Authors Note:

So… Don't hurt me! I'm so terribly sorry to have taken THIS long to do anything with this story. Life's been a pain, writers block, moved up north and got a job which takes most of my time these days… I also had no idea what all the details of the next part were in the series, so I had to go rewatch it all. Then, I swear I had done some work on this before, in my fanfiction book, thing… but I couldn't find any trace of the third chapter having even been started. I may have had it started on my old laptop, which is well and truly dead now.

Thanks again to all reviewers, both those who read this when I started it, and those that have been subscribing more recently. Without further ado, on with the next chapter! Finally we are in the Land of Waves mission! (I actually had to read my story to remember the details about it)

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The sound of an alarm rang out through the small, rundown apartment before a tanned hand fumbled around for a second and managed to locate the clock to silence it. Luckily it completely missed the sharpened kunai kept close by for security purposes. A blond head rose from under the pillow it had somehow found itself under and bleary blue eyes stared unfocused at the numbers upon the surface of the little device for a good minute before recognition flittered across the youth's face. The gaze sharpened and a curse filled the apartment bedroom as the blond jumped out of bed and began a hurried morning routine. He cut most morning rituals short as he was going to be very late if he took his time with it like he did normally. The reason he had slept in in the first place was from excitement of being a genin and having a mission that would be taking him outside of the village for the first time in his entire life!

That excitement made it hard to fall asleep, and that in turn made him sleep later than he usually did when he did managed to nod off to dreamland. Finished in record time, Naruto was dressed and out the door and soon was dashing along the street, grinning from ear to ear and ignoring the glares and anger he felt from the civilians he passed. He had readied his bag the night before, when he had found it hard to lay still long enough to fall asleep, and it was a good thing he had, or he'd be even later than he already was. The team were to meet with their jounin sensei at the training ground their group were named after 'Training Ground Seven' where they would do a short exercise before heading to the Hokage's office to receive the details of their mission.

Now, normally they would receive missions which were more like chores that no one wanted to do themselves so they were passed off as missions to get genin used to working together with their team-mates. Such as retrieving the demon ca- I mean the sweet angelic cat belonging to one of the most important women in the land… who always ended up running away from its owner and giving the genin sent after it hell. And it had been around for far too long for any normal animal. However, their team was above the skillset of most new genin teams. In fact they were closer to chunin level than genin level, in both personal skill and teamwork. Sakura was a little lacking in skill, but made up for it in chakra control and basic medical skill. A medical apprenticeship was likely in her future.

"Now, your sensei has informed me that you three are too skilled to really need D-Rank missions. I will trust his judgement in this matter and will be handing your team a C-Rank mission which will take you out of the village." The aged Sandaime spoke slowly, reluctance in giving them the mission clear in his tone. He had spoken to Kakashi before the genin team showed up, informing him of the need to protect Naruto in the event of anything happening. "There is an escort mission to Wave Country that I believe will be perfect for your first mission out of the village."

The old man handed the mission debrief over to the Jounin sensei who quickly read it and memorized the information. Kakashi looked at the man and nodded.

"We'll take it, Sandaime-sama." At his words the door to the room opened to reveal an old man that was drinking out of a gourd and looked to be drunk already.

"This is the client, Tazuna-san of Nami no Kuni. You are to escort him home and guard him. It should not be too difficult for you three and Kakashi-kun." The old man sort of squinted in their direction before protesting the group chosen to guard him.

"Are these kids really ninja? They can't be older than ten or eleven years old! The short blond one looks wimpy too. I want more adult ninja!" The old drunkard didn't notice the blond boys killing intent at the insult that he looked like a wimp. He was best in his class dattebayo! He even had better scores than Sasuke-teme and Sakura-banshee too! Sasuke smirked at the insult towards Naruto, though didn't like being compared to the dobe. Sakura was too focused on Sasuke-kun to notice or care about anything else.

"Rest assured Tazuna-san. These three graduated early with exceptional marks, Naruto having near-record breaking scores. Also, Kakashi will be there as well and he is a Jounin. I think you will find this team to be more than adequate for the job." The old man assured him, causing eyebrows to raise among all present save for Kakashi and Sasuke who showed his surprise through a scowl rather than raised eyebrows.

"Really Jiji? I had really high scores?" Said blond was the first to recover slightly and spoke out first. Tazuna merely scoffed but said no more in protest. It would look suspicious if he kept pressing for more able guards. He had only requested a C-Rank after all.

