As I Wake

The Plan

They wanted a plan and I was happy to supply them with one...

Four hands gathered in the center of the circle. Our strategy was set. Those bells were ours.

"Let's do this! Believe it!" Naruto said, laughing giddily.

"Yeah, let's make him pay! Cha!" Sakura had fury in her eyes. She wanted to get back for what Kakashi did to Sasuke.

Sasuke was in the zone, concentrated. "This ends now."

We counted to three, lifted our hands, and made for a break. History was about to be made. Everyone went to their positions. Sasuke, Sakura, and I hid while Naruto stood out in the open.

"Hey, Sensei!" Naruto yelled. "Come out, come out, wherever you are!"

It didn't take long for the nonchalant ninja to appear upon request. "What is it, Naruto?" Kakashi said as he turned a page. "Haven't you given up yet?"

"No way!" Naruto declared. "I'll never give up. I'm going to get a bell and one day will be the greatest Hokage who ever lived. Believe it!"

Kakashi wasn't convinced. "I don't see that happening. You're still a class clown, a class-A loser."

The remark doesn't affect Naruto. Words bounced off him, word proof. He only laughed as an evil smirk appeared on his smug face, like he knew something Kakashi didn't. "Oh, yeah? Watch me."

With that, Naruto made several shadow clones and charged at Kakashi. He was a clone master.

Kakashi continued to read his book as he deflected the clones. One by one, they wisped away in smoke.

Only a few remained. "You are beginning to bore me. Is that all you got?" Kakashi challenged.

Naruto didn't reply as he performed another jutsu. With the final hand gesture in place, he said, "Let's see how you deal with this, old man."

In a puff of smoke, Naruto, the young boy, transformed into a tall, voluptuous woman. Naruto was completely naked with clouds around her privates.

"Oh, Kakashi- Sensei," She-Naruto said, flirtatiously.

Any man would be gawking. Naruto was a sexual, clothes less, woman. A body men adored and women strived for, jealous at others who had it, curvy, luscious. A mannequin that I would never possess as I was built flat- chested and square body. It was a dirty dream coming true. Kakashi, however, was expressionless.

"Enough with your silly book, Sensei," she said, seductively. "I'm the real thing, ba-by," emphasizing the syllables in 'baby'.

She struck several poses to show off her curvy body and played with her long, blonde pigtails. Her celestial eyes were bashful, blinking faster than a bird's wings.

I couldn't believe Naruto could transform into that. Well, I could believe. It was Naruto. But, I was still impressed. He wasn't kidding when he said he had the perfect distraction.

Kakashi's expression was unreadable. A man's fantasy was perched on a pedestal, in the flesh as Kakashi looked criticizing. I didn't know what to make of it as he said nothing.

She-Naruto walked closer. "Why don't you give me a bell, Sensei? So we can get out of here and get to know each other." She ended her performance by blowing a kiss.

Kakashi didn't move a muscle as she approached. As still as stone he stood.

But he finally opened his mouth. "You’re not my type," Kakashi said, coldly.

She gasped, offended and made a face of disgust as she vanished away.

In the smoke, someone else appeared. It was Sakura's turn. She ambushed Kakashi with an attack of her kunai. He dodged it with ease.

"You're mine, Sensei," Sakura said, in a fighting stance, kunai tight in her grasps. "You're going to pay for what you did to Sasuke."

Kakashi sighed. "Being in love and being stupid, I see."

Sakura ignored his insult and attacked. She bolted straight towards him.

Kakashi made a hand gesture. "Well, maybe being in love and being stupid is exactly the same thing." And just like that, Kakashi trapped Sakura in genjutsu. She was back in the illusion. She remained motionless with the same glazed look. Her body slumped forward.

Kakashi stood feet away. "You fell for it, again? Sakura, I thought you were better than this. I'm disappointed."

Sakura was better than that. Sure, she had an unnatural obsession with a certain someone, but move that aside, she's smart. Her intelligence was her strength.

Sakura's glassy eyes slowly rose to look at her Sensei. A smirk gracefully played across her face. "I wouldn't fail twice," she said as her faked senses cleared. Another kunai soared and flew past Kakashi, inches away from his ear. It nailed the tree behind him.

"You missed," Kakashi said, matter-of-factly.

Sakura shook her head. "Like I said, Sensei. I'm not failing again."

Kakashi peered at his student, questioningly. His curiosity, however, was soon answered. Sakura's kunai, in fact, cut a line that triggered a barrage of shurikens.

Kakashi swiftly transported himself to a high tree branch, away from the rain of weaponry. He had little time to rest as he was surprised by fireballs.

Sasuke's turn.

He was on the ground, using his fire breathing skills and shot fireballs off, one after another. Kakashi dashed out of the way, each time hopping from branch to branch between trees.

Simultaneously, Sakura threw kunai to hopefully throw Kakashi's game off. The silver haired shinobi managed to block each of Sakura's knives. Flames and metal were bombarding Kakashi and yet he was still able to sly his way around them. He wasn't too focused on his book, now tucked safely away. Anyone of Sasuke's infernos could set his precious book aflame. His book was safe, but he was not.

