Disclaimer: I don't own Dragonball Z or Naruto




...So? How are you guys?

Yeah, I've had this badboy on hold for long enough. No excuses other than I had to go on a hiatus, (Didn't feel like writing anything for the longest time) but it's been updated and I'm gonna try and update this more often. I know a good few really dug this story back when I was writing chapters regularly. If you're still with this story, you guys are the real heroes and I don't deserve you.

Oh, yeah, I changed my username, too. I'm going by Lightning Ash now. (Rainbow Six Siege reference)

A dark, faintly blue lit room bore habitation to this pivotal event. Indeed, the third genuinely believed the sealing of the young alien's "true" form would alter the leaf's history. Such a weapon they could add to the village's archives. No one would be able to measure up to them even centuries after the boys' passing. Hiruzen stood, flanked by Kakashi, arm draped behind his back with his trusty pipe between his lips, impassive gaze locked on the tailed boy sitting almost nude on a circular platform facing away from one of Hiruzen's prized pupils.

Jiraiya of the sannin.

Jiraiya's massive form shadowed over the kanji-covered wild-haired boy. Impassively, he asked, "You ready, kid?" Jiraiya was a massive broad-shouldered man of herculean stature, bearing white spiky hair that made Goten's look normal by comparison, stretching down all the way to his ankles. As for gear, he sported a grey full long sleeved Gi complete with matching pants underneath the usual shinobi armoured vest top, the Konoha headband but with a red cloth instead of blue, red wooden sandals and a giant red scroll hanging from his lower back.

Goten nodded unsurely, down to his briefs.

Jiraiya hummed in approval, "Good," He said before swiftly going through a series of hand signs, "This might sting a bit." He warned, getting a further timid nod from the boy. He kneeled and slammed his palm on Goten's back just above his tail. Goten let out a wordless cry as the kanji marks written on his skin by Jiraiya's blood crawled over his shoulders, down his back and onto his tail before turning black, fully imprisoning the beast's power within him.

"There we go," Jiraiya smiled in recognition, surveying his work. Goten's tail had been given a tattoo job, "All done. Fine job if I do say so myself," He joked, messaging his chin. Business mode swiftly resumed, "Remember this, kid, this seal isn't foolproof. It depends on your will. Do you understand? If you hesitate, even for a second, the seal will break and your beast friend will be set free." He nudged the frozen boy, "Kid?"

Goten suddenly fell back into Jiraiya's tonso.

The adults jolted in concern but once they heard Goten's light snoozes their worries melted into warm smiles.


When Goten came to, he found himself in an entirely new location; similarly dimly lit to his seal chamber but with a far worse stench, "Hello?" He asked, slowly getting up out of the ankle-high "liquid", quickly crossing his palms over his nostrils to shield his sensitive senses from the horrible smell, "Pee you!" He tried uncovering his nose but the stench immediately forced him to pinch the bridge of his nose, "It's so stinky."

Curiously, he kneeled down to the strange, smelly fluid by his ankles, dipping his index and thumb into it before bringing his wet fingers to his lips to taste experimentally. His cheeks immediately turned green, "Ewwwww!" He recoiled, emptying his stomach of the contents of his breakfast. Wiping away the remnants of the vomit with his sleeve, he wandered, "Why's pee here?"

That was the least of his concerns, apparently. As he stared absentmindedly into the shallow urine hoping to lure answers from its contaminated waters, it rippled, startling Goten.

"What's that?" He perked up, feeling the urine continuously ripple at his feet by violently loud tremors increasingly becoming more intense by the second. Goten's curiosity led him to the source of the gigantic quakes and monstrous roars, eyes widening to his discovery, "Oh wow!"

Before him stood a massive golden cage with a kanji-marked paper between the bars and behind them housed a humongous ape like the ones he had seen in movies, thrashing mindlessly within it's cage.

"Is that what I become when I look up at the moon?" A queasy feeling settled inside Goten's stomach. Goten had never been unaware of this terrifying power. All he was ever been told after having his tail removed just after he was born was that it was for his own good. Knowing something by knowledge vs actually seeing it for oneself was vastly different. The former Goten could block out knowing it wasn't an issue but the same couldn't be said about the latter.

Goten's monologue drew the beast's attention and it roared with tremendous vehemence, slamming against the bars and trying to reach forward with its herculean bulky arms to ensnarl the boy.

Goten jumped back, but relaxed when upon realizing the beast couldn't and wouldn't break the seal so long as he does exactly as Mr Jiraiya told him to. Replaying Jiraiya's words brought him comfort; enough to waltz past the Oozaru's reach to stand directly before it and in front of its colossal blood-shot red pupils. They were so huge Goten could see his own reflection within them.

