It was early the third morning and Kuma had been in charge of preparing breakfast for her team (while the rest showered) when she met one of the other occupants of the floor.
"Mrpf. Of course, Konoha doesn´t know how to share.", a voice grumbled from behind and the young girl turned around.
There in the doorway stood a boy around the age of fifteen who must have just woken up, trusting the way his hair stood in all different directions and his eyes were barely open.
"Make room, so I can make food before the god damn monster kills me.", he sneered, even going as far as pushing Kuma aside at the counter.
A frown edged her face and regardless of what just happened, she signed "Good Morning. I make room for you there."
"Whatever. Stay out of my way little girl.", and with that, the boy started to grab the dishes Kuma had taken out of the cupboards, and some of the vegetables she had placed in a bowl and began cutting them.
"Mine. Get yours.", she signed after getting his attention.
"Whatever. I don´t speak mute baby. Now leave me alone. The Monster is already grumpy in the morning and not getting food will not be good for me.", he told her, once again pushing her away.
This time he had used more force making Kuma stumble over her feet and hit a corner of the massive table that stood in the kitchen.
"Can´t even stand. Weak.", the boy sneered once more.
Remembering the warning given by the guard at the gate the young girl decided not to act on his aggression and just restart at another area in the kitchen.
It took her almost one hour to prepare the grilled rice and fried eggs with vegetable soup for her team.
The boys had asked a few times through their connection if everything was alright or if she needed help. She had declined the offer every time and she had just started portioning the food when she noticed another foreigner come toward the kitchen.
A waft of raccoon and dryness entered her nose and it made the hair on the back of her neck stand up.
"Breakfast not ready yet.", it was more of a statement than a question.
"Garaa-san. It will be ready in just a moment.", the boy stuttered and Kuma could not suppress a little snort: the food had been burning in the pan more than cooking the whole time.
"It´s burned. Can you do anything right?", the new arrival sighed, and Kuma recognized the red-haired boy with the pumpkin on his back was looking into the pan of the other boy.
"Get lost before I kill you."
"Hai Gaara-san.", and with these words, the boy ran out of the kitchen, but not without giving the girl a nasty glare.
As nice and well-raised as she was, did Kuma give him a grinning wave.
"What are you staring at?", the red-haired boy growled and Kuma realized she had drifted off for a second.
"Apology." , she signed.
"Mrph. You are one of the Konoha ninjas, right?"
She nodded a yes and showed her headband that was as usual secured as an arm guard on her left arm.
"Making friends already Pity?", Raidon hummed. He had changed places with a carrot and was now sitting on the counter. Earning himself a hit on the back of his head, "What was that for?"
"Don´t sit where I prepare food!"
"Yeah, fine. The food smells amazing. Sensai and Idiot are on their way too.", he grumbled but gathered things to set the table.
Their strange way of communicating had caught the attention of the foreigner.
"So who is your friend? Your lover? Oh please, can I tell Genma? He will faint if he learns you are dating that one.", Raidon continued mocking his teammate, avoiding a few senbon while he did. A second later he got serious though," What is the hidden agenda this time? I don´t think your sand can stand a chance against all this rain."
"Raidon, what is going on?"
"Just be careful. He is a Mo- Ouch- Hiraku , what the hell?"
"Seriously, I leave you alone for ten minutes and you forget your manners. Did you even introduce yourself before throwing insults around? Konoha and Suna have a peace treaty and that attack is old news. You know that as much as I do. Now help me and Kuma to set the table before Sensei has our asses for slacking off. Food smells incredible by the way.", the clan kid scolded his friend. He knew as good as his friend who stood before them. Angering an unstable Jinjuriki was never a good idea.
"Making friends Brother?", a female called out from the hallway.
"Temari.", the redhead greeted her.
"Gaara. Who is your friend? Your Girlfriend? The elders won´t be happy that you are dating an outsider.", she teased him the same way Raidon had with Kuma.
"They are not happy with anything I do. What do you want?"
"I wanted to check if the food was ready. He burned everything, didn´t he?", she continued with a sigh. Pinching her nose.
"Yes. He is useless. I don´t understand why he is here."
"Politics and reasons we cannot discuss around others.", she hummed, "Now let's go. I am starving. You can introduce us later."
"Food is burned again?", another boy sighed, "Well let's go and see if we can find something that is not soggy from the rain."
"Kankuro.", Garaa greeted that boy with weird markings on his face, "You, clean up the mess you made!"
And with those words, the three Suna Ninjas left their comrade behind with the ones from Konoha.
"What are you idiots staring at!", he growled though was completely ignored.
It was the same night when Kuma could not sleep and decided a bath could help her relax. She informed her Sensei who, after a contemplating look, gave his go-ahead under the premise she would call for help immediately if something seem fishy.
Shaking her head about the absurd place he had chosen to take watch that night ( on top of one of the blades of the running ceiling fan), the young girl made her way to the girl's bathroom on their floor.
A room with 6 Stalls and 6 showers for 6 girls was nice, it meant no fights in the mornings.
After taking a cleansing shower, the young girl sunk into the hot water of the hot tub and tried to bring her mind to a relaxing state that would allow her to sleep once back in their room.
Kuma did not know what made her mind restless like this, but she knew she needed the sleep she was missing in the upcoming days. The Exam was to start in two days' time after all.
The sound of the opening and closing door of the bath caught her attention. Someone else had a similar idea as she had it seems. With the sound of the footsteps not fitting the other girls from Konoha, she knew it must be the only female Suna-ninja that lived on their floor.
