Noticed we had one of these for HP and Dresden but not for everything else. So...here it is. I'll throw something up to get us started. X The city was burning, high pillars of smoke rising from the quarters that had fallen to the samurai of Fire Country and their auxiliaries. The surviving Earth Country garrison fought them house to house now, their pride and their orders compelling them to fight to the last. Team 7 watched the end of the siege from a nearby hilltop, with varying levels of interest. Uchiha Sasuke drummed a tattoo on the hilt of the sword at his waist, eyes on the city below. Haruno Sakura was reading, a senbon needle keeping pink hair from falling across her eyes. The third member of the highly successful chuunin squad (and holder of the highest bounty, as he liked to remind his team mates), Uzumaki Naruto, lay on his stomach, pulling up clumps of grass. “This is boring, guys,” Naruto said, his tone suggesting he was announcing news of great import. “Like, more boring than some C-ranks we've done.” Sakura turned a page in her book, and Sasuke could very well not have heard him for all the reaction he gave. “I mean, you'd think an A-rank mission carried out by someone with a bounty as high as mine--” “Naruto, you 'earned' your bounty by being caught spying on the Lightning Daimyo's wife at the hot springs. Your argument is invalid,” Sakura said. “Now shush. I'm reading.” Naruto grumbled incoherently to himself, and his team mates shared an amused glance. The orange clad fifteen year old was not silent for long, however. “Where did Kakashi-sensei wander off to, anyway?” he said. “I thought he would have been excited to be running a mission with the team making him look like an awesome teacher.” “Hatake-sensei is watching over his charge, like we are,” Sasuke said. He stopped tapping his fingers on his sword hilt and spoke patiently, as if to a child. “Like you should be.” “Pfft, whatever. You've got a genjutsu over your eyes to hide your Sharingan, Sakura has her toes buried in the dirt to sense underground movement and I've got like, seventy clones henged in hiding around the hill. No enemy nin is getting close to the general's son without us knowing.” “Speak of the bijuu,” Sakura said softly, lips immobile. She closed her book with a snap and turned to face the approaching officer and his entourage. Her toes remained buried in the dirt. Sasuke straightened, his casual bearing slipping away as the lessons his mother had imparted to him came to the fore. Naruto rolled over and sat up, brushing grass from his jumpsuit as he squinted at the newcomer. The officer at the head of the group was a young man, only a few years older than the chuunin of Team 7, and his armour almost seemed to dwarf him. Despite this, his bearing was strong, and he surveyed the ninja protecting him with a level gaze. “Greetings, Takeshi-dono,” Sasuke said. He inclined his head. “A pleasure,” Sakura said, giving a shallow bow. Naruto just waved, ignoring or oblivioius to the stiff postures of the entourage. “Shinobi-san,” Takeshi said, giving a polite bow in return. “I came to ask about the presence of Iwa shinobi on the field today.” “None sighted, Captain,” Sakura answered for the team. “The Tsuchikage seems content to continue treating the conflict as a border skirmish between the Courts, rather than involve the Villages.” “I thought perhaps that something might have changed, given that Konoha sent a shinobi of Hatake Kakashi's calibre to guard my father,” Takeshi said. “Prudence, Captain,” Sasuke said. “How was your observation of the battle? We chose a vantage point as closely to it as we could safely defend, as your father requested.” “The battle went well. The enemy were outmatched in both leadership and discipline,” Takeshi said. “I must confess, some of my advisors were leery of my proximity to the battle, but your teacher assured them you were capable.” “Yeah, we're awesome like that,” Naruto said. Takeshi gave the blond a speculative look. He coughed and stepped in closer, lowering his voice so his entourage couldn't hear. “Uzumaki-san, I've heard several rumours...is it true? About the Lightning Daimyo's wife...?” Naruto grinned widely, revealing his canines. “Oh yeah. Not a hair below her eyebrows.” Takeshi blushed and stepped back, manfully retaining his composure. “I see. Curious customs those Lightning nobles have.” Naruto snickered. “Hey, don't knock it till you've—contact!” Sasuke whirled to the direction