As usual I own nothing in the way to rights of these characters I'm playing with.
Sorry for the wait folks I got busy with other stuff and the Muse wasn't being overly helpful in this chapter either.
Peter dreamed, and as he dreamed the barriers that had been holding memories back released and he remembered the memories of a life full of adventure love and death. He remembered how he got his powers due to an experiment and a twist of fate. He remembered Uncle Ben, Aunt May Gwen, Captain Stacy, and so many more. He remembered bits and pieces of the life of the Amazing and Spectacular Spider-Man. A person that lived in a world so far beyond the one that he lived in. The very Gods themselves walked amongst the people from his old life it seemed. It was a world that had as many marvelous things as it did dangers. Weapons and powers that didn't even rely on the power of chakra. Science and magic for the most part taking up the duties that chakra did. Bits and pieces of it were all coming back to him names faces dates. Despite that though there were still bits and pieces missing. He didn't know how he knew he just knew that he was forgetting things for some reason or other. It was as if the memories themselves were garbled. He recalled some fights but then some of the memories and fights were incomplete. He knew who many of the beings were, but he couldn't hear what their voices sounded like even as he thought back to a person or thing. He also was finding that while he may be remembering who and what he may have been the emotions that went with the memories for the most part didn't seem to be there. Scattered memories that didn’t tell the whole story. A story that he really wished that he knew more of.
When he was woken up the various medics had checked him out and had then quizzed him. Once he was deemed safe, Tsunade had come to check him over. The Fifth had confirmed all of their reports while watching the ninja before her. “Here.” She finally decided as she tossed Peter his file. “You think that's right?”
Peter caught the file, and his eyes began expertly skimming it. Frowning a bit at a few spots, but seeming to make a quick adjustment as he translated some of what he was reading.
“So you can read medical reports now?” Tsundae questioned with interest, as she watched the boy do more than a basic ninja did when they were presented with medical records. A ninja like Kakashi usually focused on the stats, and merely checked to see if the vital numbers were around what they had been told they were supposed to be. A real medic ninja though knew what each of those numbers meant, and she could see it in the way that Peter's eyes had roamed over the numbers. He knew what they meant and what was more the numbers weren't what he had been expecting.
"Yes Lady Hokage," Peter returned to her. “I have skills in various medical fields, though I'm best with biochemistry.” He admitted to her.
“Biochemistry?” Tsundae questioned with interest, as she was not familiar with the term that he had just used.
“A study of how chemicals and the body react.” Peter explained. “I'm also pretty good in just about every basic form of science as well.” He admitted, as he thought of some of the things that he could now remember. “It does explain how I was able to mentally disassemble a lot of the technology in our last mission.” He mused to himself. “However, despite all that I don't have any training in medical jutsu.” He explained to the blonde woman.
“I see.” Tsundae noted, it sounded similar to a poisoner to her. “We still need to have a Yamanaka walk your mind and see if you are loyal.” She reminded him.
“Of course Lady Hokage.” Peter agreed.
“Then after that you will be expected to write a report on wherever it is that you came from.” She added in, smirking as she saw him pale at thought. It was always fun to pass the misery of paperwork around to others. The only way to make to better was getting someone to do her paperwork. Which now that she thought about it she had a large pile of paperwork that she was going to have to get around to doing sooner or later. She grimaced slightly at the thought of the work she had been putting off while she examined the mystery that Peter represented. Even Shizune had been willing to give her some time while she worked on this “You appear to know who you are and who I am. I just have to ask you one question. Who are you?”
“Who am I? You sure you really want to know?” Peter questioned her. “My story is not for the faint of heart.” He assured her. “Who am I? I'm Spider-Man.”
“Spider-Man?” Tsunade repeated.
“Yeah, the Amazing Spider-Man.” Peter returned in amusement. “Let me tell you the story of a teenage hero who rose from the streets of despair and became one of its most incredible defenders. Which begs to question how it is that I showed up in this world a lot younger than I remember being.”
The Hokage held a hand up stopping him from starting his tale. “You can do that for the Yamanaka specialist.” Tsunade returned to him grinning slightly at the antics that the boy was giving. “Something tells me you are going to be filling his head with a number of tales.
Peter chuckled a bit at that. “You have no idea.” He promised her. “I've got a whale of a tale for you and anyone else that's interested in listening.”
“Are you still loyal though?” Tsunade asked curiously. She really hoped so the time it would take to retrain a ninja to his level was long. One had to teach physical education, chakra, hand seals, history, and that didn't include the things that he had learned while under the tutelage of Kakashi.
“Are you asking am I going to betray the village to where it is that I come from?” Peter asked carefully. Tsunade nodded her head in the affirmative. “Then no, I'm not planning on it at least I'm not thinking about planning on it I'm pretty sure.”
“Good enough.” Tsunade declared as she rose to her feet.
"Awe c'mon, how did you know whether or not I was telling the truth?" Peter questioned curiously. "I mean there has to be more to it than that."
"I'm a medical ninja, I was able to scan your body and check for any changes in your body." Tsunade explained to the boy with a smirk.
Peter nodded in understanding, this sounded rather disturbingly familiar. He thought back to a man in a yellow and black uniform. "Just like Daredevil." He muttered, he frowned as he saw the same man only he was older and dressed in a red uniform. At least it didn't look like a color blind person had put it together anymore. Heck the yellow getup was just as bad as Naruto's target practice colored jumpsuit. Naruto really should be commended for his ability to manage to hide when wearing thing.
"A guy who has super senses that make him at least a match for the Byakugan for their ability to detect things." Peter explained to her.
