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ANBU Legacy Has a New Home [Jun. 10th, 2018|08:15 pm]

It's been a great few years on Insanejournal, but ANBU Legacy is now moving on to its own dedicated home at

ANBU Legacy homepage

Enjoy a site fully optimized for desktop and mobile viewing; a clear and readable layout; moderated comments on each chapter; and dedicated pages for extra-canon fic and fanwork. We're delighted with the move and we hope you will be, too!

All chapters previously posted here on the IJ site are now mirrored to the new ANBU Legacy site. The rest of the Tanuki mission, and all chapters going forward, will be posted exclusively to the new site. Come join us there!

ANBU Legacy

- Ki, Nezu, DK, & Aubrey
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Lay Your Body Down [Apr. 22nd, 2018|01:40 pm]

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[Begins the evening of July 6, Yondaime Year 5, immediately after the end of The Last of the Wine, contemporaneous with Fluid Boundaries]

They took their armor off first, and left it by the bonfire with their boots, watched over by Saishou and Yori. Kakashi collected one of the flickering paper lanterns, carrying it by its slim wire handle. The tanuki still had most of their weapons, but a blade or six lurked comfortingly next to Kakashi’s skin.

They took an easy, ambling pace to the pond. The grass was lush and cool underfoot, and the air was alive with scent. Warm wind stroked over Kakashi’s bare arms, making him shiver pleasantly. Ryouma tipped his head back and inhaled.

“Is this what the world smells like to you?” he asked.

Kakashi breathed in. )
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Fluid Boundaries [Mar. 4th, 2018|07:52 pm]

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[Begins the evening of July 6, Yondaime Year 5, immediately after the end of The Last of the Wine]

The magical tanuki sake they’d shared with Himself was intoxicating, but not in the ordinary sense: Genma was comfortable, effervescently happy, and profoundly relaxed, but sharp and alert, and fully in control. He lifted a squirming tanuki kit off his chest and laughed up at the brush-whiskered face. Almost instantly, three more of the little tanuki replaced her, flopping delightedly down on Genma’s feast-full belly. His neck and bruised ribs didn’t twinge, even when a pair of determined youngsters barrelled into his side; it was as if he’d never had the spar with Raidou that set off this whole interdimensional incident. He rolled onto his side, spilling giggling kits, and looked for his teammates.

“You could help,” he suggested to Raidou and Kurenai )
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ANBU Legacy Ebooks [Feb. 25th, 2018|02:52 pm]

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ANBU Legacy vol. 1 ANBU Legacy vol. 2 ANBU Legacy vol. 1

The first three volumes of ANBU Legacy are now available in ebook form!

Volume 1 contains the chapters from Mama Come Home to The Way Home (from the prologue through the Demon Mission arc) and is 196k words long.

Volume 2 contains chapters from Short Straw to One of Those Lives (Get Used to It), from the Hikouto Coup arc through the Traitor Mission arc. It is 210k words long.

Volume 3 collects the chapters from Sound the Bells to Laws of Gravity, from the Intel Review arc through the end of the Team Reorganization arc. It is 217k words long.

Volume 1: epub | mobi | PDF
Volume 2: epub | mobi | PDF
Volume 3: epub | mobi | PDF

As always, these compiled versions of ANBU Legacy are available to you free of charge. However, if you’ve ever wanted to buy us a coffee or other hot beverage of choice, we are now on Ko-Fi and welcome donations toward the next Legacy Writers’ Retreat. :D

For more news, updates, and interaction, check out our Tumblr!

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The Last of the Wine [Dec. 16th, 2017|07:50 pm]

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[Begins the evening of July 6, Yondaime Year 5, immediately after the end of Lost in the Dark and Trapped in Wonderland]

The tanuki refused to let Ryouma up. They crouched on his shoulders and weighed down his thighs, claws biting into his arms, tangling in his hair. He couldn't see; he could barely breathe. The wild, foxy musk of tanuki burned in his sinuses.

They were going through the packs.

