“It really is a beautiful day,” Dawn said as she looked at the sky. The sky was as blue as usual, and if there hadn’t been so many trees and a few more buildings she could almost believe she was back in good old California, USA.
Tenten stood beside her, shading her eyes to squint up at the sky.
“Yeah, not many clouds for Shikimaru to watch. He’s in your new team, right?” Tenten didn’t wait for the answer, she already knew it.
“They lost their Sensei a while back, and I’ve heard they’ve been taking it pretty hard. For a while our teams were pretty mismatched, so we all got to know each other fairly well, being thrown together for missions and all. I’m sure that they’ll get out of their funk soon, but they do seem to be having some emo issues. They are pretty talented though. Ino has some pretty good medical training, Tsunade’s been working on her to come back to it, but even if she doesn’t, she’s still pretty talented. Chouji has major man power, great guy to have at your back, and Shikimaru is a brilliant strategist. So you know, it may seem a bit taxing at first, but I definitely think that they’re the best to have at your back in a battle.”
Dawn stared at Tenten, wondering how the conversation had turned to her team, not that she didn’t appreciate the thought, always nice to know what’s going on and all.
“Ready for this?” Dawn asked.
Dawn had teamed up with Tenten after leaving Tsunade. The two had promised to compare sword techniques before their teams would meet.
“You bet yah,” Tenten said, pulling out two matching blades. Dawn did not move.
“Any restrictions on what we’re doing? Keeping a traditional style or anything?” Tenten asked.
“Nope? Whatever we want as long as it doesn’t seriously harm the other person or uses ninjutsu?” Dawn answered.
“Sounds good by me. Ready?”
“On three. One, two,three…”
Tenten jumped, swerving through the air to reach Dawn, her weapons reached in front of her to attack her opponent.
Dawn swept around her Tenten with a spinning foot, bending backwards to avoid the turning blade and reaching around Tenten to point a dagger at her back, Tenten turned, catching the blade with one and using the other to attack Dawn again. Dawn turned her dagger to catch the incoming blade, and twisted Tenten’s two blades together in order to force them out of her arms.
Tenten moved in the same directions of her blades, swinging herself into a flip to get the pressure off of her arms without releasing her weapons. She landed beside Dawn and swung her weapons again, Dawn slipped her blade from its sheath enough to deflect Tenten’s first blade, while her dagger caught the first. Then she reached her leg out to kick Tenten in the chest.
Tenten let Dawn push her arms backwards, and flipped her own leg outwards, to catch Dawn’s incoming foot, but Dawn leapt around it and pointed her dagger at Tenten’s chest, not driving it forward.
“Strike one!” Dawn murmured with a grin as Tenten caught her dagger with her swords, twisting it away. While Tenten’s blades were occupied Dawn unsheathed her Katana and swung it towards Tentens neck, carefully controlling it so she could pull it back at the last moment, she didn’t have to, for Tenten had released a blade from its hold on her dagger, and caught Dawn’s Katana. Without the pressure of two blades on her arm, Dawn slid her blade to Tenten’s grip on the hilt and forced it out of her hand. Swinging her blade underneath Tenten’s arm, Dawn stopped short of driving it into her ribcage, where Tenten grabbed Dawn’s hand and tried to force her to release her dagger. Dawn turned to blade to lightly nick Tenten’s skin. Tenten did not let go, but her concentration had lessened and Dawn used the opportunity to win the battle on Tenten’s other sword, twisting it out of her hand and onto the soil beside her.
Tenten started to twist backwards to reach her blades, Dawn stopped her retreat by sliding her foot beneath Tenten’s and driving her dagger downward towards Tenten’s exposed torso. As she halted with her dagger lightly digging into Tenten Dawn felt a sting at her side and saw a kunai held to her ribcage.
Dawn grinned as she slid off Tenten and offered her a hand up, after sheathing her katana and dagger. Tenten took it, her smile matching Dawn’s.
“You’re good! I’d hate to see what you could do when you don’t have to worry about killing me!”
“You’re pretty good yourself Tenten. Especially with what you said about swords being more of a minor part of your arsenal.”
“Yeah, I kind of lean towards the mass destruction with hundreds of throwing blades usually.”
“Sounds like a horrible clean up.”
“It is.” The voice didn’t come from Tenten, and Dawn turns to see the small audience they had gained. Shikimaru was leaning against a tree, his hands firmly tucked into his pockets. A small, crooked smile was on his lips, and Dawn was startled to see him so much more open than his rather…impassive face yesterday.
Well, Tenten did say they were dealing with a lot of stuff, Dawn thought.
Tenten was sheathing her swords, and turned to Dawn.
“I’ve got to run if I’m going to be on time for my teams training session, but it was a lot of fun!
Nice to see you to Shikimaru,” Tenten said as she started off to her own training ground.
“I guess we don’t really need to test your skills today,” said another voice. Chouji stood beside Shikimaru, his hands oddly figidy.
And there was Ino. A scowl covered her face, directed towards Chouji.
“Just eat some potato chips already!” Ino said.
Dawn stared at them oddly, trying to be discreet. They all seemed to be MUCH more at ease then they had when she had last seen them.
Shikimaru noticed her staring and scratched his head sheepishly. It was Chouji who finally spoke, as he popped open a bag that Ino had handed him.
“We sorted out some problems we were having, after meeting you last night,” he said.
Dawn nodded, slightly puzzled.
Guess last night was a breakdown for all of us, she thought.
Staring at her new teammates, Dawn noticed remembered something she had noticed yesterday.
“You’re a Yamanaka, right Ino?” Dawn asked.
“Yeah,” Ino answered.
“Are you related to a man named Shouta?”
“He’s my grandpa, he’s still around too, though he’s really old.”
Dawn blinked, that was…odd. Dawn couldn’t help but smile though.
Guess I’ve got another person to visit, Dawn thought.
“We were just going to train a bit today,” Shikimaru said. “You obviously have some weapon training, but it would probably be best to get used to each others ninjutso techniques and such as well. We are all mainly family jutso centric, so if you know about the Yamanakas you probably know our signature moves as well.”
“Shadow techniques, mind control, and strength inflation, right?”
“Pretty much,” Chouji answered.
“I usually stick with taijutsu unless things get pretty bad,” Dawn said. “Most of my unique techniques aren’t very practice friendly, but I know some wind and earth jutsus…a little bit of everything really, but other than sword fighting, it’s more mish and mash than any real specialty.”
“Alright then, do you want to spar to on two then?” Shikimaru asked. They all nodded their consent and split up into teams.
They really aren’t that bad, Dawn mused. They didn’t seem much the type to be incriminating. She wondered if Tsunade had been thinking of this when she’d picked this team. Though, she was sure they were still dealing with some issues. Perhaps Tsunade had been depending on this when she had picked the team, but somehow, Dawn thought post traumatic paronia was just an afterthought. After all, Tsunade had always taken great care with Dawn.
Perhaps some things never change, Dawn thought with a smile. But now the fight was starting, and Dawn needed all of her attention in one place.
I’m back! It’s been a while, I thought about re-writing the stuff I had before, but I don’t quite have the patience for it, so I’ve tried to bring an end to all the major (poorly written on my part) angst. I don’t think I realized how miserable everyone was! Anyway, please review, I adore criticism, and check out Bellec’s character war project, pretty cool stuff!