The next day the Genin of Team 7 waited by the gate for their Sensei.
Sasuke stood off to the side lost in his thoughts, Naruto was mumbling to himself about a late sensei, and Sakura was observing her two teammates. She didn't know anyone who had been through more than the two of them, she was just grateful that Obito Sensei and Lady Rin were so nice to them.
Obito arrived directly in front of Naruto scaring him. "And why were you late this time Sensei?" Naruto asked angrily.
"I saw an old lady who couldn't get her door open with her groceries in her hands, so after helping her in the house I helped her put them all away. I'm not that late am I?"
"Only half an hour this time luckily Sensei." Sasuke said walking over to his brothers.
Naruto looked over at Sakura who watched the interaction, "You ready Sakura?" Naruto asked with a big smile.
Seeing his big smile Sakura blushed a bit but she was not sure why. "Yeah Naruto. Lead the way Obito Sensei."
That night Team 7 sat in front of a fire that Sasuke had breathed to life. Sakura had sat herself closer to Naruto than usual and both Uchiha noticed, but of course Naruto only saw it as her sitting next to him, not the fact that she was slowly inching closer. Sasuke was intently listening for the attackers that could descend on them at any moment.
Part of him feared his brother would be one of them, another part of him wanted his brother to come, he knew Itachi was strong but Obito managed to get away with barely a scratch the night of the Massacre so he was confident that if Itachi came now Sasuke and his team could take him.
Naruto was giddy that Sakura was sitting next to him, but he knew he needed to try and keep his cool so he picked up a leaf and began to use wind chakra to make it bounce up and down on his hand.
Sakura just watched Naruto do his weird chakra exercise inching closer to him every few moments, she began to look at his cheeks now curious why she never really paid attention to the scars on them. Naruto never really made a big deal about getting hurt in the academy. The only time he had a real reaction was when he was trying to learn how to throw a kunai around a corner he sliced his hand open, he said it hurt and held his hand, but Sasuke reacted more than Naruto did just bandaging it up quickly.
She realized they only survived this well because they were together. She looked over at Sasuke and thought about how he felt with all but one of his clan members being killed by his own brother. His mother, his father, any other friends he had that were Uchiha, all gone.
And Obito Sensei the man that took the both of them into his own home and practically raised them. She almost felt like the outsider in the group because of how close the other three already were.
What Sakura did not notice was the only way she could get closer to Naruto was if she was in his lap, they were leg to leg on the log they had been sitting on. Feeling this Naruto looked at her and froze. The reflection of the flames dancing in her eyes was captivating, all his ambition every desire he had to become Hokage, to fight alongside Sasuke against Itachi, it was all gone. He just focused on her eyes, he just wanted to look into them forever, but he didn't like the look of sadness they had.
Naruto hesitantly reached his arm around Sakura, once his hand came to rest on her shoulder she startled out of her train of thought. She saw the smile on her teammates face, it wasn't that big toothy one he gave everyone, this one seemed to be just for her, she tried to hide her blush.
"You gonna kiss her?" Obito asked mere inches away from their faces. They screamed because they did not know he was there. "Now Naruto, you know what Rin said if you got anyone pregnant."
Naruto's eyes doubled in size as his arms were immediately covering his crotch.
Sasuke laughed to himself looking at his teammates antics. 'Maybe something will happen with those two.' He thought to himself, he was glad for that interruption to knock him out of his thoughts. "Obito Sensei I will take the first watch all of you better get some rest."
Obito stood up and was immediately in sensei mode again. "Alright Sasuke, wake me up in four hours." Obito said before turning to the blushing members of his team. "You two best get some sleep too." He started to walk away before running back, "In different tents." He said with a stern voice that left no room for arguments.
The next morning Team 7 continued to move, Sasuke maintained his steely demeanor that was brought upon from his nightmares, he could tell Naruto knew because when he woke up in a cold sweat Naruto was already sitting up in the tent in a watching position. Sasuke wouldn't admit it but he could never tell Naruto how much that meant to him. Since that night Sasuke felt like he could defend himself from anything, until he fell asleep, in his dreams he was not a shinobi of Team 7. He was still that little boy who had to watch his family be killed over and over again.
Naruto bounced from tree to tree he couldn't remember a time where he felt this elated, last night he held Sakura in his arm, she didn't push off of him or anything this mission was going to be awesome.
Team 7 saw the village ahead and Obito spoke up. "When we are in the village the three of you need to behave, remember above all else this is a diplomatic mission."
"Aye Sensei." They all responded showing their understanding.
Over the next few weeks of delegations Obito had the genin on shifts to be in the meetings with him, Sasuke more or less didn't pay attention. Sakura took fervent notes on every detail of the meeting. Naruto on the other hand Obito felt was the most interesting, Naruto seemed to watch the other delegates rather than the actual proceedings.
The sun peeked into Naruto's room and rested on his face, he groggily sat up from his bed and saw Sasuke awake and looking out the window at the sun. "It's their every morning you know teme." Naruto said.
"Doesn't mean I don't like watching it dobe." Sasuke said without looking at Naruto.
The door started being banged on, "Wake up you boys," the word boys had a certain venom to it. "Obito Sensei wants us ready!" They could hear Sakura shouting from the other side of the door.
"Be right out Sakura." Naruto said, even through the door she could hear his smile.
"Baka." She said under her breath walking away.
