His words snapped Iruka out of his bewildered state. He was able to gather his wits about his enough to tease right back, “Oh, so the great Copy Ninja Kakashi has an exploitable weakness? The unstoppable urge to obey aprons?” Iruka laughed, “Now I’m the one that has great blackmail material.”
Kakashi stood in the silent kitchen while trying to decide what to do next. He could always meet up with Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura but he suspected that if he showed up on time he’d give them all heart-attacks. He consoled himself with the thought that if they freaked out they wouldn’t be any good on the mission. So the best thing to do, for the well being of his students, was to arrive as was his usual habit, late!
Next to them, Sasuke had quit glaring at their teacher and was slowly turning a pale coral pink at Sakura‘s words. He didn’t even want to imagine what sort of things Sakura thought Naruto and he were doing that morning. He just knew they had to be really bad. Completely nose-bleed bad. He ignored the tiny corner of his mind that cheered on that line of thinking.
Used to thinking quickly on his feet, Kakashi smiled at the chunin and answered cheerfully, “We don‘t know what they‘re up to. I think we should wait on confronting them for a bit. That will give us time to try to figure out what they are trying to do.”
Iruka frowned. “You don‘t think that Naruto is here to pull some sort of prank?” he asked, curious about Kakashi’s answer.
“Nope!” the jounin said, “Do you really think that Naruto would be able to pull Sakura and Sasuke into helping him with a prank?” He didn’t dare mention the bet that Sasuke had lost to Naruto that morning.
Naruto took in silently. Once again surprised, in the same day too, over Sasuke showing him a bit of kindness. He didn’t know to react to having his rival act like that. If he did it again Naruto would know for sure that Sasuke had been replaced by some enemy ninja that was probably spying on the village.
He drew back his chopsticks and carefully infused them with chakra. Glowing a light blue color the wooden sticks began to grow longer until they were double their previous length. The chakra was also strengthening the bonds of the molecules in the wood so that these pair of chopsticks would not snap as easily as the previous pair.
“That‘s cheating,” hissed Iruka.
Kakashi just shot him a smug look, his eye dropping with lazy satisfaction at his advantage.
“All‘s fair in war and ramen,” said the jounin. He clicked his sticks.
When he stepped out Sasuke headed for a nearby wooden bench. He carefully set Naruto’s still unconscious boy on it. The brunet then put the pink bag into a nearby trash can.
He then stepped back and moved his hands into a series of quick seals, ending with the horse then the tiger seal.
“Goukakyuu no Jutsu!”
A powerful fireball hit the trash can. Everything in it erupted into a tall gush of orange flame.
Sasuke watched it burn with complete satisfaction. A grin curled up on his lips.
He was so wrapped up in watching the flames consume the evidence of his humiliation that he didn’t notice the freaked out stares of pedestrians, or the slow way that they all backed away.
Before Iruka could protest, the jounin grabbed him and slung in over his shoulder.
From his new position, Iruka sputtered. This was completely undignified. He howled, “KAKASHI!”
Kakashi didn't notice his expression and continued ranting. “If it wasn't for him then I would have been a genin at age five instead of 6. But that stubborn, strict, asshole, thought that I needed to have more control over my expression.”
“Well, I can understand that,” said Iruka. “As a teacher you want your students to be the best that you can make them to be, including having control over their emotions.”
Kakashi glared at this breech of disloyalty.
Kakashi's grin widened. Ha! His trap had worked! Who was the greatest ninja ever?!
Waiting for Kakashi’s answer, Iruka toed some of his kunai that were spilling out of a holster. He didn’t know whether or not he should be worried that Kakashi seemed to think that he would need extra weapons for his sleepover.
“They got lonely without you and threatened me with dismemberment if I didn‘t bring them to you,” Kakashi finally answered rather cheerfully.
“Inanimate objects threatened you?” asked Iruka, slowly and trying not to smile.
“They were rather insistent!” Kakashi explained, at if that would make his previous statement actually make sense.
“I would call you a liar, in that grand tradition that Sakura and Naruto seem to have developed, if I didn‘t think it would be a little self-evident.” Iruka smirked and calmly picked up his toothbrush.
Konohamaru didn’t have many things he wanted. A nice home. A nice wife. The title of Hokage.
Right now, all he wanted was for his feet to be back on the ground.
Simple pleasures….Until something’s gone missing, you always take it for granted. Internally, Konohamaru swore he would never take the absence of Naruto’s hands around his neck for granted ever again.
The Naruto clones leered at him, and he shrank down, protecting his head with his arms. A quiet voice whispered close in his ear.
“We’ll make you a deal. If you close your eyes and don’t open them until you count to eleven million, we won’t break every bone in your body.”
After that, the only noise in the room was pretty monotonous. “One…two…three…four..”
Naruto did his best to shut out the exultations of Kutsu. At the same time, Kutsu was doing his best to get Naruto’s attention.
Yep. It was a classic case of “Irresistible Force Meets Immovable Object”. One of them would have to crack, sooner or later…
“Would you shut up?”
There went the Immovable Object…
Oh yeah. He was in Naruto’s house, wasn’t he? A shirt, jacket, and pants obscured his vision by landing on his head. “Put those on, and be fast about it.”
Kutsu took the clothes off of his head, and looked at them. As he put the ensemble on, only a single thought crossed his mind.
“I hate orange.”
Naruto slapped the ground loudly. “Alright. If you’re all really this tired, let’s call it a day. We’ll meet by the bridge again tomorrow at 10 am sharp, okay?” A stone impacted his head, and a voice called out, “You better be there, teacher. If you keep us waiting more than fifteen minutes, we’re skipping out.”
Naruto rubbed his head sheepishly, and grinned. “Sure,” he said. “I’ll do my best to be there on time. Oh…before you all head off, what did you think of your first day of training?”
Shikashi said it first, and quite possibly the best. “On a scale of one to crap,” he said, “This day would rank right around the CRAPPY end of the scale.” Naruto grinned.
“That’s exactly where I wanted it,” he said. He dodged another stone, and dismissed the team.
Idly, Shikashi wondered if the dirt would ever come out from underneath his fingernails. Picking at them, he decided it wouldn’t. The dirt had bonded with his skin, become a permanent part of his flesh. Maybe it’d be gone in seven years or so.
A bored and disrespectful voice brought him out of his self-glorification. “/Your/ training area? Sorry; I didn’t realize that the Uchiha were so destitute that their son had to find old, worn out sections of forest to train in. Or maybe you’re just trying to learn some basic skills, since that’s all this area can help you in. Or maybe, you’re too weak to beat on anything stronger than a measly old tree.” Mocking, now. “Be careful. I hear those trees can be nasty when they topple.”
Kiba was so intent on getting his daughter something to eat, he missed her statement that no, it wasn’t her teacher who was training her, she was actually training with a teammate. A /male/ teammate.
When it finally sunk in, the following yell boomed through the house even more than it normally did. And normally, it did a lot of booming.
Ten-Ten rubbed her forehead, and reluctantly climbed out of the bath. It appeared that it was time she had a little talk with her husband about her daughter, and exactly how much contact she could have with males her own age.
Specifically, that would be more than “none”. Which was what Kiba wanted.
“I’ll bet you three kunai he shows up fifteen minutes late.”
“Oh yeah? I’ll place six kunai on the twenty minutes late slot.”
There was two minutes of the hour left. Kutsu and Shikashi were placing bets on how late Naruto would show up. A voice interrupted their gambling.
“I’ll bet you the entire pot that I’m here right on time.”