Tsunade nodded at this, it sounded as if young Peter had a number of interesting things to tell them.
The Hokage got up and left, and once Peter was sure that he was alone. He deflated slightly, while everything he had told Lady Tsundae was truthful there were things that he was going to have to decide about. The biggest one being that Spider-Man didn't kill. Yet as a ninja he had already been forced to kill several times in combat. He wasn't sure where the two thoughts and philosophies could mingle. As a ninja he was supposed to take lives from time to time it was the rare ninja that went their lives without killing. Kakashi-Sensei was a good man one of the best yet he had killed several times. He was considered to be one of the best of the Shinobi in the village and considered to be a potential canidate for most powerful ninja after the Hokage and a few other ninja. Peter sighed as he looked at his hands. He wasn't the same hero that he had once been. Spider-Man was a hero and a vigilante, but one of the things he had sworn never to do was to take another life. As a Ninja if the Leaf he had left that oath behind. However despite all that he now knew he wasn't sure he had done wrong. He had sworn an oath as a ninja though. He was more like some of the heroes and vigilantes that he had always despised. People like the Punisher killed he didn't. A part of him wished he knew someone that could explain it all to him tell him which path it was that he needed to follow.
Peter looked up as a Yamanaka entered the room. If you are well we will take you to the Torture and Interrogation center to begin your debriefing.
Peter nodded as he reached for his clothes. He saw that he had all of his equipment and weapons as well. It seemed as if for the moment they were willing to believe in what he had to say about his loyalties. As long as they didn't try and pull a Jameson on him he would be okay. He really hoped that they didn't do anything like that though, because he really didn't want to deal with some of the things that Jameson had put him through again. What came next was a series of questions as the interrogators began asking him about his life and memories. It turned out that while Peter had memories of another life he didn't remember what it all meant.
The knowledge that the boy before them was actually at least 17 and likely older if his memories were anything to go by was interesting. It was as if he had the memories and experience to more than make up for many things it also explained the level of skill that he often showed in the use of his bloodline. There were still people and places that he didn't recognize in his memories though. People that he was sure were important to him. He only hoped that he would be able to learn more as time went by and he was able to gain more of his memories. Who knows, more treatments could free up more of his mind and allow him to remember more. Although if Lady Tsunadae's appearances were anything to go by, then it might be a while before she was ready to try again as the method had seemed to take a lot of her chakra. Not exactly something that could be done a lot of times. Considering the procedure had given him memories of the average ninja's lifespan was useful. Considering what he fought it seemed that it wouldn't be surprising if he only lived the same age as a ninja.
Despite having his memories back though it did add more questions. The top of those being was how the heck did he have biological webbing? He couldn't even think of a time that he had ever had something like that. The nicknames that he had given most of the others made sense now at least. They were nicknames or abbreviations of the names of people that he already knew or had known. Part of that was kind of confusing. If he knew how he got here and how it happened it might be less confusing, but for the time being he was going to have to figure things out on his own though.
“A difficult decision now awaits you Gennin.” Ibiki stated, as he sat across the table from the boy that was before him.
Peter nodded his head in agreement with what the heavily scarred Jonnin was telling him. The rules of Spider-Man and his world and the rules of the shinobi and this world had certain differences in them. Here the balance is different the rules are different. killing is a part of the way this world works. In his old world he would have just thrown his opponents in prison.
“The question is where do the rules change. Are you the shinobi or the hero?” Ibiki asked him, as he looked at him curiously waiting to see just how it was that he would answer. The man laced his fingers and stared intently at the boy before him. Peter felt sweat dripping into his face, and he realized that this was a major question and how he answered it was going to be one of the major things that they considered when it came to allowing him back on the team.
Ibiki nodded as he watched the boy with interest. This was one of the things that he was skilled at. He was going to slice through all of the mental defenses that the boy had, and he was going to force him to think through things. It was why he had insisted on briefing the boy before he had talked with any of his friends or clan members. He wanted to make sure that he got a full idea of just what it was that the boy would do when the time came.
"How should I know?" Peter angrily demanded of the Special Jonnin slamming his fist through the cheap table that was between them. Ibiki merely raised an eyebrow at the display of strength, but allowed the boy to continue. "I'm trained to put an enemy down as quickly as possible I also have all sorts of memories in dealing with beings that have to be stopped. I remember fighting people that are easily as strong if not stronger than some of the strongest shinobi.” Peter glared at him. “I don't even know who I am anymore. Am I Peter Parker the vigilante known as Spider-Man or am I Peter Parker of the Aburame Clan student of Kakashi Hatake and member of Konoha Squad 7?”
Ibiki looked the boy over with interest. The boy had potential, and was on an edge that many ninja had found themselves on in the past. Most were much older before they began questioning their places and it was usually after a rather devastating mission that usually ended with a majority of a team dead or something similar. It seemed that having parts of his memory back was a two edged blade that would now come back to haunt him. He was as confused as any of the ninja he had seen. Only time would tell if he was going to be able to continue as an effective ninja. Fortunately for him he had a few ways of persuading the boy before him that the way of the ninja was the one that he wanted. “I have something that may help you make up your mind.” He informed the boy.
“Yeah what might that be?” Peter questioned suspiciously.
In response Ibiki pushed an open folder towards the boy. Peter looked down at it. Lying where he could see it was the Team 7 team photo. “That's one of the reasons that you fight is it not?” He questioned the boy curiously as he watched the boy. “With Great Power Comes Great responsibility that is your Nindo is it not? You now have more power, but can you act with the responsibly that this power gives you?” He challenged the Gennin before him.
