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Location: Ichiraku Ramen, Konohagakure




The newly appointed Jonin couldn't help but grin at his students' surprise when they peered their heads behind the curtains of Ichiraku Ramen. Any citizen of Konoha knew that the ramen stall was the place to go for a shinobi on the run. Particularly if they didn't have the luxury of disposable wealth. He had eaten at the stand many a time in his own youth.

"Let's just say I had a feeling this would be where you'd go."

As for how he'd managed to slip away from his newly assembled squad without them noticing, well, frankly, it'd be kind of embarrassing if he hadn't of been able to give a trio of twelve year olds the slip. Granted, he'd hoped one of them would've at least figured it out before they'd gotten to the food stall. He'd have to add situational awareness to his teaching curriculum.

He let his mind wander off while the trio filed into the stools. In truth, he'd hoped to order something to go for the lot of them and have them be on their way to the hospital right as the three had arrived. That was, of course, before he realized he had no idea what sort of food two out of the three liked. Whoops. He hadn't exactly set an exact time with Sawako now that he thought about it. He'd only told her to expect him and his team at the hospital "some time" after the graduation ceremony. That gave him some leeway, right? Yeah.

Kitanai nodded to himself assuredly before facing his students once more.

"Consider this a celebration for your graduation; and maybe a bit of a peace offering before what comes next. It's on me, so get whatever you'd like."

Kitanai gave the three a knowing smile and thanked the spirits for his newfound Jonin salary before settling in.




Some time later, Kitanai had led his students to the village hospital. He'd made sure to maintain his silence whenever any of them asked what they were going to be doing. As he'd hoped, the building wasn't overwhelmingly busy when they arrived. As such, he had his students take a seat in the waiting room and swiftly made his way to the front desk and informed the attendant of his team's arrival, thanking the staffer as they disappeared towards the back of the establishment. He turned back to his squad and stood up straight as he began to address them seriously for the first time.

"I don't know if Toshiro informed you, but you have one last test before becoming full members of Konoha's shinobi forces. What is that test, you ask? You will be serving as assistants in this very hospital. You will be working under a trusted acquaintance of mine. Treat her instructions like you would my own. The final decision on your success or failure lies with her and myself. Good luck."

As the Jonin finished his statement, one of the doors of the hospital slid open, and with a curt nod, Kitanai took his place standing next to his team.

Location: The Mean Streets, Konohagakure




Tensai hadn't kept track of just how long he and Kimura had been wandering the streets of Konoha, but it felt like an eternity. It was hard enough keeping himself upright when he was by himself, let alone when he had one of his best friends pulling him along without the sense to warn him when they were going to make a turn or go down a set of stairs. It was all he could do to hope she hadn't already pieced together what his aunt had made all too obvious. After almost tripping over himself for the third or fourth time in a span of minutes, Tensai's frustration finally got the better of him and he stood his ground. The sudden pull on his grip reassured him that he hadn't accidentally caused Kimura to fall over.

It took Tensai far too many precious seconds to realize he'd stopped the two of them dead in their tracks amidst a crowd of people without an explanation. Desperately trying not to think about the awkwardness of the situation, Tensai acted quickly, whispering something about how he needed to tell Kimura something, and, to the best of his very limited ability, led the Inuzuka and her ninken partner to what he hoped was a side path removed from the hustle and bustle of a main road.

He'd hoped to do what he was about to do back at the academy when the teams were first announced, but it was just his luck that Fukushu would end up being one of his teammates and that his sensei turned out to by his aunt who turned out to direct the newly formed squad to the training grounds without so much as a conversation. Was he always breathing this heavy? Sage, he could feel himself starting to sweat. Better to get it over with than settle into panic, and so, without a second thought, Tensai tensed his body and looked directly into Kimura's eyes (he hoped) and got what he needed to say off his chest.

"I'm blind."

The world around him went silent after the words left his mouth, and, to be quite honest, he was terrified of what Kimura's response was going to be, so the young Uchiha turned back towards the main road without thinking about it and made a hasty retreat.
The mad man did it.
🐢


Location: The Classroom of Hatake Toshiro, Konohagakure Academy




For the most part, Kitanai was content to suffer through the disdainful glares he received from his fellow Jonin upon his arrival. It was becoming a rather familiar sight in the past week or so that he'd been in the village. To say that his sudden promotion by the newly elevated Hokage had ruffled some feathers was an understatement to say the least. Granted, Shinatobe and Matsuoka had been glaring at him since they were children. Not unlike the way one of the students was staring kunai into the back of one of her classmate's skulls. Something that was only exasperated when Toshiro announced the team formations. He didn't have much time to ponder to himself about the interpersonal relations of a pair of twelve year olds for long, however.

