensei.
"So can we start this mission yet or what?"
"Yes let's head inside."
Kakashi walks by them opening the doors to the tower. They follow him in to the building Sakura in the middle with Naruto and Sasuke on either side of her. It is a simple arrangement that they had made up over the last few weeks together. Sasuke being the quietest of them preferred not to be stuck between them as they talked about everything. He would simply listen to them and add his opinion if they asked. Sakura had easy gotten Naruto to open up to her over the weeks and they had learned a lot about him. He told them about his mother, his clan, his time with his cousin and the way the villagers treated him. Though he hadn't told him them the why yet. He just told them it was because of his father who he didn't know. They had been shocked to hear about it and both had been angry. Sakura even hit the first villager to sneer at Naruto as they passed after hearing about it. Putting the man through a store front window yelling at the villager for disrespecting her teammate. It took both Naruto and Sasuke to stop her as she marched after the man cracking her knuckles.
They enter the mission assignment room and stand in front of the Hokage. Listening to the missions as they were read off. More D-ranks and finally Naruto loses his patience. He looks over at his teammates and asks them a silent question. Both nod signaling that they would back him up. Grinning back at them he looks back at the Hokage.
"Alright that's enough of the bullshit chores. Give us a real mission more deserving of shinobi of our awesomeness. I will accept nothing lower than a C-rank preferably an A-rank but I am willing to negotiate."
Kakashi looks down at his student. The chunin in charge of sorting the missions look at him as if he carries the plague. Pissing off both Sakura and Sasuke. The Hokage looks at the boy with a small grin. He had been wondering when this would happen. And it warms his hear to see Sakura's and Sasuke's reactions to Naruto's treatment. It looks like Mifune had been right when he said he had nothing to worry about all those years ago. Iruka who has been working at the mission's office as he heals pulls out a scroll and hands it to the Hokage.
"Hokage-sama I thing this would work. I have seen Naruto in action and know he can handle himself. As for Sakura and Sasuke this would prove a good test to see if they are ready for something more advanced."
The Hokage reads the scroll and his grin turns into a full smile. Iruka really is the best teacher he had. After meeting the client of this particular mission he knew that this would test Naruto's patience as it would test Sakura and Sasuke's ability. He looks up from the scroll and to the chunin by the door.
"Go and fetch the client for mission C23902."
The chunin nods and leaves the room.
"As he gets the client I will brief you. The client's name is Tazuna and he is a master bridge builder from the Land of Waves. He has come here to finalize a supply deal with your clan Sakura-chan. Now he wants to hire shinobi to escort him back to the Land of Waves and protect him and his bridge until it is complete. This will be a long term mission several months at best all winter at worst. The bridge is half way complete and the winter seas will slow the progress of its construction. This is a C-ranked mission as Tazuna is worried about bandits attacking the bridge to steal the raw building materials and harming his workers. You will receive a C+ mission's pay due to its length."
Kakashi nods his head after hearing the information the Hokage as given him. To him this will be nothing he is used to longer missions from his tenure with the Anbu. But he worries about his genin. This would be the longest time they have been away from home. Naruto mostly would not be that big a problem but Sakura and Sasuke are close to their families this would be a big test for them. Then the door opens and the chunin returns with an older man in his late fifties drinking from a sake bottle. He looks at the Kakashi and at the genin.
"What is this? I asked for shinobi and what do I get a scarecrow and three brats. What are they going to do especially that little one with the oversized sword?
Sakura and Sasuke look side long at Naruto. One thing they did know about him from their time in the academy together is that his height is a very sore spot for him. Naruto goes very still as he stares at Tazuna. Then his hand flashes to the hilt of his sword and starts to draw but Kakashi ready for it catches his wrist before the blade can fully leave the sheath.
"Now Naruto we can't have you killing the drunken old client before he pays us now can we."
Naruto struggles against Kakashi a little trying to finish drawing Kitsune Hirameki but Kakashi's grip proves too strong. Naruto gives up in a huff and returns his sword to it scabbard. Naruto turns around crossing his arms turning his back to the bridge builder. Who had choked on his sake from the sudden burst of killer intent from Naruto and is coughing up a storm. Kakashi turns back to the Hokage.
"We accept the mission."
Kakashi then turns to his team.
"We leave first thing tomorrow. Pack for a week of travel. We can resupply in the Land of Waves once we get there. Since we will be there so long make sure to bring everything you need from the village. I.E. kunai, shuriken, training attire and anything else that a shinobi might need that's hard to get outside the village. Naruto if you could give Sakura and Sasuke a storage scroll to help save space it would be great."
Naruto nods his head.
"I don't have empty ones on me. I will have to go to my apartment and get them."
"Alright take Sakura and Sasuke with you. They need to know where you live if anything comes up in the future."
"Good you are dismissed to get packed. Remember first thing tomorrow we will depart."
Sasuke rolls his eyes.
"Just make sure you're not late Kakashi-sensei."
Kakashi shun-shins from the room and the genin turn to leave. Walking past the client as they go. Outside the tower the three genin start walking away from the building.
"So what first lunch, get the scrolls or shopping for supplies?"
"We can eat at my place I get groceries and leftovers from dinner with Hinata-chan and her family last night. It was really good. Kill two birds with one stone."
"Sounds like a plan. Lead the way Naruto."
"Alright this way and a little bit of warning don't stop walking when we get to my neighborhood. I don't want to have to go around and try and find you guys."
Sakura looks a Naruto funny.
"What do you mean Naruto?"