“Honestly, I can’t say I’m surprised. If you don’t have parents to provide discipline in your childhood, then you’re ruined for later in life. Those children are destined to become nothing more than petty hoodlums-“
Naruto stalked angrily past him, fists clenched in anger. The innkeeper looked at him curiously. “Well. I understand it’s disgusting, but I’ve never seen somebody react that strongly to it.”
It didn’t escape Shikashi’s notice that as Kutsu walked by, the genin took special care to trod directly on the innkeeper’s toe. Kimiko did the same. To the same toe.
Who was Shikashi to break such a streak?
“Hey, teacher! C’mon, let’s go! You said we’d meet that lady in the town square, right? Well, this sure doesn’t look like the town square to me.”
Shikamaru counted sides quickly. “I agree with Kutsu. This looks like the town dodecahedron, if you ask me.”
Kojiko nodded, standing up. “Very well. In that case, we should proceed to where we’ll be fighting. It wouldn’t be good if you trashed the town square while eradicating the town of pests.” Her tone was slightly bitter.
“Actually-“ Shikashi started. Kutsu smacked him quickly.
“We don’t care about how many sides this place has, dumbass. It’s not a perfect square. Deal.”
The innkeeper came closer. “So, what happened? She’s dead, right?”
Quick as a flash, Naruto punched the innkeeper in the jaw. “You’re one of the most ignorant, bigoted people I’ve ever met. And I’ve met a lot. You disgust me. Never hire from our village again.” He hissed angrily. The innkeeper backed up against the wall, scared out of his shoes. Naruto stalked out of the inn, and his team followed him silently.
They did, however, take care to walk on the innkeeper’s foot. The same toe as last time. All three of them.
Shikashi made sure to add an extra little twist when he stepped on it.
Shikashi chuckled. “You know, you looked very stern there, for a moment. Like a mother, almost.” Kimiko activated her perma-blush, and glanced at him shyly.
As he was putting on his shoes, a voice stopped him, just like it had at the beginning of the day.
He looked up, and saw Kimiko in her nightgown looking down at him. “Thank you for bringing me home,” she told him. He smiled at her, and waved it off.
“It was no problem,” he said. “And..um…I’ll be at the deer fields again next Saturday, if you and Midomaru would like to come along.”
Kimiko smiled. “I would like that very much.” She told him. She opened her mouth to say something more, but Kiba called at them from the kitchen.
“Shikashi, I don’t hear you leaving!”
“Gah! I was thinking! You can’t do that while I’m thinking!”
Shikamaru snickered and resumed tickling his wife.
Anko dropped his hand and whirled around, eyes flashing angrily. "I'm sure that you have nice clothes" she said, poking her finger into his chest, "But this is a formal dance and you need something that looks the part. And it's not charity from my parents, dummy. You're taking me to the dance, so we need to make sure that our outfits match, right?"
Iruka wasn't quite sure that was how it worked, but he'd decided against complaining, now. Anko obviously had her heart set on having him over at her house, and it would be easier to climb a greased pole with no tools than to try and change her mind.
"Um…What are you doing?" he asked, cautiously averting his eyes. He turned around to find a full length mirror and promptly turned back again.
"What, are you peeking at me while I'm changing my bra?" Anko glanced over her shoulder, naked from the waist up. "Calm down, Iruka. It's just my back, I'm sure you've seen something like it before." She put on a black bra, expertly snapping the clips shut.
Anko nodded and dashed off to the kitchen, opening the pantry door and rummaging through it for some microwave popcorn. Iruka stood dumbly inside the foyer, and Anko's mother walked over to him.
She hugged him briskly, kissing the top of his head. "I'm glad you had fun," she whispered. "Anko's a good girl, but she tends to be a little wild. You're exactly the sort of person she needs to keep her from doing something too stupid."
"There's a huge-ass snake slithering into town and a bunch of little guys comin' in behind it! We're under attack or something!"
Tenten rolled her eyes as the last sentence.
"Or something? What else could it be, a traveling kabuki freakshow?"
Naruto and Ino's faces were deadly serious, the pair speaking in tandem.
"We've seen weirder."
"WOULD THE TWO OF YOU JUST SHUT UP?"
Naruto and Tenten stopped throwing anything movable at each other long enough to turn their heads.
"Are we going out there or are we just going to act like preschoolers the rest of the day?"
Naruto grabbed a kunai out of the pouch on his leg, spinning it by the ring in its handle. The look on his face promised utterly senseless carnage.
"What do you think? Time to hunt some snakes."
The other Leaf boy made a sound halfway between a snort and a laugh.
"A Jounin and three Chuunin? If translated into our ranks, given your plan I think it comes out to a fifth-year senior at the Academy and several toddlers."
Lackey #3, perhaps still addled by all the cookware he'd been hit with, opened his mouth in response.
"THAT'S IT! I'm gonna rip your guts out and paint this little shantytown red with your blood!"
His eyes widened as the first Leaf boy began to glow red, and an evil presence weighed the air down.
"Sorry. That's my line."
Oh, the shame. For even the most timid of his former students to think him a wimp? Not even as battle-ready as Anko? Umino Iruka burned with a silent rage. It was time to open a can of Super Hyper Triple-Strength Whoop Ass on his foes.
The Special Jounin sighed to herself. Only Hinata would have the dumb luck to survive summoning the wrong kind of snake with a Senei Jashuu – by calling on one of the deadliest snakes known to man. Sensing “her” Chuunin stirring, Anko headbutted him again to keep him quiet. Stunned again, it took her a few seconds to react to her student’s…well, you couldn’t call it a failure, but it was no huge success either (even if the mamba’s venom would kill the Chuunin in mere minutes).
“Damn it, Hinata! I said pythons! The Senei Jashuu involves pythons!”
Gingerly rising to one knee, her student shook her head and kept an eye on the last Sound-nin, who had staggered to his knees, breathing ragged.
“But they’re scary!”
A vein popped up on Anko’s head, in the same place Naruto’s had earlier.
Seeing as how he was still in midair and slowly tilting so that he was going to hit the dirt head first, Shikamaru gave up and shoved his hands into his pockets. This was going to hurt no matter what he did, so he might as well just give up. Course he was beginning to line up to hit face first, but who cared?
Shikamaru wondered what was going on that made Ino trail off like that. Still didn't want to get up though. He was communing with the tree and it's trail of ants and he rather liked it.
Sunlight filtered in through the haphazardly drawn curtains, and Iruka frowned in realization the sun was hitting him in his face. The windows were behind him, weren't they? Tilting his head to put chin to chest, he was faced with his feet floating inches off the surface of the bed. Without him holding them there. Had he invented a jutsu in his sleep?
"Gaara of the Desert, I have given thought to our discussion from earlier! I have decided that there has been too much hurt done to all of us, and that I will try to allay that, starting with you!" He pointed. Gaara blinked. "As long as I live, know that there is no longer a reason for you to be lonely!"
Lee's thumb turned up and teeth flashed in his official Good Guy pose.
Gaara's mouth dropped open. For a second, he looked like nothing more than a lost, bewildered child. Then his mouth snapped shut and forehead wrinkled in consternation. "And they try to tell me that I'm insane," he said, then turned and walked off.
Audaciously, Lee lay down beside her and pillowed his head on one of her thighs, grinning up at her indignant shriek and even accepting the smack she gave him. His good-humored over-the-top pleas about being a wounded warrior needing comfort won her over, though, and eventually he fell asleep.