Peter scowled at the man that was challenging him in his Nindo. The fact that he now knew where it came from made all the more insulting. “I've never backed down from what my responsibilities to my powers mean.” He spat back at the man angrily.
“Really? Because it’s starting to seem that way with the way, you’re trying to decide if you can be a proper Shinobi anymore.” Ibiki returned coldly. “Are you still able to do your Nindo?”
“Try me.” Peter returned in a strong voice.
“Show me. Ibiki returned as two figures in black dropped to the ground with drawn swords. Peter pushed his chair back and rolled under the twin swings. He then came up in a headstand and performed a spinning splitkick knocking the two figures into opposite walls. He flipped back up and fired webbing at the pair. One raised their sword only for their blade to become entangled in the webbing, while the other used a substitution with a chair. Peter raised his arm and caught an incoming sword on his bracer and punched the ninja hard enough to send them sailing across the room. The other ninja had tossed their webbed up sword to the side and drawn a pair of kunai and began moving in twirling the blades expertly. Peter flipped over a lunge and came up behind them and drew his own kunai and slammed into the back of the figure without even thinking about it. The two figures wavered for a moment before falling apart into piles of dirt.
“A mud clone?” He asked in surprise.
“Well done.” Ibiki congratulated calmly, not having even moved from his seat during the entire fight. “It seems that there is still a part of you capable of performing your duties it seems. It was a layered genjutsu and clone attack by the way.” He added as he finally rose to his feet. “That Spider Sense of yours does make some of these tests more difficult to set up.” He noted in an amused tone.
“So first you throw me through your head games and then you attack me with a couple of clones that are protected by the? Peter asked him in disbelief.
Ibiki smirked at him. “You weren't even cut, so I don't know what's got you so upset.”
“So says the guy that likes to jerk me around.” Peter grumbled. “Now what, you got a marathon?”
“Now you go and check on your team, Uzumaki and Yuki returned the other day. They should be at the hospital with the rest of the team. It turned out to be a bit more than they were expecting. That's what happens when we allow Lady Tsunade to bet on a mission though. She may have won, but we nearly lost an entire team at the same time. The interrogation expert grumbled to the final member of the team. On the plus side there was some recovery items that went alright and Lady Tsundae has secured business between the Leaf and the Land of Tea’s more influential. At least until the next race happens. He added with an indifferent shrug. “Now get out of here, you’ll have plenty of time to worry about those sorts of things during all of those reports that you’re going to writing.”
Peter nodded and took off. Once he got out he headed for the hospital, where Team Speed was currently recovering from their mission. Sasuke was the only that had been seriously injured. The others had been roughed up, but were alright for the most part.
“See, this is why you should have let me come with you.” Peter noted from where he was leaning against the doorway where they were all gathered around the injured Sasuke. “Had I been with you I would have been able to keep you out of trouble.” He teased his friend.
“Peter!” Tenten and Sakura called out happily glad to see that the masked ninja was up and about.
That’s the name on my ninja ID don’t wear it out. Peter grinned as he showed the girls his id. The girls breathed sighs of relief as they realized that this meant that Peter was still a member of the Ninja Core. So what happened to you guys? Peter asked ignoring the curiousn looks that the others were sending him.
An oblivious Naruto and Rock Lee quickly began telling the story of how their mission had gone. It had started with some guy a couple years older than the Rookies insulting all of them at a little food joint. He had then left them with the check for his meal. The boy had then ran off at speeds that were stunning. He had quickly left Sasuke and Naruto behind. Haku had managed to keep up for a little while but had eventually fallen behind. Rock Lee had managed to catch up to the boy but he had been forced to remove his weights. Everyone had been shocked to hear that as they knew just how it was that Lee could go when he was without his weights. It had turned into something of a race for about halfway to the Land of Tea where the two boys raced each other neck and neck. The sneak had finally gotten tired of having Lee keep pace with him though and decided to deal with Lee while he was alone. What had followed was a quick taijutsu match that Lee had easily dominated the other boy. It had been several hour later when the rest of the team had finally caught up with a waiting Lee and a tied up boy.
They had taken the boy with them to meet with the Wasabi family that was their current employer. It had been to the shock and annoyance of all of the Konoha Ninja to learn that their mission was actually to act as the body guard to the boy that had insulted them and then tried to make them pay for his meal. It turned out that the boy was called Idate Wasabi and was the champion runner in the family and was going to be participating in the Annual Race that helped the two main crime families determine who had control of the port and control of the shipping in the area. Why their team was made up of speedsters now made more sense. Naruto was possibly the slowest of them, but he made up for his lack of speed with more endurance and chakra than the others. His previous connection with the Wasabi Family through Tsunade made him a good ambassador for the group as scary as that thought was.
The race consisted of two parts, one would sail to a different part of the land and then run back to the town square. Idate the runner that they were assigned to protect had obviously known more than just running though as he had determined a better port from which to launch himself from and come at a better angle. They had sailed on a ship only to be ambushed by ninja that they all recognized. The rubber suited ninja from the Land of Rain. In the ensuing battle their ship had been destroyed, but Haku had managed to escort Idate to safety while Naruto, Sasuke, and Lee dealt with the group of Rain Gennin. Haku had stale mated himself in a battle with a former Leaf Shinobi by the name of Aoi Rokushō who had defected to the other village. The others noted that their seemed to be a story between the client and the rain ninja, but none of them were saying anything. Even Naruto hadn’t let anything slip which was surprising.