"I'll never use you," He remarked with an uncharacteristic hard tone, seeing his own reflection in the beast's gaze mimic his determined expression. The beast rambled, blowing an immense portion of air from its own nostrils like an old-fashioned steam train, "I won't!"


The second time Goten came to, he once again found himself in unknown territory, but this time he was in familiar company, "Ah, you're finally awake," He heard the distinct laid-back tone of his Jounin instructor floating overhead, "Saves me the trouble of carrying you back home." The scarecrow joked, seated on the edge of a deck reading his orange book, ankles crossed.

"Mr Kakashi?" Goten asked, sitting up in reflex on a futon.

"That's my name," Kakashi retorted, turning a page.

Goten looked around the room they were in, taking note of the blackboard and multiple desks all neatly lined in rows of five, "Where am I?"

"You're in the academy," Kakashi explained, "Lord Hokage thought it best to bring you here so you could rest. As your Jounin instructor, I was tasked with watching over you."

"Oh, I see." Goten said, clinching his fists in the folds of his borrowed futon.

Kakashi noticed Goten's tense posture, "How are you feeling?"

Goten flinched suddenly as if he had only just been made aware of Kakashi's presence, shortly calming when Kakashi gave him another one of his smiley faces, "I," He drew in a deep breath, replaying his encounter with the caged Oozaru like a film. He sharpened his resolve like a sword, hardened eyes glistening like a gemstone, "I'm fine."

Kakashi studied the tailed-boy's razor-sharp gaze over his book before filing his theory away for later, 'Interesting.' He mused, closing his book in one quick snap of his right palm to stand, "Okay, I should be moving on."

Kakashi felt pleased to see Goten's eyes soften back to their usual tranquillity, "Oh, you're leaving?"

"Afraid so," He clarified, face a mask of sweat-ridden sheepish embarrassment, "I promised Naruto I'd teach him a new jutsu after he kept pestering me to." That got a giggle out of him. Kneeling to his level, Kakashi laid a hand on his shoulder, "Remember, you don't have to face this alone. We're here to ease the burden, as your comrades."

Goten didn't know whether Kakashi could read minds but his heart swelled in appreciation all the same, "Thank you."

Kakashi eye-smiled, "I should be getting on. Leave when you're ready."

Goten nodded firmly, "Right."



A familiar cheery feminine voice drew a startle from Goten who was watching his feet as he exited the academy. A bundle of nerves erupted in a showy display of fireworks from his stomach, heating his face in a hot red sheen, "S-Sakura," He stammered, but the girl shot forward, taking his hands in hers. The only word which could describe Goten's face at that point was atomic.

"Are you finished? I need your help," She said. If Goten was in a better frame of mind at present he would've noticed the sunshine-yellow shoulder-bag swinging from the girl's hip.

Goten's eyes were too busy spinning like spirals from the closeness and contact of the girl to really take note to what she just mentioned, much less what she was wearing, "Uhhhhh." He slurred, eventually knocking himself out of it with a shake of the head. Sakura smiled with all the patience of a loving mother, almost knocking him senseless once again, "Wait, you need my help?"

"Uh-huh!" She nodded perkily.

"Why come?" He asked, tipping his head to the side.

"Because," At this, Sakura's beautiful expression of euphoria fell long and low, into a saddened frown, "I went to see Hinata."


A small nod, although, Goten's perplexed expression never vanished, "Come on." She released one of his hands and turned, "Let's find somewhere to talk. I'll tell you all about it."

"O-Oh, okay."

New Kids on the Block









The Essence of Lifeforce

The following few days after the round of match-ups were announced for the final phase of the Chunin Exams were some of the most tortuous periods Trunks and Sasuke had ever endured. Funny how time can absolutely fly by when they didn't want it to, either when they were having fun or just dreading what was to come by a certain deadline. For the two emotionally stunted boys, it was the latter. They had been ducking each other since getting back from the Forest of Death.

They kept a polite distance from each other for the last few days with the obvious elephant standing between them and peace. Sasuke was anti-social at heart and always instinctively shied away from socializing in huge gatherings and Trunks just hated awkward conversations altogether. If there was an unsettling discussion he could avoid, he would choose to, even if it meant ducking the one he was meant to have the talk with.

So it came as no surprise to either Chunin-hopeful that they now sat engulfed in a void of thunderous silence; fidgety and unnerving.

Even the subtle, normally barely noticeable sounds of their munching and nibbling of cereal and toast respectively echoed for miles unseen.

This was torture of an even greater multitude than being subjected to the moody hybrid's killer intent at the time he nearly insulted his dearest friend. Sasuke knew they couldn't stay like this, so with a heavy relenting sigh, he lowered his toast to pick up his finest brunt sledgehammer to shatter the ice in the only way he knew how, "You're an alien." Bluntly.