"You will see."
He says. They walk through the village Naruto and Sakura chatting about the client and what the Land of Waves would be like. Most of the villagers watch the three of them carefully. Word of Sakura's defense of her teammate had spread throughout the village. Some wanted her to be punished but her mother blocked it with her power on the council. As they get closer and closer to Naruto's apartment Sasuke sees the change in the village. The buildings were becoming more traditional and the crowded streets were thinning out. Then he sees the street lights change from the normal clear lenses to every other light having a red lens. Finally he really looks at one of the women on the street and sees what it is she is wearing. Or more importantly what she isn't wearing. She wasn't naked but she wasn't too far from it. As he stares at her she winks at him blowing him a kiss. Slowly a trickle of blood falls from his nose. Naruto who had been watching him the entire time couldn't help it any longer and busts out laughing. Sakura confused by why Naruto just started laughing so hard for.
"Don't worry Sasuke you're not the first virgin Erica-nee has gotten to nose bleed like that."
Naruto bursts out in laughter again as Sasuke quickly tries to wipe the blood away before Sakura sees. But she does anyway. She then looks around and sees were they now are and what the women around them are wearing. She blushes a deep red as she sees the women. She watches as a man walks up to one and pinches her on the rear earning giggles from the woman as she runs inside one of the buildings followed quickly by the man. The two women standing near the door look at her and wave beckoning her to come closer. Causing her blush to spread at the implications of what they would offer her dressed like that. Naruto can't help it he falls to the ground laughing holding his sides at her reaction. Sakura looks down at him.
"Naruto where have you taken us?!"
She asks angry thinking it's all a joke. Naruto stops laughing and stands up.
"To my apartment we are almost there it's just around the corner."
"You didn't answer my question. Where are we?"
But it is Sasuke who answer as he watches a pair of girls kiss in the window display of a building.
"We're in the red light district. I have heard about it from my cousin Shisui. He took my brother here when he joined the Anbu and again after he joined the Military Police force. It was to celebrate he said."
"Ya that's a common thing here. Shisui comes here a lot but he only sees one woman. I only met her once. She works at that shop."
He points a larger building near the end of the street.
"She can't speak, though he leaves upset which it weird. Most guys are in a good mood when they leave."
They keep walking and turn the corner arriving at Naruto's apartment building. Which looks much like the normal buildings in the village. They walk up the stairs passing many of the girls that live there. All of which greet Naruto calling him little brother or brat but always with affection. When they arrive at the top floor Naruto opens to the door to his apartment. He walks in followed by Sakura and Sasuke. Both still in shock from the street below. Naruto walks into the kitchen and starts heating up lunch leaving his teammates in the living room. They stand there looking around a little surprised by everything inside the room. Not to the extent that the few adults who have been in the room have not knowing what kind of predator the rug had come from. After a few minutes they follow him into the kitchen. Sasuke asks the question on his and Sakura's mind
"Naruto, how did you end up here? You live alone here too."
"Remember when I told you about what happened after I was kick out of the orphanage."
"You were attacked and chased around the village until you found a neighborhood that didn't attack you."
She says the last part very slowly as realization dons on her.
"This was that neighborhood the women here didn't attack you so you stayed."
Naruto nods his head as he makes them tea.
"This is the only place in the village I can walk on the street and not worry about being attacked or chased before Zanichi-nii. I lived here in the alley we passed for three weeks until one of the Anbu who taught me how to hunt found me and set me up with this apartment. The girls gave me a warm blanket and food to eat. Erica-nee would take me to the public bath with her every other day so I could wash up. After I was attacked here in my apartment they brought me food and taught me how to cook for myself. They are my big sisters like Anko-nee. Well not entirely like Anko-nee but they helped me so much. It's one of the major reasons I didn't leave the village when Uryuu-oba and Zanichi-nii offered to take me to the Land of Iron."
His teammates watch him as they take the tea he offers.
"So you live here and you know exactly what they do and what nothing?"
Asks Sasuke in a way only another boy that just entered puberty could ask. Earning him a look from Sakura.
He says defensively.
"Don't tell me that look from those two girls didn't affect you."
Sakura blushes crimson.
"Fuck you clanling."
Naruto watches them. In all truth Naruto grow up around these women so it didn't affect him at all. They were all his sisters to him. they used their bodies to survive and make a living. To him it is exactly the same as shinobi just much less violent. He never understood what the fuss was all about until he watches his teammates and their embarrassment.
"No I have never done anything with anyone. Sure I knew what sex was a way before that class in the academy. Honestly that class is not that good from what I know. It just told us how babies are made nothing else. Hinata-chan and I knew all that and more by then."
His teammates stare at him making him nervous.
"Hinata has been here?"
"Ya why that such a surprise?"
"Well she is a clan heir for one and a noble."
"That is a bad reason you're a clan heir and I have seen plenty of nobles here before."
"My brother is the heir I am just an extra."
Says Sasuke with a neutral tone causing Sakura to whip her head around to look at him.
"You are not just an extra."
She says with surprising force. Causing Sasuke looks up at her from his seat at the table and his hear to skip a beat but in a good way.
"Ya tell that to my clan elders. Whatever it doesn't matter."
"Fuck your clan elders and it does matter. You are Sasuke. You are our teammate. You are not an extra."
She tries to imitate her mother's tone from when she would listen to her practice her speeches. The ones in which she is trying to convince people of something. It works for a moment as Sasuke locks his eyes to hers but ultimately he just shrugs.