While this was going on the Konoha Ninja engaged the other Gennin under water where Naruto and Lee created twin whirlpools that dealt with the group. what had followed was a game of cat and mouse where Idate and his escort tried to keep ahead of a much stronger opponent. Thanks to a poison that the Jonnin had used the group hadn’t been at one hundred percent and even Naruto’s healing abilities had been pushed to keep up with the poison. In the end they had ended up facing off against Aoi on a bridge while wielding the legendary Blade of the Thunder Spirit. The weapon of the second Hokage. The Jonnin managed to beat Haku, Lee, and Saskue before Naruto got in a lucky hit with his rasengen that had shattered the weapon. The rest of the race had been simple with Lee and Naruto acting as guards for Idate while Haku and Sasuke had been forced to remain behind due to their injuries. Idate won and then Lee had passed out from his own wounds. That was how Team Speed’s mission had gone from a C Rank escort Mission to an A Rank Escort and Retrieval. Evidently even though it was broken the sword was still valuable to a number of people of the village.
“And that’s how our mission went, how about you guys?” Naruto questioned curiously looking the group over. “Have you guys had any interesting missions while we were gone?”
“I got some of my memory back.” Peter returned with a grin. “It’s still sketchy, but I remember more of my life than I did before.”
“Really? Alright.” Naruto cried high fiving his friend. That’s great news. Anything cool that you can tell us?” Naruto questioned with interest, as he looked at his friend eagerly. The blonde was excited for his friend, and he was also relieved that he was still acting like the Peter that he had known for so many years. His biggest fear was that Peter would regain his memory and start treating him like an outcast just like the rest of the village had for so long. He really wasn’t sure if he would survive something like that. Losing one of his special people would probably be more than he wanted to lose. There was no telling what lengths that he would probably have gone to keep his friendship alive if that had happened.
“I'm not from this world.” Peter returned to the group. “Turns out that I'm from an alternate Earth.” He explained, watching several eyes widen in shock at this bit of information. Sure there had been some guesses and theories about his origins, but this was the first time that they had ever gotten confirmation on this.
Sasuke snorted at this. “Do you honestly expect us to believe that you come from another world?” The Uchiha demanded of the masked ninja.
“Watch it.” Peter returned. “Hospital bed or not I'll still drop you off the top of this building maybe the shock of it will loosen that overgrown stick from your ass.” He threatened the Uchiha. “I mean its not like it can get wedged any farther up there now is it?” He questioned the boy innocently. Sasuke glared back defiantly, but kept his mouth shut.
“So what are the injuries with you guys?”
“Sasuke-Kun and Lee have electrical burns and damage. It will be a few days before they manage to get back up on their feet. As for Haku, he's suffering from several broken ribs and a cut on his side from the Spirit Thunder Blade.” Sakura informed the group as she skimmed over the charts that the group had. Naruto and Sasuke-Kun are also suffering from Chakra exhaustion. Naruto is actually doing better than the others though and has been released and allowed to go back to his apartment to rest. She pointed out. “They are all also recovering from the poison that they were hit with earlier.”
“Right.” Peter nodded in understanding. “I've got a meeting with Lady Tsunade in the morning, so I'm going to try and figure out what to do about all of this, memory stuff later. I figure whatever mission that she has for me will give me time to think this all out.” The others nodded, accepting the fact that Peter just didn't want to talk about what was going through his mind.
“I'll walk with you.” Naruto offered his friend. Peter nodded as a wincing Haku silently joined the pair.
“Looks like the Amazing Friends are all accounted for.” Peter joked. The group then headed out while the others watched them stroll out.
Sakura made as if to follow them, but Sasuke's hand shot out unexpectantly and wrapped around her arm. “Tell me about your team Sakura.” Sasuke ordered the pink haired girl. “At times they seem more powerful than they should be. I would know how Naruto managed to beat two different people that I myself was unable to. I would know how it is that he has such power. Power like that is something that I need.”
Sakura blushed as she saw the hand where Sasuke was holding onto her. “Well there's not much to tell. Their Peter, Naruto, Haku, and Kakashi-Sensei.” She informed him as if that explained everything. “They're either acting like a bunch of screwballs or they're performing high level jutsu.”
"Tell me of your Sensei, I noticed from the after action reports he was leading the defense from the Arena." Sasuke questioned her with interest.
“Kakashi-Sensei or Hayate Kakashi also known as Copycat Kakashi, or Sharringan Kakashi the Ninja who's supposed to have copied a 1000 Jutsu.”
“Sharringan?” Sasuke asked in annoyance. “Why is your team being trained by a Sharrigan user? What's more, how does he even have a Sharrigan, my entire clan was wiped out. There shouldn't be any one else out there with the Sharrigan.” HE explained to her.
“I don't know,” Sakura admitted, “Kakashi-Sensei is a very private person, and doesn't tell us about these sorts of things unless we actually need to know and so far we haven't needed to know.”
“What about Naruto, how could someone who just scraped by an acceptable passing grade in the academy have so much power?” Sasuke demanded of her.
Sakura shrugged. “I don't know, then again maybe Naruto is a missing heir to one of the old ninja clans.”
“It makes as much sense as anything else.” Tenten agreed. “And nobody really knows what Naruto is.”
Sakura smirked at the older girl. “Sure we do. Naruto is nothing but trouble.” She declared with a knowing grin. Causing Neji to smirk and Tenten to giggle in agreement.
“So, you have no idea just what it is that makes the members of your team so strong then?” Sasuke grumbled, as he tossed the hand to the side and crossed his arms and scowled.
Sakura's shoulders fell down slightly, as she realized that the attention that the boy was giving her was now over. She rubbed her arm and winced at the bruising that was starting to appear. Neji frowned at what he was seeing, but as the girl wasn't saying anything there was nothing he could say. Besides she was a ninja and should be able to take a minor discomfort like that.
