Disclaimer: I only own the new Akatsuki members. The other Naruto characters don't belong to me.

A/N: After a while, here is the next chapter of my exciting story. I hope you guys are enjoying this story, I'm finally getting into the fun part. And I already know how I want this to go. It's just a matter of if I feel liking writing it, but, don't worry, I'll try my best. Well, read on and enjoy the story.


Chapter 2

The S-Rank Mission! The Akatsuki Appear!

Tsunade raised her head slightly when she heard footsteps approach the door. She waited patiently for the group of people to enter, and when the door finally opened she could make out the site of blond hair, followed by the famous haircut of Lee, and Neji's black hair. Once she saw Naruto she prepared to smack him, since he always called her baa-chan as soon as he entered. But, she calmed down when she saw Naruto's fallen face. "Naruto, what's wrong?" Tsunade asked.

"T-Tenten-chan was c-captured," Naruto stuttered. He was really down, he had failed to save Tenten, and now the usually hyper blond was nothing but a normal person. Which most ninja would be happy for, but not Tsunade. She hated to see Naruto like this.

"Tell me what happened?" Tsunade questioned. Naruto looked up slightly, and just stood there for a second.

"All right," Naruto finally answered. "Tenten and myself were heading off to see Neji and Lee. We ended up racing, and she was winning. But, as I was trying to catch up, I saw her fly off the roof and into a building. A guy by the name of Diran then appeared and knocked me hard into another building without even using a lot of chakra. He then used some kind of jutsu to crystallize Tenten. And then he ran off." Tsunade thought about what the blond said.

"Okay, thanks for the report. Now, the question is what do we do about it?" Tsunade asked herself.

"What do we do!" Naruto suddenly screamed. "We go after him, and rescue Tenten."

"I know how you feel Naruto, but I want to know if it is tied into what happened at Suna," Tsunade said, trying to calm the blond.

"Suna?" Naruto asked with a confused look. That got his attention.

"What happened there?" Neji inquired.

"They were attacked by three ninja, all wearing the same cloaks as Akatsuki," Tsunade said.

"Hey, that guy we saw run off had that kind of cloak," Lee added.

"He did?" Tsunade asked, her mind racing with thoughts of what to do.

"Yes, he said something about rebuilding the organization," Naruto replied.

"Interesting," Tsunade thought. "Shizune!" In an instant the Hokage's assistant ran into the door.

"Yes Tsunade-sama?" Shizune asked.

"Go fetch Gaara from the hospital, I guess it's time he headed off to Suna," Tsunade commanded.

"As you wish Tsunade-sama," Shizune said with a bow. She then quickly turned and ran out of the room.

"Gaara is here?" Naruto asked.

"Yes, he arrived earlier this morning," Tsunade told the blond. "When he gets here, I'll brief you on the mission details, as well as the rank of the mission." Naruto nodded and took a seat, and waited for Gaara to come. It was no time before Gaara walked into the room, Sakura and Shizune right behind him.

"Sakura-chan!" Lee called excitedly. He ran up to Sakura and gave her a hug.

"Nice to see you too Lee-kun," Sakura said. Tsunade coughed slightly, prompting Lee to turn his attention to the Hokage.

"Now then. Since Gaara is here, I'll give the details of the mission," Tsunade told the ninja. "Neji, Lee, and Naruto. You three will head off with Gaara to Suna, and liberate it from the invaders. And in the process, you'll save Tenten."

"So, I was right," Gaara mused.

"Yes, now for the three Konoha shinobi, you are to follow Gaara's every orders. He is in charge. And this is also a S-rank mission, so be careful" Tsunade continued the briefing. "Do you understand?"

"Hai!" Neji, Lee, and Naruto shouted in unison.

"Very well, you can leave when ready," Tsunade told them with a slight nod. The four shinobi quickly got up and headed off, most likely heading there immediately. Knowing Naruto that is.

"I hope they can handle it," Shizune whispered.

"Don't worry, remember they defeated Darak," Tsunade told them.

"Yes, but these are four powerful ninja, and we don't really no how powerful they are," Sakura added.

"You got a point," Tsunade muttered. "Get one of our observation ninja to find any information on these ninja. Gaara gave me the name of the first three, which are: Duke, Miran, and Mishoto. And the one Naruto fought is Diran. Got that?"

"Hai Tsunade-sama!" Shizune saluted as she headed off to complete her duties.

"Well, let's hope they aren't as powerful as we think they are," Tsunade spoke slowly. Her eyes shifted so she was staring out the window of the Hokage Tower. Be careful Naruto, you still need to be Hokage, remember. With that thought, Tsunade returned to her previous work.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Diran jumped from branch to branch in a steady motion, his eyes shifting to the side occasionally, wondering if anyone was following him. He had to admit, he was getting bored, and really fast. It was midday, and the suns ways were shining through the tops of the trees. His eyes turned up to see the rays of light. If he picked up the pace at this moment, he would be in Suna by early morning, which was pretty fast. But, he wasn't about to go faster until he was sure someone was following him. It would make things more interesting. He did however, picked up the pace slightly, he could feel some unwanted attention directed at him. His eyes moved quickly, and in a heartbeat, he could make out three ANBU ninja. "Hmm, why so few." He then stopped on one of the branches, and turned to make sure Tenten was still in her slumber, which she was.