Sometime later, she looked down from her reading, then put the book aside. While sleeping, the arch of his cheekbones and curve of his lips made his face seem almost noble. She was trying to figure out how she could get scissors and trim his eyebrows into a normal shape.
Naruto’s best moment has been to keep his new pet praying mantis out of her food, after letting it scare her almost out of her seat. And Gaara, after a snarling exchange that drove a particularly hands-on and persistent Sound genin away from her, had responded to her anger at not being allowed to fight her own battles with a comment so creatively obscene that she’d been shocked speechless. She’d gone from stunned to mortified when an equally slack-jawed Ino had asked if that meant he was hitting on her.
“The sheer volume of chakra they’re using is certainly impressive,” Kakashi said after a while, as if to himself.
“Think they can keep it up?” Gai responded.
Jiraya smirked. “You think any student of mine wouldn’t have the sense not to overexert himself?”
“It’s Naruto,” Kakashi returned. Jiraya huffed and crossed his arms.
Temari’s best, she found, was actually rather painful. Shadow clones, replacements, and every trick she had learned from sparring with the boys eventually wore down to nothing. She woke up in time to see the referee declare the blonde girl the winner. Staggering past Lee, Sakura slapped him on the back. “Go get ‘er, buddy.”
“If I hadn’t been kinda worried, that would have been funny,” Naruto quipped as she returned. She couldn’t think of anything pithy to say, so she hit him instead. He came up laughing. “Stamina is part of what they’re looking for here, right?”
“I didn’t die, I meant! Konoha’s taijutsu specialist went up against not one, but two of Sand’s best and survived! No, not just survived, to a point, succeeded!” He scooped Sakura up and spun her, shrieking, in a series of wobbly circles. “Ice cream for all of us! On me!”
Gaara prodded Naruto. “Like I said before. People try to tell me that I’m insane, but they seem to forget him.”
“Naa. They don’t forget him. They just try, sometimes.”
Gaara turned around, leaned against the wall, and started to unwrap the lacings and bandages at his ankles.
Ohmygod I think he really does mean –
Tummy! Inner Sakura shrieked gleefully.
"Eh, it's Gaara. We'll probably need more than a few years to work on 'nice.' Anything else?"
Sakura and Naruto helped their instructor speculate on what could cause their friend to miss training, succeeding in working Gai up to the point that he broke down Lee's door to find out if he really had been overrun by a flood of Shino's escaped insects.
The two year old Sasuke threw a scrambled egg in Itachi's face, giggling at his sour expression.
"I'm gonna make sure to pay you back for that when you're older." he dead-panned, planning on actually carrying out the threat.
"Uchiha Itachi!" shouted the instructor. "Sleeping again in class?! Take your test like everyone else and stop slacking off."
"But.. I'm done." he whined, holding up his paper. A few students took that opportunity to cheat.
Itachi guaged the distance between the back of the classroom where he sat to the instructors desk. Then he eyed the distance between the desk and the door. After calculating the distances, the effort to move his body from his seat and the force needed to open the door, he came up with his next answer.
"It's too far."
Itachi stood up and shook his head, looking out into the backyard. "No, it's not okay." he said. He turned, but paused before heading to his room. "Hey, keep that left leg cooled down. You'll get farther behind if you don't let it heal."
Sasuke stared at his brother's back as he walked away.
Aniki is... scary.
A kunai suddenly flew by long hairs face, missing his ear by a millimeter before impacting the wall. Eyes turned to see that the kunai was embedded dead-center in the Uchiha clan symbol. To Itachi, that move was not only a taunt, but what he currently felt deep inside about his own clan and clansmen.
"... I've lost all hope for this pathetic clan.." he muttered to himself. He spoke evenly, turning to the three shinobi and his father. "If you think I you can do something about my arrogance, then take my own weapon and come attack me. The result will only be the same as previously, except your life will be missing."
"How come these damn lights don't work?!" shouted a grumpy Itachi. His voice was getting closer. "AND WHAT THE FUCK IS ALL THIS GOD DAMN NOISE?!!! I'M TRYING TO GET SOME SLEEP DAMN IT!!" he yelled, stepping into the doorway of the training hall. He saw the image of himself in his ANBU uniform, but he was only in his boxers and a tank-top. "What the---?!!"
“Wha... How... No. I don’t want to know. And what the hell kind of weak introduction was that? As the undoubtedly most badass character in here, I demand an appropriately badass intro.”
Think highly of yourself much?
“Well, it’s obvious that I am the Naruto world’s answer to DBZ’s Vegeta. Just more insane.”
His hands tracked away from her cheeks. “I guess an orb could technically be an eye. But eyes are more oval. And orbs aren’t. Orbs are supposed to be more round. So if I was staring at your orbs, in all likelihood I’d be watching –“
“Hey! Get your hands off of those!”
“But Hinata, I love you!”
“Whoa! What? Wait! You can’t do that! I’m your cousin!”
Hinata’s lips pulled back from her teeth and shoulders hunched, hands curling into claws that she waved around in the air, wobbling from one foot to the other like a motorized doll. “Chibi Rock Lees. Ten of them. Crying and whining and pooping and barfing and crawling up your leg and calling you Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!!”
The other Hyuuga’s face fell. “I never thought of that.”
Sure. But on the manga topic, I saw where you don’t have any eyebrows either. Care to explain that?
Is it a painful story?
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
Is that really why you wanted to kill Lee?
Ino glared, retracted her fist from where it had connected with the back of Naruto’s head. “You idiot! You got Sasuke all dirty! And... Filthy! And... sweaty... and...”
Sasuke pulled his heels in, lifted his hips, and rolled Naruto over. The blond yelled, wrenched at dark hair. “Ino, help!”
“You. Me. Monkey-sex.”
“But... Do we even have monkeys in Konoha, Sasuke?”
“No, I mean between us.”
I got into a discussion with Vanya at one point about how BDSM is a mindset thing, how I think that to be the proper sadist, you need to be a somewhat angry individual that can truly believe that the person or persons being abused deserve whatever you do to them, and to be the proper masochist you have to believe that you deserve whatever’s being done.
So if you kicked into the mentality of blood for the sake of sex, then... Hey, why am I telling you this?
Hey! Stop taking notes!
“I’m sorry, Sakura. You see, apparently...”
I’ll have heard this one before, she thought.
“...I slipped and fell and had chocolate-syrupy sex with Iruka.”
“But I’m your teacher, you’re my student. The attraction should be there. It says so here, in this book...”
“That’s a perverted book! And you’re a pervert! And... And... I’ve got to go! Now!”
A hiss. “Yes.”
“Wiped out the Uchiha clan for shits and giggles, Itachi.”
“I’ve never heard it put quite that way, but yes.”
“But... You’re evil. Not I-can-put-a-finger-on-the-reasons evil. Not misunderstood-needs-a-nap-and-a-hug-and-a-new-childhood Gaara evil. Flat-out evil.”
The mysterious yet exotically wonderful girl got up in Lee’s face and giggled. “Hello! My name’s Fujiwara-chan! I’m Naruto’s lost sister, Sasuke’s cousin, Neji’s ex-girlfriend, and I’m scared to death of Shino and this is my first day as a freshman genin and I want to test my abilities by fighting you!”
Lee blinked, the overload of information taking a minute to process. “Um... What?”
“Not any good at it? I could give you a few lessons, if you want. We could dress up in our tennis outfits and have a nice sweaty game or two, I might even let you win once, then we could go back, hit the showers together -”
Gaara gave the racket another look before bringing it down over Lee’s head and stalking out, muttering to himself.
