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Fandom Squad Shithead: A Naruto AU

Sub Genres
  1. Action
  2. Adventure
  3. AU
  4. Naruto Universe


Both of the boys felt a wave of relief hearing Katsuro's plans.

Haruki, in particular, had been riling himself into an increasingly anxious state ever since the reality of their training had hit him. It had gotten to a point where, now that there was no risk of him misstepping and blowing his legs off for life, he didn't know what to do with those nerves.

The more he thought about it, the less he felt relieved and the more he felt angry. "Why did you make us train all night when we could've just done that?" he blurted. "Literally our first freakin' day and we traveled all this way and hiked through the woods to find nothing. We needed to rest!"

If Tetsuo had stopped glaring at his teammate earlier, it had not lasted long. Then again, Haruki could've said anything in that moment - that his favorite color was purple or that grass is green - and he would've gotten the same look.

Tetsuo did not take his eyes off of him once while he grabbed and slid meat and eggs onto a plate of his own.


Bear With Me Here ?
Katsuro's expression stiffened, as his reddened eyes glared over at Haruki beneath his glasses. He expected this antagonizing whine from Tetsuo, but not Haruki. One complaint after the other - there was just no letting up between these two.

"Because I fucking said so, that's why." He snapped back.

"Last time I checked none of you knew shit about landmines. That's why we spent all night training. Now you all at least have a chance to get away from one."

"You think I like having to slow down and teach you these fucking things in the middle of a mission? Goin' around obstacles rather than through them? There's a little girl out there, and every hour wasted is another we can't get back. But I'd rather make sure that you all know what the fuck you're doing out there, so that you all don't come home in body bags!"

He sighed, irritated that he had already lost his temper this early in the morning.

"Just remember this: That girl's life is on the line. But I don't value her life over any of yours."


Haruki's cheeks reddened with emotion. He didn't like being yelled at. It was humiliating, and it was humiliating that he felt so humiliated. Whatever was being said to him, the phrases he would remember were being carefully cherry-picked.

Like how their sensei was bemoaning having to stop and teach them. He didn't teach him anything! He went off on some phone call, and left Mizu and stupid freakin' Tetsuo in charge of teaching him. Katsuro had to have known he was literally putting him through torture.

Nevertheless, he kept his mouth shut to sulk. Haruki slumped his arm and himself on the table so as to try to block Mizu's view of him. He stabbed his fork into the okonomiyaki and slid it into his mouth to nibble at.

Tetsuo, by contrast, did not miss what was the closest thing Katsuro came to admitting he cared for them. Well, to be exact, he said that they were on equal footing with the girl they were hired to care about. That level of prioritization had not occurred to him before. All he ever did was drink, yell at them and seem to say everything he could to remind them that he did not want to be around them. It felt weird to hear. It sounded sincere, but did he trust that to be the truth?

Tetsuo looked across the table to try to get a read on Mizu. He didn't look for long before looking back down and resuming his meal. Just as Katsuro said, they needed the meal if they were going to be out all day. They had to finish this today.

The thought of running into Genzo again made his skin crawl. Even if they found the girl and returned him home, would that do anything to guarantee her safety? He guessed anything that came after they found and returned her wasn't technically their responsibility, but... still.

He tried not to think about it too much.

Before long, the servant from earlier returned, setting the coffee before him. Tetsuo poked at the mug and yanked his fingers back quick. Too hot. Between bites of his meal, he took long moments to blow and try to cool it.


Bear With Me Here ?

Much like Haruki and Tetsuo, Mizu felt the weight of pressure taken off her shoulders upon hearing that they weren't going through the minefield. However, most of her attention was still on the events of yesterday. She stared at the table, trying to clear her head. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't get that battle out of her head. Without training to occupy her thoughts, all she could think about were the pale blue eyes of Genzo piercing right through her as he tried to kill them. It didn't take a genius to realize they'd run into him again.

"Sensei...If I may?" Mizu's weary eyes finally looked up from the table, and at Katsuro.

Katsuro glanced over. Albeit irritated, he nodded toward Mizu. "Yes?"

"Just what exactly do we do when we run into Genzo again?"


"Well..." Katsuro replied, taking a moment to think.

