Trapeze

Chapter 8

Disclaimer: Do I even have to?

Thanks to Kyoichi Amaya, Freedom its2l8, YukiKitsune95, VKlover13 and (lazy, lol) Fernlight for reviews. And thanks to Ollie1223 for favoites! I love you all for it!

NEW OC UPDATE! Uchiha Yuki belongs to Chichi4mangaHero. If you got this far in the story you should know who the other OCs belong to, so I shouldn't have to remind you. WARNING No more OCs, I may be OC-centric, but even I have a limit. Don't bother asking you WILL be turned down!

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Shisui was waiting for me when I left the house early in the morning, leaning against the house just outside the door. He smiled, "Ah I see you found Tenshi." Tenshi lifted her sleep tossled head and smiled towards him before laying her head back on my shoulder. I shifted her higher on my hip as I said, "Actually Itachi-san found her." Shisui raised an eyebrow at my tone when I mentioned him, "Itachi-san? I don't think you ever called him that even when you were still that awkward fifteen year old, fresh off the streets and people shy." I glared at him, "Where is your cousin anyway?" I asked, changing the subject. I felt an odd mixture of disappointment and relief that Itachi wasn't there, and I didn't want to think about it. Shisui shrugged, "Clan business. I just came to see if you found Tenshi and to escort you to Lady Tsunade's office."

I looked at my friend in confusion, "What does she want?" Shisui shoved his hands in his pockets, "I don't know. Only that she needed to see you and a few other people. Come on." I frowned, Shisui seemed out of character today. Something was up. I quickened my pace to catch up to him, "But I need to drop off-" "We're already late, Tora. You'll just have to bring Tenshi with you." Now I knew something was wrong, Shisui never called me 'Tora'. Silently I followed my best friend, wondering what on earth could have upset him.

"You're late." Lady Tsunade informed me as I stepped into her office, Shisui behind me. I blushed, feeling the gazes of the small crowd in her office on me, "Sorry, I didn't realize I was called to a meeting until a few minutes ago." Tenshi turned her blind gaze and stared blankly at the room. Shizune, standing behind the Hokage, smiled at the girl, "Would you like me to take Tenshi?" She asked me. My daughter stiffened at her name, alerted. I smiled and murmured to her, "Shizune-san is going to take you, sweetie. Don't worry." Tenshi relaxed and I handed her over to the dark haired woman. When I opened my mouth to ask what we were doing here, Lady Tsunade held up a finger, "We're still waiting on other people."

Minutes later the door opened again and too my surprise Ame and Ruri walked in. I blinked in surprise; I hadn't expected to see them here. Lady Tsunade stood when they walked in, "I'm sure you are all wondering why you are here. Most of you have heard the rumors of the Akatsuki; some have even gone into combat with them." Tsunade looked straight at me when she said that. She turned to the rest of the group as she continued, "Though I hate to admit it, we know little about this organization. Until we find uncover every little detail about them, we'll never be able to defeat them." The group of seven in the Hokage's office shifted uneasily.

Lady Tsunade paused to let the information sink in, "We don't have the teams to go on resonance missions, we are spread thin enough as it is. Therefore, the elders have come up with a plan to make a team of people who specialize in their own way." She turned to a dark haired, dark eyed girl, obviously an Uchiha, and said, "Uchihas have always been strong in genjutsus. You, Yuki, are the best who hasn't been already added to a team yet." Shisui shifted silently behind Tsunade, his serious gaze flickering to his clan member before zoning out again. Yuki nodded and cast a shy look to the rest of us. Lady Tsunade continued with a smile, "Your Sharingan is also an added bonus, though it is not as powerful as you clan mates."

The Hokage then turned to a boy who looked to be twelve. She smiled and ruffled his orangish hair, "And you are very fast and strong, aren't you Toppi?" I perked up at the mention of his name, apparently Akimichi Toppi was very fast, he was faster than Gai and Lee combined. Tsunade introduced another boy, this one older and darker, as Arashi, who had amazing intellegance that almost rivaled Shikamaru. Tsunade turned to me after the dark boy, "Tora, due to your training as an acrobat, you are strong in Taijutsus and have considerable knowledge on poisons." Arashi glared at me, as well as a boy a year or two older than me, who I knew was an Hyuuga due to his pearl colored eyes.