Doubly concussed, Lee called after him. “In a friendly, manly sort of way! What’s wrong with that?”
Lee blinked, even more confused than the concussions could account for. “Sex? What’s that?”
Shikamaru carefully knelt, clasped his hands, and looked skyward. “Um, hi. I know I haven’t always been the best person, but I would like to take this moment to show my appreciation –“
“My waist is so much smaller than yours! And look at my stomach!”
“It’s almost as flat as your ass!”
“My ass is not flat!”
Directly in each other’s faces, the two girls raged on, voices climbing. Shikamaru continued. “-My appreciation for everything you’ve done for myself, my family, and –“
The quiet drew his attention more slowly than the screaming had. For a second, his dementedly high IQ refused to comprehend the situation, which eventually registered in bits and pieces.
Two girls. Four boobs. Making out. Ohmygod.
His gaze jerked skyward again. “Thankyoubyebye!”
Very close now, he glared down at her, teeth bared, and shook his head slightly. “You don’t want to know.”
Despite herself, she laughed again. “Oh, come on. I really doubt you could do anything now that could even hope to dampen my enthusiasm.”
“Can you guess which word you shouldn’t have used?”
“No, what– Hey, what are you– Leggo of– Aaiee! Don’t lick me!”
Shikamaru decided that he needed a hat. A big gold and purple one, with a feather. A pimp hat.
To his either side, Temari and Ino shot each other catty glances.
He really needed the hat. And maybe a cane to go along with it. A glittery one.
A hand caressed Kakashi’s cheek.
“You and me,” the Sennin continued, pulling the forehead protector up from over the other’s eye.
Nostrils flared. Teeth flashed in perfect smirks. Eyes met and locked.
“...Go steal Tsunade’s underwear.”
The pair looked at each other, then at their impromptu fan club. Gaara scowled. “How long have you guys been out there?”
Hinata and Shino glanced at each other. “Um... The past four hours.”
“So if I sat outside the window again while you two, erm, continued your game, then I could be inspired while I kept watch for any company that might prove to be awkward.”
The pair gave each other considering looks. Finally, Sakura’s mouth twitched into an almost-smile. “I don’t think the couch would survive a second time.”
“Think we should drag your mattress out?”
“Good!” Gaara grimaced, then sneered. “That was sickening. I’ve got to go yell at someone over this. And if that doesn’t work, and I still don’t feel like me, I’ll watch Fight Club a bunch of times and drown a litter of kittens.”
“Good!” She stopped nodding suddenly, face falling. “Wait, what?”
“Never mind. I’ll come back me and that’s all that matters.”
He was halfway down the hill when she called out to him. “Hey! Don’t we get a gratuitous make-out-against-a-tree scene?"
“Hey, are you two here for the meeting?”
Kakashi’s eye scrunched in what may have been a grin as he waved his sign. Hand-written on it was the title “Remaining Men Together: Dealing with Accidental Same-Sex Sex!”
“I am!” cried Lee, leaping forward.
Because he perversely needed to know what had happened, Gai followed.
“Oh, woe! Oh, horror!”
Lee joined in the cries. “Oh, pain! Oh, angst!”
“Oh, lost innocence!”
“Oh, mortal agony!”
“Good idea,” Kakashi said. “But I was thinking more along the lines of cutting. It’s less final, more pitifully cry-for-helpy, and - Hey, wait, who was that anyway?”
Gaara leaned against the doorframe, expression twisting violently. He looked like he wasn’t sure whether to laugh or run.Gai sho
ok his head. “Right now they’d appreciate it, and I want them to look back on this moment sometime in the future and wonder what they could possibly have been thinking. I then want to remind them of what happened on a fairly regular basis, in public.”
"Sounds good to – Wait! Do you see it yet?"
Sakura twisted halfway to him, straining to keep her voice down. "See what?"
"We're in a relationship." The last word came out a hiss.
She blanched. "Does this mean we have to get all weird?"
"I really hope not."
"Hey, if you just realized that we're in a relationship, shouldn't you be running like hell now?"
He snorted. "If I run, you won't put out."
“Gaara, what’s going on?”
“Gaara-kun! I have missed you so!”
He hissed at the second speaker as the real one darted behind him. “Sakura, don’t move. Ignore it and it might go away.”
“But what is she?”
“It’s a Sakura-Sue.”
“Wait – You’re doing something selfless?”
“See? It’s started already. Next thing you know, I’ll be crying over my childhood and fawning all over it.”
“But – No!” Sakura stomped and pointed at him. “What’s the point of having you around if you’re going to turn into a weepy subordinate bitch?!”
“No! ‘To have sex’ is such a crude turn of phrase. I wouldn’t dream of using it.” The Sue fanned herself lightly as the temperature of the room brought a becoming blush to her exquisitely sculpted cheeks. “And shortly, Gaara my sweet, you wouldn’t dream of using it either. For I shall show you the beautiful person that you are inside! I shall redeem you! Soon, everyone will know how you are truly kind and generous and wonderful and loving and -”
Sakura frowned. “Are you sure you’re talking about Gaara?”
“Yet,” cried the Sue, “As your azure eyes meet my orbs of purest emerald –“
“I don’t have blue eyes.”
Thrown off stride, the Sue stopped talking for only a second. “You don’t?”
“Nope. Do your research, or better yet, watch the Forest of Death sequence again. They’re green.”
“- As his cock explodes –“
Gaara gave a shriek of mortal terror and lunged behind Sakura, whose mouth worked soundlessly before she found speech again. “What?”
The Sue smiled. “It’s a simple process, actually. I suppose you may refer to it in the crudely technical term of -“
“No! Boys and firecrackers do not mix that way!”
“I know everything I need to know already! It will be a joyous, wondrously ecstatic occasion! Enough from you!” A dainty, pretty scowl that did nothing to mar her perfection adorned the Sue’s features like bright, shining Christmas decorations, only angrier, as she faced Gaara. “Worship me! She can never command your affections like I!”
“Command?” Sakura marched forward angrily. “I don’t need to command anything. I give head.”
“Damn it!” Kisame stamped his foot, scowled. “I’m doing it again!”
“We fought the wrong people back in the Wave country and I ended up getting hit with a ninjutsu that makes me randomly turn stupid.”
Gai blinked. “You’re not stupid?”
Temari scowled. “Who are you guys?”
They blinked in return. “Oh, it’s her.”
“She’s just a kunoichi.”
“Yeah. She was kinda cool, too.” The speaker turned to Temari, smiling brightly. “It’s too bad that kunoichi are completely worthless in relation to the boys and all.”
The Sand kunoichi slowly set Shikamaru down, then pulled the fan from her back with exaggerated carefulness. “Say that again?”
“You took baths with me and Sasuke, Naruto.” He was frowning down at the blonde, his expression stern. Then… he gave her a thumbs-up. “Y’get an A+ in stealth, though; I had no clue!” He grinned.
After his brain ran through a list of emotions, most of which were synonyms or related to “angst,” “brood,” and “arrogant,” he settled for one he rarely used.
That’s right. Uchiha Sasuke stood up, dusted himself off, and then gave a look of pure glee.
He poked her forehead, scowling. “I’m sure you are. I just can’t stand being clung to and being wailed at in my ear.”
“And what exactly was I doing a moment ago?” she inquired, both embarrassed and teasing. She was still holding onto him, her hands fisted in the back of his shirt, scrunching up his clan symbol.
“You weren’t trying to squeeze my ass,” He told her with all seriousness.