"We'll have to fight. No doubt about it. But this time will be different. We'll be prepared, and will have a gameplan."

"As a rule of thumb: Let me handle Genzo. You three will take up defensive positions under cover. That way you're ready for anything."

Katsuro paused. Going into this now, and not at a proper training ground wasn't ideal. This was better than nothing though. Hopefully the team would learn a productive lesson from this.

"But. In the event that I'm not there...you'll all have to work as a team. Each of you will have a role to fill. I'm talking basic shock formation - offense."

"Mizu." Katsuro looked over to her, gesturing with his hands to help explain himself better.

"You're the pressure - with your clones and taijutsu, you pressure the opponent. As they play defense, make mistakes, or try to counter, that's where Tetsuo comes in."

He turned ot face Tetsuo.

"While Mizu is pressuring the opponent, get an angle, wait for an opening, then hit them with your ninjutsu, or equipment. Maybe both. At the very least you'll be harassing them and making openings for Mizu."

"Haruki." Katsuro turned to Haruki, the final piece of the strategy. "You're support. In other words, you're gonna sit back and react to what the other two need. If Mizu or Tetsuo get in a sticky situation, you rush in there and help. In the event one of them goes down, get them to safety. Otherwise you're the eyes and ears. Call out what the enemy is doing, and watch for any flanking. Make sure the enemy can't deceive the team"

"The three of you need to communicate, find the enemies weakness, and exploit it. Play to your strengths."

"Now, before I go any further I want to ask you three a question: Did you notice any weaknesses, or tendencies of Genzo? Think like you were fighting him right now. Right now is the time to talk about these things."


Tetsuo looked towards Haruki, who hadn't shifted from his pouting slump. He scowled.

"Hey." He planted his hand on the table and stood to lean forward and snap his fingers at Haruki's face. "Are you paying attention?"

Haruki turned his head to glower back over his forearm at him.

Tetsuo continued his scolding. "You were the only one who was there for the whole fight yesterday - you didn't get caught in that genjutsu so think of something. I'm not about to die today just because you decided today you wanna' act pissy. You're support."

Like he's one to talk, Haruki thought. He pressed his lips in agitation, but nevertheless sat up again, this time folding his arms over his chest.

Tetsuo rolled his eyes away from him and sat back down. He had to think for a moment if there was anything else to be said about Genzo. Last time Katsuro asked, it was moments after Tetsuo had nearly gotten ran through with a sword. Somehow he had forgotten about that until just then.

In order for Genzo to do that, he had gotten himself gliding in the air somehow. He remembered how he had been able to just sway side-to-side when Tetsuo had thrown those kunais. He remembered, too, that wind style attack that had pushed them also pulled them in. When he had still been rattled yesterday from his close brush with death, Tetsuo had said Genzo might be a long-range fighter, but now he thought there might be a little more to it than that.

"He spent a lot of his movements and ninjutsu to keep us away from him. The sword and any taijutsu were all just to counter and get us to back off. If we ever got close to him, he wanted to be the one controlling that."

The conversation having moved back to the battle, Haruki thought and after a moment said, "I think when he felt too many of us were on him, he would jump up every time." He frowned to himself. Maybe.


Bear With Me Here ?
Mizu eyed over at Haruki while Tetsuo scolded him. For once, in this moment, she didn't bother to try and stand up for Haruki. Tetsuo was right, he needed to pay attention to the battle plans. Especially considering how their lives could once again be in Haruki's hands if things went south again.

Once Katsuro queried about Genzo's styles and weaknesses, Mizu listened carefully to Tetsuo's observations. She nodded her head slowly in agreement, looking between Katsuro and Tetsuo. Although she hated to admit it, Tetsuo seemed to do a pretty good job summing up Genzo's distinct fighting style. He had stronger observational skills than she had anticipated, but would he be able to use those observations to his advantage?

Haruki then chimed in observations relating to Genzo's evasive nature. While his notes weren't as detailed, Mizu was still glad that Haruki took something away from the battle. Maybe there was still hope for him after all.

Mizu then chimed in herself.