"Looks like am not the only one with the idea of taking a relaxing bath.", the girl, Temari, chuckled.
"Greetings", Kuma signed.
"Yeah, I heard you don´t talk. You mind if I join?", she motioned towards the big tub, the young girl was occupying all by herself.
"Negative.", Kuma signed with a smile, she had used henge to cover her scars the moment she had heard the door.
"Thank you, my name is Temari.", the blond smiled,"I think I overheard your teammates call you Kuma, is that right?"
"Hello, Kuma. I am sorry for the idiot this morning. He´s a spoiled brat."
There were no more words exchanged for the next half an hour and the young Girl was at the edge of drifting off into a slumber when a tingly feeling crept in her mind. A feeling she had trained with Kaji: someone or something was hiding close by.
Opening her eyes she let them wander around the slightly foggy room. Starting with the ceiling and followed by any place Daisoku-sensai would sit, to the floor, and the edge of the basin.
And there her eyes settled on a small something: just behind Temari´s right shoulder a small pointy tail curled in the air.
Using her big toe and an outstretched leg, Kuma got the other girl's attention and drew it towards the thing behind her.
To say the following happened fast was an understatement. The moment the blonde´s eyes fell upon the creature, a mark-shattering scream filled the air and she jumped as far away as possible while at the same time pointing at the thing and screaming:" Make it go away! Make it go away!"
Acting more out of instinct than anything else, Kuma caught the creature with her bare hands and put a simple knockout seal on it. She knew it was not a ´normal´ thing but either a summon, a companion, or even a henged enemy.
Only a few seconds (maybe 5 at most) after Temari´s scream, the door to the bathroom flew out of its hinges, and multiple people piled through in different states of awakening but all ready to fight.
A wall of sand engulfed the blond girl moving her away from Kuma and towards the redhead boy and the one with the markings on his face. Temari was still screaming for it to be made to get away while pointing at Kuma.
Kuma on the other hand stood there not moving and with a slightly tilted head. She knew any move she made could mean an escalation of the situation. Luckily for her, her braids had fallen in front of her chest.
"What did you do to my Sister, Konoha-nin?", the redhead growled, making his sand dance in form of a spear in front of Kuma´s eyes.
She did not bat an eye, others did though. A split second later she felt Raidon land next to her in the water ready to attack.
"Who do you think you are? Keep your cursed sand-", he sneered but was interrupted by his comrades' hand on his chest.
"Kuma. You can´t talk to this Bastard.", he tried to reason, which earned him a slap on the back of his head by Hiraku.
"Ouch. You know what I meant. Got dammit. Sensai, tell him!"
"Undo your henge or I will kill you!", the boy continued and Kuma had to use force to stop Raidon from attacking the Suna- ninja.
"Try it and see how it goes.", Hiraku added.
"Leave it! We are not to attack!", Kuma growled, "Sensai, can you speak for me? Ask him to ask his sister why she screamed."
"Of course. I am sure you are aware that Kuma does not speak. Why don´t you ask your sister why she screamed bloody murder?", Daisoku- sensai hummed, though the edge in his words showed Kuma he was far from relaxed.
"Gaara he is right. Temari, why are you screaming like a little girl that saw a spider?", the other boy, Kotetsu sighed.
"Scorpion! Scorpion! Scorpion! Make it go away! Make it go away!", Temari squealed.
"Where is the Scorpion Temari?", Kankuro asked, but instead of his sister, Kuma answered lifting the Scorpion into the air.
"That is not a simple scorpion.", the Jonin of the Sandsiblings exclaimed.
"I don´t care! Take it away!", the blond continued screaming.
"Girl. Hand it over.", the Jonin continued.
"She won´t", Daisoku-sensai stated in a tone that does not allow any discussion, "She will walk back towards me, hand me the summon, and get dressed in this shirt. Your Genin will call back his sand, and once both of the girls are fully dressed and back in their rooms with their teams, then WE Jonin can take care of this summon."
"Kuma.", her sensai ordered and she did as he had said before.
Securing her hair in front of her body with her free hand, did she slowly walk the two meters back. Her eyes never left the sand that was still in the air. But not for long, as soon as there had been enough room, Raidon stepped in front of her effectively shielding her from the other team's eyes.
"Thank you. Here Sensai. I put a knockout seal on it.", she explained handing over the pale creature and accepting the Shirt he handed her in exchange. It was one of Hirakus´.
Not turning her back towards the other ninja, Kuma hurried to pull the shirt around her body and she was glad for it, because she was at the end of her henge abilities and any second now her scars would reappear. She knew though that the light shirt would hide next to nothing once her hair had drenched it with water.
"We will meet in the kitchen in not later than fifteen minutes.", the Sand-jonin growled and with those words, the Suna-ninjas left.
"You good?", Hiraku asked his female teammate the second the last enemy ninja had left through the door.
"Yes. It was just a misunderstanding, I am good.", she nodded, "But I am drained now. My chakra is low from how long I had to keep up the henge."
"The three of you return to the room. I will join you as soon this is settled."
"Yes Sensai." /"Yes Sensai!"
They could not settle it though, the second the Jonin had joined together and the knockout seal had been removed the scorpion turned into a poof of smoke and disappeared.
At least that was what the Sensai told their students.
"The Exam starts tomorrow morning at 8 am. The Candidates then have to gather in the Lobby of the Tower to receive further orders.", a voice echoed through the loudspeakers that were found on every floor, around midday the next day.