In return, his path of broaching the topic of his roommate's alien heritage drew a breath of acceptance from said alien, "Yeah," No sense trying to hide it any longer. Cat was out of the bag now, though he wished he could've dodged the topic for a little while longer, at least. It wasn't like he was ashamed of his Saiyan roots, far from it. He just had an immense aversion to difficult conversations and any admission didn't get anymore tricky then 'Hey, I'm an alien.'

"Hn." They settled into the void of quiet for a few moments once more, less unnerving this time; just enjoying their early meal with polite bites. And there lied the oddity Sasuke had to point out, "You're eating normally now," He said, nodding in approval, "Good."

Trunks waited until his mouth was noticeably empty before replying. Any benefit of the doubt Sasuke was affording Trunks to his courtesy was immediately withdrawn, "I always eat normally. I only ate like a pig on the first day I crashed here just to tick you off."

Sasuke frowned in sharp irritation, "Bastard." Before Trunks could smugly wallow in his petty accomplishment of getting underneath his skin, the Uchiha deflected, "Tell me something."

Confusion scrubbed away the half-bleed Saiyan's smirk like dirt being banished by a cloth, "Uh, sure." He reached up with his hand, moving it behind his head. Grinding into his hair, he grimaced, "Guess I kinda own you that much."

"How do you guys freely manipulate your chakra?" Trunks winced, solely wishing he could at least go back a couple of seconds and slap his past-self silly. Sasuke wasn't letting him off the hook either, trapping him with a dry quip of his own words, "Since you 'owe me that much'."

A tired exhale, "Not sure what you mean."

One in return. He thought Trunks was smart, "I haven't seen you or Goten do a single hand-sign to use any of your techniques," He clarified, getting an inhale of realization from the boy across from him, "At first, I presumed it was down to you not being a shinobi, but that can't be it. You can fight and throw around energy blasts like they're going out of style." Truth be told, Sasuke had been itching to know the secret of the alien-duo's free energy manipulation since seeing their merge creation go to town on Zabuza, but held his tongue out of proper courtesy.

No decent person – much less shinobi - would ever demand or even ask a warrior to reveal his hand. Sasuke would've to be a self-entitled brat of dishonesty to ever consider doing such. For obvious reasons, he wanted to avoid that. Self-entitlement was dishonourable and dishonourable was the murderer of his clan. Just thinking of stooping to any level of his soured the taste in his mouth.

No, Sasuke would never assume he was entitled to anything. He aspired to be everything the Uchiha clan's killer wasn't – a decent, honourable human being – and their avenger.

That said, though, he felt he was due compensation for accommodating Trunks. Information in exchanged for a favour was acceptable in his book. He wasn't holding his breath that he could master any of the Saiyan's more uber abilities, but he would like to know how he and his fellow Saiyan wielded such devastating and versatile attacks effortlessly to satisfy his curiosity.

A defeated exhale preceded an admittance, "I don't use Chakra."

Surprisingly, a click of the teeth, "Figured." Breakfast temporarily placed on hold, he locked eyes with the enigma, "What do you use?"

One more hard sigh, "Ki."

An immense goggle and slammed palms pursued, "Lifeforce!" A grudging nod from the Ki-wielder's head hardened the erratic glow of Sasuke's ogled eyes in a deadpan, "You really are an alien."

"Probably," A guarded lie. He was not yet ready to reveal their biggest secret.

Sasuke knew his next question was going to sound contradictory even if his last statement was sarcastic in nature. He just had to do a little bit more digging into the hybrid's usage of Ki to see if it was possible in anyway for him to learn to tap into his own dormant lifeforce without dying. He wanted to grow, both as a shinobi and as a person. If there was even a small chance he could tap in his dormant Ki he would give an arm and leg to take it.

"How do you tap into your lifeforce without dying?"

"Don't know," Trunks admitted flatly, "We're not from around here."

Sasuke nodded. They knew all that much already. Neither boy knew anything about the continent they found Team Seven on or even about ninjas, as evident when Trunks assumed their level of sensory-prowess was as common here as it was in their home. He could buy that. He didn't even know life outside the safety walls of his Konoha home let alone beyond the Elemental Nations.

"Wasn't you taught to channel and release your energy?" Sasuke asked, raising an eyebrow. He assumed as much from his own early Chakra lessons, even if Chakra and Ki weren't compatible. Everyone had Ki; they had to, otherwise they weren't alive. Even shinobi had Ki, they just didn't have access to it because the majority learnt to channel their chakra, so that became their dominant supply of power.

Unless Trunks and Goten were supremely gifted prodigies, they just had to have gone through some training program to gain mastery of their lifeforce.

"Nah." A wave of the hand suggested it was the latter, "Never had to. I just picked it up as I got older. Goten was the same."

"Sort of like a baby learning how to talk?"

