Chapter 1: The Beginning of a Mission

(A.N./ This story is set somewhere after Naruto's 3 year long absence.)

"Where is that orange idiot!?" Sakura yelled at everyone in general, and not without good reason. Kurenai's,Kakashi's,and Gai's teams were all assigned to a mission, and since they were all chunin at the least excluding Naruto, their sensei's let them go on their own. "A-Ano, I'm s-sure he is doing something very i-important.", A small voice in the back of the group squeaked out. "I doubt it Hinata, most likely he's fast asleep, and forgot all about the mission!" Kiba added. "Well lets just get over to place and find out,alright?" Sakura said, impatient and tired from waiting for over an hour.

They made their way across the rooftops, towards Naruto's apartment, all ready to beat Naruto down for making them wait so they got to Naruto's room. "Naruto-kun, the fire of youth has gotten impatient!" Lee yelled at the door. When he got no reaction, he resorted to a better method; he kicked the door down. They all went inside, and found Naruto on the ground sleeping deeply and snoring, with an unfinished bowl of ramen in his hands. "Naruto what the hell!" Sakura screamed, and punched him, causing Naruto to awake with a start.

"Whoa, what a dream... oh hey guys, what's up?" Naruto asked. "what do you mean what's up, we all were assigned a mission starting today and you forgot!" Kiba was beyond mad. "This is quite unlike you, to forget a mission Naruto." Shino's words were barely a whisper, but they echoed what they all thought, even Hinata. "Will you guys let me defend myself? There's a reason why I didn't get there on time." Naruto said. "I was up until... hold on."He glanced at the clock on the wall "until like 2 hours ago mastering a new jutsu!"

He finished this last part with much enthusiasm. Kiba and Sakura began to beat him to a pulp."Thats not a good reason baka!"They both shouted in unision. "So guys, can we get going already? We're kinda late ya know..." Tenten said. "Ah right, Naruto get ready, we're running late here, and every minute counts." Sakura said seriously."You say that, but you were beating me up! Now what was this mission again?"The blond wiped the last traces of sleep out of his eyes. "Ah right, because this is our last chance to bring Sasuke back before Orochimaru takes his body!", Naruto immediatly began scrambling around, getting everything together in a couple minutes. "I'm all ready guys!" Naruto said while coming out, "So who's the team leader again?"

"That would be me, although I'm sure you were already informed in the briefing of the mission." Neji cooly answered. "Well I just wondered if Granny Tsunade changed her mind and made me team leader, but I guess my brilliance can't be wasted as leader!" I bet Naruto really believes that he's that good, doesn't he? Shino thought to himself. Kiba voiced Shino's thoughts a second later "You? Brilliant? come on Naruto, you aren't better than Neji, hell! You probably aren't better than me!" "Naruto-kun is better than both of you!" a voice behind them muttered. They turned around to find Hinata, turning incredibly red.

"A-Ano, I m-mean he beat you b-both in the Chunin exams right?" Naruto looked at Hinata, and could only think:Wow, I didn't expect that from her! Although, why is she turning red? Out loud he said "Thanks Hinata, they were ganging up on me!" Hinata only seemed to turn redder and mutter "Y-You're welcome, N-Naruto-kun..." "Hmph, be that as it may, that was 3 years ago, I have gotten stronger Naruto, and wish to fight you soon."Neji seemed convinced that he needed to show Naruto up, but they needed to leave too. "We will fight another day though, for time is of the essence." Hinata let out a sigh of relief, I know Naruto-kun would win against Neji, but I don't want to seem him hurt, or Neji either!

They made their way out of Konoha, ready to retrieve Sasuke. Naruto's words to Sakura before they left still floating around in her mind... "Don't worry Sakura-chan, I promise we'll get Sasuke back this time for sure! It's the promise of a lifetime!"

"Alright lets set up camp for the night." Neji and the others were tired from being on the move all day, and the rest was welcomed by all. Soon they had all the tents pitched, and had a small fire going. They made sure to not let the fire too big, as it could alert enemies. "Hey guys, I'm bored!" Naruto whined. "Naruto-baka, no one cares if you're bored!" Sakura said while hitting him over the head. "Oww! That hurt Sakura-chan!". "Hey Naruto, why don't we see that new jutsu that was your excuse for being late." Neji said, smirking.

"Yeah Naruto, show us that new jutsu that you mastered!" Kiba shouted, but was quickly silenced by Shino. Naruto thought to himself, If I show them my new jutsu, my new ace in the hole will be gone if I ever have to fight Neji in battle, but I don't want to let Sakura and the others down. "Alright guys, prepare to be amazed, and just don't faint from the sheer awesomeness of it!" Neji and Kiba both rolled their eyes, Shino, Tenten and the others looked with mild interest, and Hinata alone believed she was going to see something awesome.

Naruto began to gather chakra into both of his hands over his head. It looked like a double rasengan. Naruto then combined the two rasengans together and made one ball, which he kept on increasing the mass of. Soon it was bigger than Naruto! Everyone around looked amazed, except for Neji. That rasengan is too big and bulky to actually be useful."Naruto... that rasengan is practically useless..." What happened next shut up Neji and his thoughts. Naruto lowered the huge rasengan until it was in front of him, and it began to shrink. However it wasn't losing its power, Naruto wasconcentrating it, making it just as small as the normal rasengan. Kiba, one of the densest ones there, asked "What was the point of all the flashy lights and stuff only to have a regular rasengan?"

Naruto just smiled. "Give me a target to hit with this thing, and you'll see the difference." "Fine, go hit that boulder." He pointed to a boulder at least 50 feet high and 40 feet wide. Naruto smirked, and ran and hit the boulder head on with his rasengan. The boulder obliterated on contact, taking most of the ground with it. Seeing their stunned faces he said "So, a regular rasengan, huh? I call this the Ultimate Uzumaki Rasengan!" "Wow Neji you might not be in his league at all!" Tenten goaded Neji while his eyes flashed dangerously. He's amazing! Hinata thought while slightly blushing. I can't believe he has such an awesome technique. Sakura thought.

"Okay, now that I showed you up Neji, lets get to our tents, tomorrow we get back Sasuke!" Naruto finished with a flourish. "Impressive Naruto, but I am the team leader...Go to your tents, tomorrow we retrieve Sasuke..." Neji said, feeling quite foolish.

End Chapter 1