But, lo and behold, Kakashi met her there, yanking her up off her feet by her collar. On the ground, the clone of Kakashi waved at her smugly before ‘poofing’ into midair.
She was all but dragged to the training grounds, leaving a clawed up trail behind her. Kakashi handled her well; in fact, it was amazing he was single and didn’t have kids. He certainly knew how to deal with them.
“Because I don't anymore... It's...different.” Sasuke stammered, all but running after her. “Because it's...it's not some nameless thing...or a crush.” He had her by her upper arm now, matching her feet pace for pace. “It's...” He stopped, forcing her to stop and looked down at her.
“Will you go out with me?” He found himself saying, his voice a little higher than intended and his mind not exactly processing how out of character he was being.
Akira soon snapped out of it and grabbed hold of Naruto’s arm, “I’ll pay you 2000 yen an hour, when can you start?” he asked excitedly.
“Right now,” Naruto replied with his trademark fox grin. (He would later realize that with his new look, said grin made him look frightening rather than cute, but Akira appeared mostly unfazed)
Special Effects Team
Visual Effects: Kurosaki Ichigo
Creature Effects: Abarai Renji
Sandstorm and Weather Effects: Gaara of the Desert
Still somewhere far away, Itachi was reaching for his 9th box of Pocky when he quickly withdrew his hand, he couldn’t allow himself to be hasty in his choice.
The last time they had met, Naruto had been overcome by Itachi’s sheer aura of power, turned out that effect was diminished slightly when he was without his cloak and carrying shopping bags. Now, instead of looking like an incarnation of death, he just looked like an older version of Sasuke with a Pocky addiction.
He described the conversation he had had with Naruto in minute detail, every word, every facial expression, and every gesture.
It was all, of course, a complete lie.
Finally, he finished with; “Then I saw his form slowly vanish into the desert.”
Gaara took a step back, very proud of himself. He wouldn’t doubt that he had just given the best angsty speech anyone in the room had ever heard. Though he admitted that watching Rock Lee sob and hug his teacher for an hour had unnerved him a little bit.
Kiran continued to speak, completely oblivious to the mood, “Now that that’s over with, its time for a sword throwing lesson!” he said with a grin.
Naruto glared. He added a few fear stimuli for extra effect.
“Or,” Kiran continued, “We could start the lesson first thing tomorrow morning.”
Kisame set his brother down and he and Naruto, in somewhat creepy synchronization, drew their swords and flicked off their wrappings.
After his moment of admiration, Naruto went back to his ponderings about the many uses of having a demon. It was for that reason that, moments later, his brain shut down.
His eyes told him Temari wasn’t where she had been standing a moment ago. His ears only heard breathing. His nose smelled soap. His sense of taste wasn’t receiving anything, but that was more than made up for by touch. Naruto wasn’t someone experienced with full body contact, and never with a girl. But that was most definitely what was happening now. He unconsciously noted that in addition to all the previously mentioned things, he couldn’t move.
In other words, Temari was giving him a hug.
“ok…that’s enough philosophy for now, my brain is hurting. I’ll never understand how people like you and Gaara can just ponder these things all day long and still be sane.”
Naruto raised an eyebrow, “Sane?”
It suddenly occurred to Temari that Gaara was best known for his random squishing of people and sand that was alive, while Naruto, on the other hand, was a perfect gentleman whenever he wasn’t busy killing things, and had a talking sword that played a mean game of chess.
The boy wanted to respond, he really did, but an odd tingling sensation was running all throughout his body. He had also felt an odd tingling when Temari had hugged him, but that had been more of a warm tingle and this was more a ‘circulation being cut off’ tingle.
He looked over Cirrus’ shoulder and glared at Temari, who was currently laughing silently at his predicament. Once the big man finally let go, Naruto made a mental note to lessen the angst from now on, he valued his skeletal structure.
Cirrus thrust his arm out and pumped it in the air, “Such Bravery! I find myself in awe of your burning passion for life!”
“I tremble at the mere thought! A young man, desperately trying to escape a horrible situation, fighting valiantly for his freedom!”
“……..ok then” Naruto said, not quite sure how to respond to that
“And so, I…” the masked jounin glanced at Gaara, “very gently knocked Temari unconscious, ran to the rendezvous, and passed her off to Shikamaru, who then used ropes to tie her…”
Kakashi suddenly paused and the whole room went silent as Shikamaru suddenly found himself engulfed in sand up to his neck.
Gaara was completely calm as he spoke, “Why have you stopped? Continue with your report.”
Naruto sat on the bed, “Ok, first things first. Temari, this is Hoshigaki Kisame, and that’s Uchiha Itachi, who are about to explain why they’re stalking me and playing music for donations.”
Naruto actually wasn’t sure which of those two things he found weirder.
That made sense, so Naruto nodded, “Ok, but I’m still not getting the part where two S-Class Nukenins are playing music in the street”
The shark man sighed yet again, “We were given a mission allowance, but we were dropping Kiran off in a village up north, and there just happened to be a Pocky factory there, and coincidentally, it was Pocky appreciation week, and through mysterious circumstances, Itachi somehow managed to ‘lose’ our money bag and was ‘given’ a few hundred ‘free’ boxes of Pocky”
Late that night, while everyone slept, Itachi suddenly sat up in his bag and turned to his partner, “Ne, Kisame. Why do you think god made the platypus?”
“uh……wha?” Kisame blinked sleepily, “dammit Itachi, go to sleep!”
Temari rubbed her head, “Remind me again why I put up with you fruitcakes and your ideas?”
Naruto stroked his chin, “Our devilish good looks?”
Itachi tilted his head, “Our razor sharp wit?”
Kisame held up a hotdog he had been cooking over the fire, “Our masterful culinary ability?”
The sand girl resisted the urge to throttle something, “THE QUESTION WAS RHETORICAL!”
“No. The white haired boy had a good idea there, so I’m currently considering strangling you and throwing your body down a very deep well. I think the idea merits a few more minutes of thought”
“Do I have any input into this decision?”
“Your ‘input’ was kidnapping my sister and then disappearing”
Naruto pondered this for a moment. Gaara did have a point, and the fox boy wanted to tread lightly, as he was only mostly sure Gaara was joking about the strangling thing.
Naruto sighed in exasperation, “I’m kind of busy right now…but tell me what the problem is”
The white haired nin rubbed his head nervously, “Sasuke and Itachi look like their about to attack each other”
This received an eye roll from Naruto, “I would be worried if those to didn’t look like they were about to kill each other. Have Kisame and Temari calm them down.”
Kabuto got more nervous, “Kisame and Temari are already making wagers with regards to the winner, so I don’t think they’ll be much help in defusing the situation”
Naruto looked up at the sky for a moment, then a proverbial light bulb appeared above his head, “Try making the offhand comment that you heard somewhere that the Byakugan was superior to the Sharingan”
The shark man hit upon a winning strategy of using carrots as kunai until Itachi broke out his spinning sausage links.
Kisame’s eyes narrowed, “Yes indeed……your sausage nunchaku are quite fearsome, but they are no match for The Pickle of DOOM”
Sasuke sensed movement behind him but refused to acknowledge it, continuing to study the map. After a few minutes of blankly staring at a page he had long since memorized, he lost his patience, "I think your enjoying yourself just a bit to much, Kabuto"
Behind the Uchiha's back, Kabuto paused in mid kata, "But I'm just training, Sasuke-sama"
Sasuke slowly turned to look at the medic nin icily, "Your trying to make your cloak billow out as you fight! That’s not training!"
