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- "Stop getting in my way!"
- "Screw you! You're the reason we keep failing sensei's teamwork exercises!"
- "There's no point in a team that has a weak link like you! If we fail the chunin exams, it'll be your fault!"
- "No way I'm failing the chunin exams, I'm going to be Hokage!"
- "How can you be Hokage when you suck so much? Do you even know who the Hokage's is?"
- "Yeah, he's the greatest shinobi that everyone in the village respects!"
- "You idiot, it's the shinobi that everyone respects who becomes Hokage!"
- "That's what I just said!"
- "It's the complete opposite of what you just said!"
- Oh, look. Sasuke and Naruto were arguing. Again.
- Hinata's forehead throbbed. No, wait, that was her veins bulging out because she activated her byakugan. She loved her team, but the initial excitement of being assigned to Naruto's team had cooled down and the reality of having to work with people who didn't always - or often, or occasionally, or ever - get along had sunk in.
- It had been fine at first when they were just doing D-rank missions to get used to their new duties, and Naruto and Sasuke did manage to work together during life and death situations, but now, they were standing on a blurry line. The team was back in the village, perfectly safe, but the chunin exams were coming up, and Hinata knew they were no simple matter.
- "Naruto, Sasuke." Hinata spoke sweetly and turned to stare at the two boys. "Do either of you really think you're in a position to give anyone a lesson on the meaning skill, power or respect?"
- Naruto and Sasuke both stared at her, completely dumbfounded.
- "In that case, please allow me to rectify your mistake."
- Hinata charged forward, cutting through the air like a fine blade. Her palm struck out just between the two boys, who both jumped away. Hinata shifted her body, using her weight and the momentum of her charge to spin her body and launch a kick that caught the back of Sasuke's legs. The Uchiha tripped in mid-air, but he managed to twist his body to land on his hands and backflip away.
- Behind Hinata, Naruto threw a wild punch. She easily caught his wrist and hurled her teammate into the fireball Sasuke had just launched. The clone popped when the flames swallowed it up.
- A kunai flew out of the fire and the real Naruto jumped out of a bush. Both were well within the range of Hinata's byakugan, and both hit a wooden log.
- Hinata appeared behind Sasuke. To his credit, he reacted immediately and slapped away a two-fingered strike to the shoulder that would have done much more than poke him. Hinata pressed her attack without giving him time to counter, using the force of her missed strikes to move with the least amount of effort necessary. Sasuke was only just barely able to keep up with her.
- Naruto laughed.
- "You talk big, but you can't even fight Hinata one on one!"
- "Shut up and help me!"
- "You really should help him, Naruto," Hinata said, stabbing her fingers towards Sasuke's throat. "Unless you think you can take me one on one once I'm done with Sasuke?"
- Naruto's face paled.
- "Fine, I'll bail your ass out!"
- Naruto jumped into the fray.
- Hinata effortlessly flowed around both boys, striking at their weak points, redirecting their attacks and staying on the move so that her opponents wouldn't be able to take advantage of the byakugan's blind spot by accident.
- Half the time, it wasn't even Hinata's fault when the boys hit each other. They just weren't paying attention to what they were doing. However, they improved a little with every punch. They got more and more tired, but their attacks became cleaner, more precise. They were paying more attention to their surroundings, and they weren't getting in each other's way anymore.
- Unfortunately for them, Hinata knew everything about her surroundings, and she was still better than they were. The spar ended with Hinata standing over two exhausted, bruised, barely conscious and defeated boys.
- "That was nice," Hinata said lightly. "I think I'm going to relax in the hot springs now. Naruto, Sasuke, remember to take your training seriously. If you're unable to seriously confront your weaknesses, you'll never get stronger."
- Hinata had learned that lesson a while ago. In the past, she had been too meek, too timid, too gentle. She didn't consider her kindness to be a weakness, far from it, but she also understood that her friends and family all wanted to get stronger so they could protect the people they cared about. Hiding and avoiding conflict wasn't an option, so Hinata had confronted her old docile self and surpassed her weaknesses to become stronger.
- Sasuke and Naruto managed some sort of gurgling noise in response.
- Hidden in the trees above, Kakashi and Rin watched Hinata walk away.
- "My, my." Kakashi sighed. "Hinata used to be such a nice, quiet girl. How did she turn out like this? Maybe Eiji was a bad influence on her…"
- "Nothing can wear down a girl's patience like a boy acting out, and Hinata has to deal with two of them," Rin said, no doubt speaking from experience.
- "You never beat Obito and me when we fought over stupid things."
- "Back then, I wasn't strong enough. As Hinata's teacher, you should be proud that your students are stronger than we were."
- "I guess that's true, but what am I going to with Naruto and Sasuke now? I don't feel like carrying them back to their homes."
- "The chunin exams usually include a survival exercise," Rin said.
- "Okay, let's go with a camping trip. Call it teamwork training. They started working together well during their spar with Hinata, so let's see how long they can keep it up."
- Sasuke and Naruto ended up spending the night in the training grounds. They managed not to threaten to kill each other.
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