"Hold it!" one of the ANBU commanded suddenly. Diran turned to face three ninja with animal masks staring at him.

"What can I do for you?" Diran asked innocently.

"You are the one who kidnapped the ninja named Tenten," the second ANBU spoke.

"So," Diran commented.

"So, we are here to take her back," the final ANBU member said.

"That's fine, you just have to get pass me," Diran grinned. "It should be easy for ANBU, right?"

"You bet," the first ANBU spoke. The three got into a fighting stance before charging at Diran. The robed man smirked slightly, and on his forehead was a light glow. He was really going to enjoy killing these fools. I mean really enjoy.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Naruto, Lee, Neji, and Gaara sped through the forest, hoping to catch up with the man named Diran. Neji activated his Byakugan and gazed through the trees, looking for some sign of Diran. He finally made out a figure standing on a tree branch, what looked like three bodies lay out all over the place. "I see someone up ahead," he reported.

"Finally, I thought we would never catch him," Naruto said happily.

"Hold on, we don't know if it's them, so don't get a head of yourself," Gaara warned.

"Right Kazekage," Neji nodded in agreement. After a few minutes they landed on the branches and saw a man in a black cloak standing still. Strapped to his back was Tenten.

"Give her back," Naruto called to the man. Diran turned slowly, and gave the group a good glimpse of the bodies of three ANBU. They were cut in many places, and blood was everywhere. Diran grinned at them as he licked his lips.

"Now, that was fun," Diran chuckled. "You guys want to have fun?"

"I'll get Tenten back," Naruto growled.

"Sure you will," Diran shrugged. "Now, I'm a very busy man, so you should play with some of my friends." Diran bit his thumb and did a few hand seals.

"Summoning Jutsu!" Diran commanded. A thick smoke surrounded the area. When it finally cleared, the group stood face to face with four winged birds of some sort.

"Ha, looks like I'm going to have some chicken tonight," Naruto grinned.

"Think you can beat them, you really should learn to not overestimate an opponent," Diran informed. The four birds let out a screech which knocked the group off the branches, and towards the ground. "I would love to stay and chat, but, I have some business to attend to." Diran chuckled to himself as he jumped back through the forest. The faint light on his forehead finally disappearing. Naruto grabbed hold of the nearest tree he could, quickly balancing himself. His eyes shifted around the area to see the others situated on a tree as well. His eyes then looked up to see the birds fly towards them.

"All right you damn birds, I'm going to break you!" Naruto yelled. He formed his favorite hand sign and simply said, "Shadow Clone Jutsu!" A single clone appeared beside him as they jumped onto a branch. His clone quickly forming the Resangan in his right hand. Naruto gave a big grin as he prepared to attack.

"Byakugan!" Neji called, veins appearing near his eyes. He jumped towards one bird and kicked it onto a tree branch. Neji landed before him and smirked, "I'm taking you down. You're in the zone of my 8 trigrams." Neji took his stance and ran at lightning speed. "8 Trigrams 2 palms...4 palms...8 palms...16 palms...32 palms...8 Trigrams 64 palms!" As Neji hit him a 64th time, the bird summon began to bleed heavily and scream out in pain before disappearing. Neji sighed as he disengaged the Byakugan and turned to see the others. Gaara jumped onto a branch that was above him, and made the cork on his gourd pop off. He then lifted up one hand and a huge amount of sand began to surround the bird summon and then squeeze it.

"Desert Coffin!" Gaara exclaimed. "Desert Funeral!" Gaara then squeezed his hands together, making the sand explode, and shower the entire forest with blood. Meanwhile, Lee was charging the bird summon.

"Try this! Leaf Whirlwind!" Lee called. He swung like a whilwind, smaking the bird summon with his foot, sending it flying hard into a tree, instantly turning it into smoke. Naruto saw the other 3 summons get beaten before he charged at the one he was facing.

"I told you bird brain. Resangan!" Naruto commanded as he shoved the chakra in his palm into the summon's body, destroying it instantly. He then landed on a branch and breathed slightly. "Well, that's that."

"Right," Gaara nodded. "We should get going, we need to get to Suna as quick as possible."

"I agree. This delay gave him a huge head start," Neji nodded.

"All right then, let's go kick that guys ass!" Lee exclaimed as he jumped towards Suna. The others nodded and quickly followed him. Naruto's eyes were focused as he watched the others in front of him.

Don't worry Tenten, we'll save you, Naruto told himself.

"Who gives a damn about that bitch," a voice scoffed in the back of Naruto's mind.

'Shut it fur ball,' Naruto growled at the fox demon within himself.

"Oh, I'm so scared," Kyuubi said with mock fear.

'You better be, I can kill myself and you at the same time,' Naruto snarled.

"You wouldn't dare!" Kyuubi screamed. "Not even you are that foolish!"

'How long have you known me?' Naruto asked, a slight humor in his voice.

"Long enough," Kyuubi groaned. "Fine, I'll shut up about the bi-I mean Tenten."