Itachi almost dropped his bag of food, "How did you..."
She pointed behind him, leading everyone on the ground to follow her gaze to a tree upon which was leaned a half-wrapped Samehada
Violent swearing could be heard from above them and Kisame dropped down, "Dammit, Naruto! The least you could have done was give us some war..."
Kisame found himself faced with a set of huge sparkly star-filled eyes, "UWAAAAAAIIIII...IcantbelieveyourreallyheremynameisMakoanditsnicetomeetyouand...and...I'm your biggest fan!"
Zabuza’s page had the title Zabuza: Demon of the Mist crossed out and Uncle Zabu written in a flowing cursive, causing both Temari and Kisame to snicker, at least until they reached Kisame’s page, which had yet another full color picture, this one covered in comments such as: Well toned muscles, perfect height, cute ass
The list went on, but Naruto and Temari found themselves rather hung up on the cute ass comment.
“So…Naruto, how are Mako’s sword skills?” Kisame said in an obvious attempt to change the subject
Naruto leaned back and stretched, “Hmm…she’s pretty fast, but her actions are as predictable as Itachi’s in a candy store”
Hearing this, Itachi grabbed some Pocky and started to munch, “Some day I’ll get you all back for making fun of me…”
Itachi dragged himself to his feet, “Naruto is a bad influence on me. A year ago I would have killed you by now for being so annoying”
Kisame rolled his eyes, “Whatever you say, you’re still being a baby”
“Exactly. Regenerating isn’t very common, since it’s pretty much a demon thing, but theoretically, I could even regenerate whole limbs with enough time and chakra”
Temari was silent for a moment, “So you could get a tattoo, and then when you were sick of it, cut off your arm, grow a new one, and get a different tattoo?”
Naruto sweatdropped, “Yes…”
“What did I tell you about doing that?”
“Doing what, Sasuke-sama?”
“Adding ‘Sasuke-sama’ to the end of your sentences. I thought I told you to stop that”
“You did, Sasuke-sama”
“Then why haven’t you stopped?”
“It would be too disrespectful, Sasuke-sama”
“Okay, now you’re just doing it to annoy me”
“I would never, Sasuke-sama. I can’t even imagine going out of my way to annoy you, Sasuke-sama. Don’t you know that, Sasuke-sama?”
Sasuke shifted his gaze to Kabuto, “See, the thing is, I can’t tell if you’re being serious or not”
“Makes me want to go become a nudist…every one is equal that way”
This comment immediately caused all movement within thirty feet to cease. Birds stopped chirping, bees stopped buzzing, and the wind stopped blowing. After a moment of realizing everything had gone quiet, Kisame looked around blankly, “I was being sarcastic, you know”
Running over to a wall and running up it, Kisame back-flipped off and grabbed Samehada as it flew past, landing lightly in a crouch, “Sorry for the delay. I’m ready now”
Szark grabbed his wooden staff by its thick end, his hand facing the ground, and flipped the staff so he was holding it like a sword, “Excellent. I was getting impatient”
Itachi blinked, “Um... Am I fighting too?”
“And I’m…too sexy for the leaf… too sexy for the leaf…I like pot stewed beef”
Kabuto was now at the point of making up his own lyrics, and realized with a start that he was rather hungry.
"That is SO hot," Sakura gushed, leaning over Kakashi's shoulder. "Hey, Naruto, remember that time you kissed Sasuke- kun?"
"When you beat the shit out of me?" he asked dryly. "Yeah, I remember."
"Do it again and I'll buy you a bowl of ramen," she promised.
"I have been temporarily struck both deaf and blind and would probably not notice anything of the outside world even if the people on either side of me, for example you and Naruto (who has been miraculously freed from his bedroll, by the way; isn't that odd!), might choose to molest each other," Kakashi informed the brunet innocently, turning another page in the book. "Oh look, the Big Bad Lesbian is back."
"Really?" Sasuke craned his neck to peek. "Geh," he squeaked, his eyes again doing their dinner-plate impression. Did we mention that the Big Bad Lesbian was molesting a girl who looked peculiarly like Sasuke might if he ever tried to master the Sexy no Jutsu?
'Three bowls,' Sakura mouthed while he was distracted.
"I'm supposed to get you to adulthood ALIVE, not uncorrupted," the teacher corrected. "Besides, Hokage-sama should be grateful that you're learning all this from me and not off the streets. Good Lord, can you imagine talking like this with Itachi or Gaara? Or Orochimaru- can't you picture that?"
"Unfortunately, yes," Sasuke retorted sourly, wincing at the mental image.
"Damn." Sakura faked a pout. "And here I was hoping for some more boy-on-boy action."
"And I wanted shota," Kakashi added with a wistful sigh. "Shall we get back to the book, though? See, the Horny Gay Man and Big Bad Lesbian are joining forces with a Slutty Dominatrix Bisexual."
"This is the weirdest bedtime story EVER," Sakura muttered.
"Are you complaining?" Naruto blinked at her.
"Hell no!" she cried. "I only WISH my dad had read me stuff like this when I was a kid!"
"Yay for bondage!" Sakura and Kakashi simultaneously cheered, both pumping a fist victoriously and taking a quick chug from the sake bottle.
“I don’t know how to bake a cake!” He blurted out. “Will you and Neji help me?”
YANK. “No. No! Absolutely NOT! And if you think NEJI’S going to say, ‘Why, sure, Lee, let me just get my oven mitts on!’, you’re INSANE.”
The thick-browed boy’s grip loosened and Tenten quickly pulled free. “Lee wants us to help him bake a cake for White Day.” She knew his answer before his mouth even opened.
Lee wasn’t ready to give up just yet. “But with the three of us, it’ll be--”
“Neji, as your rival--”
Gai looked pensive (a bad sign), then perked up. “This is for an expression of youth!”
“Never fear, Lee! Youth shall triumph! Neji, Tenten, this shall be a mission for you both! You will assist Lee with his cake and whoever fails will run six hundred laps!”
That was OVERKILL, and they all knew it. Lee blanched as his teammates glared venomously at him. “T-thank you, Gai-sensei!”
“YOOOOSH! The spirit of youth will make this work! Kakashi, marvel at the bond my wonderful team shares!”
He didn’t feel like explaining why he’d been staring at her. After all, he was Hyuuga Neji and he didn’t offer explanations--except for “It was determined by fate”, but even HE didn’t buy that anymore.
He contented himself with the knowledge that he, at least, didn’t play with his fingers or stutter.
Wisely figuring that any attempt to stop her teammate from achieving righteous vengeance would be futile, Tenten licked her batter-covered finger. Hmm...strawberry. She very quietly began assembling ingredients for another cake. She did NOT want to run six hundred laps and somehow didn't think that "Neji snapped and went on a killing spree while Lee lay bleeding on the floor because he dumped a bowl of batter on his head and now Neji's going to smell like Strawberry Shortcake for a long time" would be a good excuse for Gai.
Maybe if she threw in some random "youth"s.
Neji folded his arms and reclined stiffly against the tree. He almost felt sorry for Shikamaru. Almost. Y’know, having emotions would probably come in handy someday. He should really get some.
He favored her with a noncommittal grunt. He was just relieved that Ino hadn’t come running over to demand chocolate from him. He’d seen Shikamaru shoot past and, genius that he was, had instantly known why. Besides, he’d only gotten chocolates for Sakura, her being his teammate and all. He hadn’t blushed or anything either, just smirked and handed her the bag. He was just that awesome.