"Ruri, you are an amazing medic, as is Tora, but you specialize more in Ninjutsus than everyone here." Ruri smiled at the Hokage's praise, rather embarrassed that she was singled out. Tsunade pointed out that the Hyuuga, who was called Nabuko, was a master of seal knowledge and your Byakugan is powerful as well." Finally Tsunade turned to Ame, "And last but not least, Ame. The force of your water jutsus is something to be reckoned with." My friend grinned, clearly pleased that Lady Tsunade thought so. The Hokage continued, "Since you are the oldest of the group, you will be the team leader. It is your responsibilities to care for your teammates and carry out the missions." Ame nodded seriously, she knew the weight she would carry.

Lady Tsunade turned to us as a group, "I won't try to make pretty speeches about how the future rests in your hands. It's pointless and I'm sure you'll try your best in any case. I will warn you though, these people are dangerous criminals and should not be taken lightly. I'll leave you now, so you can get better acquainted with each other. Shisui, come here..." Lady Tsunade said, turning to my friend, clearly dismissing us. We all bowed and shuffled back out.

Ruri squealed and clutched my arm, "Isn't this great? I finally get to work in the field some more! And I get to show off my ninjutsus!" The dark boy, I think he was called Arashi, glared at her, "We're not here to have fun." He growled. Ame snapped back, "Hey, she's your teammate now!" The boy sneered, "Oh, yeah? Does that mean the Tiger Demon is also my teammate? Do I have to treat her like an equal?" Everyone turned to me, waiting for me to respond. I smiled, "Eye for an eye. Call me names I'll call you some too, Stormy." Ame, Ruri and the kid Toppi laughed while Arashi just glared, his face turning red.

The Hyuuga snorted, "You think your all big and bad just because you're friends with the Uchihas." I shrugged, noticing that my Uchiha teammate was glaring at the Hyuuga, "I don't see the problem, since you're already looking down your nose at us because you are a Hyuuga." The boy sputtered and I smiled, "Excuse me, I'd love to stay and chat, but I have to pick up my daughter before Shizune spoils her beyond belief." Ruri piped, "I'll go with you!"

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"Go left! I said left!" Arashi snapped at me as I dodged to the right to avoid the object Toppi was throwing at me. I didn't see the next obstical until it was knocking me to the ground. I growled in fustration and leapt to my feet. I was really rusty, but then I should have expected it. In the four years since I had started working at the hospital and raising Tenshi I had little time to practice acrobats. Arashi stood over me, "Look, I know you're used to having people cower from you, but these Akatsuki aren't afraid of you, okay? So just follow my orders and you might survive."

That rubbed me the wrong way, I shoved my face in his, "Look, pipsqueak, I've been living on my own before you were born. Don't you dare say that I might survive! I've done nothing but survive since I was born!" Ame shoved between us before Arashi could respond. She pushed be away from the kid, "Back off Tora. Arashi is just trying to motivate you. Just go along with what he says." She said quietly, I glanced at the boy over her shoulder. Though he looked indifferent, I could tell he was enjoying seeing me being scolded. I turned my furious orange eyes back into Ame's calm blue/yellow ones, "Fine." I growled before stalking back to Arashi, "Continue your lesson." I ground out, hating every word. He smirked before running through the designed path again. I committed the words to memory, determined not to mess up this time.

It had been two weeks since Lady Tsunade put our team together, and during that time Ame had decided that the best way to bond as teammates was to teach each other our own skill. She split us off into pairs; one would teach the other for a day then flip the next day. Unfortunately, I was paired off with Arashi, the one who I disliked the most. We worked on battle strategies, getting help from Toppi, who hadn't been paired yet. So far it had been a complete disaster.

When I got home close to midnight, I was aching all over. I was really going to have to start practicing again. Groaning I pushed open the door and was greeted by Reiko snapping at me in a hushed whisper, "And where have you been?" I glared and didn't answer. Reiko scowled right back at me and said, "Look, I know you have this big team thing now, on top of the hospital, but you're going to wear yourself out if you keep this up." I silently turned to my room, but my brother grabbed my shoulder, keeping me there, "You need your sleep, Tora." I spun on him and hissed, "I need you off my back!" Reiko, surprised at my outburst, stepped back blinking. I mentally kicked myself, I hadn't shouted at Reiko since the time he had almost died. Rubbing my temples I apologized, "I'm sorry, Reiko, I'm just very exhausted. You're right, I need my sleep."

^o^

Blah... end of school makes me feel stretched out. If you don't hear from me for a while it's because I'm taking a vacation from life both on and off Fanfic!

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