unAN: A minor reminder that this is not slash

AN: A minor reminder that this is not slash. Nor will it ever be slash. If that is what you are looking for, move on, because my characters don't do jutsu that way. Except for Orochimaru, but he's just plain creepy, so that doesn't count.

Story

Opting to avoid another ninja attack, team seven took to the trees on their trip back to Konoha. Though Sakura had been recovered by Sasuke and later consoled by Kakashi and Naruto, her partially hidden depression was immediately obvious to the two fully trained Nin of their group. Naruto and Sasuke however, wouldn't have cared even if they did know, as they raced home, forcing the others to move faster.

Naruto, who had undergone a small growth spurt, looked disturbingly like his Uchiha brother, despite the dozens of obvious differences that separated the two. They moved in similar ways, although Sasuke's movements were more efficient and Naruto's more powerful, making the odd spectacle of the one mirroring the other near comical.

As Kakashi watched them, he then noticed that the two were emitting far less chakra from their abnormally developed stores, than usual. Scanning the trees, he quickly located identical overlapping tracks, and surmised what the two had done. Jumping long past being rebellious, the two were actively plotting something, probably involving Naruto's clones, and Sasuke's unlimited access to the Uchiha wealth. Taking the idea a few steps further, it was obvious the boys were smuggling something, though thankfully, Wave had become to poor to offer anything dangerous.

From various jonin reports, all dangerous illegal artifacts were seized by the new missing Nin population, leaving only E and D ranks items in Wave's mock black market. Still, the amounts they were transporting were incredible, as there must have been at least fifty clones moving their new possessions. "Huh. Oh well, I can always stop them if they try to do something stupid." Kakashi had no idea the effects his tolerance would have.

However, neither boy had heard this as they raced towards their home to continue their training, and put their new wares to use. Between the two, they had emptied every good store they could find of weapons that the pair thought they may need to counter in the future, and poorly written and outdated copies of clan scrolls. They had immediately sent ahead several clones with the worst items they had located, such as sealing scrolls designed to store human bodies, without any decay or change its state.

The scrolls were originally by the Uchiha to preserve to bodies of their own defeated Nin, until they started using them on their enemies. Those stored in the scrolls were usually dissected, studied or used in medical training, before cremation. Somewhere in Konoha, similar scrolls held the bodies of at least three of his clansmen, who were not well known or important enough for an individual funeral. Whoever held those bodies was at least intelligent enough not to use their eyes, though what they had been used for, Sasuke could only guess.

"Try to get to the Hokage before Kakashi." Sasuke grunted, sounding vexed. As they got closer and closer to returning, he was becoming steadily more irritable. It was almost annoying, but he would probably return to his old self after a good hour of training, so Naruto ignored it. "Can you manage that, or should I send a clone in your place?" Kakashi usually turned in the mission reports, so it probably would be a challenge to get to the Hokage early enough to get him to consider changing their team, but it would be interesting to try.

"Are you joking? Do you think that you can convince the citizen council?" Sasuke leered at him. He had been manipulating the lesser council since he became the Uchiha heir, though recently, it had become more difficult. They apparently thought he was old enough to not need humoring and would probably expect him to marry into one of their families if a few years.

"That's basic stuff for a real ninja." Konoha's wall appeared abruptly over the foliage. For the remained of the short trip, the group was silent.

"This would break at least three decades of tradition, and be highly disruptive to already existing groups." A withered looking woman spat. She had lost a large majority of her family in Kyuubis rampage, so anything remotely Naruto related could get a rise out of her. "When your team becomes chunin and jonin, you will need a person, preferably female, with advance chakra control skills to act as medic Nin. Why did you bother to call a council meeting for such a trivial matter?"

"You family hasn't been very productive since the attack if I remember correctly. As of two years ago, you borrowed a rather large sum of money from me to maintain your undeservedly lavish lifestyle, am I correct?" Sasuke had been arguing his case to each individual council member one by one and it still seemed rather dim. Hoping that Naruto was having more luck, he pushed on, speaking over the elderly council members protest in the process. "By the end of this year, you are supposed to pay me back more than twice what you have given me so far. If you still wish to live in a respectable home, you may want to be quiet and pray for an extension." Formality and kindness had been forgotten since minutes after the meeting began.

There were three main rules to conducting business with the village council, two of which he had barely gleamed from over thirteen family scrolls. The first is that a minimum of a two thirds majority vote must be reached with either council, before their decision is brought before the Hokage. The second is that ANY matter selected by an upper clan or ninja must be discussed at least once, despite any group's view on the idea. Finally, if anyone suspected that ninja activity was influencing a councilmember's vote, their vote would immediately be voided while the ninja activity was investigated.

By being the only direct sharingan heir remaining Konoha and dangling his money over their heads, Sasuke was easily as powerful as the Hokage when compared to these pathetic council members. The second council, this one being of non ninja clans and the other of only ninja clans, was far more respectable. They actually fought during wars and more than one had a jonin acting as leader, although most were retired.

