AN/ pretty nervous to get into the new stuff. I've read a lot more fanfic in between when I started this and now and I'd like to think I've reached a point where I'm enjoying reading what I'm writing.

I have a terrible memory so I'm hoping to have a solid story I can read later on and experience what's played out in my head all over again.

anyway, Chapterrrrrr 5. or something

Shika's eyes rested upon the newborn child that now held the One-Tails. If he had been ordered to kill the Jinchurikee, this boy would've been the easiest. Suna had fought against similar magics to his in the past judging by the Seals preventing its use, but they were easily subverting by simply being so abhorrently outdated.

The newborn suddenly yawned in his direction. The babies red splash of hair too short to block out the light of the hospital yet he seemed to be trying to use it as a curtain. The symbol for Love adorning his brow felt very poetic, though the meaning behind the poetry was lost on Shika.

He would write a detailed report later, for now he focused on committing the boys features to memory, making a mental picture of what he'd look like throughout his life. Barring horrific accidents scaring his face of course.

The seal itself was.. shoddy at best. Replaying the Hokages orders in his head, he resigned himself to leave it be for now. He was only to assess the threat, not handle it after all.

With a soft pop, he departed.

Tenshin slowed her movements, her breathing, and tried to suppress her chakra. The chakra suppression was the least succesful; she was improvising and could feel it wasn't very effective. No matter.

She crept along the wall of a dilapidated shack, putting her feet where they'd make the least crunch in the winter snow. Her eyes darted around in a controlled assessment of the sorounding foliage. Soon enough her hand reached for the shack door and pushed it forward only slightly so as not to cause a creak. through the tiniest of gaps she saw one thing of note; the unmistakable sheen of a steel wire.

She pulled a crook shaped metal tool from her kunai pouch, braced the door, and tugged the trap. Three distinct thuds against the other side led her to a smug grin. She wouldn't open the door yet. Not Until.. thud. There it was, the ever-present fourth kunai.

Haruhi had drilled in the entire class to set up a knife for every Hokage at the minimum. That being said, or thought rather, she threw open the door. Quickly she fell against the wall to the side of the door just in case. It didn't hurt to be careful but this time she wasn't rewarded for the caution.

Tenshin moved in and pocketed the scroll on the table. She took the time to stab the four straw dummies posed as if playing a card game for good measure.

She stepped back in her own footsteps so as not to unintentionally trigger anything else.

Back outside she began to run back towards the designated 'HQ' to turn in the scroll. Halfway through the trip Tenshin was puzzled by a familiar hissing sound. Eyes drifting to her pouches, she realized her mistake a smidge too late. Her hand shifted in her pocket and grabbed the offending scroll and tried to throw it, but it blew up in her hand, leaving it reasonably scorched. Oh well, she'd get that burn ointment from Inky.

Of greater concern was the Lack of scroll. Turning on her heel, she doubled her pace back to the shack. Seeing another of her class approaching the building she came to a stop and slowed herself down again. She used to hate this snail pace sneaking, but now she found it Exhilirating. If only for the opportunity to scare someone. When the girl began to back out of the hut, in her own footsteps just like Tenshin had, she sprung into a tackle and wrested the scroll from the girl.

The idiot had actually Yelped and failed to put up any kind of defense. With a scoff Tenshin hopped away. She was confident in her ability to outrun the girl, especially with this egregious headstart. Swiftly reaching the HQ clearing, she presented the scroll to the genin boy Haruhi had roped into assisting with her practical lesson. The boy, not much older than herself, accepted the scroll but then swung out with an open palm.

Tenshin caught his arm and responded with a kick to his side before hopping a short distance back. She drew a kunai and settled into her familiar stance. Instead of rushing her, the boy ran through handsigns and spat a stream of water towards her. She had no defense for this she was willing to use and opted to jump out of the way, throwing her kunai towards him only for him to turn and blast it back with the same jutsu.

She caught her kunai midair and the Genin spun around to run away. His bored, impassive look did not escape Tenshin's notice. She threw the kunai yet again while starting to run for him. The projectile missed ever so slightly as the boy turned, but the boy's eyes widened when the kunai now just barely in front of him hissed unmistakably. He skidded to a stop only for the supposed explosive tag to puff out the tiniest whiff of smoke.

His incredulous laugh was met with an elbow to the head, knocking the boy out. Tenshin retrieved the scroll from his pouch and returned to the HQ. This time placing the scroll in front of a picture of the Fourth Hokage.