"My brother is the clan heir. I am not that's just how it is. There is a lot of bad history in my clan about brothers fighting over the position killing each other for it. The elders prefer my brother over me because he is stronger. He was already in the Anbu by my age so it's natural. They worry I will try to take the position because I want to prove something. Honestly I don't care I would rather not be the clan head."
Sasuke finishes his tea and leans back in his chair making it plain to see he didn't want to talk about it anymore. Sakura watches him not knowing what to say so she sits in the chair next to him. While Naruto checks on the food. After a few minutes he takes the leftovers out and places it on the table with plates so his teammates can serve themselves. As they make their plates he leaves the kitchen. Only to return a few minutes later with two scrolls. He sets them on the table and then starts eating what his teammates left. Once they all finish Naruto hands them both a scroll.
"These are the scrolls Kakashi-sensei asked me to give you. There are three storage seals on each. Each seal holds about three cubic feet of space. So you have a lot of space to put things in now. They are just simple basic storage seals so don't but any food inside because it will go bad at the same rate as it would if you left it in the open."
"Thanks Naruto this will help a lot. You used to spend a lot of time out in the woods. What do you think we need?"
Naruto thought about Sakura's question for a few moments.
"Anything you think you will. Spare clothes would me a good idea seeing on long we are going to be gone. Camping gear if you have any would be another good thing to have. And anything you might need that you can't get in the wild. I like to take a bar of soap with me."
Naruto pauses to think again.
"At the risk of sounding like an ass. Sakura you don't need any kind of feminine product yet do you? Because if you do I would suggest you bring some."
Sakura looks as him sideways until she catches the hint. She simply nods to embarrassed to say anything. She made a mental note to talk to her mother that night about what she would need. Sasuke watches her stopping himself from asking Naruto what he was talking about. Naruto finishes cleaning the dishes and they leave his apartment. They walk through the red light district again this time Sakura and Sasuke look around more out of curiosity. This is where their teammate lives they are curious to see what it is like. Naruto taps Sasuke on the shoulder as the pass the building he pointed out earlier.
"See her in the green dress and the black hair. That's the girl Shisui comes to see every few weeks for the last few months. He is the only Uchicha I see here anymore."
Sasuke raises an eyebrow.
"I used to see a lot when I first started living here but not since I met Zanichi-nii. Now it's only rarely do I see someone wearing the Uchiha crest here."
Sakura picks up on his choice of words.
"What do you mean by someone? You mean men right?"
"Not very one who goes here is looking for the company of the opposite sex Sakura. A woman can please another woman. I thought you would have figured that out from earlier. You seemed a little curious about the idea then."
Sakura blushes to the point where you couldn't tell were her bandana stopped and her face began. Sasuke misses a step at the mere thought it. Naruto just laughs at their reactions. He is going to have a lot of fun with this. They leave the red light district and head to the shopping district. Once they arrive Sakura and Sasuke quickly find out why Naruto uses so few ninja tools. None of the stores would sell to him. Many wouldn't even let him through their front doors. Finally losing her temper Sakura sends a glare that could melt metal towards one of the store owners she knew had dealings with her father.
"You better forget every having any dealings with the Haruno clan again Takamaru-san. Dishonoring my teammate is dishonor to me and dishonor to me is dishonor to the entire Haruno clan."
Sakura spoke in a tone that promised pain and death if he tried to argue. They leave the store and she beings walking away. Both of the boys follow her quietly. Sasuke surprised by the way she spoke. It reminded him of his mother at the clan meetings. The times were she used her power as matriarch. It scared him a little but he liked it and that scared him even more. Naruto walks silently behind him. He still isn't used to someone sticking up for him who wasn't in his small circle of trust. Quietly he thought about the joke his sensei made earlier about him and Sakura being brother and sister. Suddenly the idea wasn't so crazy to him anymore.
"Sakura about back there thanks for sticking up for me. But you didn't have to go so far."
"Shut up Naruto he was being an asshole. I did exactly what you would have done for me. You don't have to thank me we are a team after all. We have to watch out for each other on and off the battlefield."
"I don't think your father will break a business with him over me."
"My dad doesn't like that guy anyway. So now you just gave him a reason to stop selling to him. He just might thank you."
"What do you mean?"
Naruto asks as they turn the corner. Next thing he sees is the Haruno clan crest emblazed on nearly every store on the street and a large banner with their crest hanging from a pole at the beginning of the street. They walk down the street Sakura leading the way. Now it was Sakura's turn to be greeted by everyone on the street. She waves and smiles at those that call out to her. As they get further down the street the smell of sulfur fills the air and the banging of hammers can be heard. Naruto sees a few samurai he knew and waves. They wave back and head back to their shopping. Sakura walks up to one of the shops. She slides the door open and walks in.
"Daddy you here? I have good news."
She yells. The banging of a hammer stops and a sweating man with his hair stylized like a cherry blossom walks out from behind a curtain wiping his face.
"Sakura what are you doing here? I thought you said you have a mission today. And what is this good news."
"I do but it starts tomorrow we will be leaving the village for a while to guard a bridge as it's built. You are selling supplies to the client Tazuna. And you don't have to sell to Takamaru-teme anymore."
Kizashi pauses for a moment to remember the man. When he hears he second bit of news he breask into a big grin
"O and who do I have to thank for this joyous news?"
"Naruto here that's who. Takamaru refused to let us in the store saying he wasn't welcome. So I told him that if he disrespect him he disrespect me and the clan by extension."
