Shinkumaru opened the classroom door and walked in, Sasuke following after him. They each sat in their appropriate seats, though they were on opposite sides of the room. Shinku was amused to find Sasuke sitting next to Naruto who was there with a headband just like everyone else. Shikamaru even questioned his presence which Naruto didn’t miss as a chance to brag about somehow making it. Why was he depressed then? Well. It doesn’t matter. Shinku quite liked his spirit and his competitions with Sasuke were a constant source of entertainment.
Speaking of competitions, the door burst open as Ino and Sakura forced themselves inside the room and started arguing about who entered first, only to move on to fawning over Sasuke. Shinku was proud that his brother, er, best friend had so many female admirers. Even if none of them seemed like a good match for him, not to mention Sasuke probably didn’t think of them as anything but annoying. Shinku was just glad his admirers at least kept their distance. Whoever they were… Shinku sighed.
That being said they weren’t there to joke around. Today was finally the day teams would be announced. Shinku was looking forward to that, probably more so than anyone else in that room. That’s why even as everyone raised a commotion about something, so much so that he even heard Sasuke himself having a yelling match with Naruto about something, Shinku simply closed his eyes and waited. Patience was the greatest virtue a ninja could have after all. He nodded to himself.
Eventually Iruka entered the room and looked across the students, sighing to himself as his eyes fell on Naruto’s bruised and swollen, beaten face. He cleared his throat.
“As of today, you all have become full-fledged ninja. However, you’re all still only rookie genin. The difficult part has only just begun. From now on, you will form squads of three and carry out missions under the guidance of your jonin teachers.” This raised a commotion among the class as people started discussing, the team arrangements. Who would be placed with who and who people would like to be placed with. Iruka continued after everybody quieted down.
“The teams have been decided by us, in order to maintain a balance of power between the teams. I will now announce them.” He started reading out the teams and names from the lists he was holding.
“Team Seven. Uzumaki Naruto, Haruno Sakura, Uchiha Sasuke.” Shinku almost laughed out loud. ‘So Sasuke’s on a team with someone he finds annoying and then also his biggest annoyance since the day we entered the academy.’ That was a laugh. But he supposed if the groups were made based on a balance of power, that it made sense. But who would they put with him? Oh no. Wouldn’t that mean he’d get the most useless teammates, being by far the best-scoring student? Shinkumaru was suddenly not in a laughing mood anymore.
“Next is team eight. Hyuga Hinata. Inuzuka Kiba. Aburame Shino. Team nine. Uchiha Shinkumaru. Kurino Reiha, Sekka Asahi.” Huh? Who? Shinku looked around, seeing two people looking at him. He understood those were his teammates. Reiha was a girl with somewhat long, straight black hair and a reserved demeanor. Not in the same cold front Sasuke put up, but more of a shy one, though not to the same degree as the Hyuga girl either. That was just… overkill. Asahi was a guy with dark brown hair, tied in a short ponytail behind his head. He… well Shinku wasn’t sure what to think of him. He just seemed… normal.
He had never interacted with either of the two before and knew nothing about them. Of all the people in the class the two seemed to be one of the ones to have no presence at all. Well, Shinku guessed that wasn’t exactly right, but with such colorful personalities in the class, the blander people felt… just that much blander. Shikamaru was constantly lazy, but Shinku could occasionally challenge him to a game of shogi. He could talk with Choji about food and he even talked with Ino some about flowers, having studied some for their medical properties. There was nothing he could speak with Sakura with, but the girl’s bright and colorful appearance attracted attention if nothing else. Hinata was too shy to hold a proper conversation with. Shino was… Shino. Kiba… only talked about dogs… Why did Shinku hang out with some of these people again? Now that he thought about it these normal people being on his team might have been a blessing in disguise.
While Shinku was lost in thought Iruka finished announcing the rest of the teams. “That’s it for the team announcements. Return in the afternoon for me to introduce you to your Jonin teachers. Until then you’re free.”
Everyone stood up from their seats and started walking out, some people with their team, others with people they already know. Shinku himself met up with Sasuke and the two of them went out to eat. As Sasuke suggested, they bought riceballs from a store and went up to the second floor to eat them. The place was empty and Sasuke stared out the window as he ate.
“Seems like you got a team with some interesting people.” Shinku commented.
“Those two? Interesting? Yeah, right.”
“Come oooon. Don’t be so cold. I’m sure you and Naruto can get along and uh… Sakura… can be there too.”
“Why would I get along with a useless guy like that?”
“Who knows. Maybe he’ll become “useful” down the road.” Sasuke didn’t answer. Shinku knew his friend wasn’t being honest. The truth was he was fond of Naruto. What did they call this kind of thing? Tsundere? That’s right. That’s what Sasuke was being. Well. Maybe they would warm up to each other eventually.
“Hmm?” Wondered Shinku out loud, as he saw Naruto in the window behind Sasuke, jumping in and knocking the stick keeping the window open off, causing it to close. Naruto attempted to overpower Sasuke, holding a rope only to get overpowered and tied up in turn. Well Sasuke was better at Taijutsu than Naruto by far, after all. But... Shinku having his sharingan activated, as always, saw that the one outmaneuvered was Sasuke, the Naruto in the rope turning into a log before Sasuke was jumped on by six clones… no Shadow clones. Then he watched as Naruto transformed into Sasuke and snuck back out the window, leaving the real one tied up on the floor with his mouth shut.