One of them had opened Kakashi's trap-keyed scrolls with no more reaction than a cough at the released smoke. They bickered in low voices over the contents, shaking out pouches of shuriken, sniffing suspiciously at rat bars. "Poison," one decided. "Here, Daichi, you try—"

Daichi snapped. The first tanuki squealed. "Settle down," the biggest tanuki rumbled. "What have you found?"

The furry tide shifted. )
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Trapped in Wonderland [Nov. 11th, 2017|05:23 pm]

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[Begins July 6, Yondaime Year 5, immediately after the end of Blood in the Shadows, in parallel with Lost in the Dark]

There was a split second, right before Raidou’s blow connected, in which Genma got a solid picture of everything he’d just done wrong. His shoulder was a centimeter too low, his chin angled infinitesimally too high, his pivot milliseconds too late…

And then there was the fact that he’d predicted Raidou would lunge right rather than left. That was the big mistake. The one that bashed his mask from his face, ground his molars against each other with a crack, made him see stars, and sent him flying.

He didn’t feel himself hit the ground )
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Lost in the Dark [Oct. 22nd, 2017|02:19 pm]

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[Begins July 6, Yondaime Year 5, immediately after the end of Blood in the Shadows]

Ryouma had nightmares.

Kakashi slept lightly, as he always did on missions. He woke every time Ryouma twitched, shivered, or once, memorably, elbowed Kakashi in the side of the head. By the time Genma slapped the outside of their tent to signal the watch handover, Kakashi's tenuous sympathy had melted into a rising desire to punt Ryouma into the river.

He got up and sat in a tree for three hours, holding the mug of tea Genma had left for him. Cicadas sang. The forest failed to produce anything worth stabbing.

Raidou took over the next watch. Kakashi went back to bed. Ryouma was still having bad dreams — but quietly, like a good ninja. He’d half-strangled himself in his blankets. His black hair was spiked with sweat.

Kakashi sighed and poked Ryouma in the ribs. With a bitten-off gasp, Ryouma jolted awake.

“Do you want me to genjutsu you?” Kakashi asked.

Ryouma blinked at him, dazed. )
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Blood in the Shadows [Sep. 4th, 2017|04:07 pm]

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[Begins July 4, Yondaime Year 5, immediately after the end of Fire in the Mountains]

They left Hiraizumi before the festival ended. Kurenai spun a little bit of her magic with the innkeeper, allying any suspicion. (“We’ll be gone before dawn, to make good time on the road. Don’t trouble yourself with breakfast on our account.”) The kindly innkeeper had filled her hands with wrapped onigiri for the journey.

Ka-chan led them to the cut-short trail, but it was Kakashi, pinch-eyed and frustrated in the moonlight, who showed them the lack of footprints, or disturbed foliage, or any other trail sign.

Except for the scent Raidou couldn’t detect, and the collective cold prickle on their skin, there was nothing to say anything had been here. The forest was alive with night-song: the chirping insects and whooping snow-monkeys were downright raucous. Hayama, infested with scorpion-dog demons, had been deadly silent.

Genma crouched and swept his chakra out like a scythe. Kurenai, more delicately, did the same. Ryouma bent his dark head over the exact point the scent-trail ended, having Kakashi repeat a blow-by-blow account of what he’d sensed and when he’d sensed it.

Emphatically not a chakra-sensor, Raidou hung back and kept an eye on the surroundings, guarding his people while they sank through the world’s skin.

No one turned up anything new.

The next step was to run an organized grid-search around the village. Twice, Genma, Kurenai, and Kakashi swore they felt something, and Ryouma rousted what turned out to be a very surprised — and very annoyed — badger, but there were no more scent-trails.

More disturbingly, when they returned to the original spot, Kakashi reported the scent was gone. )
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Fire in the Mountains [Aug. 28th, 2017|09:57 pm]

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[Begins June 28, Yondaime year 5, three days after Hard Came the Rain]

Kurenai found Yamashiro Aoba in the Fire Country division office breakroom, stirring the third sugar packet into his paper cup of coffee and looking like microwaved death. She cleared her throat. "Have you been home in the last forty-eight hours?"