"Most of you peformed very well today. I'll play catchup with the fall behinds shortly but first some highlights."

Tenshin mostly retreated into her mind, only listening for the few names she was interested to hear.

"Itachi. Perfect score. Glad to see you put that genjutsu skill to good use on both targets."

"Tenshin. Exceptional Score. You failed to check the authenticity of the first scroll and lost some hand flesh for the trouble. Good takedowns on both targets though."

"Matsuri. Acceptable Score. The way you deduced the first target as being a fake by her scent was a good use of your talent and it was funny when you called that genin a 'Shrimp Sandwich'."

"Shisui. Perfect Score. I hate to admit it but your... Experience with sneaking around really shined through. If only you would put this much effort into the written exams."

"Alright, that's that. Now I want to officially debrief this exercise. You were all told you would be trying to get a scroll, and that a fellow student would be trying to get it as well. You were given the scrolls location and description. Everyone succeeded in using that information."

"But.. On a real mission there are complications. The target can be protected with traps. Your enemy could be stronger than you expect. Your contact could betray you. For all you know the empty shack is an enemy hideout sheltering several squads of Ninja."

"The point of this exercise was to kickstart your senses into always rethinking what's given to you. Always consider the possibilities. A paranoid Shinobi is an Alive Shinobi. Got it? Dismissed."

Haruhi rounded off her lesson with a clap and a shunshin.

Tenshin grinned and hurried out of the room to get back home.

It had been months since Riddle had left. Months since starting year four of the academy. And Tenshin could only describe herself as Happy. Haruhi was an amazing teacher who liked to turned things on their heads and take people out of their comfort zone. Itachi had been right beside her challenging her to do her best. She had met Shisui the first day of Ms. Haruhi's class and despite their initial meeting..

Shisui giggled maniacally as he finished setting up the simplest of pranks- an eraser on the door. Itachi -the goody goody- would surely be the first in the room and take a chalk covered eraser to the face.

He waited with bated breath until he finally heard his cousins soft footsteps only to yelp in surprise as a young girl, probably the same age as Itachi, walked in. And Shisuis accidental new target was no fool. The girl grabbed the eraser out of the air, and stared at it with a puzzled look. Shisui's pre-loaded giggle escaped his lips before he could stop himself, and the girl immediately threw the eraser at him.

The resultant black eye took a Week to go away but the two reached an understanding after Itachi arrived and introduced them properly.

..they were friendly enough. Shisui often sat near them during lunch breaks but couldn't be bothered with the books they read. He would instead think of new devious pranks and run them by the pair. The resultant suggestions to Not do said pranks were mostly ignored.

Mind back on Itachi, Tenshin hoped he worked something out with his father soon. They had only trained at her house twice since the first time. That wasn't nearly enough for how beneficial they both felt the experiences to be.

Pushing that all aside, Tenshin opened her door instantly her face fell. There, in the main entrance, Inky stood tapping her foot. Tenshin may not feel fear anymore, but she still felt shame.

"Miss. Care to explain the seal scratched into the wall?"

"I apologize Inky. I got carried away and ran out of paper."

"You should merely have asked miss. When that magic wore away I nearly fainted. Be ashamed miss."

Tenshin did feel a bit guilty, but washed the feeling away with a nod. She settled down at the table she had become very familiar with and retrieved the book she had been reading this morning.

It wasn't one of the usual books in her bookshelf. They were thoughtful volumes about theories and applications of various seals and magic. This book was clearly fictional, telling the story of a brave hero taking down an evil wizard. The curious thing was the descriptions of the attacks used in the fights, detailing each move, every spell and technique, effectively teaching the reader how to act out the story.

Tenshin's guilty seal on the wall had been one such teaching. Around the midway point of the book, the hero faced down the evil wizards lead general. The general proved more skilled, stronger, faster, and smarter. But the hero had one last trick. A seal that would lock away the generals evil, leaving only a good man of incredible skill. The battle had enthralled her so thoroughly that she has drawn the seal on the wall without thinking too much about it.

She realized what she was doing and put the book down to cover it up. After that she'd gone to bed, but she finished that passage this morning. Tenshin refrained from finishing the seal on the wall and instead read through several paragraphs of dialogue. The general, now a good man, was struggling to come to turn with his wrongs, and took it upon himself to seek exile. Tenshin hoped to hear more the man later in the book.

Inky placed a plate of food in front of her and she dug in without another glance at the book. She'd had enough reading for one day anyway.

