Crossover Fan Fiction / Crossover With Non-anime Series Fan Fiction / Naruto Fan Fiction ❯ NAvatarUTO ❯ The Preliminaries Begin! ( Chapter 11 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]

Chapter eleven: The preliminaries

This chapter contains a direct quote from the third hokage's speech in episode 37 of Naruto.

It was nearing the end of the time limit and the gaang still hadn't found an earth scroll. They were about to give up when they saw a familiar figure approach them. It was the guy they saw talking to team seven before the written test. Kabuto saw them and hesitated.

“Do you have an earth scroll?” Toph asked.

Kabuto was wary. “I might. What are you going to do about it?”

“Do you want our heaven scroll?” Sokka offered.

Kabuto looked shocked. “Why would you just give it to me?” He questioned. “Are you just giving up? Don't do that. I'm sure you'd all make wonderful chunin. I already have both scrolls, so if you help me to the tower, I'll help you get an earth scroll.”

They made a deal.

In the end, all rookie genin as well as the Avatar's team made it to the tower in time. They all filed into the battle hall, noticing how everyone looked tired and disheveled. The Hokage began to speak. “This is a custom in which balance is preserved by fighting and dying. In the world of the shinobi, that is friendship. The third exam is a fight for life with the pride of your village and your own dreams at stake.”

The hokage was about to explain the details of the third exam, when the proctor Hayate Geko stepped in. He announced that before the third exam could take place, a preliminary must be staged. He explained that many important people would come to see the third exam and they only wanted to see the best. The preliminaries would begin immediately so Hayate suggested that anyone not in peak condition step out. Aang was looking at Sasuke. He didn't look so good. The way he held himself suggested that he was in a lot of pain. Maybe they should have gone to save them. A cough came from the front of the group. Kabuto put his hand up to leave.

“What are you doing Kabuto?” Sokka asked. “After telling us not to quit, you just get up and leave?”

Kabuto smiled sadly. “I'm sorry Sokka.” He apologized. “I'm afraid that I used up all of my energy getting to the tower. Having another battle right after the last one, I just can't do it.” He waived and left. `Besides,' He thought to himself, `I already did my job getting you to the one on one battles. Soon enough Aang will have to fight Sasuke and bring out his true powers, just as Orochimaru has planned.'

“We should go too,” Katara urged. “We're in way over our heads. Did you hear what the old man said? They call killing friendship! And besides, if we make it to the next round, there'll be figureheads from all over watching us. What if we're found out? Now that Zuko's here, we can't stay here any longer.”

Sokka patted his sister on the head. “Don't worry, Katara. We'll be too far away for any of them to notice. And besides, we've been evading Zuko this long, right?”

Katara smacked his hand away. “Why are you all so determined to continue in this exam?” She exploded.

“It's because I want to understand them.” Aang answered. “I want to know what it means to be a shinobi. Fighting and killing may not seem friendly to us, but I want to know why it does to them. Their world is so different from ours. As the Avatar, I want to see how our worlds connect. I heard Naruto once say that true warriors can read each other's thoughts by fighting. Maybe if I fight these people, then I can finally connect to them.”

Katara turned away from her teammates. “You do what you want.” She told them. “I'm leaving.” Katara raised her hand and excused herself from the fighting hall. With that, Hayate commanded the panel be opened and two names be chosen at random. First up was Sasuke versus Yoroi Akado. The others cleared out to the upper level.

“This is just great.” Toph moaned. “I can't see a thing if I'm not on the same level. I guess I'll just take a nap.” After he won the battle, Sasuke was rushed off by Kakashi. Sokka noticed that during his fight, strange markings seemed to glow all over his body for an instant. Maybe it was a ninja thing. They all looked up expectantly at the panel to see who was going next. Zaku, of the hidden sound was to fight Taro. Who was that? Zaku made his way down to the battle level. He didn't look like much of a match as both his arms were in slings.

“How did he get in that condition?” Sokka wondered.

Sakura shuddered at the memory. “It was Sasuke. He broke that boy's arms.”

Sokka was taken aback. “That's harsh!” Thinking, he added spitefully, “Is he the guy who separated us from you? Or was that just part of your plan?”

“What are you talking about?” Sakura asked. “What plan?”

Sokka rolled his eyes. “You know, the plan to ditch us in the woods in enemy hands?”

Sakura's jaw dropped. “How dare you.” She blurted out. “You have no idea!” Her eyes began to fill with tears as the memories of their fight with Orochimaru flashed in her mind. “Did it ever occur to you that we might have been in danger? Did you even try to look for us? You selfish jerk!” Tears of anger were pouring down her face. Sokka noticed for the first time that her usually long pink hair had been roughly chopped off at the neck. There were bags under her eyes, she was covered in dirt and there were some nasty gashes on her arms and legs. It also looked like she was recovering from a black eye. She was a mess. Sokka felt guilty for what he had said. He reached out a hand to her but she swiped it away and ran to the other end of the balcony where she stood next to Naruto.

Zaku waited expectantly. “Well?” He asked, “Are you coming Taro, or are you too scared?” Aang felt an elbow in his ribs.

“Hey twinkle toes,” Toph whispered, “that's you. Your fake identity is Taro remember?”

“Oh, right.” Aang jumped off the balcony and floated down to Zaku. With that, the battle between the avatar and the sound ninja finally began.