"Yeah, like that," He lightly exhaled, leaning back on his chair until its two legs weren't touching the floor, balancing one of his own legs off the edge of the table. A longing, pensive glance to the ceiling accompanied his nonchalant rocking, "Goten and I have always been like that, ever since I can remember. Heck, we even turned Super Saiyan without breaking a sweat and according to my Dad, that shouldn't happen."

Goten and Trunks were more than just prodigies; they embodied the term prodigy, redefined the very word into something else of godly value. Super prodigies. Ultra-prodigies. Godly prodigies. Super-ultra-godly-prodigies. There wasn't a term invented to describe what the ultra-talented boys had transcended to. Capable of learning techniques and new forms almost on the fly, they truly were next level.

As such, it was with great realism that Sasuke asked, "It is possible for anyone to awaken their Ki?"

"It is," Trunks said, but before Sasuke's hopes to rise through the roof, they were anchored in place by the Saiyan's cryptic continuation, "Where we're from." Trunks's eyes glowed with a grim intent.

Sasuke quirked an eyebrow, "Explain."

Trunks sighed, soothing a migraine he could feel coming on with his fingers caressing his forehead, "Where we come from, there is no Chakra," He began. "Like, at all," He emphasized, "I did a bit of studying on Chakra in between our training sessions to see if it was possible for you to tap into your Ki."

Sasuke's heart stopped. This was the first time he had heard about this. He knew the boy often sneaked off to the library while they trained, but he figured he just had a love of studying or was expressing an interest in the leaf's culture. He never could've imagined he was actually planning on trying to bestow him a new power from the get go, "You did?" He breathed.

Trunks nodded. The look on his face didn't inspire optimism that his research on the subject of a Chakra-user fully mastering their Ki went well, "Yeah, but I found it was too risky," He said, "Someone wielding Chakra has their own unique energy system."

Sasuke nodded. He knew that already. The Chakra pathways system that governed a shinobi's power. There was a time when he used to think the whole world had Chakra, but meeting Goten and Trunks expanded his world view. He was more open-minded to the supernatural and unnatural. After all, if there were Ki-wielding aliens roaming freely across the globe without a Chakra pathway system (even non Elemental Nations-born humans) then there really was no telling what else beyond normal human comprehension was out there in the vast wide world.

"Someone with Ki also has their own unique energy system," The curtains of understanding opened up behind Sasuke's eyes, "Everyone has Ki-points. You included. They're just not activated," He homed in on his point here, levelling a finger at Sasuke's intently focused gaze, "Now imagine if I were to activate your Ki points while your Chakra system is still active."

Recognition was providing even more lights for Sasuke's ever expanding room of eyes, "They would clash!"

Trunks partly shook his head, offering up a shrug, "That's just the thing. I don't know whether Ki and Chakra are compatible or incompatible," He said, dropping an elbow to the table to grumpily rest a cheek against a fist. It was clear he hated being in the dark about Ki's and Chakra's potential compatibility, "There's really no way of telling. They might mesh as well as Goten and the dork or…"

Sasuke was perceptive enough to take the hint, "Or shut each other down altogether."

"Exactly," He confirmed, heaving an annoyed sigh and dragging a hand through his purple-haired spaghetti locks, "I'd say there's a fifty percent chance that combining Ki with Chakra will either augment your strength or end your career as a ninja altogether."

A void of deafening silence once more engulfed the boys as Sasuke pondered all he was told in regard to potentially awakening his Ki-points at the risk of losing all his power, intertwining his fingers in front of his contemplative gaze. The Uchiha could tell the young Saiyan had taken great consideration over this prospect and he had to respect the preteen titan for it. This was Sasuke's career he could've been experimenting with. He wanted to help Sasuke grow stronger in gratitude for giving him a place to stay, but not at the risk of potentially destroying his ambitions entirely.

And honestly, Sasuke felt the same way.

"Forget it," Sasuke said at last, separating his fingers, "I don't need to unlock my Ki." As beneficial of firing off A-to-S techniques without the use of hand signs and even flying would've been, Sasuke decided it wasn't worth the risk of potentially becoming powerless. While Awakening his Ki-points may have augmented his strength greatly, it was never going to enable him to reach the lofty, inhuman heights of Goten and Trunks. Their heritage gave them far more potential than any normal human had any right to.

"Yeah," Trunks sighed freely, leaning back in his chair and stretching his arms over his head, "That would probably be for the best." He finished, expression souring, 'Glad this conversation's over with.'

"I'll just ask Kakashi to teach me a new jutsu."

"Yeah, do that."

With that resolved, the two returned to their early meal, this time in a content silence.