Kizashi takes Naruto's hand and shakes it with great force.
"Thank you young man I have wanted a reason to break ties with him for a very long time now."
Naruto sheepishly scratches the back of his neck.
"You're welcome I guess."
"Now Sakura I remember Tazuna and he said the bridge was half done. How long is this going to have you away from the village?"
"A few months. Don't worry I will be fine."
"I know that Sakura you are your mother's daughter after all. Now who are these boys with you?"
Kizashi's face turns to that of a protective father. Causing Naruto to unconsciously flinch having received the same look from Hiashi before. Sasuke sees the look the man is giving him and swallows. This is the man whose daughter he had a crush on after all.
"Daddy be nice. They are my teammates Uzumaki Naruto and Uchiha Sasuke. We need supplies for our mission."
Kizashi smirks in satisfaction at the boy's reactions to him. He looks from one then the other. Then he focuses on Naruto causing the boy to narrow his eyes in speculation. Kizashi sees this wonders why the boy looked at him like that.
"Uzumaki-san who made your sword? I know all the sword smiths in the village and none could have made that."
"It's private sorry. Clan stuff you understand."
Naruto responds quickly. He and Zanichi came up with the response to cover the fact it was made with Kurama. Kizashi accepts the answer nodding his head.
"Well who ever made it must be very skilled. I can tell just my looking at it. What is its name?"
Naruto's eyes widen in surprise. Sasuke looks over confused. Sakura just sighs knowing where this was going. Her father has had a mild obsession with swords ever since the samurai joined the village.
"It's Kitsune Hirameki."
Kizashi thought on that for a moment then exclaimed out loud.
"It's a demon blade isn't it?"
Naruto goes on high alert. This is the first time anyone has figured that out. He takes a step back about to run out as a loud smack can be heard. Naruto looks up and sees what could be a grown up Sakura minus the pink hair behind him her arm raised after throwing her slipper at her husband.
"How many times do I have to tell you stop yelling in the house?"
Scolds Mebuki, her other slipper in her hand ready to throw it.
"Sorry dear. It's just got so excited it's the first time I have seen one."
Mebuki rolls her eyes.
"I don't care its loud enough with all the hammering outside."
Mebuki turns to her daughter with a smile.
"Good afternoon Sakura baby. What are you doing here? I thought I told you that you cannot use the store's merchandise for your work."
Sakura puffs up at her mother accusation.
"I am not. None of the shops would sell to us because of Naruto is with us. Assholes."
Mebuki punches her daughter on the top of her head.
"What have I said about cursing?"
"But they are."
Sakura yells back.
"They keep kicking us out or not letting us in at all. They would point at Naruto and tell him he wasn't welcome so we had to leave. I only came here cause I knew dad wouldn't do that."
Mebuki looks over at Naruto seeing him for the first time. She gasps seeing him. He looks almost exactly like Minato. Then a thought dons on her and she starts laughing hysterically. Freaking out her daughter and husband. After several minutes she calms down.
"So you're his son to think Kushina would scoop him up. So no one will sell to you well my husband and our clan will so if you ever need anything just stop by. Sakura why do you need tools you should still be fully stocked from your graduated present?"
If it is possible Naruto's eyes widen even more hearing that Mebuki figured out one of his biggest secrets just from seeing him.
"Like I told Daddy we are going to the Land of Waves to protect a bridge until it's done being built."
Mebuki smiles down at her daughter.
"Your first C-rank and only after three weeks I am so proud of you."
Mebuki hugs her daughter and whispers in her ear.
"We will talk about what you will need as a woman on a mission later."
"Thank you mommy."
Sakura whispers back. They part and face the boys. Kizashi seeing that his wife and daughter are done with their moment beckons everyone to the back of the store into his workshop then to the house proper. They followed him into what appears to be a sitting room. Sakura offers a seat to her teammates who accept. Just then Mebuki walks into the room with tea. Surprising both of the boys as they had not noticed her leave the group. They take the offered tea with thanks. Kizashi sits down with a pen and a pad of paper.
"So boys what is it you will be needing? I know more or less what Sakura will already. So I will get your orders ready first so you can get home and spend the evening with your families before you leave."
Sakura and Sasuke look over at Naruto when he finished talking. Kizashi sees this and asks.
"What I say?"
Naruto chuckles coldly surprising the man. He sounds like Mebuki after the war, Kizashi thought.
"I am an orphan Haruno-san I have no family to spend the evening with."
Even if Anko is family to him she is way on a mission of her own. So all he had to see is Hinata. And she wouldn't be back home until late because of her missions. So he really didn't have anyone to spend the evening with. Kizashi mentally slaps himself after hearing Naruto's response.
"Don't worry about it Haruno-san you had no way of knowing that about me. All I need is half a dozen sets of shuriken."
Kizashi a little surprised by Naruto's order looks at the boy.
"Yes I use my sword for most of the fighting I do."
"Ok, what about you Uchiha-san?"
"Please call me Sasuke. That's who I am after all."
He says looking over at Sakura, who promptly blushes behind her cup of tea. Both her mother and father pick up on it and neither of them is happy about it each for different reasons.
"I need two dozen sets of shuriken, two spools of high tension wire, a dozen kunai and two windmill shuriken if you have any. Also do you carry any plate armor?"
"Yes we do have some windmill shuriken. I just finished making some. What kind of armor is it you want?"
"I would like a set of steel bracers if you have anything that will fit."
"I have a few pieces you can try I will bring them with your orders. You can wait here I will be right back."
