Naruto, Choji and Shino were waiting for Kakashi to show up...the sun set, the sun rose, seasons changed – okay perhaps that was exaggerating a bit, but as usual, Kakashi took his sweet time to show up. Eventually he arrived in a puff of smoke, "You're late!" Naruto said, waving his fists in the air. Choji had already finished eating ten packets of barbeque chips. "Sorry, sorry, I was helping an elderly woman -" Kakashi was saying, but stopped when he saw their disbelieving expressions, "Anyway...I can't supervise you three because an important S-ranked mission has come up...I'll assign Shino as the leader for now until Anko comes back." Kakashi glanced at his team out of unmasked eye. What was Tsunade-sama thinking putting two gluttons in charge of food? "Naruto – don't do anything foolish. Choji, don't eat the food for the party. Shino, keep these two out of trouble."
"Understood." Shino said firmly. Kakashi promptly disappeared in a puff of smoke.
"Yosh! Now lets go! I want to win the prize!" Naruto said, rubbing his hands together gleefully.
Shino pushed his sunglasses up his nose even though it wasn't slipping down. "Naruto-kun, I am team leader. Let's decide what dishes should be served."
"Ramen of course!"
Choji and Naruto scowled at each other. Shino was standing with a notebook out, "Now, now, a menu needs variation. A bug may be satisfied with a single leaf – biut humans require all five major food groups."
"Heh? I say different ramen flavours!"
"It should be an all you can eat barbeque!" said Choji who was envsioning himself running across a green meadow in slow motion towards a sizzling pan of barbeque – but his fantasy was interrupted by, "Ramen, RAMEN, RAAAMEN!"
"No! It has to be ramen you fa-faa-faat-sooo," Naruto slowed down at that last word, he tried to stop it from coming out of his mouth but it was too late. The word 'fat' or related words were a taboo for the plump Choji who thought he was just 'big-boned'. Choji advanced towards Naruto, looking like a winded bull, fists clenched.
"Uh...err...Ch-Choji, I didn't mean that, it was an acci – waaah!"
Neji was nervous. He was being confronted with colour, not that he had anything against colour, it was just that now he was being asked his opinions on colours. Does gold set off teal better or fuschia or violet? Neji looked at Sakura and scratched his head. What happened to plain old red, blue or green? "Well?" Sakura asked, holding up fabric. Neji was saved from giving his opinion by Kiba, who pointed at the teal and Akamaru barked in approval.
"I think the fuschia," Sakura said with a sparkle in her aqua eyes. Neji and Kiba looked at each other wearily. The next thing they knew, Gai-sensei came bounding along, "Parties are a must in the springtime of youth!" He crushed them all in a group hug. Get away from me super-eyebrows, damn it! Inner Sakura raged. Akamaru happily bit Gai's leg, Gai yelped and released them. They were standing in the hall at the Academy where the party was going to be held. "Now my youthful students, ideas! Lets hear them!" Gai said, with a hand on the hip and a flash of white teeth which constituted his idea of an ultra hip look.
"Gai-sensei is shining! Look at him shine!"
Sakura, Neji and Kiba turned their attention towards an open window where Lee stuck his head through and was looking at Gai, awestruck.
"Idiot!" Suddenly Tenten and Ino came and dragged him away from the scene. Sakura, Neji and Kiba turned back to Gai who was waiting expectantly to hear their ideas. Neji wracked his brain for ideas, but his imagination was suddenly in black and white.
"This is a girls job, right, Akamaru?" Kiba said.
"That's sexist!" Sakura said with a scowl, "But I have tons of ideas Gai-sensei!"
Sakura was imagining her perfect party and squealed with excitement.
"Okay, tell us," Neji said impatiently.
"Hehe, fuschia and gold drapings! Ooh and a disco ball to scatter the strobe lights! And little tables for two everywhere with flower petals on the table and a candle...and the centre of the should have a huge water fountain -" Sakura was saying with a dreamy look in her eyes.