“I have to get going to, my mom has some things for me to do.” Sakura stammered out. “We'll be back later Sasuke-Kun.” She assured the other ninja.
“Whatever.” A disgruntled Sasuke returned to her. In his mind he was already trying to figure a way that he could somehow manage to get this Sharrigan Kakashi to allow him on the team. The best way in his mind would be if he were to replace one of the current members. Before this mission he would have thought that Naruto or Sakura would be the easiest to replace. However, after seeing how Naruto had managed to get strong he was no longer sure that he would be so easy to replace. He didn’t doubt for a moment that he was stronger than the blonde it would still be more of a challenge than it had been in the old days though. Then again, there was still Sakura that he could try and replace he doubted that he would have a whole lot of trouble with replacing her. He just had to insure that the Ice User didn't take his place instead. This was going to take some planning.
Peter sighed as he walked into the Hokage's office the next day. He was slightly surprised to see that all of the Konoha Jonnin that had been involved or had teams in the Chunnin Exam were in the room. He also saw Shikamaru was in the room as well leaning against the wall alongside of his Sensei. The boy's sharp eyes were watching everyone waiting to see what would happen.
Tsunade looked the group over for a moment. “Peter, Shikamru front and center.” She ordered, pointing to the middle of the room. The two Gennin swallowed nervously as they moved to the center of the office. The Hokage waited for a moment and regarded the two young boys for a moment. "Shikamaru Nara of Team 10, and Peter Parker-Aburame of Team 7. Each of you presented yourselves well during the Chunnin Exams. Each of you showed understanding of the required skill set for a Chunnin far above and beyond any of your fellow ninja.”
“Shikamaru Nara, Gennin of Asuma Saratobi, you showed an understanding of tactics in combating Temari of the Sand Village you also showed a willingness to put the village before yourself by forfeiting your chance at the exams to preserve your strength for the coming fight. You showed a skill in commanding a ninja team in the way you took command of a group not your own. In fact some of the reports about you from your comrades were less than appealing. Despite that they did paint a good picture of you. Gennin Uzumaki and Haruno both complimented you on your ability to asses a situation and come up with a plan. They also spoke of your willingness to sacrifice yourself for the mission. While you may not be the strongest or the most motivated of your group you have shown yourself as one with the clearest head on their shoulders. For this I present you with the promotion to the Rank of Chunnin.”
Shikamru looked a bit uncomfortable as he stepped forward and accepted the jacket from the Hokage.
The blonde woman smiled supportively at the boy before turning to look at the other ninja. “Peter Aburame-Parker Gennin of Hatake Kakashi. You showed an understanding of group tactics and an ability to command a team. A team that happened to contain one of your superiors within your command. The reports fielded by Haku and Shino were quiet interesting. Shino even admitted that he could very well have been classified as a Rogue for abandoning his post and trying to disable the Sand Sibling s on his own. You also displayed a skill with your fights to understand how a ninja worked with their jutsu and managed to disassemble the workings with relative ease. Since then you've shown admirable leadership in acting as a suitable sub-commander in team 7.”
Peter nodded as he accepted the jacket. Does it come in blue or red, or maybe with a hoodie version.” He joked. The Hokage glared lightly at the boy, but allowed it to pass this time around since it was a promotion for the pair. The Jonnin all applauded the pair of boys that had moved forward in their responsibilities as ninja. Both boys had worked hard to prove themselves. In a group full of geniuses and prodigies it was all the more impressive that they had managed to outperform so many others.
“We should go.” Kakashi told his student.
“Yes, before you do though I want to speak with all of you before you leave.” Tsundae told the group. “I have some ideas and plans that I want your input on.” The group nodded and listened to what the woman was suggesting. There was a bit of input from the Jonnin while the two Chunnin sat and listened with interest as some of the things were explained to them. After another couple of hours in which the boys learned about the planning and distributions of missions. Once that was done, the group dispersed. Peter and Kakashi found themselves amongst the last to leave. He nodded to Shikamaru who still seemed somewhat dazed by everything that he had learned, and the list of responsibilities that he had been given.
“I can't believe that we got all of this.” The boy huffed, as he thought of all of the new responsibilities that the two of them had received. “I mean if I had known how troublesome it might have been, I would have tried to make sure that there was no one around watching me when I was doing things.”
“Good luck on that one. The reports make you look like a semi competent ninja. Of course, you know there's an obvious reason why she had to go and make us Chunnin of course.” Peter declared to him amusedly as he raised a challenging eyebrow at the other boy.
“Oh really, and what might that be?” Shikamaru questioned curiously.
“Simple, who else do you know of the Gennin that can manage to control Naruto?” Peter asked them.
“Man, your probably right, what a drag.” Shikamaru complained. “I didn't even really want this thing. He complained as he fiddled with the jacket. “Now I've got to be responsible and stuff.”
“No, we get to be responsible.” Peter returned to him. “Now come on, we're going to have to do a lot of work to get Lady Tsundae's plan up and running.”
The two boys spent the next several days preparing for everything that the Hokage had ordered. They even ignored their teams and began planning for everything that they had to do. The Jonnin showed them a few things that they could do in preparation, but determined that the two Chunnin could do the majority of the initial work that they had planned.
The two boys were now waiting for everyone to show up so that they could get started. They had borrowed one of the classrooms from the academy for this meeting. Peter was sticking to the wall with his feet while Shikamaru was sitting in a chair with the legs tilted slightly while his crossed legs. His head was tilted downward as he dozed slightly. Each of the pair was still wearing their normal shinobi clothing, but they were now also wearing their Chunnin flak jackets over their normal wear.