"That is a private matter! The business of my family is completely separate from the villages!" Another elderly man to her right chuckled at the fit she threw, having been taunted for doing the same just minutes ago. The meeting had been going on for half an hour and each council member had been individually assaulted, usually financially, if they didn't agree with the prodigy. He was certainly different from the kind, withdrawn lad they had favored until the genin entrance exam took place.

'What changed you Sasuke?' he wondered. After all, his niece wouldn't be happy, or safe for that matter, if she was married to a miniature Itachi. If he had to, he would sacrifice her, but she was such a nice little girl…

"So is this. With Haku replacing Sakura and we will still meet all qualifications as a proper ninja team." His patience was wearing thin with these elderly fools who wasted time trying to show affluence, as their wealth and youth quickly faded away.

"What of Hanaro? She is a genin, but without a jonin or chunin to instruct her, she will not be of much use to the village." Another ancient woman, also displaying her age though she bore her wrinkles like badges of honor, interjected. With ninja wars happening every decade or so, she definitely had the right to.

"There are several mostly inactive jonin and chunin who could be spared. She would benefit more from it than any other, as she would get more attention from whoever her teacher is." Sasuke responded.

Several seemed to consider siding with him to simply end the meeting, but the antagonistic woman spoke out once again. "This Haku...how is she preferable over a nin from within the village? If she has any ninja training, she must be a missing Nin and thus needs to be executed or turned in to her home village. If we don't, it could cause another war." A taunting smile, from both sides as Sasuke spoke back.

"She was the apprentice of a missing nin, though she came from no real village. As soon as she passes the genin examinations, she will automatically become a citizen and thus a well qualified replacement kunoichi." After a brief internal struggle, the group's attention returned to him.

"If she meets the necessary requirements, the request will be brought before the Hokage at the next council meeting. Council dismissed." A sixty-ish looking woman rose, and with a curt nod ambled out a back entrance, her younger clansmen flanking her as she went. Following their leader's example, the rest of the assembly scattered, leaving only Sasuke behind.

"Kakashi, what's your stance on the change?" Although company was a welcome change from council members with demands, the meeting was steadily going downhill. Naruto seemed acquire his father's cruel wit, as the boy was starting the fight dirty. Not only had he drawn upon, as he had said "Wanting a teammate who accepted him.", but from Kakashi's small signs, he was already infiltrating the village council somehow.

"A change might increase the group's raw offensive ability, but dozens of factors will be thrown off by the shift. Teamwork skills will need to be redeveloped, along with everything taught in the academy, and..." Naruto, who had been considerably subdued until then finally exploded.

"Why do I need to work with someone who hates me? Sakura would have set this up herself, if not for Sasuke being on our team and we have the perfect replacement! She's way stronger than Sakura, you know that Kakashi!" Sarutobi sighed, thinking over his options.

"I will leave this up to Kakashi. However, if he approves of the change, you must meet certain stipulations. By the end of two weeks, Haku must be ready to take the genin exam, have a permanent residence set up, and be taught all that she needs to know for missions." He paused, thinking about Sakura and the difficulties her needing a teacher would pose. "You must also find a chunin or jonin to train Sakura until either team seven qualifies as chunin, or she gets her own team. If the instructor requests payment, you will pay half the amount a normal jonin team leader is paid, plus the regular expenses such as training approved items. Is that acceptable?"

"Yes! Thanks old man!" Naruto bounced in place happily. He had expected more demands and a much longer waiting time. "Great! Now I just have to tell everyone and celebrate. Ramen, here I come!" Not waiting to be dismissed, Naruto focused on a clone he had sent to the Uchiha district earlier and used the Replacement jutsu on it. Said clone destroyed himself just after the jutsu took affect, leaving nothing but a cloud of smoke to appear in the Hokage's office.

"Are you sure it's wise to..." Kakashi sounded uncharacteristically somber, but that was only natural. His teacher's son had stated quite clearly that he thought everyone hated him, despite the Hokage's best efforts. It had only been a ruse to help his case, but there was a disappointing amount of truth behind it.

"He deserves to at least have a friendly team with him on missions. A team that won't betray him, should he decide to tell them about his secret." Feeling decades beyond his age, the Hokage moved a stack of papers to a more accessible place on his desk. "Do you think they will be ready for the chunin exams in a month? The registration won't be due until a week beforehand..."

"They're already ready. I will return later with my full report." Kakashi bowed his head respectfully and at Sarutobi's nod, flickered away. Alone, the elderly man stared at the space Naruto had occupied moments earlier. He wasn't as blind to the implications the team presented before the change, though he often wished the idea would leave him. They were so similar and when he wasn't careful, he would often slip up and speak to Naruto like he used to with Jiraiya or read deeply into Sasuke's actions without need.

"Maybe this will stop the sannin from being recreated in that squad." His mistakes with Orochimaru had haunted him for years, though many said it wasn't his fault. It was selfish and unfair, but anything that could distance to three children from his old students was worth the effort. He, much like Kakashi, had no idea what effect his actions would have on them.