"We will call it the Fountain of Youth!" Gai proclaimed.
Neji and Kiba hung their heads.
Asuma Sarutobi puffed away at his cigarette while watching over his group. Drinks, that should be easy enough for them to handle, well that was what he thought before - "Green Grenade Energy Tonic!" Lee suggested. Asuma frowned, the last thing they needed was a bunch of hyperactive Feudal Lords and Kage's. "Let's uh, stick to the normal stuff," Asuma said.
"So it'll be tea...punch..." Ino was making a list.
"Sake." Asuma added. He had a feeling this party would be better if he was smashed. Smashed along with Kurenai...oh the possibilities! He thought, almost giving himself a nosebleed.
"What a boring job. There's no way we can win the prize," Tenten said.
"If I may make a suggestion, Asuma-sensei?" Lee asked.
"Hehehe...huh? Wha?" Asuma said, he was just getting to the good parts in his fantasy.
"Lee – all of your ideas are just...whack," Tenten said.
"Yeah, Tenten and I can hadle this, why don't you go run 500 laps around Konoha or something," Ino suggested. Lee's unaturally round eyes lit up instantly at the mention of a challenge. "I will show you the power of youth!" Lee was a green blur as he sped off.
"We have to win! I have to beat Sakura and impress Sasuke-kun," Ino said with determination.
There she goes again. Asuma sighed.
"I think we should have those fancy cocktail drinks like in the movies," Tenten said.
"Good idea!" Ino replied.
Well they seem to be getting along fine, Asuma thought, he then returned to his explicit thoughts.
The crimson-eyed Kurenai Yuhi observed her entertainment team, they didn't look like a very lively bunch; Shikamaru was lying on the ground staring at the clouds, Sasuke was lounging against the tree with his eyes shut and Kurenai knew Hinata was notoriously shy and hardly ever spoke.
"Have any of you thought of what entertainment you would like?" Kurenai asked them.
"This is troublesome," Shikamaru said.
"Hn." was Sasuke's response.
"Hinata?" Kurenai prompted the shy girl who had long navy hair and pearly eyes. Hinata gulped and struggled to form words.
"Well...the entertainment is the lifeforce of the party, without it, the party would be as boring as -" Kurenai almost said 'as boring as you three' but decided against it. "As boring as a ... um... meeting with the Hokage!" Kurenai waited for them to at least laugh at her attempt at a joke, Hinata smiled weakly, Shikamaru stared and Sasuke glared. Oh well, Plan B. "Time to interact, I want to see ideas when I get back," Kurenai said and she threw a notepad on Shikamaru's head and vanished in a swirl of feathers. The clearing that they were meeting in was quiet. I'd rather be training, thought Sasuke.
I'd rather be sleeping, Shikamaru thought.
Naruto-kun...Hinata thought, wondering what her beloved blonde crush was up to. That's right! He would never give up, he would come up with ideas! "U-um, I have an idea."
Oh, she can talk, thought Sasuke.
"What is it?" Shikamaru asked, sitting up to write.
"It's troublesome...but I can ask Temari to ask Kankuro to do a puppet show. Sasuke, your ideas?"
Just at that moment, the paper boy was riding by on his bicycle and he threw a rolled up newspaper, Sasuke caught it and looked at it. In the corner of the front page was an advertisement.
"I found us a band."
Shikamaru and Hinata gathered around the paper. "The Sound Five – an up and coming band hailing from the Hidden Village of Sound. Call 333-9252 for bookings, they will blow you away," Shikamaru read.
"I-I think it sounds good, you should b-book them Sasuke-san."
Something else caught Hinata's attention. "L-look, we can hire him too, Plonkie the Clown Magician and his assistant Pipette...I-I think it will be f-fun."
"Hai. Well, let's see..." Shikamaru said with a yawn, "We may have Kankuro's puppet show, the Sound Five band and uh...Plonkie the Clown Magician."