Peter looked up slightly as Team 7 entered the room, as they looked around in surprise. All around the room were all of their companions from the Chunnin Exams. Standing at the front of the room were the Jonnin Sensei’s while the two Chunnin hung out by the desk.
"Good, your all here and we can finally start." Shikamaru told the group as he allowed the chair to drop and moved to the front and leaned against the desk. Several people were surprised to see that the two boys were wearing Chunnin flak jacket and were openly staring at the group. "As you may or may not have guessed, our cell has effectively become active." The Nara boy explained in a rather bored tone. "Which means that thanks to our having survived the dangers of the Chunnin Exams, having passed the first two exams, and the way that each of our teams acted during the Sand/Sound Invasion it was deemed that we're all capable of being officially assigned to the Military Ninja Core. At least that's what Lady Hokage has decided anyways. Seems to be something of a drag to me personally."
“What doesn't seem like a drag to you?” Peter asked with a grin.
"Cloud Watching." Shikamaru returned without any hesitation.
"What, but I thought we already were active?" A confused Kiba questioned his former classmate. "What about all the missions that we've been doing? Doesn’t that already qualify us as Military Core" Akamaru barked his agreement with his master.
"Yeah I'm with Dog Breath and his undersized partner here." Ino agreed, as she crossed her arms in annoyance at not understanding what was going on. Kiba glared back at the girl while Akamaru growled at them.
"Yeah, well it turns out that Gennin that haven't gone through the test aren't considered combat capable anymore." Shikamaru returned to the others with an uncaring shrug. "Since we all managed it though we're all part of the same cell. Evidently when a majority of us came together during the second exam we impressed a lot of people. The fact that we were able to launch an effective counter response to the attack. Lady Hokage has decided that since so many of us worked well together that we'll all be a cell together, and that Team Guy will be with us as well since they." He explained, nodding toward the older group of Gennin in acknowledgment. "What this means is that while we may all be in Teams that we'll also be mixed and matched as the need comes up. If we need trackers and assault types then we might send Kiba to work with Peter, Naruto, and Sakura." Shikamaru explained to the group.
"Wait, Sakura is considered part of an assault class team?" Ino interrupted in disbelief to her teammate. "But only the strongest of ninja are supposed to be parts of those teams." She complained.
"Yes Ino she is." Shikamaru returned tiredly.
"But how?" The blonde complained in disbelief. "I mean I can understand Naruto and Peter. No one really wants to fight them anymore and they can cause more chaos and destruction than most ninja." She waved at the mentioned ninja almost uncaringly. "It’s Sakura though, I used to beat her all the time." The blonde seemed oblivious to the ticking of Sakura's eye as she continued to berate her and her skills.
"God your annoying Ino." Shikamaru noted from his seat tiredly. "She's on the team she is on because she's really that good. You who were rated as the top Kunochi at the academy lost your match in the preliminaries, while Sakura managed to make it all the way to the primaries and might have at least gone farther if not for the interruption from the evasion." He informed her, causing the blonde to blush at the reminder of how easily she had been taken down by Tenten. Her defeat had been so humiliating made all the worse by the fact that Sakura had managed to win her own match. Shikamaru also kept reminding her about the fact making it all the worst. Shikamaru continued on though as if he was unaware of how his teammate was feeling over the stinging reminder of her failure in comparrison to Sakura's success. "I've also seen the recordings of her fights in the forest, the Chunnin Arena, and the village arena. On her own she held off those Sound Ninja till we decided to interfere, she even managed to weaken all of those guys before we got there. She then managed to go head to head with one of those ninja despite them being older and more experienced than any of us. She managed to win her match something you didn't do despite the fact that you had the same amount of time to rest up after the forest. Face it Ino when it comes right down to it guys they're moving us up. The fact we lost so many ninja during the troublesome Sound/Sand Invasion is also part of the reason we're being moved higher up the active list."
"This is indeed a tremendous honor, and shows all of our youth shining through." Lee exclaimed to the group. He then flashed the whole lot of them his nice guy pose complete with a wink and a tooth flashing smile.
Peter rolled his eyes at that. Listening and watching the crazy bowl cut haired boy as he performed before them. “Have you ever thought of trying to do things calmly?”
“And deny everyone the knowledge of who and what we are? Lee questioned shocked at the thought that none of the others could understand just what it was that the power of youth was. Besides one should always bring the Fire of Youth to the fore.
"How many do you think will actually survive to reach our age?" Guy questioned, as he looked around the room at the various ninja gathered in the room. The other Jonnin didn't say anything as they were all lost in memories when they had been assigned into a similar group. Back then though they had been the ones sitting at the desks. Kakashi's old team had been slowly but surely whittled away until he was the only member still left alive. The other Jonnin all had similar stories involving their own teammates. Asuma's Team had fallen in battle against Stone Village Ninja, Kurenai's team gone in a FUBAR mission while she had been assigned her own solo mission, Guy's team had been wiped out while he had been sick. Iruka nodded his head as listened to the Jonnin he had a similar problem. One Teammate dead and the other in prison. Ninja groups of this size rarely lasted all that long, still he had hopes that they might surprise all of them. He wondered if their age would make some of their missions easier or harder on them and what they would be like when they reached the required age. Normally they reassigned Chunnin off of their training teams, but various factors had instead seen to the teams becoming more involved in the life of being ninja.