Before the name had even left Toshiro's lips, Kitanai found himself practically assaulted with questions by the last of his three Genin students, to say nothing of the fact he now found himself with a child hanging from his neck.

"Well, I got into town about a week ago. Got promoted too. Who knew your former teammate becoming Hokage came with perks? As for being your teacher, I wanted to keep it a surprise."

Kitanai maintained a smile on his face for Tsume's sake. It was no accident that the village's new leader had placed him in charge of a four man cell, nor was it a mistake that Tsume happened to be one of its members. If Tsugumi had to anchor him to Konoha with a squad of his own, she made sure he wasn't going to be able to say no. She was always clever that way. Nevertheless, he had two other Genin to care for, even if they weren't there for the express purpose of guilting him into staying.

With a gentle hand, Kitanai removed Tsume from around his body while the only other male on his team introduced himself. On instinct Kitanai gave a slight bow in response. From what he recalled, Shunpei was Toshiro's nephew. If he was anything like his uncle, it'd be easy enough to get along. Though the man himself had openly admitted to Shunpei's slightly pedestrian performance. No matter. They'd said the same about Kitanai when he was a student. He had no doubt Shunpei would prove them wrong.

Lest he forget, Kitanai bowed again, this time to the only student who'd remained silent through the whole ordeal. Why Tusugmi would put a member of the Hyuga Clan's branch family under him was anyone's guess. More importantly, something about Hyuga Mitsuko seemed oddly familiar to him that he couldn't place his hand on. Maybe it was just the pale white eyes reminding him of his own youth, but knowing one Hyuga Mitsuko was the only member of her class that showed any acumen in medical ninjutsu both excited him and made him uneasy. He had no idea whether he'd prove a good instructor in the art, but he knew for sure that the Hyuga clan elder likely would've preferred anyone else to do the job.

Before he knew it, the rest of the teams had disembarked from the classroom and Kitanai's was the only squad left lingering. Both of his peers had wandered off to the training grounds with their students. For his own, Kitanai had something slightly different in mind. Something he spent about thirty seconds of dead silence coming up with while his Genin stared at him with anticipation. Being a sensei was going to take some getting used to.

"Well, I figure we should probably get out of here before someone comes around and tells us to shoo."

Kitanai moved for the door and waved his hand for his Genin to follow.

"I'm starving, we'll have to stop at a food stall on our way to the hospital."

Location: The Classroom of Hatake Toshiro, Konohagakure Academy




Tensai had hardly been paying attention to his surroundings until he'd felt the sudden grasp of his shoulder by Shunpei. It only dawned on him midway through their descent to the front of the class that the two of them were placed on separate teams. He couldn't even take solace in the fact that Kimura was coming with him due to just who Shunpei was being replaced by. Tensai didn't know what was worse; that one of his best friends was on another team, leaving him with Fukushu of all people, or that he was leaving the tutelage of Shunpei's uncle for the aunt that hated him.

For now, it was all he could do to take his place next to his teammates. Even with the classroom full of students and Jonin alike, Shinatobe's presence stood out from the rest. Not knowing where he was supposed to face, Tensai simply turned around when he reached the group and peered his nonexistent gaze around the classroom one last time. While his aunt was already more than aware of his predicament, he didn't relish the thought of what he had to do once they were removed from everyone else. It wasn't going to be easy telling his teammates about his blindness, but they had to know if they were going to be working together from then on.

He could only pray that Fukushu wouldn't laugh in his face.

Location: The Uchiha Clan Compound, Konohagakure, Morning




It couldn't have been past dawn when Tensai roused himself out of bed to the sound of rain and faint thunder. For the past week he'd been trapped within the grounds of the Uchiha Clan's compound, and he couldn't help but feel as if he were being treated as an embarrassment; he'd heard the whispers when he was brought before his estranged grandmother and head of the clan, Chiaki. A prodigy of Tensai's caliber blind at age twelve? Rather than speak of the loss of one of their own, the influential group of Uchiha elders spoke only of how Tensai's condition brought shame to the clan as a whole, and only the most ancient amongst them whispered of the Mangekyō. For such a legendary eye to appear in such a young specimen was a preposterous notion to most, but even the most skeptical of the Uchiha's council had grown eerily silent when Tensai recollected the black flames that filled his last line of sight.