“Lee’s back to normal.” Tenten had shown up with nary a sound, but he had known she was there. Like Uchiha, he was just that awesome.
Neji actually smiled. The flowers bloomed! The birds still recovering from Ino’s death glare took flight in a sky of rich azure! Kakashi suddenly realized the error of his ways and burned Icha Icha Paradise in favor of reading Little Women!
“Gai-sensei has a girlfriend?” The brunette was having trouble grasping this. “Who would…DO that?”
Neji shrugged. “Someone with questionable mental capacities. Let’s go train.”
“No way, you don’t think Kakashi’s that old…do you?”
Neji gave her a look that plainly stated he had less than high opinions of her after she managed to squeak out the last bit of her question.
“Maybe not sixty...but haven’t you noticed that the man also tends to slouch? A clear indication of a weak back, and a sign that the strains of aging are beginning to show.”
Kakashi silently vowed to himself that Neji would ‘mysteriously’ find his backpack to be two times heavier the next day.
Kakashi resolutely pushed down on his mounting horror at the duo’s estimation of his age. If this went on, they’d soon have him pegged as some senile, perverted old man. And he didn’t particularly wish to rob Jiraiya of his reputation at this point.
“Oh,” the subject of her speculation interrupted unknowingly, “I wanted to talk to you about your obsession with tacking the sensei bit onto my name. In all honesty Sakura, your insistence in calling me ‘sensei’ makes me feel really old.”
“But Sensei,” she protested laughingly, “it’s not good to be in denial about your age. You should accept and be proud of all the years you’ve amassed.”
“Neji really brainwashed you good, didn’t he,” Kakashi sighed, “you know I’m really only a bit over thirty.”
"Why not!" she huffed in a whiny tone that reminded him of the times he had always shown up late to their meetings for daily missions. His eye crinkled as he smiled beneath his mask, drinking in her image as much as possible, knowing that should she leave his life once more, he wouldn't get another opportunity to stare into her beautiful emerald eyes, which were glaring at him right at that moment, though he didn't exactly mind. When he didn't reply, she let out a frustrated groan as she scowled at him. "UGH, you're so…you're just so…so-"
"Handsome? Cool? Smart? Did I mention handsome-"
"IRRITATING!" She shot out, crossing her arms over her chest.
Idiot probably pretended to die just so he'd look cool. I'll kick his ass next time we spar for making me worry. Immediately, he reworded his thoughts. No, he didn't worry me. He, uh, distracted me. Yeah, I'll kick his ass for distracting me. Damn blond should know to let his superiors fight.
"Go ahead!" Naruto finally sputtered. "Make fun of the short guy, why don't you! You damn racist, uh no.. sizist person!"
"Sizist?" Someone else tried out the strange word. Sasuke and Naruto turned to the bushes, watching as Sakura calmly smoothed her dress down. "Sizist?" she said again. "Is that really even a word?" Naruto had the courtesy to blush.
"Just.. what the hell do you think you're doing?" she asked quietly, her eye twitching.
"Only practicing my latest jutsu, my friend." Naruto said, his eyes lighting up. The waves of menace died down a little as curiosity took hold.
"And what's that?" she asked in a much more normal tone. Naruto yawned and closed his eyes, murmuring the words of his undoing.
"Relaxation no Jutsu."
"Haku-kun!" Sakura called out, "Zabuza-san! What are you two doing?" Haku waved, although the expression on his face suggested that he had no idea what was going on either. Zabuza stood a little bit behind Haku, looking faintly embarrassed.
"Um.. yeah." Haku said, fidgeting. "What are we doing here?" he whispered to Zabuza.
Shikamaru had sprawled himself over a chaise lounge, using the cape of his Zorro costume as a blanket. The only reason he had bothered with such a troublesome costume was because Asuma had smoked a “special” cigarette three days ago, and had the idea to dress every single Genin for Halloween.
Without giving any idea of what was going on, the stoned Asuma made every Genin draw a slip out of a hat.
Neji had bitched loud enough to send every bird in Konoha into flight.
The Genins were assigned individual costumes, ones they HAD to wear, under the insane penalty that they’d never be able to take the chunnin exam ever again.
Sasuke, who hadn’t spoken the whole day, had been forced into a red devil spandex costume, complete with the painted black goatee, red plastic trident, and hair that had been styled to curve into two horns that were sprayed red.
He was crying inside, relieved that Itachi couldn’t see him now.
“Hey, why don’t we all just split up to look for him?”
Everyone seemed to realize the significance of the clichéd line, and were now staring at each other in paranoia.
“Dude,” Kiba said seriously to Lee. “You’re gonna get us all killed if you say anything else like that.”
The room was left empty, the silence eerie and foreboding, until shuffling footsteps entered the room. Someone who looked as if he had been dressed by a hobo entered the room, his leering face covered by a crudely stitched leather mask.
He jerked on the starter chain of his chainsaw.
He stared at the contraption in silence as it sputtered itself to death.
Sighing heavily, he fished in his pockets for a couple of batteries and replaced the old ones.
He yanked the starter chain again.
It started up with a roar, and now grinning maliciously, he stalked off into the darkness after his unsuspecting
victims.Sasuke stopped in mid-step, eyes focusing on the person’s feet.
Autumn blueberry nail polish decorated the toenails.
He found himself speechless as the other foot came into view, his shocked gaze slowly moving up the black cloak.
There was only one person he knew who used that brand…
“Hello, dearies. I’m so glad you could join me,” she purred, slowly advancing on the shocked girls. “Would you like to know what’s for dinner?”
“No,” Tenten said automatically, and ran at the door, trying to pry it open but to no avail.
“The door’s locked,” Sakura said blankly to Tenten. “Conserve your energy and help me take the old hag out. We’re ninjas for God’s sake.”
“Oh yeah,” Tenten said in embarrassment.
“I’ll untie you, Naruto-kun!” Hinata cried, crawling over to him. She pulled the gag out of his mouth, and Naruto’s frantic voice filled the hall.
“Hinata! I got jumped by some hobo with a chainsaw! I kept biting and kicking him because I couldn’t do any ninjutsu since he stuffed my mouth with pocky! Dude, pocky is awwwesooome,” he slurred, his wide blue eyes glazed over with a sugar high.
Gaara seemed to deflate slightly at the answer, and turned to walk away again. He paused, then turned back around.
“Why are you all dressed like that?”
“Dude with the chainsaw stole my clothes,” Naruto said. “And it’s Halloween. Much pocky.”
“Oh.” He said, then turned around and left.
“N-Naruto-kun,” Hinata said hesitantly. “Neji-niisan isn’t a real doctor, that’s just a costume.”
“I would hope so!” Naruto hollered, laughing hysterically and clutching his bare sides. “Look at those bloodstains! I’d fire your ass if you worked for me!”
This time Neji lost his patience, and wrapped the cord of the stethoscope around Naruto’s neck.
Now Lee was stuck, bloodshot eyes forced to stare at the screen. His eyes darted around in paranoia when he saw the hobo return, the malicious grin visible behind the leather mask.
Without a word, he placed a disc in a Panasonic DVD player and started up a projector.
Lee’s eyes widened in horror when he saw what was on the disc. A repeated loop of people getting their eyebrows waxed, plucked, lasered, and threaded off flashed before his eyes, their agonized screaming blasting out from the surround-sound speakers.