"Anyways," Shikamaru spoke, "the first thing that we're going to do is that we're going to go over the exams and discuss why people didn't graduate for various reasons. Naruto and Kiba failed because they're to impulsive, Shino because he ignored the needs of the village just so that he could fight the Sand puppet guy he ignored several other attacking ninja just so that he could do that, the list just goes on guys.” He explained as he looked up from his clipboard.
"Will Saskue be a part of the team?" Ino asked with interest. Sakura and Ino both looked at the pair of Chunnin hopefully.
"No, its been decided that Saskue and his team will be reinforcing the cell that their Jonnin-Sensei is already a part of." Shikamaru returned ignoring the disappointed looks that the girls were now sporting. "So to start off this cell it’s a review of your actions during the exams and then of the Invasion."
"Along with all of this will be the assigning of new duties. Neji, Shino you two will work with me in the tactical division, Peter will command the assault division, Ino is in charge of intelligence gathering, Kiba and Choji are our quartermasters, I may regret this later on but Naruto is in charge of morale."
"What? You think that's really such a good idea?" Ino asked, as she looked at the blonde.
"Think about it Ino, Naruto managed to inspire an entire room that were all on the verge of quitting to take that tenth question. Naruto is many things impulsive and foolish being in the top of them. However Naruto has more heart than any person I know of." Shikamaru admitted to the others. Naruto looked shocked at the complimentary words that the Nara boy had given him. While he was getting more and more recognition and respect for his deeds as a shinobi it was still odd to find out that there were those that noticed what he was doing. What followed next was several hours in which the two Chunnin described the duties that each of them would be responsible and for the things that each of them needed to work on.
After the meeting finally broke up Team 10 and Team 7 went to congratulate their newly promoted members. The girls each admired the new flak jackets that their members were wearing the olive green officer uniforms filled with extra pouches to hold scrolls and mission orders and small plates of armor lined the back as well.
“Yeah, it’s not a photographer’s vest, but it has almost as many pockets.” Peter joked as he adjusted the jacket. “Although I still say that they should have done something about the color.”
“Well come on, I want to visit Sasuke-Kun.” Sakura told her team. Peter and Haku didn't look very pleased, but Naruto nodded his head happily at the thought of visiting the recovering Uchiha. Fighting alongside of him seemed to have given the blonde a measure of respect for the brooding boy.
“I'll catch up with you guys, Shikamaru and I have to file some reports from the meeting before we can get free." Peter explained to the Team. "Trust me none of you want to be hanging around here while we're doing that.” The others nodded their heads in agreement, as they took off to deal with their own business.
It took nearly a half hour for the boys to finish filing all of the work that they had accumulated. Who knew that officially activating a cell would require so much paperwork. The two Chunnin spent another hour doing the paperwork before they were finally freed. Once they were outside, Peter headed for the side of a building and quickly wall crawled up while Shikamaru watched him for a moment before calmly walking down the path. Once Peter was high enough, he began running along the side of the buildings. Technically he figured he could try and webswing, but the buildings of The Leaf were not as tall and they had been designed so that ninja could run along them. As he came near the hospital building he flipped through the air and landed on top of the building. He was somewhat surprised to see Naruto, Saskue, and Sakura were already on the roof. In fact Naruto and Sasuke looked like they were facing off with each other.
“Do I even want to know what's going on here?” He questioned curiously, as he looked at the pair curiously.
“Sasuke here wants to have a match.” Naruto answered with a grin. “I figured if he wants an ass kicking then who am I to argue?”
Sasuke sneered at the blonde, before crossing his arms and regarding the masked figure before him. “What are you wearing?” He demanded, as he noticed the flak jacket the other boy was wearing.
“I know that for the most part rank and what not don't mean a whole lot to you, but I would think that even you would know what a Chunnin flak jacket is. I mean you were the Rookie of the year and all, so I would have thought you would have remembered such things.”
“Why would they make you a Chunnin though?” Sasuke demanded in annoyance. “You’re hardly the type of person that would inspire faith and leadership.”
“Well that's not what the Hokage and a lot of other people think. In fact they thought that I showed great leadership skills. Well, me and Shikamaru that is.” He added.
“Please, that shadow user doesn't have the power that being a Chunnin requires.” Saskue scoffed back in defiantly.
“I disagree with you on that one. There's more to being a leader than having devastating attacks and whatnot. Having the brains to use power is a heck of a lot more important. Your way is the way of a overpowered thug if you want me to be totally honest.”
"Thug?" Sasuke questioned, sounding offended.
“Look, I'm just saying.” Peter returned to him with a shrug.
“Whatever.” A scowling Sasuke muttered as he turned back toward Naruto. “Come on Uzumaki, you and I, were going to see which of us is really stronger. They may have managed to keep us apart during the Chunnin Exams and that time that they had us training, but this time there's not anyone around to protect you from me. This time its just us and I'm going to see just how strong you truly are.”
“Naruto are you sure you want to do this?” Sakura questioned as she watched the boys square off against each other.
“Don't worry, I got this one Sakura-Chan.” Naruto assured her with a smile. He then tossed her his weapons pouch since Sasuke didn't have one on. The two then began fighting. It wouldn't be right to call what they were doing a spar. Sasuke went in fast and hard with powerful strikes that were supposed to take an opponent out. The first few shots the Uchiha threw sent Naruto tumbling back with a busted lip and Sasuke smirking superiorly at him. Naruto narrowed his eyes and moved in again and this time took the fight seriously as he used the lessons that Kakashi-Sensei and Haku had pushed down his throat to meet with the person that he had always judged himself against.
