Chapter 3: Stop and Stare

I was getting extremely tired of all the stares.

In the beginning, when I'd first come here, I'd expected them―had tolerated them even. It was a leisure I would let them have. I mean, what else could they do? Speak words of hate to let me know how unwelcomed I was? Keep their distance? Hurt me? The first was already known, the second, would have been very much appreciated and the third, was laughable. So I would let them stare. And stare, they did.

Here I was in training ground 9, with all of the other Anbu trainees, training like everyone else and all they could do was stare at me. The Traitor. Enemy # 1. Not to be confused with enemy #'s 2, 3, & 4. That, however, was another story for another time. So I digress.

It was funny in a sick kind of way. I'd spent 10 of my measly 17 years training to kill the person who had once been The Traitor of Konoha, only to take his place. Not only that, but the aforementioned traitor was still alive.

That was a thought that would never leave me until it was no longer there to be thought, until I could not say those words without lying.

Oh yes, Itachi is still alive.

I had betrayed my village and my country, trained with the most hated and despicable ninja in the continent, broken the heart of the one girl who might have truly loved me and severed all bonds with the few friends that I had and nearly killed my "best friend". I'd practically given up my life. I'd done all that to kill my brother and need I remind you for the third time, that the bastard was still alive.

The sad, sick and twisted thing about all that?

I'd do it all over again if it would give me a better chance to kill him.

Despite the fact that I would kill and/or betray all of the people I was currently surrounded by, I felt…content. Not happy. No I would never be happy and I still didn't trust anyone here, but training with Tsunade didn't have the same feeling of stress and seriousness that training with Orochimaru had. I figured I could allow myself the leisure of being here for a while.

The only reason I was still in Konoha was because this was currently the best place to train. While I had been away training with Orochimaru, the rest of the Rookie Nine and Team Gai had gotten stronger as well. Most of them I could take out without blinking, but there were several that could really put up a fight. There were even a two or three that could actually pose as a threat.

It was for that cause that I continued training and ignored the stares. I was currently sparring against one of those who could pose a threat and Enemy # 2, Naruto. I would never understand how Naruto had managed to still be hated by so many in the time I had been gone. I would later learn that at one point they hadn't. They had all learned to like Naruto to an extent. They had accepted him and he'd even occasionally been allowed to help the children in the Academy train. That is, until he became the poster boy for the "Let Sasuke Come Back to Konoha" campaign. He even petitioned that I be able to regain my status as a shinobi. When just that came to pass, everyone who didn't truly know him, which was more than it should have been, had turned on him. Now I'm a cold and heartless bastard, but even I felt sorry for him. I threw a punch that landed on Naruto's nose with a sickening crunch.

Okay, maybe not that sorry. It would heal in the next 30 seconds or so anyway.

The other members of the Rookie Nine and Gai's team were here as well. They had all been asked to take the place of former Anbu along with myself. To my knowledge, all but one had accepted. I didn't know why they had turned down the opportunity but with two more seconds of thought on the subject I found that I didn't care. I never cared unless it involved me directly so why start now?

Since the fall of Danzo, Tsunade had taken control and fused Anbu and Anbu Root together. The two of them together were simply called Anbu. With the exception of the uniform, Tsunade intended to completely remodel Anbu: the setup, the teams, the requirements, the missions, everything. She hadn't told us the specifics because she was "still waiting for the last piece of the puzzle to fall into place". Until then she'd told us we would be going through the necessary training that was now required for Anbu.

So since then, we'd all been training relentlessly for the past 3 months to get to her standards. Tsunade had made us go back to the beginning of our training. I mean the very beginning. The first month was weapons. First, she had us throwing shuriken and kunai at targets. Over and over again. Finally she had us throwing them at each other, until they hit the target exactly where they intended every single time. That had taken more time then any of us could have ever expected. Next, we went on to dodging kunai and shuriken. Every single time. This is more problematic than you may think. Have you ever tried to dodge a kunai that you were supposed to dodge and not supposed to be able to dodge at the same time, every single time? Not easy. But once again, I digress.