Kizashi stands up and leaves the room. Mebuki studies Naruto intently but as a skilled former kunoichi she goes unnoticed by Sakura and Sasuke. But Naruto trained by a counterintelligence specialist does and looks her right in the eye. They lock eyes for a moment. Naruto narrows his eyes a warning to her. Mebuki takes the hint and looks to the floor in submission. She wasn't sure what it was about him but she just found herself not able to hold his look. It makes her feel kind of guilty somehow. So she moves on to the other male member of her daughter's team. This time though she decides on a more direct course of action.
"So Sasuke-san how long have you been attracted to my daughter?"
Naruto raises an eyebrow at her frontal attack. Sakura chokes on her tea and starts coughing. Sasuke just stops moving. He slowly finishes his tea to give him a chance to think about an answer. But as he looks over at Mebuki he can't think of one.
"Um well I don't know."
He pauses as he notices the look that crosses her face. Sasuke isn't stupid and with that look he knew what this is about.
"This is because I am from a clan isn't?"
Mebuki isn't even fazed by the accusation.
"What if it is? I only wish to protect by daughter. Your clan isn't known for their behavior. The Uchiha used to parade around this village like they were royalty demanding whatever they wanted and whoever they wanted. It wasn't until the Uzumaki returned and put you all in your place that Fugaku started policing his own clan members."
Sasuke narrows his eyes as she insults his clan. He couldn't say anything because he knew it is true. He knew that many of Uchiha who serve as shinobi did just that and that his father let it slide for a long time. Which had been the cause of the wedge that was once between his brother and father.
"I knew that some members of my clan are not very deserving of the gifts we have but I promise you I am not like that."
"And what guarantee to I have that you aren't? You could be just like them and lying to me right now."
"Because I am a nobody. My brother is the clan heir and the elders would rather see me gone. No one in my clan knows how badly behaved they can be then me. I have had them tell me to my face I am better off in exile or dead. I will be the best of my clan prove them wrong. I am not my brother or any of those Uchiha."
The cold neutral face in which he speeches surprises Mebuki. But just as quick it was there it is gone. Sakura looks at him horrified by what she just heard. Naruto closes his eyes sighs and opens them again. Mebuki watches him.
"I didn't think Mikoto would tolerate that. She most have gotten weaker since I saw her last."
That got a reaction from Sasuke. For the first time since she started talking about his clan he got angry. His sharingan flashes to life and he looks into her eyes. Locking her in his stare.
"You will not talk badly about my mother. Do you understand me? I will not tolerate it. I know you two have history and I don't care."
The venom in his voice carries an unspoken threat. Mebuki is impressed if she had been just a normal house wife she would have fainted under his stare.
"Mmm well, well maybe you are a man worthy of my daughter after all."
She says with a smirk. Her statement throws the genin for a loop. Sakura looks at her mother and blushes crimson. Naruto tries hard not to burst into laughter. Sasuke blinks repeatedly his face in shock unconsciously deactivating his kekkei genkai. Mebuki stands up and starts to walk from the room but stops and looks back at Sasuke.
"Your elders are wrong. You are more than a nobody. I am sure my daughter has already told you that though. I would listen to her if I were you she is a good judge of character."
She walks out leaving the genin alone. Naruto couldn't help it anymore and starts laughing causing Sakura to throw the pillow she was hiding her face behind from embarrassment at him. Sasuke looks over at Sakura in shock. Their eyes meet and they both look away embarrassed. Mebuki leaves the room and meets her husband in the store room.
"So what do you think?"
"She could do worse then again she could do better too. What is it you want to really ask me?"
"That Uzumaki kid what is his story?"
"I have seen a lot of shinobi in my time as a merchant selling to them. You all are a paranoid group of people. But he is something else entirely. He is paranoid to the point of twitchy."
Mebuki looks at her husband a little surprised.
"You do know what he is?"
"If you mean the Kyuubi's warden. I am not sure what he proper word is. Then yes so what. The Yondaime knew what he was doing. Fuinjutsu was his specialty. He is just a boy. Well a lethal has hell boy but still."
Mebuki kisses her husband surprising him.
"What was that for?"
"For being the best man alive. You are most likely the only civilian who doesn't fear him and treat him like the demon reborn. He was almost killed twice by the villagers. The first time was on his sixth birthday then a few weeks later. The other villagers treat him terribly. What Sakura described id just the surface of it. They curse at him and refuse to have anything to do with him. If it were not for Zanichi-dono coming to the village and showing him love I fear what he would have become."
"I see that explains a lot. Alright help me carry these. Sasuke ordered a lot."
He hands his wife a few boxes of shuriken, kunai and wire. He picks up the two boxes of windmill shuriken and several sets of bracers for Sasuke to try on. They walk together back to the room with their daughter and her teammates. When they enter the room they see Naruto leaning back on the couch looking at the ceiling bored waiting. They look over at their daughter who is playing with a small charm Mebuki gave her when she graduated. Sasuke is watching her with a thoughtful look on his face. Kizashi sets the things he is carrying with Mebuki setting her things next to it. Kizashi picks up two boxes and hands them to Naruto.
"These are what you asked for. The rest is Sasuke's. Now before you pay try on some of these bracers. I think that most will fit. Find a pair you like and I will add it to the bill."
Sasuke stands up and walks to the table. He looks through the selection Kizashi brought out. After inspecting the first two pairs he picks up a pair of darkened steel bracers with a plate covering the back of his hand. Sasuke slips them on and tightens the straps. He throws a punch experimentally and is surprised as an eight inch long double edged blade shoots out. Kizashi looks at the surprised look on Sasuke's face and chuckles.