“What…?” Was the only word that came to Shinku’s mind at that moment.
“Mmmph!” Sasuke tried to say something through the tape, not allowing him to speak.
“Ah. Right.” Well. Whatever. Shinku was just thankful to Naruto for showing him how to perform the shadow clone jutsu. He’d never been able to find the instructions on using it so seeing it performed live through the sharingan was quite nice. He crouched down in front of Sasuke and peeled the tape shutting his mouth off.
“Why didn’t you do anything?!” Sasuke suddenly shouted.
“Well. I mean… I don’t know. I guess I’m kind of used to it? You know… with you and Naruto constantly going at it. This is the first time I’ve seen him get the better of you though.”
“Shut up! That was just because… he’d caught me off-guard. Would you have guessed he could make shadow clones?”
“Nope. But I mean you have to give him SOME credit for that right?”
“Just untie me already…”
“Yeah, yeah.” Shinku hurriedly finished his jam-filled riceball in a few bites before undoing the knots holding together Sasuke’s binds. Sasuke stood up and opened the window putting a leg through it.
“Where are you going?” Questioned Shinku.
“There’s no telling what that idiot’s planning on doing, looking like me. I can’t let him be.” He disputed as he climbed out and let the window shut itself. Shinku simply shrugged. He guessed that’s their problem now. Being in a team and all. It’s not like Sasuke couldn’t take care of himself. The unfortunate thing was that Shinku himself was left bored for the rest of the afternoon, until the class gathered at the academy again.
Jonin after Jonin came in and took away their respective teams. In the end, only Sasuke and Shinku’s teams were left. Which was when an adult entered with Iruka, wearing a Konoha-issued shinobi vest.
“Team nine.” Iruka called out, causing Shinku and his teammates to stand and walk towards the front of the classroom. He tapped Sasuke on the shoulder as he passed by his team. “Good luck.” Only getting a “Hmph” as a response, he followed the jonin that would lead his team outside. The man wore a brown-rimmed pair of sunglasses and his black hair was wildly sticking upwards. He wore his forehead protector… as was normal, on his forehead, as did everyone on Shinku’s team, including himself, though their teacher’s was a bit uneven. The man lead them outside to the leaf village, to a place with no people around that was much like a park. He ushered the genin to sit down on the bench there, which they did. Though the two besides Shinku looked quite nervous.
“Now then.” He began. “Let’s start with introductions.”
Silence reigned supreme.
“Um…” The girl, Reiha spoke up “How… should we introduce ourselves?”
“Just say whatever comes to mind. Just keep it short, if you wanna just say your names that’s fine.”
“Then…” Spoke up the guy first. “My name is Sekka Asahi, I want to someday enter the Konoha police force.” The jonin nodded.
“Next, you.” He pointed at Shinku.
“I’m Uchiha Shinkumaru. Just calling me Shinku is fine. I would like to in the future be a shinobi that protects the peace in Konoha. I guess that’s not too different from wanting to enter the police force as well. Though I haven’t decided if I want to take my career in that particular direction.” The jonin nodded again.
“Um… then. I’m Kurino Reiha. I want to someday become an amazing shinobi like Tsunade-sama.”
‘One of the Sannin huh? Well. That’s a common inspiration. Especially with kunoichi towards Tsunade. She’s called the best medical ninja in the world for a reason, I assume.” Shinku thought.
“Good. Then. I know it’s a bit sudden, but tomorrow you three will be going on a mission.” Asahi raised his hand. “Yes?”
“Um. Sensei. You haven’t introduced yourself yet.”
“Ahhh. That’s right. Good. I’m Yamashiro Aoba. I’ll be your jonin instructor.” He paused for a moment “That is. If you pass the test tomorrow.”
“Test?” Shinku questioned. Even he hadn’t heard of this. Didn’t they just graduate a week ago?
“That’s right. Academy graduates go through one more test before they become full-fledged shinobi.”
“What if… we fail?” Asked Reiha in worry.
“Then you go back to the academy.”
Reiha and Asahi both gulped loudly.
“In any case.” Aoba continued. “Gather at sunrise tomorrow at the 7th training grounds. That is all. Dismissed.” He relayed before disappearing using the body flicker jutsu. Leaving the three students to their own devices. The 7th training grounds were a thick forest with lots of trees and undergrowth with plenty of hiding spots. In the middle of it was a clearing where they would need to meet. There was a limited number of tests their instructor could give if he wanted them to meet there in particular. Seeing the other two shaking, Shinku stood in front of them and tapped them on the shoulders.
“Don’t worry so much about it. If we work together I’m sure we can pass it.” Shinku encouraged.
“But… if we fail this we’ll be going back to the academy. And just when we finally managed to graduate!” Asahi exclaimed.
“Calm down.” Shinku flicked both their foreheads.
“Why me too…” Reiha mumbled quietly.
“When I say we’ll pass we’ll pass. We just have to remember to face this as a team. I’ll make sure to support you two so you two support me as well. Like that there’s no way we can’t pass.”
Asahi was slowly calmed down by Shinku’s confident demeanor, starting to think they really will be able to do this. He nodded his head, slightly more confidently.
“Good. Then you two should go and prepare for tomorrow. Just make sure to get plenty of rest. We’ll all need to be in top form, after all.” Both nodded this time. “Then I’ll be going. I need to get ready as well.” He said before he walked away. He did have a lot of preparations to make. No way was he going back to the academy. If the teacher thought he’d have an easy time, he must really be underestimating them.