"I approve Naruto." Sasuke said with a smirk on his face as he picked up Naruto's orange jacket and pants and threw them at his brother's face. "Get dressed quickly or I may start flirting with your girl." Sasuke said stepping out the door, he could hear Naruto fumbling around trying to get dressed quickly.
Obito could feel the chakra spike in the distance, whoever it was, was trying to lure Obito out. He could recognize the chakra, but it felt different. "There's no way in hell." He said to himself activating his Sharingan. "Team 7 with me!" He barked in full ninja mode, it took a mere moment for them to be in their prime formation, Obito up front, Sasuke to his immediate left, Sakura behind him, and Naruto pulling the right flank.
Obito led his team to a tree line and saw what he had feared, there in front of him stood a woman with long black hair with a masked man next to her.
"Ah you brought me both the Uchiha with that chakra spike my dear Dog." The grass ninja said.
"Cut the bullshit Orochimaru, I know it's you; Lord Jiraiya trained me on your abilities." Obito spat staring ahead at his opponents.
"Ku, ku, ku Obito, my how you've grown from that foolish little boy who had vowed to stop me." Orochimaru said with a slight hiss to his voice. "I hadn't expected you to be foolish enough to bring your Genin all the way out here. But I will take advantage of that, I no longer have to hunt that sweet little body Young Sasuke has."
Obito's eyes went wide his Sharingan not hesitating for a moment. "Touch him and you have no idea the hell that will be rained down upon you." Obito seethed for a moment, "The Uchiha will have blood for blood." He always hated that saying but he knew Orochimaru would understand the point."
Orochimaru smiled before slightly gesturing with his hand. "The masked ninja next to him lunged at Obito, within a moment they were face to face, both of their kunais nearly exploded from the force behind the attack.
Orochimaru followed up that attack by going for the genin, he went for the lethal blow on Sakura, from her positioning he could tell she was the team medic, kill support and the team falls apart. Even Orochimaru knew that the Three Sannin would never have been as famous as they were if not for Tsunade.
Before he could blink there was a blue sandal in his face redirecting his lunge into the trunk of a tree which he recovered from looking at his attacker. "Touch Sakura and Obito Sensei won't have the chance to make good on his words." Naruto said his bright blue eyes replaced by the bloody crimson of Kyuubi.
Sasuke quickly stood beside Naruto, the young medic was standing behind them waiting to heal any injuries. "Naruto." Sasuke said to get his attention, "Remember how Obito said he and his teammate beat a stronger opponent?" It wasn't a question, Naruto and Sasuke had been practicing this style of combat since Obito told them this story years ago.
The two jumped as one, Orochimaru saw that Sasuke was going for the leg sweep so he jumped to get out of it, but he was shocked to see Naruto's fist approaching his head. If not for his bodily modifications allowing him to bend in inhuman ways that blow would have landed.
Obito struggled with the movements of his opponent, his Sharingan only managing to even the field, every few moments Obito would get a glimpse inside the mask of the ninja and see a black eye staring back at him. Only seeing one eye was more than enough to confirm his theory.
Orochimaru was surprised by the teamwork these two genin possessed, the only teamwork at this level at their age was only ever found in siblings. And like that a plan formed in Orochimaru's mind, he knew how he would claim his prize. Orochimaru snapped his thumb in a sight that almost got the two boys off guard, when suddenly the ninja who was fighting Obito appeared in an instant about to impale Naruto with the dancing electricity surrounding his hand.
It was mere inches away from killing Naruto when a hand caught the wrist of the masked man, Sasuke stared at the attacker with hate in his eyes, his Sharingan now activated. Orochimaru saw the moment he had set up and bent in his snake like way and sunk his fangs into Sasuke's neck.
The lightning in the masked ninjas hand died, "No!" Obito yelled landing in between the attackers and his genin smacking Orochimaru's head away with his foot. Obito quietly seethed for a moment, he didn't realize right away that Naruto was standing over him and Sasuke with Sakura checking over her injured teammate.
"What did you do to him?" Naruto screamed, his hair appearing to be mangier as a malevolent chakra wafted off of him, making Sakura freeze in her motions.
Sakura knew of the Kyuubi inside of Naruto and didn't care she understood the way a jinchuuriki functioned. But feeling the power on Naruto made her genuinely terrified for a moment, but it wasn't fear for her own life, she feared for Naruto's.
"Obito Sensei." Sakura said trying to get his attention. "I have him, help Naruto." She said in her best doctor voice.
Obito silently stood and stared down the Snake Sannin. "You better work fast because The Uchiha will have your blood." It was not a statement that could be denied or argued with even by Orochimaru, he knew what he had just done was exceedingly risky but he had to take a chance.
Orochimaru smiled, "Come Dog we have accomplished our mission." The two disappeared in a shunshin.
Naruto whipped around without hesitation kneeling next to his brother. "Sasuke." He almost whispered seemingly drained of all the fight he had.
"He seems fine physically but his chakra is all messed up." Sakura said looking at Naruto and their Sensei who was still staring off into the distance.
"We are going home now." Obito said in his Sensei voice. "Naruto get yours and Sasuke's things and be ready to leave in half an hour, we are going full speed back to the village, we don't have any time for stops." Obito said picking up Sasuke in his arms before disappearing.
Sakura looked at her blond teammate the mixture of emotions going through him now, a clear mixture of anger, fear, sadness. "Sasuke will be fine Naruto." Sakura said trying to console her teammate.