(Elsewhere – With Goten and Sakura)


'Sakura smells nice,' Goten noticed, swinging his legs off of a park bench the girl had taken them to, suddenly finding the concrete pavement space in between the park the most fascinating thing in the world. Much like his dream, Sakura's scent exuded a wonderful aroma of strawberries, overloading the Saiyan's stomach with butterflies. For once in his admittedly short life, he could say with the foremost certainty he DIDN'T have an appetite.

"So I went to see Hinata," The girl was saying from seemingly afar even though she was sitting right next to him. It took all Goten's willpower to pull himself out of his cherry-blossomed-styled trance to look up at the girl's pensive expression staring off into the horizon, "She's on Team 8 squad with Trunks." She explained for his benefit.

"Trunks's squad?" He cocked his head, searching through his archives of memories for the identified squad he spotted his best friend with during the first phase of the Chunin Exams. Realization soon luminesced his eyes, "Oh! You mean that guy with the cute puppy, the guy with the sunglasses and the girl with pearly eyes, right?"

Sakura stifled a round of giggles at the boy's simplified descriptions of Team Eight behind a loose fist, "That's right." She clarified, smiling lightly at his befuddled expression. Goten's cheeks lit up in the colour of Sakura's hair as he sputtered something intangible at the ground, "I went to scope her out the other day since she's my opponent. I thought it would be a good idea to get an idea of my opponent's strengths and weaknesses."

Goten recovered, gulping down a small, unnoticeable breath like a cup of fresh water, doing his best to suppress his shyness toward the girl. Curiously, he asked, "You did?"

Sakura nodded and her solemn eyes told him all about her startling recognition of Hinata's magnificent skill and the subsequent inferiority she felt spying on Hinata merely going through the motions in preparation for their showdown to come in merely a few weeks-time, "Hinata's fighting style was so beautiful; elegant." She continued to explain, voice lowering to a murmur reflecting her loss of confidence.

Goten's eyes shone sympathy, "Sakura."

"I realised if I wanted any chance against her, I'd need to get a hell of a lot stronger," She confirmed in a sobered tone. Here, she exchanged a look with the boy, "I think you can help me."

"Me?" The spiky-haired Saiyan pointed at himself, glittery nerves once more beginning to emerge from their previously forcefully concealed cocoon of sympathy.

A nod. Sakura was blunt as a dull sword with her words, "I know you don't use Chakra." Goten scratched the back of his head sheepishly, getting a warm smile from the girl, "It's okay. I don't think it's weird that you might use lifeforce."

"Trunks said I shouldn't tell others that we use Ki," Goten explained before blinking in confusion, "Huh? How'd you know I use Ki, Sakura?"

Sakura gigged once again, "Because you just told me, silly," She said, giggling once more when the boy started stuttering embarrassed ramblings. "Also," She began, setting her yellow shoulder-bag on her lap and opening it up, removing its contents, "I've been researching lifeforce."

Goten's wide eyes scanned the title of the huge book Sakura had presented before him – The Essence of Lifeforce it read. "A Ki book!" He gasped. A tilt of the head followed, "Where'd you find that?"

"In the library," She explained, looking down at the book apparently containing all life's secrets as if she were unworthy of such a gift. "After I realised how much weaker I am than Hinata, I set out to the library to find, well… anything! Taijutsu, Genjutsu, Ninjutsu, anything. Just something that could help me close the gap!" Goten's softened gaze of compassion fell upon her as she squeezed her eyes shut out and poured her heart out.

Goten wordlessly reached out to her, considered it, then withdrew his hand, curling his fists in the folds of his knees in frustration.

Sakura calmed a moment later, "Then I found this," She gestured to the Ki guide with a sweeping motion of her palm, "I read a few pages. It sounded so unbelievable, augmenting your body and doing techniques without the need for hand signs, and then I thought of you. The way you use your techniques sounds a lot like what's described in this book," She looked at him seriously, "So I came looking for you." She reached forward and grasped his hands, unsettling the boy greatly, "Please Goten! I need your help. Help me train to unlock my Ki. I'm begging you! I won't stand a chance of beating Hinata without it."

"S-Sakura…" He murmured with a stutter, his empathy effortlessly winning over his shyness. Staring into Sakura's tearful eyes handed him a clear picture of her desperation. Hinata was far superior to her in almost every way. If they were to come to blows as they were now, Sakura was sure Hinata would handily beat her with a blindfold on. Goten couldn't NOT agree to her request.

It just wasn't in his nature.

He gave her a nod, sakura-hued blush slowly fading in the hardening of his resolve.

"I'll do it."

Sakura's face scintillated the streets.


(Moments later - Hokage's Tower – Hokage office)


"You wish to leave the village for a period of time for training purposes?" Hiruzen summarized, looking the red and orange clad children over in front of his desk

"Yes, Lord Hokage!" She stood to attention as though she was a member of the cadets requesting to speak to her sergeant officer, "We'd like to travel and see a bit of the Land of Fire before the second phase of the Chunin Exams begins." She kept up her composure on the outside, but on the inside, inner-Sakura was bricking it, 'Geez! This stupid plan is never going to work. Cha!"