Week one: Day one

"Tomorrow, we will be repeating the bell exercise, but with three small changes." Sasuke dispersed his two clones, quickly followed by Naruto's ten. Haku, who preferred to fight without the use of clones allowed the several ice formations she had placed throughout the forest to melt. When the teens had finally removed their various battle aids, Kakashi hopped down from his high perch, settling against the same tree lazily. Naruto lasted a few seconds, before his impatience grew too powerful for restraint.

"Well? What are the changes?" Kakashi glanced up at them, immediately noting the bloodline trait in the boy's eye.

'What? He shouldn't...when?' Memories of Naruto copying techniques moments after their use resurfaced. 'He's had the sharingan for at least a month. Maybe more, since it's fully developed, but how?' Buying time to process the information, Kakashi let a questioning "Hmm." as if he was trying to remember the changes to the exercise. 'It shouldn't be possible. I know that his father wasn't an Uchiha and his mother was a foreigner...'

"Well? Will you tell us what the changes are or will you lounge there all day wasting our time?" Sasuke, still annoyed for unknown reasons, asked. "We have a lot of training to do, so either explain or shut up and leave."

"Fine, fine...the day after tomorrow, you three will undergo the bell test again, but this time, there will just be one bell to target." Naruto and Sasuke shared a though of how the would succeed, remembering the specifics from the last exercise, leaving Haku as the only person confused. Of course, she masked it under a blank, calm facade, but Naruto, used to Sasuke doing the same, quickly spotted it.

"Don't worry Haku, we'll explain everything later. Go on Kakashi." Kakashi took a few more seconds to think before he continued.

"The second change is that if any of you get the bell, you all succeed. That also means that I'll be defending it twice as well as last time, so don't expect this to be easy." A full round of nods spurred him onward. "Finally, if you manage to get the bell, Haku will officially replace Sakura on Team Seven. I've drawn up all of the paperwork, so I just need to submit it." Expecting something similar, none of the teens were surprised in the least."If I could have a moment alone with Sasuke…"With a smile, Naruto quickly led Haku back to the Uchiha district, where the three children had been staying, to both stuff his face with ramen and explain the bell exercise, leaving Sasuke and Kakashi behind.

"Have you found a permanent residence for Haku yet?" Sasuke was the logical person to ask, what with his access to his family's wealth undeterred. "She can't stay with you in the Uchiha house forever, you know. Even I see that as inappropriate."

Sasuke stared at him numbly. "How would my cousin, a newly inducted Uchiha member and I living together be inappropriate?" He let that sink in, before he borrowed from Naruto's trick book and switched himself with a clone, destroying it in the process. The cloud of smoke left in his wake gave the illusion of him being a shadow clone from the start.

"Wonder who taught who on that one..." Kakashi remained for a few more second, before he too exploded. The real Kakashi groaned as his copy's encounter settled in his mind.

At Sasuke's main house.

"That was a while ago, though. Sasuke and I are way stronger now." Haku nodded, already think up strategies based on what Naruto had experienced. She would need to interview Sasuke as well, but she knew enough of the Copy-nin to know what to expect. "So...How did it go?"

A sudden presence manifested itself behind Haku, before a small gust of chakra flowed past her. Sasuke had just returned. "I updated Kakashi. Have you explained everything to Haku?"

"Huh? Oh, ya...I finished that a little while ago. So..." Naruto trailed off, knowing that his cousin already knew what he was planning. "How about we finish up from earlier?" Haku immediately started molding chakra, ready to use her ice attacks at a moment's notice. She was already at a disadvantage, having two opponents, each with an arsenal of fire attacks and a strong bloodline at their disposal.

Sasuke and Naruto both activated their sharingan and fell into fighting stances, before Sasuke suddenly shot up. "We should go outside." The trio was standing in the middle of one of Sasuke's, now also Naruto's, many Uchiha houses. Large enough for a single boy to live in comfortably, it was far too cramped for three people to even think about fighting in.

"Probably. Come on Haku." Haku and Naruto were both out within seconds, leaving the true sharingan heir alone.

Sasuke stared out to his two teammates, who had started sparring without him. While Haku was at a disadvantage, what with not having the sharingan and using ice techniques, she still restrained herself while fighting them. Almost like Itachi did the one time he had time to waste with his little brother. "Like my family..."

"Are we a family?" Naruto rolled out of the way of several ice needles, before launching a hosenka towards to ice ninja. "Are we really like a family?" His hearing, along with all of his other senses had been steadily improving since the Bridge fight. Even his sharingan seemed to make things a little slower and better detailed.

"Master?" Haku stopped in front of the distracted youth. "What's wrong?" Naruto smiled at something, before shaking himself out of his stupor.

"Huh? What?" Smiling to himself, Naruto gestured for Haku to continue. "Oh, that was nothing. I was just thinking..." Several ice needles flew through the air, each slitting at least two Narutos throats. Every one of them disappeared.

'My family.'

AN: Sorry, but this is pretty much an important filler chapter. I'm back, yo.

Lord Doxkid.