"He's unorthodox with his fighting style; being primarily a ranged fighter yet also being skilled up close. From the way he uses his ninjutsu, genjutsu, and taijutsu, he seems to like to be in control of things. He doesn't like to leave openings to be countered, and favors quick attacks over more powerful techniques that would leave himself vulnerable."

Katsuro's grim expression did not change on the outside, but he was satisfied. Learning about the enemy is an important skill a shinobi must use, even amidst the chaos of battle. It was clear to Katsuro that even though this squad was full of shitheads, they at least took something away from fighting Genzo.

"Good observations. Those sound pretty spot on to me. Genzo is not a blood and guts fighter. If he thinks he's in danger he's going to try to get to safety. Don't expect him to tough things out and go blow-to-blow with you. That's why he's adapted his entire style to fighting at a range, and sticking to counter attacks up close."

"Pay attention to what I tell you now, because it might just save your life." Katsuro announced, taking a moment to look at each of his students.

"If we fight him, you need to focus on pressuring him. Don't let him get comfortable and control the battlefield. Constantly flank him, and keep pushing forward on him. Since he will flee to the air if he feels danger, your best bet is to either accumulate small hits that will wear him down over time, or sneak a big attack on him. That style of his is dangerous in an open field, but he's actually at a disadvantage in the forest. Use the trees to break his line of sight. If he takes into the air, do whatever you can to hide from him. Split up, use smoke grenades, get under a tree, or whatever. Clones would be a good diversionary technique"

"Finally..." Katsuro stated. "If I'm not there, and you're fighting him: Escape at the first opportunity you get."

With that said, Katsuro ate the last few bites of his meal. He then stood up, and faced his students once more.

"If any of you have anymore questions or concerns, now's the time to tell me. Otherwise I'll meet you out in the courtyard when you're finished eating."
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Haruki shook his head mutely and returned to his meal. He did have a question in fact - a question that was really more of a concern. Did Katsuro seriously expect them to fight this man again? The man that almost spelled their certain death just the day before until Katsuro had showed up? He was the jounin there, he should be able to handle it on his own without putting them needlessly at risk.

He was still upset though, and refused to plead for their sensei's protection. In his head, somehow, this would undermine everything he just said, and that he couldn't have happen.

Tetsuo also gave no indication of needing to ask or bring anything up. Instead, he looked down at his plate in concentration. He tried imagining how the fight yesterday could've gone down differently if they'd had this insight before.

Their squad had been on the defense as soon as they knew Genzo had been on a different league than the hired swords. They had made almost completely isolated attempts at striking him. Genzo had enough time to back up and let loose on them that way, or counter the one of them. Yes Mizu had her clones, but even clones of her still could only think like Mizu could. If Genzo had to deal with offensive pressure a forest not just from her, but himself too, he could start imagine maybe, just maybe, they could back him into a corner.

Tetsuo glanced at her again.

How the hell had he ended up on a team with the Leaf Village's fox demon? Just seeing the whiskers that marred her face filled him with a disgust that made him grimace.

It wasn't just that though. He felt disgusted thinking of the way their employer had treated her, even though the nine-tailed fox had nothing to do with him.

There was another feeling there too just bubbling beneath the surface. He felt ashamed, thinking about how many times yesterday his actions had put her in harm's way. Maybe he hadn't explicitly meant to, but he had more than once completely disregarded that she had been there, and because of that he had put her in danger. She had gotten knocked unconscious. Certainly she would be dead now if Katsuro had not shown up in time.

All of these things he felt simultaneously, and it confused him. He hadn't known either of these two really until just two days before, and yet their very survival depended on what they could do for each other today. It was a kind of pressure and resolve he had never once felt with his old squad. It was strange, but he had made a resolve the night before, and he very well intended to keep it.

Tetsuo looked away to finally take a sip from his coffee. Once the flavor hit the back of his throat, he nearly gagged. Tetsuo tried to play this off and look composed, covering his mouth with his hand and turned his gagging into him clearing his throat.

Haruki didn't look back up from his food until Katsuro had accepted there was nothing more to say and left the room. Haruki sipped the last of his juice, watching the doorway their sensei exited through until he felt certain Katsuro would be out of earshot.

He turned to Mizu. "Do you really think we're going to run into Genzo again out there?"

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