"Those are my latest invention. Both of the bracers have a heavy dagger hidden in them that is spring loaded. You accidently hit the release mechanism."
"How do I work them?"
"I take it that means you mean to buy them."
"Yes it does. How do they work?"
"I'll show you."
Kizashi show Sasuke how the blades are triggered and how to slide them back into the hidden compartment they slide out of. After a few minutes of instruction Sasuke triggers both blades and they snap into place with a distinctive click. Sasuke smirks and slides the blades back. By this time Naruto had placed all the shuriken he ordered away into a seal on the underside of his left wrist. Surprising Mebuki causing her to gasp as he does. Causing him to laugh at her surprise. Filling the room with the cheery sound. Sakura watching her two male teammates lets a small smile appear on her face. For some reason she is extremely happy. She doesn't know why but she is and she wanted to just bask in it. They boys pay for their equipment and say bye to Sakura and her family. They walk out leaving Sakura with her parents. They remain quiet for a few minutes until Sakura speaks.
"Mom you know when you told me about being in a team. You were so right. I am so happy to be a shinobi right now."
"I am happy you're happy Sakura. Let's get your things ready. Come on I have some things I have to give you and show you how to use."
Sakura nods and follows her mother back into the house.
Sasuke and Naruto walk together through the village until they reach the village center. They part ways there Naruto heading home to pack and wait for Hinata to finish her daily routine. Sasuke heads back to his clan district to get ready himself. Sasuke walks through the village wondering to himself if there is any hope for a relationship with Sakura with the discrimination between clan and non-clan shinobi in the village. He liked her that is a fact. Enough in fact that he would deal with her strange parents and her father's evil glares. He looks again at his new bracers admiring the craftsmanship that went into their construction. He had to admit that even if he did scare him Sakura's father is a master craftsmanship.
He is drawn out of his silent musings when he enters the clan district. The other members of his clan greet him as he walks by. He returns there greeting but honestly his heart just isn't in it anymore. He puts up the act because as the clan head's son he had to. Even if he isn't the heir. He knew what the elders thought of him and some of the other adult shinobi in the clan. He didn't want to play the charade anymore. He thought that he could join the Anbu like his brother did but remain in the black ops group instead of joining the military police force. He wasn't too sure if following brother's footsteps so closely is the path he wanted his life to take. He continues to act the part of the proper son as he makes his way home. Once he arrives him he slides open the door and enters to find his brother is standing there waiting for him. Sasuke looks up at his face and sees his expression.
"I don't want to hear what ever lecture you have for me today Itachi-nii. I have to pack and get ready for tomorrow."
Sasuke tries to get by him but Itachi gets in his way.
"Sasuke what's happening tomorrow? And why have you been auctioning so strange? You have been moody and short tempered."
Sasuke looks as his brother.
"To answer your questions in order I have my first C-rank mission tomorrow and second nothing. Now I have to go get ready."
Sasuke steps around Itachi this time. But Itachi has no intention of dropping the subject. He follows Sasuke through the house to his room.
"Sasuke tell me what has been bothering you. We used to be so close."
"Nothing has been bothering Itachi. What could possibly be bothering me? I am the second son of the Uchiha clan head and I have already gotten my Sharingan and advanced it to the second tomoe stage in only a few years. I graduated Rookie of the Year beating Naruto because all his skills are used to kill people so he can't use them in the academy and all the teachers besides Iruka were failing him on purpose. And I am the little brother of the great and powerful Itachi heir to the Uchiha clan. So what could I possibly have to bother me? I ask you."
Sasuke sneers as he glares at his brother. Itachi not expecting the level of hostility he is receiving takes a step back. Mikoto stood just around the corner with her husband. Both heard everything and she looks up at Fugaku. A silent order is sent from her eyes to him and he frowns understanding. Itachi not knowing how to respond to Sasuke's anger stands there silently for a moment.
"Would you like some help packing? I promise not to ask anymore."
Sasuke turns around back into his room with a grunt which for his current mood is the equivalent to a yes. Itachi follows him in and closes the door behind him. Later at diner they sat in silence which was not abnormal for the family. As it was how they eat every meal together until the samurai arrived. After diner Sasuke told his parents about his mission the next day. After hearing the news they were both worried and proud of their son. His father smiles at him and his mother hugs him telling him how proud she is and starts to fret over him.
Now he sat in his room looking out of his window. He doesn't move as the door to his room opens and his father enters. Fugaku walks over to Sasuke and sits next to him on his bed. They sit in silence for a while until Fugaku speaks.
"You want to talk about it?"
Sasuke continues to stare out the window. After a minute he speaks.
"The elders took me aside three days ago and said that I should leave the clan for the clan's future stability. They told me I am a threat to Itachi's rule because I am his brother and some might try to use me to take the position from him. They told me I am an extra that is no longer needed whatever that means."
He pauses for a minutes feeling his father's anger at hearing what he said. But continues again before his father can speak.
"I am not just some kind of replacement for Itachi. Why can't they just leave me alone? Every one compares him to him too. They never see the things I do. It's infuriating to the extreme."
Fugaku looks down at his youngest son. Saddened after hearing his son's tone and knowing full well what the elders meant.