As soon as Kakashi touched solid land, a warrior cry rang through the air. Naruto ran towards Kakashi with many clones. Between the flames, kunai and various traps being triggered. Team 7 was throwing everything they got at him. All the bells and whistles, their strengths, their specialties. It didn't take long for Naruto and his clones to catch up. Several Narutos jumped onto Kakashi, dog piling him. The upper-hand didn't last long as the pile soon deflated. Kakashi, once again, disappeared. Team Seven regrouped and searched for their Sensei.

Kakashi reappeared in front of the trio. "Nice try, you three, but you're going to have to do a lot better than that."

Team Seven didn't have a look of defeat. Instead, with smiles and snickers, a look of guilt as if they stole cookies from the jar before they had their dinners. Naruto laughed hysterically.

Kakashi rose an eyebrow. "What's so funny?"

Sakura couldn't hold her excitement either. Giggles escaped her covered lips.

Kakashi couldn't understand what was going on. He didn't notice that something was missing, something precious. Something he held higher than vivacious women.

"Guys," Sasuke said. "I don't think he knows what's happening here." Team Seven got their answer as Kakashi continued to stare blankly.

"I think you're right," Naruto laughed. "Do you think we should LETTER know? Should we start with attention, attention, READ all about it?!" He grinned wider with each emphasized word.

Kakashi's confused expression quickly metamorphosed to complete horror. He grabbed his pockets, frantically, to find that they were empty.

"Looking for this, Sensei?" Naruto said as he brought Kakashi's book into view.

That was the signal. Time for my part of the plan to commence.

"What!" Kakashi yelped. "How did you get that?"

"What? This little o' thing?" Naruto asked, waving it around like bait. "I found it."

"You found it?" Kakashi asked.

"It was a distraction," Sakura said.

"We worked together in order to get hands on something you couldn't live without," Sasuke concluded.

Kakashi looked among his three students. He had a look of dread, probably because he didn't know what I had planned with his idolized book.

Naruto did the unspeakable and rose a kunai knife to the book. It became a hostage, as if he had his knife against its neck.

"Hand us the bells or else he book gets it," Naruto threatened, pressing the tip of the knife into the cover, denting it.

"If you think you can threaten me with a book..." Kakashi said, cautiously, not sounding convinced.

"We can and we will," Sakura giggled.

"Admit it!" Naruto barked. "You are totally screwed. Lose-lose situation!"

"Now, now," Kakashi said, raising his hand in a calming matter.

To turn up the heat, Sasuke performed his hand gestures for his well-known fire jutsu. He huffed a breath of air.

"No!" Kakashi yelled reaching forward, wanting to grasp what he treasured most.

The tug forward was all I needed. One tug and my part of the plan was done. As Kakashi moved towards his cherished book, there was a faint snap. Kakashi paused and checked for the source but it was too late. The pocket where the bells hung were no longer there. Instead, they were firmly in my grasps.

Kakashi fixated on the bells as I rose them and rung their unmistakable sound, grinning from ear to ear. Team Seven let out a cheer.

"We did it!" Naruto and Sakura screamed.

Kakashi fixated on the bells as I rose them and rung their unmistakable sound. Grinning from ear to ear, Team Seven let out a cheer.

Kakashi looked pleased, "Well done, you four. I am impressed. You seemed to nab the bells."

Naruto mocked him. "Yeah and all we had to do was have Quorra sneak up behind you."

Kakashi nodded, agreeing. "That may be so, but who's going back to the academy?"

We stopped our celebration. One second we were loud, rambunctious. Now, quiet, silent. Our bubble was burst.

"Going back?" Sakura asked.

"Yes, going back. Failing. As you all well know, there are only three bells and four students," Kakashi said.

I held the three bells in front of me. I knew it was going to come down to this. Only three of us could pass, even if we worked together. We all knew this, but we still agreed to the plan and used teamwork.

The bells rung faintly in my shaky hands. I stared at Team Seven. They were wild crazy, love crazy, and revenge crazy but this bunch worked for years to make it this far. I have only been here for a short time and wasn't even a shinobi. It was all too obvious to me who deserved these bells.

I handed them each a bell, a token of their hard work and success. It took a few failures but in the end, they were triumphant and I couldn't be happier for them, even if that meant I was to be left behind.

The trio gave me mixed looks.

"What about you, Quorra?" Sakura asked.

I waved her off. I was happy with my decision. I wasn't going to change my mind.

Naruto didn't look content with my answer as he squeezed his bell, hard. "I'm not taking this."

"What do you mean?" Kakashi asked.

Naruto's knuckles turned red around the bell. "I'm not accepting this if that means Quorra fails. It's not fair. She came up with the plan."

Sasuke joined in. "She's the one who told us that we had to work together. She deserves this more than we do." He walked over and placed his bell in my hand. Naruto followed after.

Sakura did the same as well. She looked me in the eyes as she said, "We are a team. It's all of us or none of us."