Apparently, she underestimated just how trusting the Hokage was, because his countenance glowed in approval like a warm-spring day, "Oh, I do not see why not." He said. Sakura's façade dropped as she stared blankly at the leader of the village. He glanced at the orange-clad boy's beaming grin, "I am certain you can protect her. Now that we have dealt with your uncertainty, my worries have been assuaged."

"Uh-huh!" Goten nodded perkily, wide eyes shining brightly.

Hiruzen shifted his glowing smile to the Kunoichi who was still frozen in shock at just how easily the two have been granted permission to leave Konoha for a period of time. When the Hokage hummed pointedly at her, she eventually snapped herself out of her stupor with an awkward cough, blushing up an embarrassed storm before dipping in a bow, "Uh, Thank you, Lord Hokage."

Hiruzen nodded, kind smile never fading from his wizened countenance, "Run along, children. The day is young and I am certain you will want to begin your adventure as soon as possible." He surmised. The two bid him a polite farewell and headed for the door, disappearing through the doorway with the slight thud of the wooden barrier closing, signalling their departure.

Hiruzen's warm smile of consideration cooled to a frosty mask of stoicism when the disappeared from view. Giving them a semblance of freedom would go a long way to ensuring their loyalty to Konoha.


(Later – Outside the gates of Konoha)


"C'mon Goten! Let's go!"

"Coming, Sakura."

Sakura was rearing to go before the sun even had time to set. She ran home and packed a change of clothes and other necessities in her yellow backpack, excusing herself from her parents with the white lie that she was heading out on another mission. Given that she came from a normal, civilian background her parents brought this and even packed her a bento lunchbox, wishing her luck in the process. Such were the pros of being a civilian girl. Her parents couldn't and wouldn't look into any mission she may or may not have been sent on.

Goten sheepishly approached the kunoichi beside the huge green six-styled leaf emblazoned gates of Konoha, playfully tapping her foot on the ground with crossed arms, "Sowwy," He apologized in a playful manner of his own, sticking out his tongue.

Sakura's mask of impatience fell away to reveal a bright, giggling face of joy, "C'mon you. Let's get moving," She turned, gripping the straps of her backpack before running ahead, "I'll race you."

Goten frowned cutely, "Hey, no fair! I wasn't ready!" He galloped after her, falling behind her but not really trying to overtake her. He followed Sakura's joyful laughter away from their current residence, thoroughly enjoying their improvised game of cat-and-mouse as their giggling voices flowed through the air.

They stopped at an intersection on the dirt road as the kunoichi mock-celebrated touching the cross sign first, "Yay, I won!" She cheered playfully.

Goten trailed behind her, a content smile playing on his lips. He blinked when the girl turned toward him, fiddling with the top of the sign in clear hesitance.

"Hey, Goten?"

"Um, yeah, Sakura?"

"Can we fly for a bit?"

"…Oh." He uttered in surprise. A pang of remorse spiked his heart when the pink-haired Kunoichi glanced down at her wiggling feet in regret at his reaction. "I-I mean, sure! We can fly if you want, Sakura!" He hurried, feeling his ears burning hotly in embarrassment.

Sakura's head lifted like a rocket with a glowing gleam of excitement lighting up her eyes like stars in the sky, stupefying Goten at her serene beauty, "You really mean it?!" Goten nodded numbly, "Yay!" Sakura cheered, throwing her arms above her head.

Goten hastily whirled away from the kunoichi, planting his palms on his rapidly beating heart. Eyes twirling like he had been spun around in a hundred circles and face shining beet red like a strawberry, Goten was the very definition of a flutter of nerves, "Uh," He panted, nervously looking over his shoulder at the smiling girl, "Piggyback…" He suggested in a tiny voice, twiddling his fingers together.

Sakura smiled sweetly, "Don't be silly, Goten. You're wearing your backpack. Just carry me like you did in the Forest of Death." Goten's face brightened.

"…Uh-huh." He squeaked out inaudibly, softening Sakura's smile. Goten faced her again, slowly approaching her with a million gooseflesh erupting across his skin. A cherry-blossomed, dreamlike backdrop materialized behind the lovely kunoichi patently waiting for him to reach her with her arms behind her back, eliciting even more gooseflesh to emerge beneath his sleeves. The young Saiyan looked down, once more finding the ground to be the most captivating thing in the world just then.

Sakura's feet appeared in view, "Are you okay, Goten?" She asked, concern colouring her voice.