After that, we moved on to more complex weapons. In other words, every single weapon that Tsunade could get her overly powerful hands on we had to master, or in most cases learn the basics. Of course, Tenten already had mastered all of the weapons and then some so she ended up mainly helping every one. That had been annoying. I don't consider myself sexist; I'd grown out of that many years ago because I had met plenty of formidable kunoichi. Hell, female ninjas seemed to be more ruthless than male ninjas. But Tenten, a girl, being ahead of me irked me to no end. I consoled myself with the belief that I would be equally annoyed if it were Neji. The fact that I was the second among us to master the weapons was also a boost to my ego.

Next was Taijutsu. Many, including myself, had believed themselves to be more than proficient in Taijutsu. We, however, could not have been more wrong. Tsunade had taken a note from Kakashi and told us all to come at her with all that we had, using only Taijutsu. It had ended the same way it had the very first time with Kakashi: me feeling childish, defeated and humiliated. I supposed she was a Sannin for a reason. The only one who had been able to actually put up a decent fight was Sakura and that was only because a) she had been trained by Tsunade herself and b) her massive strength…which she learned from Tsunade. In the end she was still defeated and humiliated, just like the rest of us.

She had told us to train any way we wanted in order to beat her. She also said that she would not move from Taijutsu until we could at least put up a decent fight. We had challenged her thrice more times. They had all ended the same way with varying time lengths.

So, here we were now in the training grounds training to better our Taijutsu skills to beat Tsunade. At this rate, we would be training much longer than six months. I threw another punch at Naruto. This time he dodged. We continued trading punches and kicks and would have continued to do so if we hadn't been interrupted by the shriek of a whistle.

Naruto and I stopped. So did everyone else. We looked for the cause of the whistle and found it standing in the center of the training ground. We turned around to face her completely.

Tsunade stood there looking extremely happy and extremely smug. She had a grin on her face that rivaled Naruto's and that was saying something. Either this was really, really good or really, really bad. She called everyone to attention. The moment of truth had arrived.

"Listen up everybody!" she yelled. Everybody listened. "Do you all remember when I told you that I was still waiting for one more piece to fall in to place?" She waited a beat; nobody said anything, "well that piece finally decided to join the rest of the puzzle. I would like you all to meet the last and final member of Anbu,"

As if by magic a girl appeared next to her. I could have sworn that she hadn't been there before. But there she was, somehow managing to curl into a ball while still standing. I couldn't make out most of her features because she had her head down. I did notice that she had a large lavender jacket and she had long, bluish black hair. I guess that I'd simply looked over her.

"Hyuuga Hinata!" she finished.

The girl, Hinata apparently, snapped her head up at the mention of her name. Her white pupiless eyes were wide and her hands covered the bottom half of her face. Her fingers would not stop twitching. All in all, she looked like a frightened deer. She looked pathetic. How the hell was this girl, who was probably afraid of her own shadow, supposed to be the last piece of Anbu?

I had taken a lot of humiliation for Tsunade, but only because in the end she had been right. (Although I would never admit that out loud) But this was just crazy. Stupid crazy. I refuse to be apart of a team with some weakling. I would not be held back. Nothing would stop me from killing Itachi. Before I could voice this, she started talking again.

"Now, I want all of you to follow me so that we can finally discuss the team formations of this Anbu group. I told you that you would all simply be taking over for some retiring Anbu members. That was a lie. Now that Hinata is here, the real training will begin. You will be broken up into teams of two forming 6 groups. You will be an elite subsection of Anbu. You are Anbu Shigai. I will explain it to you more in detail in my office."

Everyone stood still for a moment with the dumb 'huh?' look on their faces and they looked at one another. Naruto shrugged and proceeded to follow Tsunade. Everyone else followed him. I stood back a little longer. I finally decided to follow everyone else while thinking 'What the hell was this crazy bitch thinking?'

A/N: Ok, so there it is. So was he too out of character? I think I might have made him too...something. I need you guys to tell me so I can fix it. And was this chapter too boring? I just felt like you guys needed more info on this whole Anbu thing. Things'll really start getting interesting next chapter cause then I get to choose teams! And Shigai means "Body" and I know that sounds weird right now but it'll make sense next chap. I now realize that there is no use in me saying I'll update soon cause I probably won't. Sorry. Well I will say that I will work on it and there will be a chapter 4. So please review. I need critique, not flames btw.

Also, a review was left by I'm Not Psychotic. I'm Gifted. and it helped very much. I would like to thank her/him and let her/him know that I fixed the pronoun usage. No for real this time.