Tensai was shaken out of his thoughts when his appointed servant entered his chambers and almost immediately made to grab him as if he would fall over at any moment. He had only gotten up to go to the bathroom, apparently Akemi was sent especially early. Tensai inquired as such as his maid, or rather babysitter, began the process of bathing and clothing him, all he got for a response was some hackneyed speech about his "big day" and how he needed to look his best. Tensai certainly didn't feel comfortable with the new development of having a stranger clothe him, he supposed no child would, but no amount of stubborn outcry and attempts to do it himself would dissuade the woman from doing her job. In that she reminded him of his mother. After some time of standing still and obeying any order to raise an arm or other such trivialities of getting dressed, Tensai allowed himself a sarcastic "How do I look?" he didn't know what possessed him to ask such a meaningless question, perhaps he hadn't entirely lost his sense of humor, no matter how hard he tried to mask it.

"Like a proud scion of the Uchiha clan." the boy couldn't tell if his companion was sincere or joking, but whatever semblance of a smirk he felt on his face disappeared at that moment. Of course, that's all he was to his fellow Uchiha now, a trophy to be paraded around. Truthfully he wasn't even sure why his clanmates were allowing him to go through with remaining a shinobi, the prospect of transplantation was raised during his initial questioning, but he had almost hysterically refused, the technology of surgery was still a recent development of the shinobi world, and he had no desire to become the first case of a ninja getting his eyes ripped out of his head.

The rest of Tensai's monotonous preparation went by in relative silence, he had his breakfast of eggs over rice and within minutes, he was handed a parasol. He heard his newfound companion slide open the front door and reach for his hand. He pulled back from the physical contact and presumably pouted, judging by the audible sigh that he was met with.

"I'm supposed to escort you to the-"

"I've been going to the Academy for six years. I know how to get there."

A short argument ensued, mostly with Akemi pointing out that Tensai didn't know how to get there from the clan's compound and that the roads would be wet from the rain and so on, but Tensai refused to relent from his position, insisting that if he was supposed to be a shinobi he'd have to learn how to navigate without a personal chaperone. Seeing how he wasn't going to see reason, Akemi gave the young Uchiha what was quickly becoming a trademark sigh and moved away from the doorway, bowing her head as Tensai made his way out of the home with enough confidence to immediately lose his footing when stepping off the slightly elevated platform, though he caught himself and made a mental note to feel for railings whenever he came across a stairway.




Location: The Classroom of Hatake Toshiro, Konohagakure Academy, Present


Even though he couldn't see her, Tensai could feel Fukushu's eyes glaring a hole in the back of his head when their sensei addressed the class and singled him out. If it hadn't been for the timely arrival of a pair of Jonin, she would've no doubt spewed some harsh insult his way. In that sense, Tensai was thankful for the momentary chaos that prevented him from having to get up and address the rest of the class. That was, until Toshiro-sensei had gotten everything under control and everything had gone silent again. Their teacher didn't need to repeat himself for Tensai to begin rising from his seat. A million thoughts ran through his head at once. What was he going to say? Who was going to be on his team? Was he going to end up being taught by the aunt who seemed to ignore his entire existence?

For the latter questions, Tensai could only pray for anyone but Fukushu and that he would be spared the fate of being tutored by his mother's sister. He didn't know which would be worse.

Before he could find something to say however, another knock came at the classroom door, and a voice Tensai had never heard before came from the other side.

“I'm not too late am I?”


All things considered, Brent would rather be pretty much anywhere rather than where he was. No matter how often he found himself in the high school's detention hall, it never became less soul crushingly boring. No doubt that was the whole point. Maybe if the rebellious youth saw the alternative, they'd get on the straight and narrow just to avoid such a monumental waste of time. Evidently it didn't have a very success rate, considering the sheer amount of familiar faces in the crowd. One such face was currently at the front of the peanut gallery. Something about heading up to the quarry for fireworks to celebrate. To celebrate what, Brent did not know. He figured the immediate silence was going to be his fellow detainee's answer.

Then, the impossible happened. Someone accepted the offer. He didn't recognize the girl by name. Word from the grapevine was that she was some rich princess who managed to get busted for drugs in her locker. Somehow her father managed to get her locked up here rather than in juvie. A believable enough story considering what Brent knew about the upper class students at Angel Grove, but usually those types were smart enough not to store drugs in their lockers, and they certainly didn't mingle with the peasants. Unless they were dealing, of course.

He considered his options. Did he really want to drive all the way up to the mine just for cheap thrills? Well, he didn't have a shift scheduled at the garage later that day, and it would give him an excuse to get out of the house and away from his mother for an hour or two. Or three. What the hell, it was something to do. He didn't bother raising his head out of his arms to give his response, and he put his head back down almost immediately after giving it.

"Sure, why not."

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