“Itachi, you sick bastard!” Sasuke yelled, struggling against the restraints. “I’ll kill you this time for sure! I’ll avenge our family! I’ll”—
“Ah,” Kakashi said with a sheepish smile, his visible eye arching into a happy curve. “Sorry, I was”—
“—chasing after stray dogs?” Naruto interrupted with sarcasm.
“—sleeping in?” Sasuke mumbled to himself.
“—saving Gai-sensei’s wife from man-eating crocodiles?” Sakura said between gritted teeth.
Kakashi looked slightly surprised.
“Hmm? Oh, I just turned it on,” Kakashi answered absently, glancing at the instructions. “Okay, looks like we have to strap ourselves down.”
Sasuke nervously reached for the seatbelt, putting it on as Kakashi looked at the instructions upside-down. Sakura glanced at the paper and put hers on as well, sighing in dismay when Naruto accidentally got his wrapped around his throat.
Kakashi shifted, brought his foot to the gas pedal, and pushed down.
“Holy shit!” Sakura cursed uncharacteristically when the car jolted backwards into the garage, impacting soundly against the concrete wall.
“Oops,” Kakashi said, sounding completely unaffected as Sasuke stared at him in horror.
“Do it again!” Naruto cheered, only to get smacked upside the head.
“I think I take a right here,” Kakashi said out loud, and then swerved violently to the left until the car had done a 180 and went right. Sasuke’s face had turned slightly green, and Sakura clutched at the seats, afraid she’d fly out the window along with the instructions.
And Sasuke stared hopefully out the window, knowing that if he had a car, the first thing he'd do was run Itachi over with it.
“Drugs are bad for you, Naruto,” he said admonishingly. “Crack especially. It makes you loopy.”
“That’s why I’m wondering if you’re on it,” Naruto said in an obvious tone of voice.
“You heard me, you ignoramus.”
“Make them stop, Kakashi-sensei!” Sakura cried.
“Don’t make me pull over,” Kakashi said threateningly, nudging the break pedal and making the car jerk and swerve on the road. “Because I don’t know how.”
“Well,” Kakashi said after a while, sounding complacent. “That’s the first time I failed a C-rank mission.”
“You said it was an A-rank mission!” Naruto protested, as they trudged back up the steep hill.
“Only because I didn’t know what I was doing. At least that way you were prepared to die.”
Kyuubi particularly liked being scratched where his fox ears should be. It made a strange sound rise from his throat, a bit like a growly purr. Kiba squeaked a protest.
"H-Hey! That's my girlfriend you're rubbing against!!" he yelped, hands clenched.
Neji paused, and slowly turned to look at him. Kiba ignored him. He hadn't planned to officially announce their relationship to Hinata's cousin quite like that, what with Neji being a homicidal maniac persuaded that Hinata-sama must be protected from everything. Right now, though, Neji wasn't the biggest threat around.
Kyuubi stretched his legs, still purr-growling deep in his throat, then settled down on his patch of sun again. His tanned skin was a vivid contrast to the lush grass; he wasn't that much paler where he ought to have been wearing his boxers, and she wondered for a second whether Naruto was used to walking around his house in the nude. Then of course she blushed, because that was one thing she didn't need to wonder about her friend.
Kyuubi growled, baring his fangs briefly. "Be quiet, bitch. And stop taking my sunlight."
And then Sasuke nudged the demon-fox with his foot.
Any of the others could have told him it was a bad, bad idea; but he was Uchiha Sasuke, and he was living with Kyuubi's vessel. One would have assumed that he knew better.
Weirdly, when Kyuubi was wet, he looked even more naked then when he was just dry and naked.
The blonde stuck his arm out and reached up to the top of his desk, hand searching for a pencil. After much fruitless groping, he found one and erased Sasuke’s row for the next two and a half weeks. He then quickly filled in those time slots in Neji’s row.
Then, just for fun, he assigned Shikamaru for substitution at the Academy where he would spend then next few days surrounded by screaming four year olds who were just learning how to throw sharp, pointy objects.
“Well, actually I have a number of things on the docket today to discuss. The first and foremost concerning you, bastard.”
“What is it, dobe?”
“We took a vote. You’re definitely gay.”
The Uchiha heir hated the Hyuuga, especially at the moment. Ever since Neji had found out about his mild, very mild attraction towards the Hokage, the long-haired man had insisted on tormenting him about it.
He especially found it amusing when Sasuke got jealous.
“So anyway, Neji, you’re clear for high class missions for the next year. Congratulations. Also, this means that you can guard me more often and we can have fun make-out sessions in my closet.”
“Uzumaki…,” Neji hesitated from telling the blonde to shut up when he remembered Sasuke, “I think I’d rather screw on your desk.”
Shikamaru had been right; ignoring someone was a good way to get their attention. He almost felt bad about the substitution mission, almost. Instead he made a mental note to give the Nara a raise.
After all, he had more important things to worry about than getting beat up by a naked Sasuke. He silently reminded himself to request that Sasuke be in the nude the next time they sparred.
If he were anyone other than Uchiha Sasuke, he would have felt self-conscious under such scrutiny.
Well, maybe Neji wouldn’t… or possibly Shino…
He made a mental note that head injuries made Sasuke listen.
Kakashi wasn’t quite satisfied with that answer. He saw the bandages the Anbu had on, and his sharp eye hadn’t missed the look the mysterious man had given Sasuke. Also, why would a visitor be wearing the Konoha hitai-ate? He decided to let it go for now, opting to say, “Welcome to Konoha. I like your mask.”
“Arigato,” the other replied with a slight bow. “Yours is very nice as well.”
Naruto tightened the hitai-ate around his hair, appearing thoughtful. “No killing one another.”
Gaara actually made the effort to roll his eyes. “I think that’s a given,” he said.
“Well with you you never know,” Naruto said with a grin. “I like to establish the no death rule upfront.”
Gamakichi turned to look at her. “I remember you,” he said thoughtfully. “You’re the kid’s old love.” Gamakichi looked from her to Sasuke and grinned his toothless grin. “Wow, that’s uncomfortable. Old love and new—”
“You have no idea how important it is to your health that you do not finish that sentence,” Naruto said, glaring down at the frog.
“I resolve to…” Gai started. “To…to celebrate life, liberty and the pursuit of youthfulness more often!” He stood up, pointed off into the nonexistent sunset as a wave crashed behind him and tears streamed down his eyes.
“Don’t you resolve that every year?” Asuma said with a raised eyebrow.
“Not to mention that this would be a perfect excuse to gather all our students together to make the announcement that we’ll be forcing them to celebrate all the holidays of the year with us.” Kakashi added.
“Excuse us!” said Sakura loudly from across the room. “But what are you four talking about over there?”
Kakashi quickly hid the clipboard behind his back as they all stood up straight, whistling innocently. “Nothing!” they chimed.
“So let us continue with the celebration!” Gai said. “It’s my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to! But I don’t want to so let’s PAR-TAY!”
With that, Gai commenced in dancing to no music.
While the other teachers frantically searched for some music to put on so Gai wouldn’t look so foolish, the students congregated to talk about their horrible fate that would last an entire year.
“It wasn’t for no reason.” Sasuke said. “Or do I have to remind you of her previous stupidity she just insulted us with?” Sasuke then paused and frowned. He had accidentally put himself and Naruto in the same category. And now he was sad. “I’m going home.”
"You have a group of people waiting for you in the front yard.” Shino’s dad said.
Shino got up out of bed and walked to the window. He looked down at the yard to see all his peers and their teachers waving banners and wearing party hats while yelling for Shino to come out.
“Apparently, it’s your birthday.” Shino’s father said.