This time Sasuke was sent tumbling back, the boy readjusted his stance and rubbed his chest where Naruto had somehow managed a lucky kick. “Good, now your heads in the game.” He said as he moved forward with an overhead punch. Being one of the smallest of their group meant Naruto was used to fighting people that were coming at him with an overhead strike. He lowered himself and the blow brushed the top of his head even as his arm came upward to hit Sasuke in the gut. Sasuke's other hand slapped Naruto's attack to the side even as he sent a kick which did catch Naruto. The blonde moved with the hit performing a spin allowing him to go with a glancing blow to Sasuke Who twisted with the hit to grab Naruto by the arm and toss him to the side. Naruto smiled as he rolled with the throw and came back up lunging at Sasuke.
The two boys spent a few moments exchanging blows, Naruto seeming to get better and stronger the longer the fight went. Sasuke on the other hand seemed to be becoming more and more annoyed the longer the fight went on and his blows were becoming more and more brutal. Neither boy was able to actually land any really damaging blows with simple taijutsu no matter how long they seemed to go at it.
Scowling larger than anyone ever seen him do Sasuke knocked Naruto back a few steps and then back flipped landing on a knee. “It appears that we're nearly equal when it comes to taijutsu.” He snarled angrily at his opponent. “Now I’m going to show you and your team what real power is though.” He declared he began going through a series of hand seals.
“Peter, Sakura keep back.” Naruto ordered grimly, as he recognized the lightning jutsu Sasuke was using. It was the one that he had used when they had been fighting in Tea Country. While he hadn't ever seen what the attack could do against someone, he wasn't really interested in learning what might happen either. The playful light in Naruto's voice had faded away and he was now looking much more serious as he realized just how far his old school rival was willing to take this fight. He held his hand out and began packing the chakra as it formed in his hand.
Peter could feel his senses blaring at him. When those two strikes met it was going to send an explosion of chakra all over the place. He looked around hoping that he could find something that would stop the two. He could try and webbing them up or creating a barrier between them, but that would likely only slow them down. Besides, with the way Sasuke was going he doubted he would care whether or not Naruto was webbed up and would hit him with his jutsu, and he would probably started throwing jutsu all over the place if he webbed Sasuke up. He was still trying to figure a way to counter whatever the two of them were doing when a figure suddenly leaped between the pair grabbed both Gennin by the wrist and tossed them both to the side. Peter and Sakura both let out sighs of relief when they saw Kakashi standing before the two boys.
“You can put your hands down.” Kakashi advised Peter, who only now realized that he had both of his hands set to fire webbing. Shaking his head, he lowered his arms.
Kakashi ignored the spectators as he focused on Naruto and Sasuke. “I don't know what either of you were thinking, but when ninja start throwing high class jutsu around like that you alert the ANBU.” He informed the Gennin nodding, to a pair of ninja with clay masks that were standing at the ready nearby. “The last time they weren't fast enough for this sort of thing we found a dead Shinobi.” He lectured the two in annoyance. “Those Jutsu you have been entrusted to wield are dangerous and come with a level of responsibility, responsibility that neither of you was using.” He added his one eye glaring at them. Naruto wilted under the disappointed glare, while Sasuke merely scowled back defiantly at the Jonnin. “Sasuke I believe your teacher is here.” He finally noted nodding towards where the figure had appeared.
“What happened here?” Torune demanded.
“A taijutsu match that got out of control when they both decided to move up a level.” Peter explained to his Clansman.
“I am disappointed in you Sasuke. I thought I explained how I did not like it when ninja makes a spectacle of themselves.” Torune growled, as he stared down at the boy. The ninja landed beside Sasuke and lifted him up by the collar of his shirt. The pair of them then disappeared in a swirl of leaves.
“I think that you should all go home and think about what happened here.” Kakashi ordered to his own Team. “I have a mission that I have to leave for tonight, when I return I imagine that I will want to talk to each of you about what happened here.” Kakashi then disappeared in a cloud of smoke.
Naruto shook his head in shock over what he had just done. “What was I thinking?” He pleaded of his teammates. “I mean one minute Sasuke and I are sparring and the next thing I see is him pulling out that jutsu and I just reacted.” He explained to the others. “I mean I saw a dangerous Jjutsu pointed at me so I did what I would normally have done."
“Sounds like you let your instincts take over and forgot where you were for a moment.” Peter theorized .
“Yeah.” A depressed Naruto returned, his shoulders slumping slightly. “If you don't mind I think I'd like to be alone.”
“Sure take your time partner.” Peter assured him. The pair watched their normally exuberant friend shuffle down the road.
“Will he be alright?” Sakura asked with a frown as she watched Naruto plod down the street. “I still can't believe that Sasuke would pull out a high level jutsu on Naruto just because he couldn't beat Naruto in taijutsu match.”
“I don't know.” Peter returned, noticing that for the first time in a long time the girl had not added the Kun when talking about the brooding duck butt wonder. “He did attack me in the Forest of Death when I told him some things that he didn't like.” He reminded the kunoichi. “Something that I stick by all the more since I got some of my memories back. Even if that strange mark was causing him to act strange.” He added cutting off her only true objection.
Sakura deflated as her teammate countered her argument before she could voice it. “Anything that you think that you can tell us?” She asked him curiously.
“Lady Hokage has decided that I can tell who I want but that I should be real careful about who I tell. I think it’s ranked as an AA Class Secret.”
“But that's nearly S Class!” A surprised Sakura returned to him.
“Don't I know it.” Peter returned to her. The two split up and went about their business, oblivious to the group of nearby ninja that were watching them and Sasuke from the shadows and who would be a part of the changes in their lives.