I couldn't believe what they were saying. They were willing to throw away all those years of training, for me? I wasn't even technically their team member, yet they treated me as their equal. I wasn't a shinobi, but that didn't matter to them. For the first time, I was actually speechless. I stared at Kakashi with three bells in my hand, dumbfounded.

Kakashi was shocked as well. "Is his your final decision? Are you willing to go back to the academy and pursue all those hard years of work because of her?"

Team Seven nodded in unison. They were positive.

A smile peaked from under Kakashi mask. "Well, then. I regret to inform you that you all..." He stared at us individually, landing on me last.


We looked at each other, awestruck.

"We pass?!" Sakura asked.

Naruto didn't question it, "Yahoo! We passed. I knew we could do it! Believe it!"

Sasuke looked pleased as well.

I gave Sakura a hug and we leaped with joy. We did it! How?

"You all pass," Kakashi repeated. "You four were able to do something that none of my previous students were ever able to do. That was teamwork. You needed to work together, use everyone's skills. Clones, precision, fire, logic, in order to pass.

There was something else. A good team has to have sacrifice. You have to be willing to give it your all for your teammates. They will be fighting with you, side-by-side for now on. You have to have their back as they will do the same for you. It didn't matter if you got the bells. You all would had either pass or fail based on how you acted as a team."

I knew Kakashi was a sneaky bastard but the four of us were still surprised. Those stupid bells were meaningless.

Naruto and Sakura argued with Kakashi for several minutes after. They couldn't believe they had to go through all that. Sasuke and I gave each a look and shrugged. It was what it was.

"You made us do this starving!" Naruto yelled. "We could have passed out from famine!"

Kakashi rolled his eye. "I'm sorry, Naruto." He wasn't sorry. "Why don't we have a celebratory lunch then? My treat?"

Those magic words were all Naruto needed to hear and everything was forgiven. Sakura and Naruto followed Kakashi, eager to chow-down.

"Aren't you coming, Sasuke?" Sakura asked.

Sasuke replied that he had to go. "Maybe some other time," he said and walked in the opposite direction.

"Come on, Quorra," Naruto waved at me.

I stared between Sasuke and the others. As much as I was famish and my stomach was devouring itself, there was something I wanted to do. I waved Naruto and the others to go on ahead without me as I dashed to catch up with Sasuke.

Hearing my loud footsteps, he turned, slightly annoyed.

"What?" Sasuke asked, impatiently.

Before I could explain myself, various girly screams echoed in the distance.

"Sasuke!" one yelled.

"What? It's Sasuke?!" another cried.

"Sasuke, my love! Hey!" screamed a third.

A horde of hormone-driven girls charged towards us. Before I could question what in the good world was happening, Sasuke grabbed my wrist and dragged me behind cover. The stampede frantically searched high and low for us. Well, not us, him.

Sasuke was beyond annoyed. "Dammit," he hissed. "I can never go two feet without a girl declaring their love and pouncing on me."

Seeing his desperation for freedom and peace, a deal unraveled in my mind. I wanted to ask him if we could possibly train one-on-one sometime. The power and agility he had when he fought Kakashi was nothing but jaw-dropping. If I practiced my fighting skills with him, maybe he could help me improve that much faster.

But, he wouldn't be up to that willingly. Sasuke was the definition of anti-social. If he could train on his own, I'm sure he would be more than happy to do so. Girls are always all over him. Why would he want to deal with another one, even if I have no interest in him that way?

I had a possible plan now. He had something I wanted but I could help him too.

I tapped his shoulder and rose two index fingers. Pointing to us, I showed us sparring, hoping he got the clue. Then I pointed to the blood-thirsty girls and pointed to us again.

He gave me a questioned look but he managed to piece the actions together. "You help me with the psychos and in return we train together?"

I nodded, affirmatively and held out my hand. 'Deal?' I mouthed.

Sasuke looked between me and the girls. It didn't take him long to have a decision. "Deal."

We shook. Just like that, the deal was sealed. I got what I wanted. That was easier than I thought it would be. Lucky me.

"So what do we do?" Sasuke asked.

I impulsively held Sasuke's hand and pulled him out of our hiding spot. I laced my fingers with his, making the facade that much more believable.

This should be good.

We walked past the over obsessive, antsy teens, keeping our attention straight ahead. Paying no mind to them.

The girls' reactions were a mixture of shock and confusion as they gasped and whispered into their friends' ear. One girl with short brown hair, even fainted. Luckily, another girl, her friend perhaps, caught her.

On top of that was anger, a heap ton of anger.

"That bitch thinks she can steal my Sasuke," a girl said.

"He's my Sasuke," another argued back.

"She's not even pretty," whispered others.

Sasuke and I pretended that no one else was around. Sasuke was a professional at it. We soon walked past the sea of emotions and insults and was in the clear.

Sasuke let go of my hand. "Thanks for that."

I shrugged, it was no big deal.

"Training in the morning." he promised. "'kay?"

I gave him the thumbs up.

Sounds good.

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