Goten willed his courage to look up into the girl's beautiful leaf-emerald hued eyes reflecting sympathy, "Uh-huh." He murmured, holding out his shaky arms. Sakura's smile widened, own arms reaching out and intertwining behind Goten's neck, feeling the boy stiffening against her. He breathed indistinctly, trying to block out the thunderous thumps of his heart before crouching down, wrapping an arm around the back of Sakura's knees. Steam erupted from his ears at the skin-on-skin contact, but he did his best to ignore the embarrassed feeling, bringing his arm up with the Kunoichi's legs under them, the other hand resting on her back.

Sakura smiled brightly being held up like a newly-wed in the boy's arms, "Go really fast! Okay, Goten!"


(Deleted Scene - Omake - A Day Ago)

Hiruzen watched one of his two most prized weapons aimlessly wander through the village without a destination in mind; his downed spiky head in sorrow indicating as much through his crystal ball.

"You poor child," He commented, "You suffered less when you were fighting the Majin Buu creature." He exhaled, softly, closing his eyes, "I truly wish I could ease your pain without sending you home." Needlessly to say, he realized how selfish he was being, wanting to keep the boys and their overpowered traits to himself, but he had already made peace with himself over that.

Humans were inherently self-centred creatures and he was no different. It sickened him, because he had a conscience, but if he had a choice between sending the boys back home and discarding the information or device entirely to keep them forever, he would most definitely choose the latter nine times out of ten.

He was most notably thankful for the welcoming diversion a combination of clangs off his glass window provided from his thoughts of self-awareness. Smoothly tucking his crystal ball beneath his desk, he spun in his seat with all the manufactured nonchalance of an actor to the guest apparently not too keen on using the front door.

A huge, broad-shouldered man with white spiky hair so wild it put Goten's to shame stood crouched in the window tilt; barely managing to fit his gigantic muscled physique in the frame. Draped over his wide shoulders was a crimson sleeveless Kung-Fu styled jacket, partly covering his dark grey coloured Gi top which in turn hid the standard mesh body armour all shinobi wore under their normal attires. A pair of matching grey pants was kept up by a black sash tied around his waist and red wooden sandals complemented his sleeveless jacket.

"Hey, hey, old man," He smiled nonchalantly, dropping from the window silt; his wooden footwear thudding off of the ground as he did, "Long time no see."

"Ah, Jiraiya," Hiruzen's expression warmed, "First of all, allow me to extend my deepest gratitude for coming on such short notice. I had not anticipated I would require your expertise if it did not have anything to do with the Kyuubi's seal."

"Nah, don't worry about it," Jiraiya assured, completely at ease with being summoned back without warning, "I've been meaning to visit the old place for some time now, for… err, research reasons," A speck of blood seeped from his nostrils, dripping over his goofy lecherous grin, "Mm-hm. Plenty of material to work with."

Hiruzen smiled in a fondly sheepish manner, reminiscent of an companion recognizing the familiar habits of an old friend, "It's encouraging to see your expedition has not changed you in the slightest, dearest disciple."

Jiraiya thumbed his chest with his head held high, "You give me too little credit, sensei. As if any soul-searching journey could ever completely change the great toad sage, Jiraiya!" He roared, boisterously.

Hiruzen smiled, affectionately humorous; the equivalent expression to 'That's our Jiraiya,' "No, I suppose not," He said, "I suppose I should get you up to speed."

A smile born from sarcasm, "If you don't mind."

"Very well," Hiruzen accepted, bringing out his trusty pipe from under his desk; a sign of stressful things to come, "I suggest making yourself comfortable young Jiraiya. What about to tell you is, if you will permit me to be so blunt, quite the 'doozy' as I am sure you young people say nowadays."

"Lay it on me."

And so he did, proceeding to tell most likely his strongest student all about the alien youngsters on course to change the destiny of those around them. He started with the letter he received from Kakashi's ninja hound giving him the heads-up on two extraordinarily powerful pre-teen boys who saved his team, to meeting said powerful pre-teen boys, to instantly enlisting them among his forces in the squads of Kakashi and Kurenai, to them effortlessly dealing with far more experienced shinobi, to the happy-go-lucky close companion of Jiraiya's student's son eradicating Jiraiya's former teammate with a blast rivalling the nation-destroying power of the Kyuubi, to the reveal of the boy's alien heritage with his tail growth and finally, the penultimate discussion which led to Hiruzen summoning his most famous student here.

Needlessly to say, there was brief scepticism on the great sage's face from each segment of the debriefing, though it never lasted. Hiruzen had been like a father to him ever since the days where the once-upon-a-time squad leader led him and his fellow sennin in their adolesance. He trusted him wholeheartedly. Even if what he was told was wholly unbelievable and difficult to swallow, his wholehearted faith in his father-figure made him a believer.