Naruto was facing, dropping the genjutsu from his eyes. “Five enemies. Missing nin, Kumo and Mizu,” he said, Sharingan spinning. “Three more underground, opposite direction,” Sakura said. “Naruto, you're misdirection and crowd control. Sasuke-” “Kill the weakest, move on to the next. On it.” He drew his sword and vanished in a flurry of leaves. Naruto made his favourite seal and a swarm of orange appeared around Takeshi and his entourage. The next instant, they had all henged into the officer and drawn their swords. “Let's get wild!” Sakura grunted as she sank her gloved hands into the earth, lifting a huge slab of rock clear. With a heave, she threw it downhill at the rapidly approaching enemy nin. They scattered, all but one fast enough. He was clipped in the shoulder and knocked about like a rag doll. The kunoichi of Team 7 did not envy the medic faced with reconstructing so many shattered bones. A swiftly thrown kunai rendered the point moot. Idly, she stamped one bare foot and formed a handseal. The missing nin that had attempted to burst up from underground at her back was skewered before he had the chance. Sakura smiled as the other two underground foes veered away. She left the corpse where it was buried. X Sasuke felt a thrill of exhilaration as his Shunshin deposited him behind one of the Mist nin as they regained their footing after dodging the slab of rock Sakura had thrown. His blade pierced her back and found her heart, and he revelled in the skill gap his hard work granted him. His training with Naruto continued to pay off – had he tried that move on the blond, he would have been greeted by an explosive clone to the face. The missing nin hadn't even had time for a substitution. A shuriken slipped into his fingers. His eyes took in the battle in a single glance. The remaining three nin that had charged up the hill like bull at a festival were turning to face him slowly, oh so slowly, and Sakura had slipped underground to hunt the other two. A hand reached out of a rock sitting innocently at the feet of one nin and slashed his tendons. The man dropped with a shrill scream that was cut short by the clone that had stabbed him as it released its transformation completely and cut his throat. The shuriken, crackling with lightning, ended the lives of the last two foes as they allowed themselves to be fatally distracted with dispelling the clone. Sasuke turned to a lump of wood several feet away. “I feel distinctly cheated. Are genin going missing from Kumo and Mizu these days?” The dirt encrusted log burst into smoke to reveal Naruto sitting cross legged on the ground. He shrugged. “I think it's more that we're just that awesome.” “At least the leader might still be around here somewhere,” Sasuke said, his mouth setting into a thin line. The began to make their way back up the hill. “Sakuraaaa, Sasuke's being brooooodyyyy!” Naruto sing songed as their team mate emerged from the earth. One arm was coated in blood, and she wore a thoroughly aggrieved expression. Sasuke raised an eyebrow at her. “One of the idiots tried to block instead of dodge,” Sakura said, scowling. “I mean, it wasn't like he had just seen me twist his sword into scrap or anything, the mouth breathing so and so...” she trailed off, grumbling. Naruto snickered, and a grin tugged at the corner of Sasuke's mouth. Sakura took a breath, centring herself. “One of Takeshi's entourage just revealed himself as a missing nin,” Sasuke said. “He took a hostage and fled.” “Naruto?” Sakura asked. “I got it,” he grumbled, forming a handseal as he watched the man flee with what appeared to be their client slung over his shoulder. There was a colourful explosion, and what was left of the nin was scattered across the hillside. “He took a clone hostage?” Sasuke asked, incredulous. “How did he not see through that?” “Something something, your clones all had their swords drawn while the real Takesih something something,” Naruto said. He shrugged. “I don't listen to monologues.” “I never thought I'd hear anyone complain about the incompetence of their enemies--” Sakura paused as the two boys turned to her and she remembered who she was speaking to. “Nevermind,” she said with a sigh. “Let's just get back to the client.” She tuned out Naruto's indignant response and ignored the grunt that Sasuke claimed counted as communication. Sometimes being the sane one on Team 7 was such a chore. She flicked off more of the blood coating her arm. The mission wasn't over yet.