"Straighten yourself. You are an Uchiha. wear your pride on the front like the crest on your back. Display high upon yourself, and let noone look down on you."

Itachi followed the.. imaginative instructions as best he could. He never really understood the concept of pride his father pushed so much. Itachi felt proud of his skills, but he had worked hard to grow them. He wasn't born with them. He was proud of his village, Konoha had fought many battles and yet stood tall. Maybe he just needed a reason to feel proud of his clan.

He wouldn't ask his father, that'd get him nowhere. Haruhi would tell him to Ask his father. Shisui would.. not be helpful either. His mother? Sure, she may have some insight. While a powerful kunoichi in her own right his mother wasn't a Frontline fighter anymore and had more time to contemplate everything.

Later in the evening, he approached her with the question. To his surprise she beamed at him, and answered,

"To have pride in the Uchiha is to be proud of your family. It's to be proud of the people you care about. I'm proud of you, and the way you continue to improve your ability. That is pride in our family, in the Uchiha."

He fought the blush the unexpected praise threatened to give him, and considered her answer. How could he be proud of his family? His mother was powerful and kind. He saw the virtue in those traits and was proud of her for them. His father was chief of the Konoha Police Force and a personal advisor of the Hokage. Both were remarkable achievements that earned Fugaku a lot of respect. Itachi could be proud of his fathers work and dedication to the Village.

His little brother Sasuke lay in the adjacent room, still bound to a crib. Itachi thought for a moment and decided Sasuke would make him proud too, when he became a ninja just like Itachi would in a year or so.

Itachi straightened himself, thanked his mother for her help, and allowed himself a proud smile.

The two tails resided in the same place the eight tails did. Kumo.

Shika scouted the village out carefully and soon found his targets. Kirabi, the brother of the young Raikage. Yugito Nii, a blond girl with much less standing. Neither child was particularly aggressively or weak willed.

The eight tails Jinchurikee had a strange tendency to rap his words though. He would include it in his report just in case it was the kind of vocal tick that could give away his identity.

On to the Mist then.

"Sensei, Kakashi. Please sit."

Minato held back a sigh looking at the two men in front of him. White hair on an old grinning man versus silver hair on a stoic teen. The aforementioned sigh traitorously left him anyway as he prepared to brief the two of them.

"The two of you will be working together on an S-Rank mission. You will pose as father and son traveling the nations. I need intel on the minor villages on the border between fire and earth. I need to know their allegiances, their agreements with other villages, and their defensive capabilities. This needs to take no more than a year, so travel fast. If you find anything of immediate interest write to me. You will report only to me for this mission, you will avoid all other shinobi- including leaf shinobi. Do you understand what I'm asking of you?"

Two nods, now matched in stoicism.

"You have three days to prepare your gear and get a story down. Dismissed."

Jiraiya had never fully realized he would get bossed around by a brat he trained but he supposed it couldn't be helped. He only went and did such a good the damn boy became Hokage! He looked at Minato's lone student. Just a teen and yet an Anbu operative. For this mission though they wouldn't need the animal masks. Speaking of masks...

"Hey Brat." Silence. "Kakashi right? Kakashi Hatake?"

A stare. "You're gonna have to tale the mask off for us to pass as civillians."


"No you can't genjutsu everyone all the time. I'm serious kid. Mask off."

The boy struggled for a while but then sagged his shoulders in defeat. He removed the mask with a heavy sigh.

"There you go! You look more like a minime already with those handsome features."

Kakashi regretted accepting this mission. Not that he had much of a say in it.

"Aww chin up youngster. As soon as we're done in a year or so you can glue the damn thing on. Now let's get our story down.."

The Mist Village proved to be the most troublesome. The bloodline purge was in full force and he had trouble walking through open streets unacosted.

Shika at least knew the Three Tails Jinchurikee was still in control of the village then. Yagura had proved to be a tyrant immediately.

Threat to the village itself? Definitely. Threat to Konoha? Not really.

He didnt stay there long.

AN/ and thats the last one im cranking out in this 24 hrs. probably anyway.

way i figure it; Riddle made a Big difference in the defence of Konoha and many of the lives lost in the og were protected here. Still a hit, but under Minatos leadership Konoha is bouncing back fast. that being said, the war with Iwa wasnt long ago, so naturally minato is weary of a repeat.

next im gonna try to do less time skipping and let tenshin/hinochi truly be the focus of a chapter, for a whole chapter. we'll see if hold to that though.