"Holy shit." That left the other emotions divulging from him from Hiruzen's relay of the enigmatic overpowered children. He was knocked senseless of the retelling of their merged form and everything about their world, though he give an impressed whistle by how well they dealt with Zabuza and Anko, "You know when I said lay it on me? Yeah, I think I'd like to take that back."

Hiruzen closed his eyes, inhaling deeply through his nostrils, "And as you can recall me saying, 'What I am about to tell you is quite the doozy'."

"Yeah, you weren't kidding about that," He barely felt himself say, face seemingly in perpetual shock. To think there was a world out there paralleled to theirs housing such titans fully capable of crushing planets and other dimensions like grapes? Insane didn't do the immeasurable scope of the fact justice. If anyone had told him this, that there was a world out there accommodating godlike children he would've told them to consider a career in showbiz because that was the best joke he had ever heard in his fifty years of life. Dear god! When he spotted the gigantic energy blast of Goten's Kamehameha wave on route back to the village he never in a million times would've guessed a kid nowhere near his prime was responsible for it.

He assumed it was the Kyuubi breaking free of his student's son and legged it back to assist where he could, only to then be confused upon finding the village in mint perfect condition as if a blast never occurred. To inflict zero damage on the environment upon unleashing a blast eclipsing a village the size of Konoha would require precise control the likes of which could only be compared to the medic nin's healing jutsu. The thought that anyone had mastered an explosion that massive sent shivers down his spine.

Of course, there was still the elephant in the centre of the explosion he was purposely trying to ignore to avoid his heart hardening with slight sadness, "The snake finally bit off more than he can chew, huh?" He murmured, gaze lowering.

Another light inhale through wrinkled nostrils, "Afraid so," He clarified, regrettably, flashes of the times spent guiding his three students back in his hayday playing on his mind. Those were some of the happiest days of his life, he thought, as his heart grew heavier, "Dearest Anko can verify. Her curse mark given to her by Orochimaru evaporated from her shoulder the moment Young Goten's Kamehameha wave vanished."

Jiraiya lifted his head, inhaling audibly while simultaneously scrunching up his face as though he were in great pain. It wasn't as if he felt deeply saddened by Orochimaru's death nor did he particularly disdain Goten for the deed. He had mixed emotions over the fact. On one hand, yes, Orochimaru was an irredeemable maniacal villain who had jeopardized the lives of many for his own sick-twisted gains, but on the other, he was also his childhood friend; and some sick part of him still considered the sociopathic madman as such purely on the basis of nostalgia.

Along with their female teammate, they had been through a lot together, most notably being immortalized in the history's books as three of the greatest shinobi to ever walk the face of the planet by one of the most dangerous men on the planet after surviving an encounter against said foe.

Experiences like that tended to form bonds.

It just was what it was.

This was why he felt obligated to either stop Orochimaru's descent into darkness OR put an end to his twisted ambitions, but in the end, he could achieve neither. His words couldn't reach Orochimaru in the deep darkness he had plunged headfirst into nor could he kill him and he was burdened with that guilt until today, upon learning of his old friend's demise at the hands of that freakishly powerful pre-teen little kid.

Hiruzen knew him long enough to understand this so didn't waste words trying to comfort him. He just let him both grieve and relish in his friend-turned-enemy's death, as he did.

The two reminisced of days gone by, where they were once a wholesome team and not the washed-up cryptic hasbeens life had turned them into.

"Alright," Jiraiya finally broke the silence, "So you need my expense sealing the kid's monkey, eh?"

Hiruzen smirked, "If you don't mind."

An uproarious laugh thundered off the walls from Jiraiya's throat at being quoted, "Not at all!" He slapped his knee before pulling himself together, "Gotta say, though, I've never sealed a tailed-beast thing from another world but I'm sure it's nothing the great sage can't handle."

Hiruzen smirked, "Regardless of the task you face ahead, insurmountable or not, I am most certain you can accomplish it." He puffed out a cloud of soothing tobacco, "I have the most utmost faith in your abilities."

"Gee. Thanks," Jiraiya snarked, caressing the back of his neck before making his way toward the normal entrance to get in some good old fashioned "Jiraiya-time" before work started, idly commenting on the unfairness of the aliens essentially having access to his go-to form, "Man, I can't believe those brats have access to natural energy twenty four/seven. Theoretically, they could so easily become sages it's almost scary."

We're done. Sakura's battle to tap into her Ki is going to be an insurmountable struggle. Normally, I wouldn't crossover powers, but I just feel Sakura needs something to make her stand out, especially considering Sasuke has the Sharingan, Naruto has the Kyuubi and Goten has Super Saiyan. She hasn't got anything. Being the only shinobi who was capable of tapping into her Ki despite the dangers will give her something to call her own, I feel.

So look forward to that.

For those of you that's interested, I started a One Piece/Dragonball crossover featuring Eos Part 1 Goku. It's titled A Warrior on the Unknown Seas