'That's better,' Naruto said with success. He turned his attention back to his task as they continued the long run towards Suna.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

It was a little bit past 9:00 the following day when Naruto, Lee, Gaara, and Neji could see Suna on the horizon. "Finally! We're almost there!" Lee shouted with a sigh. "I was getting board, now maybe I can fight something!"

"I know how you feel bushy brows," Naruto said with a glance in Lee's direction.

"All right, we better be on guard, no telling what could happen," Neji warned the group.

"You're right Hyuuga," Gaara agreed with a simple nod. Lee and Naruto also nodded in agreement as they quited down, which was amazing, and began to move their eyes quickly around the area. They were not about to be surprised by anything. They were unaware of the small eye that was falling them closely, watching their every movements.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Diran smirked slightly as he watched what his little eye was seeing. "They are almost here," he said with a grin. He turned to face the other Akatsuki members, and the two sand ninja that were tied up, and the still crystallized Tenten. He smiled at them when he saw the glares from Temari and Kankuro, "Don't worry, you will be entertained soon enough." He turned back around and glanced down at the little battle place he set up. It was the center of Suna, and near the Kazekage tower, there were also some houses around the area. He turned to face Duke, "Are the other prisoners secured in their prison?"

"Hai!" Duke called dutifully with a bow. "They are secured the way you commanded."

"Good," Diran nodded. "Now, are you guys ready to have some fun?"

"I'm always ready," Miran said as he punched his right fist into his left palm with enthusiasm.

"This will be fun," Duke replied with a grin.

"Whatever," was the single word uttered by the serious Mishoto.

"Good," Diran grinned. "Now, let's go meet our gusts." The group nodded and left the building they were on and sped to the gate.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The small group from Konoha made it to the village gate at around 10:20. They looked around but saw nobody, so they ventured in. They took a glance at some of the wrecked buildings, and some of the dead citizens. "Those bastards," Naruto growled when he saw them.

"I agree Naruto," Gaara said with a nod. They continued to walk for a little bit longer, until they felt four different chakra signals around them. The group turned instantly, trying to find where the huge amount of chakra was coming from.

"Welcome," a voice said from behind a house. In an instant, four robed men jumped in front of each of the four ninja.

"Akatsuki!" Gaara snarled at them.

"How are you feeling Gaara-kun?" Duke asked innocently.

"Better, thank you very much," Gaara growled. "I'm going to kick you stupid ass."

"I'll be waiting," Duke grinned at the Kazekage.

"Why not now," Gaara challenged.

"You'll see," Duke replied.

"Huh?" Gaara asked in a confused voice.

"Don't worry about it," Diran said. "I have a little special tournament set up. It'll be your team, versus ours. If you win, this village will be spared, and your friends released. But, if you happen to lose, everyone in this village, and including the village itself, will be destroyed."

"You're on!" Gaara agreed with a yell. "I won't let my village down."

"I'm with you Gaara," Naruto said with a nod.

"YOSH! LET'S SHOW THEM THE POWER OF YOUTH!" Lee called enthusiastically in his usual annoying fashion.

"All right, we'll take you on," Neji spoke in a calm voice.

"Good," Diran smiled. "Now, follow us." The four Akatsuki members turned and sped off towards the center of town, their opponents right behind them. The four Akatsuki jumped onto a building that held Tenten, Temari, and Kankuro. They were either knocked out or just sleeping. The four Konoha ninja landed on a house across from them, but, it was a long way off, giving a lot of room for the fighting.

"How do we want to do this?" Naruto asked with anger as he glanced at Tenten. Don't worry, I'll save you Tenten-chan, Naruto told himself.

"I'll start," Miran announced as he removed his robe, revealing a huge muscular body, and black pants. He had scars running down the entire length of his body, and bandages around his hands. He then jumped to a spot a little ways from the building he was on.

"I got this one," Lee said as he too jumped into a spot a little bit in front of his teams little building.

"So, I get the annoying bowl haired cut guy," Miran laughed.

"I'll teach you to mess with the power of youth!" Lee yelled at the man.

"Then bring it on," Miran grinned. Lee got into his fighting stance and waited for Miran to launch the first attack. Miran did a few hand seals in a quick motion. "Transformation Style! Sand Bomb Jutsu!" He touched the ground and a bit of the sand turned into a few bombs and moved quickly across the ground, catching Lee of guard as they exploded right near him, kicking up a huge amount of smoke. The others were shocked at the speed of the bombs, and wondered if Lee was alive. Only one way to find out, and that was to wait.


A/N: That was the exciting cliffhanger, is Lee alive, and if so, can he defeat Miran. In the next chapter it's crunch time and Lee is throwing all the stuff he knows at Miran. But this guy isn't fazed by anything, can Lee pull of a win? Or is he heading for a giant beating? This battle is turning into a true battle of the taijutsu masters, but who will be the true master? You'll just have to wait and see in the next episode or chapter of Naruto, "Miran vs. Lee! The Taijutsu Battle!" All right, that is what you can look forward to. I hope a lot of people review, it'll make speed up the next chapter. Well, see you next time, and don't forget to review, thanks very much.