"That it is I am sure. I will have a long talk with the elders about keeping their mistaken opinions to themselves. I am very proud of the process you have made and the ninja and man you are becoming. Take this time on your mission to think about what you want to be. Then work at becoming that so you will be able to stand beside Itachi instead of in his shadow. Your mother and I very proud of you. I just want you to know that. Now try to get some sleep you have the start of a very important mission tomorrow."
Naruto walks up to the front door of Hinata's home. He knocks on the door which is swiftly answered by Kó.
"Hello Naruto what can I do for you today?"
Kó asks him.
"Hi Kó. Is Hinata-chan home yet I need to talk to her."
"Yes she is. Hinata-sama just finished with her duties and is washing up before dinner. Would you like to come in?"
"Yes thank you."
"This way everyone else is waiting in the dining room."
Kó steps out of Naruto's way so he can enter. He closes the door and walks away. Naruto having been to the head Hyúga family's many times knew the way and didn't need Kó to show him. He walks through the house and enters the dining room. Hanabi is the first to see him and calls out.
"Naruto-nii what are you doing here?"
"Hi Hanabi-chan. Good evening Hiashi-oji Hikare-oba."
"Good evening Naruto."
Says Hikare greeting Naruto. Hiashi nods silently greeting him. Hikare gestures for him to take a seat. He pulls the chair out and sits down.
"So Naruto why are you here tonight?"
"I am leaving tomorrow morning on my first C-ranked mission and will be gone for a few months. Maybe all winter if things go badly."
Hikare gasps hearing that. In only three week he is getting assigned C-ranked missions and such a long one at as well.
"Why is your mission so long Naruto?"
"We have been asked to guard a bridge builder from the Land of Waves back to his home. He then wants us to guard the bridge from bandits that might want to steal the raw building supplies. The bridge is only half way complete. So we will be there until it's finished which will be a few months but if there is a lot of winter storms it could take longer."
Hiashi nods satisfied with the answer.
"I wanted to let Hinata-chan knew before I left."
"Let me know what Naruto-kun?"
Asks Hinata from behind him. Naruto turns in his chair to look at her. The sight that greets him stuns him. Hinata her hair still wet from her shower shines from the light. Her top and sweat pants cling to her damp body. Giving him a plain view of her developing curves and bust, both substantial for a girl of her age. A small amount of blood runs from his nose causing Hinata to smile and blush prompts her to ask.
"Naruto are you ok?"
Naruto snaps out of it and wipes his upper lip.
"I am ok Hina-chan you look good."
"Thank Naru-kun. So what was it you want to tell me?'
Hinata walks up and kiss him on the cheek. Her family sits by and watches the show as both of the preteens act like they aren't even there. Hiashi a little perturbed starts to speak but it stopped by a hand on his wrist from his wife.
"Well I wanted to tell you about the C-ranked mission I am going on tomorrow."
"That's great Naruto I am so happy for you. How long are you going to be out of the village?"
She asks innocently causing Naruto to wince a little.
"My team and I are going to be guarding a bridge builder and his bridge until the construction it's completed so a few months maybe longer."
He says hesitantly. When he finishes speaking Hinata goes very still in the chair next to him. She looks over into his eyes.
"A few months?"
She asks her voice hollow from shock.
"Yes maybe longer due to winter storms causing delays."
He answers confirming what she heard. Hinata just sits silently causing Naruto to worry. Fortunately Hikare comes to the rescue.
"Naruto why don't you stay for dinner again tonight since you are going to be gone for so long."
"Thank you Hikare-oba I would like that a lot."
Hikare stands up.
"I will let the cooks know that you will be eating with us again tonight."
Hikare leaves the room leaving her husband to try and defuse the situation with his daughter. Hiashi watches the two preteens at his table not entirely sure what to say to ease the tension. This is a first for him as a father. So he tries something simple.
"So Naruto do you have everything you will need?"
"I think so Hiashi-oji. I wish I had a tent though. I am so used to being able to find a wander's pine in the woods that I never got one. I doubt we will be able to go deep enough in the woods to find one with a civilian with us."
"We have a few tents in storage for the clan to use when a member has need of one. You are welcome to use one if you wish."
Naruto smiles at Hiashi.
"Thanks I really appreciate that. I think I would have been the only one without one. Since Sakura is part of a merchant clan and Sasuke being in a shinobi clan and Kakashi-sensei has been on missions like this before as Anbu."
Hikare returns to the room and sits in her seat.
"So you are getting a C-rank already. You should be very proud it's not often that a new genin gets a real mission so soon. Even my team didn't get one until two months after being formed. How about you Hiashi, how long did Jiraiya-sama wait until you went on you first mission?"
"We got our first C-rank about a month and a half after becoming genin. It wasn't anything special though. We just escorted some merchants to the capital. Not a single bandit attacked too afraid of Jiraiya-sensei."
Hikare nods her head as she remembered.
"Yes I remember you were so upset that you could prove yourself."
She giggles at the memory and smiles at her husband. The sound of her mother's laugh snaps Hinata out of her stumper and her hand latches onto Naruto's under the table. Causing him to wince from the sudden force.
"Mother, father is it ok if Naruto-kun stays the night?"
Both her parents look over at her. They think about her request and it is Hiashi who speaks up first.
"Well Hinata Naruto will have to leave early for his mission. So if he stays here then he will have to get his things in the morning."
"Um I have everything sealed up in a scroll next to my armor ready to go already so it wouldn't long for me to get everything and go."
Hikare speaks up now.
"If you say you can make it to your apartment from here, get ready and meet you team on time then I have no argument. It's not like you too haven't slept in the same bed before. Plus you looked so cute last time."
