Holly Jolly Jonin : Chapter 1
~written by lazyweird1, RPG chars by halcyonlegendia, lazyweird1, & Co. Naruto chars are copyrighted and are owned by Masashi Kishimoto. I own nothing, but myself.~
Normally, winter in the tranquil shinobi village of Konohagakure was mild; with nothing more than some ice or Frost here and there. Nope, not this year! Snow, sleet, ice; you name it, and it was covering the entire village in a chilling blanket of frozen crystals. It glistened and fluttered as it fell in a soft, but steady breeze from the heavens. The people below, all dressed heavily, rubbed their arms and shivered as they went about their business. Now, no self-respecting ninja would just walk the streets in this weather. They would run on the housetops. Why would they do that, you ask? Wouldn’t be even more dangerous to even walk on a few feet of slick, uneven shingles? For you, maybe, but not for a ninja!
“Wahoo! Man, you’re slooooow, Zhen-chan!” “Shut up! I’ll skin you with icicle!”
People stopped in their tracks to barely catch a slight glance at the two figures jump from roof to roof, sliding down gutters and leaping from fire escapes like caffeine-loaded fleas. Laughter and profanity bounced throughout the cavernous walls and echoed across the village to every ear within a five-mile radius. Including the ears of an increasingly cross Hokage.
“Now, Chess,” the Lady Hokage said, “I understand that being ANBU, it can be difficult to track other ninja.” She looked up from her folding hands and stared into the eyes of the kunoichi across the room. “But must that include your own teammates?” The woman opposite to the Hokage shrugged and shifted her weight ever so slightly towards the door, just in case things got a little…violent.
“They’re young, Tsunade-sama.” The amusement behind the hawk-sculpted visage was obvious. “They’ll learn. Of course, not without a few beatings now and again.” She chuckled and slid the mask across her face. Her glasses slipped down her nose, but she corrected them with a quick tap of her finger. The obsidian hair poofed out and settled around her head in a manner almost resembling a rice ball. “Besides, my internal clock says they’ll be here just about…” She didn’t have time to finish as the door busted forward and collapsed against the wall, the poor thing’s hinges splayed out like claws. Not much of a second later, a chaotic mass tumbled into the floor, spinning and hissing like the devil! Tsunade flinched for a moment and a multitude of angry veins pulsed with equal fury. Chessy frowned. Uh-oh. This ain’t gonna be pretty! She watched the blond-haired woman stomp over to the swirling heap of two angry ninja and reached forward. In one swift motion, she yanked apart Chess’s comrades, who, mostly likely, got into yet another fight along the way. Then, Tsunade leaned back and flung her arms into the wall with both kunoichis’ necks clenched in her hands.
People outside the office gasped at the commotion upstairs as pieces of dry wall crumbled from the ceiling, but dared not investigate. No doubt, when that much cacophony was heard, Tsunade was the one who made the most property damage…!
“You bloody idiots!” Tsunade was now seated at her desk, fuming like a wolverine. Chess remained silent. She couldn’t be more right. The two women in front of her were like the old newspaper joke: black and blue and red all over! Both were slouched over in their chairs like some adolescents who had been caught placing pepper bombs underneath the teacher’s chair. The older ANBU pressed her lips together to stifle her laughter. Which of course, they had. Poor, old man Third, she thought. I never saw him jump around so much!
The Lady Hokage sighed and sat up. All three of her audience did the same and snapped to attention. “Now listen, girls.” Her eyes suddenly softened and she gave an unexpected smile. The three young women arched their eyebrows and stole swift glances at each other, clearly puzzled. “Not to insult you, but I have a very simple assignment. A D-rank mission, if you will.”
“D-Rank?” Zhen winced in annoyance and was about to voice her protest when Cat reached behind her head a pinched a good handful of neck, effectively silencing her. “Sounds great!” Cat’s voice chimed, obviously happy. D-rank missions were seen as a vacation of sort aside from the constant spying, keeping rival nations at bay, and such. The Slug Princess switched her focus to the team captain. “And you, Chess? What’s your input?”
Chessy thought about it for a second. “D-rank? Easy peasy. But-,” she raised a finger, “depends on what you’re asking?” Cat and Zhen looked back at their leader, waiting in anticipation. Tsunade breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe things will go smoothly after all…
“Chessy, Zhen, and Cat!” Tsunade’s familiar commanding voice brought the ANBU to their feet and saluting. “Yes, Ma’m?”
“I need you to gather all the jonin and chunin you can find. Friends, family, whatever! We’re holding a special holiday party.” Tsunade smiled at the dumbstruck ninja. “As a reward to the ninja who protect this village every day,” the kunoichi remained silent.
“Of course, we don’t have to have it…” She sighed and looked down at her desk. The screams of protest followed suit.
“No! We’ll work super hard to find everyone!”
“Puleeeease let us have a party. I’m so bored!
“Tsunade-hime! Please reconsider!”
“Now that’s what I wanted to hear!” Tsunade smiled and shuffled the mission files on her desk and stuffed them in a drawer, hoping that she could put them off until later. Way later. When she sat back up, her eyes were caught by a troubled-looking Chessy.
“Chessy? What’s wrong?” The Godaime Hokage inclined her head. “Still harboring doubts, perhaps?” The older ANBU snapped out of her daze.
“Huh? Sorry. I was just wondering about…Orochimaru,” her lips pulled into a grimace at the mention of his name. “If we drop our guard for a mere party, won’t he take advantage of the lack of shinobi defenses?” She was extremely perceptive for someone her age.
Tsunade’s face went blank for a split second before reassuming the relieved grin. “Oh, I wouldn’t worry about him now.”
“Huh? Why?” Cat tilted her head and shifted in her seat. “He’s sneaky, y’know.”
“Of course he is, but his snake-like persona is also his most obvious weakness. Since it is winter, which he always hated, he’s less likely to come out than any other time of the year. Like other reptiles, he shares their likes and dislikes,” Tsunade finished.
Cat smiled, “Oh. Gotcha!” She somersaulted out of her chair and crouched behind her friends. “It makes sense now.”
Tsunade glanced back at Chessy. “Any more questions?” Her subordinate gave a white, toothy smile.
“Yeah. When do we start?”