But nobody sang for dango
Man, it's been a while, hasn't it? This was like starting the ink in a pen, too. Hopefully it's up to par!
Six days later…
“Five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred seconds…” Naruto gasped as he weakly summoned a hell-god from the depths of Ang-shur-iol (Again, slave pits: informative.) “Five hundred, twenty-five thousand moments you sucked!
“That was weak, kid,” the nukenin panted. “Weak like ramen
.” He exorcised the thing with a flat of his blade.
“Blasphemer! KICK YOUR ASS NO JUTSU!
“IGNORE PANSY-ASS NO JUTSU!
“Okay, now it’s just getting sad,” Hinata muttered, crunching on some caramel popcorn. “…and now I’m all out of snacks.” She sighed. “Haku-chan, could you please inform Zabuza-san that we bought his contract yesterday?”
It was true. Naruto and Zabuza’s fight had gone on so long that vendors had set up stands to take advantage of the crowds camped out to watch. Hinata had immediately set up the licensing agreements, contracted the old bridge builder to convert his magnificent dream into a stadium, and sold tickets. It made her enough in one day to buy controlling shares in Gato’s company and kick him out. Then she bankrupted him. It was glorious. Hinata still got shivers thinking about it.
“Zabuza-san!” Haku dodged several large flaming balls of lizards. “Zabuza-san, our mission is over!”
“The hell it is!”
“The contract was canceled, we were paid, and these ninja don’t even know why you’re fighting!”
” Zabuza growled.
loathing!” Naruto snarled back.
“For your face!”
“Let’s just say-”
“You loathe it all, “ Haku said calmly, “I see. But regardless, your attacks are getting much weaker, and to be frank Zabuza-san, I could defeat you both right now. Either step it up, or take a rest- you’re losing us money.”
“What, you bet on me or something?” Zabuza swung his massive blade up on his shoulder and winced when something cracked.
“No,” Haku replied. “I receive twenty-five percent of the profits.”
“Profits?” Naruto asked. “What prof… its…” He blinked as the extremely long stadium in front of them registered. “Hey, where’d all these people come from?”
“They’re spectators, Naruto,” Hinata said, jumping down. “You’ve become a national sport.”
“I have? Cool!
” he exclaimed. Then he frowned. “…aw, crap, I get what you’re saying. Yeah, yeah, we need something pizazzy. Hrm. Man, and we already ripped all our clothes off!”
“A fact my libido happily thanks you for,” Hinata said cheerfully.
“And I kinda used up most of my explosions…”
“That accounted for half our profit spikes.”
“What about adding drama or something?” Naruto scratched his head. “Like, he’s pissed his girl fell in love with me or something?”
” Hinata snarled. “I mean- *ahem*
we don’t need to demean ourselves with such cheap and shallow tricks.”
Haku flushed. “Besides, I’m a boy!”
“Really?” Naruto said, cocking his head. “Right on, man! I can’t pull the look off without turning into a girl!” Turning into a…?
“Well-” Naruto turned to Zabuza. “Looks like we’ll have to call this one off. I mean, unless you’ve got some super-awesome move like Meteor or something.”
“Wha-” Zabuza choked. “No!
Screw you, kid, didn’t you hear me before? I loathe
“That’s cool,” Naruto nodded, “We can still be arch-nemeses and all, it’s just, we’re going to lose crowd interest if we drive this into the ground. ‘s better if we fall back and try killing each other every couple months, keeps the viewers on their seats, y’know?”
“Come on, Zabuza-san,” Haku said, leading his idol away. “Let me explain entertainment dynamics to you…”
“Well, kids,” Anko said, hopping down beside them. “It’s been fun, but we’ve gotta get back and tell the old man someone ate our mission.”
Naruto’s face fell. “Aw, man, that’s right.”
“Worry is unnecessary.” Shino adjusted his glasses. “I have acquired a Magu Magu no Mi at the bottom of my pack.”
“Ano, Shino-san, how did you find one?” Hinata asked curiously.
“There is apparently a mail-order catalog.”
it!” Ino shrieked. “I am done
with all this stupid crap! For real, this time!”
“Now, Ino…” Asuma said reprovingly.
“No! No, Asuma-sensei, I became a ninja to be magnificent!
To be awed!
I want it! I want it all! The fame, and the fortune, and more! I want to have my star in the sky! And shoveling pig shit
is not going to cut it!”
“ Asuma’s voice became sharp. “Simply-““
came a much older shriek. “Enough!
I have had it with you three!”
“Kurenai?” Asuma exclaimed bewilderedly.
” Asuma exclaimed, tackling her.
“Let me go!” she screamed, “He had it coming!”
“Kurenai, you can’t just-”
“He had it coming!” she cried. “He only had himself to blame! If you’d have been there, if you’d have seen it…”
Asuma looked up from where he held Kurenai weeping. “What the hell did you boys do?!”
Neji shifted uncertainly. “Shikamaru… developed a new technique,” he said.
“We call it the Pimpmphrgmph
!” Kiba struggled against Shikamaru’s grip.