Both Hinata and Naruto blush at her teasing. Hiashi frowns but doesn't raise any argument.
"Thank you mother."
Hikare smiles at her daughter a little sweetly.
"Of course Hinata just remember your father will be watching. He can't help himself."
Hiashi activates his byakugan to reinforce the threat. Both Naruto and Hinata swallow and nod their heads understanding the threat. That's when dinner arrived and they eat the tension now gone. When they finish Hinata excuses herself and drags Naruto up to her room. They walk in Naruto slides his sword from his sash and sets it next to Hinata's swords on their stand. He removes his jacket and shoulder guard. He had taken to wearing it all the time like the vice captains of the samurai do. He sets it next to his sword. He then takes off his shirt and places it on the back of Hinata's vanity chair.
Hinata already dressed for bed sits on her bed watching him. When he takes of his shirt she ogles him like he had done to her at dinner. From the many years of training as a samurai Naruto is covered in defined muscles. His back and arms chiseled rock. When he turns around she gasps. Even though he isn't even thirteen yet Naruto already had a six pack and what looks like an eight pack starting to show. He walks over to her and she can't help herself. She runs her hands over his chest and abs. causing him to chuckle when her fingers ran over a sensitive spot. Slowly she traces out his abs with a finger. Suddenly she snaps her hands away.
"I need to stop before I do something I shouldn't."
She says quietly blushing as she does. Naruto laughs at her tone and kisses her. He pushes her onto her bed. He climbs on top of her supporting his weight with his hands and continues to kiss her. Slowly the kissing becomes more passionate until she pushes him off. He looks down at her with a confused worried look on his face. She giggles and pushes him so he rolls on to his back. She climbs on top of him and leans done so they almost touch.
"You are going to be gone for a long time. I want you to remember tonight and who you belong to."
The possessive tone in her voice causes him to smile.
"I will I promise."
She kisses him as he wraps his arms around her back and pulls her closer to him. After several more minutes of kissing she rolls over to rest by his side and places her head on his chest.
"We should get to sleep you have to leave early for your mission."
He gives her one last kiss on the top of her head as he pulls the comforter over them.
"I love you Hina-hime."
"I love you more Naru-kun."
The next morning Hinata lies in her bed alone. Naruto had already left to get his things and meet his team. Quietly the door to her room opens and her mother walks in. Hikare walks over to Hinata and sits in the edge of the bed. They sit in silence for several minutes until Hinata speaks.
"If you want to ask the answer is no."
"I wanted to though. I really, really wanted to. I know that normally a girl my age wouldn't even think about that kind of thing but after so much time around Anko-nee and in Naruto-kun's neighborhood I am not exactly a normal twelve year old girl. And it's not helping I have these now."
She cups her developing breasts.
"They are already starting to show in my clothes. Did you see his look last night? It was like the look father gives you some times. It looked like he was hungry. It made me feel…"
Hinata stops talking too embarrassed to finish her thought out loud. Hikare quietly laughs at her daughter's frustrated and embarrassed expression.
"I now it's not easy for you Hinata. But it is best for you to wait. You are both very young and once it's done it can't be undone. I don't know what to do to help you. Your father and I were much older and a lot more ignorant about our sexuality then you and Naruto are. Honestly it makes me a little nervous."
Hinata starts to speak but Hikare stops her.
"I know you will be responsible Hinata. That is not what I meant. You and your friends are very strong for your age. You all are much stronger than my and your father's generation at your age. Even your maturity levels are much higher than us. It's unsettling to me. The last time the fresh genin were like this was in your sensei's generation and the third shinobi war broke out soon after. It's like nature is compensating for something. It makes me nervous about what the future holds. The times are changing. The alliance with the samurai has remained a secret from the other nations and I worry what will happen when it is revealed. Wars have been started for less."
Hinata looks at her mother concern on her face.
"Mother, why are you telling me this?"
"I don't know Hinata. But I think I am going to start training again. I have let myself go for too long. Just know that I love you and always will. No matter what you and Naruto choose to do. With that said I do not want grandchildren yet do I make myself clear. Now what I can do to help you is that during your lunch break today we are going to get you some bras alright."
Hinata smiles at her mother.
"Yes mother thank you. I really appreciate you for dealing with my early start on everything."
Hikare laughs out loud.
"It's quite alright Hinata in many ways it makes my live easier. I didn't think I would get to have a relationship with you like I have with my mother now until you were much older. It is kind of fun being about to talk to you as not only as my daughter but as a woman too."
Hinata gives Hikare a hug which Hikare returns.
Naruto arrives at the main gate leaving the village. He sees Sasuke there already waiting. He walks over and sits next to him. Naruto nods a greeting which Sasuke returns. They sit in silence for a few minutes until Sakura arrives and walks over to them.
"Morning Naruto, morning Sasuke how did your families take the news?"
"Hinata went into shock and we spent the night together."
"My brother got in face over of family stuff. But I did have nice talk with my dad last night. My mom was all tears and gushy this morning though."
"My parents were the exact opposite. Sorry about your brother though."
"Is what it is. I know he just wants to look out for me but he doesn't need to. I can look out for myself and you guys got my back."
Both Naruto and Sakura nod their heads at that. They sit in silence after that and wait for Kakashi and Tazuna. A half hour later both Tazuna and Kakashi walk up to them.
"Morning my cute little genin. So are you guys ready?"
Asks Kakashi. All three of them roll their eyes but nod a yes.
"Good them we can get going then. Let's head out."