The group of five left the hokage building shortly after that and made their way to the gate which would lead them out of the village and onto Wave Country. Naruto was excited to be going outside of the village for the first time ever. His excitement was clear as the sky as he was practically vibrating from restraining himself from going all over the path once they had left the village walls. They had only been walking for about a half hour before they passed something odd. In the middle of the road was what looked to be a puddle. Now, the odd thing about that was that it hadn't rained in days and it was currently sunny out.

Sakura and Tazuna didn't even look twice at the puddle as the group walked past. Sasuke, Kakashi, and Naruto however did. The three noticed right away how strange it was for there to be a puddle on a day like this one. None of them made any outward sign that they were aware however, and soon the group had gone past the puddle and continued along, three of the five ready to spring into action. It was after five steps past the puddle that two ninja sprang up from the puddle and wrapped a bladed chain around Kakashi, ripping him to shreds easily. Naruto and Sasuke got into ready stances while Sakura screeched and looked ready to faint in fright.

"One down." One of the two spoke, arrogantly thinking they were done with the most challenging opponent and that the three kids would be easily defeated. One ran at Naruto, the other at Tazuna. Sasuke quickly ran in front of Tazuna, kunai ready to fend off the ninja. Naruto also had a kunai out, managing to stop the attacker from gutting him. It was over in a flash. Naruto and Sasuke had both managed to defeat the enemy ninja with only a small scrape on Naruto's hand. Kakashi showed up and restrained the two enemies with a 'good work you two' to Naruto and Sasuke and a disapproving shake of the head at Sakura's uselessness.

He had been just about to step in when two of his students surprised him by beating the two chunin level shinobi on their own. He had only allowed them to think they killed him to see who they were targeting. Obviously Tazuna had hidden the truth when submitting his mission request. This was beyond C-Rank. It was easily a high B-rank or even low A-Rank mission now. Kakashi sighed slightly and told Naruto that he should remove the poison in his hand as it would spread quickly. Naruto actually stabbed his hand with a kunai when they were discussing dropping the mission and returning to the village.

"We'll finish this mission! I don't want to fail my first mission just because it was more difficult than expected. What if we run into a mission later on that gets more complicated than the mission parameters would suggest? There are times when dropping a mission is impossible, so doing so here isn't an option sensei. We accepted this mission and Jiji won't give us another mission like this for a while if we go home now. I'll protect the bridge builder with my own two hands. I swear it on this pain in my hand." Surprisingly his voice was completely serious as he said this and there was a noticeable lack of his 'dattebayo'.

"Uhm… Cool as that sounds… If you lose any more blood it will be dangerous. Seriously." Kakashi interjected with a sweatdrop. Naruto in that moment had sounded so like the late king it almost hurt Kakashi to think of it. Naruto lost all seriousness as he began freaking out. He showed Kakashi his hand and the jounin's eye widened before narrowing in thought as he witnessed the wound heal before his very eyes. 'Is it the Kyuubi? Or his mother's family's strong healing factor?' The man wondered, a serious expression on his face, serving to only worry Naruto.

"Sensei…. Am I going to be okay? Your face looks scary…." Naruto was almost meek as he asked this. Kakashi looked up and eye-smiled.

"Yup. You'll be fine. But next time don't do something so rash, 'kay?" The man said in his cheerful voice. Then he turned serious again as he stood and turned to Tazuna. "Now, I think you need to explain yourself. The mission stated that we would only need to guard you from bandits and thieves. There was nothing about enemy rogue ninja being the ones to target you. As stated earlier, this is a higher rank mission than the C is was listed as. We won't abandon you to fend for yourself, since we accepted the mission to guard you, but we need to know what we are up against." His tone showed nothing of the anger at the man's deception or the fact that Naruto could have died if he hadn't have been so skilled already.

Tazuna gulped and began his story about how Wave was a small, poor country that couldn't afford more than a C-Rank mission, even that was stretching their funds thin. Gato had taken over the country and was opposed to the bridge that would take his power over the people of Wave away. Gato had hired thugs and ninja to threaten the people that were working on the bridge and how the bridge was necessary to save them. He even begged for their help. Well, they already agreed didn't they? The group made it to the shore where a boat that would bring them to Wave was waiting.

A/N Okay, I'll end this chapter here…. I know, not a super long chapter, but this is about as far as I got in the anime and I will write the next chapter soon, promise. ((By that I meant that I am re-watching the series at that part, and it was in the first episode of the wave mission, episode 7. ))

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