” Kurenai clutched him desperately. “You were fine with trading your kids around before, right? Take the little pot-heads! Now!
“No! Give me your girls. It’s not like you know anything about training kunoichi, anyway!”
Asuma stared into the burning death he beheld in her eyes and decided that, just maybe this once, it would be better not to ask any questions.
“Alright, fine. Girls, Chouji, you’re with Kurenai. Boys-”
“Let’s hear more about this pimp jutsu.” a voice perked up.
as Kurenai suddenly did horrible, unspeakable things to him. When Asuma coughed, she whirled on him, eyes blazing. He held his hands up.
“I know, I know; it was a murder, but not a crime.” CRASH!
“Come back here, foul harbinger!
” A flurry of colors whirled across the square, pausing on a roof long enough to coalesce into three figures, before blurring again to converge on a screaming pick-pocket.
“Sugoi…” Chouji’s eyes sparkled. “Look at them go!”
“What on earth?
” Kurenai staggered against a wall, staring.
” a high-pitched voice cried from high in the air.
“I’ve got a theory!” Kiba exclaimed, “That’s a demon!”
“Hahaha, swift fiend, if you will not stay still, then I will move with you!
” The yellow blur ricocheted around the poor man like a pinball on crack.
“A dancing demon?” Shikamaru frowned. “No, something isn’t right there.”
“I’ve got theory,” Neji spoke up. “Some kid is dreaming, and we’re all stuck inside his whacky magic nightmare.”
“Majutsu indeed, fateful drug user!” the green blur declared, resolving into-
“Oh my God!”
“No, my ex-student, it is I!” Gai sparkled. “SAYLA JUPITA!” He paused. “Though, the mistake is flattering.”
“Nejiiiiii…” Kurenai growled dangerously, “If I find out this is some drug trip…”
“Oh, kami, if only!” Neji wept.
“Sugooooi…” Chouji whispered.
“Underwear-headed child!” Gai boomed, slapping Chouji’s shoulder. “I see you are struck by our passionate labors!”
” Chouji squeaked.
Gai nodded. “Indeed!” He looked at Asuma. “My smoke-scented colleague! I propose a trade!”
“Already swapped with Kurenai.”
“Kurenai, beauteous mind-sorceress!”
“Give me Tenten.”
Gai beamed. “The very thought from my head! Truly, you have trained MOST YOUTHFULLY in your arts! Tuxedo Kamen!
Tenten appeared in from of Gai, dressed quite snappily in a tuxedo and cape. “Good evening. Who would you like killed today?”
“Tuxedo Kamen, I am reassigning you to Kurenai, in exchange for Chouji-kun here.”
Her eyes flitted to the jounin. “Will I be giving up my rose?”
“Have no fear! For that most honorable vagabond who sold me these items found another! Chouji, take this emblem and say the words found most deep in your heart!"
Chouji took the girlishly pink pen with a deep reverence, and held it aloft.
“MOON PRISM POWER-!”
“Ahhh, man, it’s good to be home!” Naruto said as they walked back through Konoha’s gates. He stretched his arms. “Man, it’s like nothing changed a bit!”
“I want you whipped into shape!”
a crazy woman shouted, chasing several girls down the street.
Naruto blinked. “Wait, is that Sakura-chan?”
“When I say jump, say how high!”
Shino adjusted his glasses. “I believe that is also Yamanaka-san as well.”
Anko blinked. “Holy crud on a dango-stick! That’s Kurenai! When’d she get so hardcore?”
“You know you’re doing it right when you start to cry!
, that’s hot!” They all turned to Anko. “What?”
Naruto shook his head. “Never mind- hey, look, it’s Iruka-sensei! Hey, Iruka!
“Naruto!” Iruka exclaimed. “When did you get back? I’d heard you got sent on a snipe hunt!”
“Pssht, like that’d long!” Naruto scoffed. “I can bag like ten snipes in a half hour!”
Iruka coughed. “Er, Naruto…” He felt a hand on his arm.
“I have found,” Aburame-kun said solemnly, “That it is not wise to question him on these things. They may be true.
they’re true!” Naruto scowled. Then he brightened. “Ne, ne, Iruka-sensei, check it out! We got something that’ll let you turn into lava!
“Lava?!” Iruka exclaimed. “You mean you actually-” He caught Shino’s glance and coughed. “Right. I see. Turns you into lava, huh?”
It’s crazy! But wait’ll you hear what we had to go through to get it! Com’on, com’on, I’ll tell you over ramen!”
“Ramen?” Iruka began to sweat.
“Yeah, man, it feels like I haven’t had a bowl in like ages!
Come on!” Naruto flew down the street.
“Ramen…” Iruka slumped. Hinata patted his shoulder sympathetically and walked off in Naruto’s direction. Iruka sighed after a moment and began to follow. Dear kami… you made many, many poor people. I realize, of course, that it's no shame to be poor. But it's no great honor either! So, what would have been so terrible if I had a small fortune…?
Above Iruka, Gai and his senshi flew through the air.
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