He startled, saw her, and slumped against cabinets. "Don't tell me you're here with a mission."

"Not for you." She tapped the heavy file folder tucked in her arm. "We've got a briefing scheduled for an ANBU team, but no one's seen them at HQ or the barracks. Shiranui's file says he lives with you."

A little light crept back into Aoba's eyes. "As long as I'm not going with them." He discarded the stir stick and took a long swig of coffee. "Genma finally found a new place. He's probably there working on his plumbing."

"That may be the first time you've used that word without intending a euphemism," Kurenai observed. "Do you know where the new place is?"

Aoba's eyes narrowed. "Are you doing the briefing?"

"Since Riei's busy." Shirotani seemed to have fixed on Kurenai as the ANBU Team Six expert, and Tomo and Hide were glad to dodge the duty again. Kurenai hadn't protested. She didn't exactly mind being the ANBU Team Six expert, especially if it got her out of the office early on a glorious summer evening. )
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Hard Came the Rain [Jul. 9th, 2017|02:13 pm]

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[Takes place June 25, Yondaime Year 5, immediately after After the Rhythm and Booze.]

Sagara Okiku, ANBU’s fourth commander, was having a good morning.

The twins had slept through the night. Mariko had scampered off to the academy on time, with a completed report on Tetsu no Kuni’s military samurai tucked under one arm. And Ikorou, kind husband that he was, had packed Sagara a bento. It was currently sitting in her desk drawer, a pleasant temptation.

She had even, through some miracle she didn’t plan to examine closely, managed to catch up on her paperwork.

In this frame of mind, she was almost forgiving when the entirety of Team Six — and two dogs — invaded her office, instead of the one lieutenant she’d actually summoned.

“Shiranui,” she said. “You have an entourage.”

Who appeared to have come straight from the training field, judging by the motley collection of filthy, blood-stained clothing. None of them were in uniform. Shiranui seemed to have been punched in the face. Namiashi’s cheek was gashed. Hatake looked like he’d been dragged through barbed wire. Only Tousaki was visibly uninjured, which probably meant he was concealing something internal.

Shiranui bit his split lip. “We were just finishing a post-training lunch. They insisted on accompanying me.” He gave his team a narrow look. “I’m sure this won’t take long, if you want to wait in our office.”

“We’re here to report, too,” Tousaki said, nervously stubborn. His defiant gaze made it as high as Sagara’s tea mug.

The tall yellow shepherd sat down in front of Shiranui, feathered tail coiled neatly around her feet. Her head reached his ribcage. The pug draped over Shiranui’s left shoulder sat upright and scratched one ear. Hatake, less demonstratively, slouched behind Genma and maintained the relatively successful pretense that his summons' actions had nothing to do with him.

Namiashi tucked his arms behind his back, spine held ramrod straight, and didn’t move an inch. )
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After the Rhythm and Booze [May. 21st, 2017|05:20 pm]

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[Takes place June 25, Yondaime Year 5, the morning after Light Me Up]

Genma woke naked in Aoba’s empty bed when his alarm chimed at 0630. Untangling his bare legs from the bedsheets and staggering to the bathroom took a few hazy moments. He squinted at his reflection in the mirror over the sink: tangled hair, red-rimmed, heavy-lidded eyes, a dusty smattering of beard stubble, and a vaguely amused expression greeted him. “You’re still a little drunk,” he told Genma-in-the-mirror. “Better do something about that.”

A fiercely hot shower was the first order of business. Strong coffee, and a little bit of chakra to goose his liver into metabolizing the lingering alcohol faster, came next. Then an egg over hot rice. Aoba, bless him a thousand times, had made rice and left it hot in the cooker before he’d headed off for his mission the night before. He’d left a note for Genma, too.

Hope the orgy night out with your team was fun. You have three days to clean up the evidence before I get home. It was signed with a self-portrait doodle of Aoba blowing a kiss.

It was going to be nice to have his own place again, but he was going to miss living with Aoba.  )
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Light Me Up [Apr. 8th, 2017|07:02 pm]

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[Takes place June 24, Yondaime Year 5, seven days after The Sharpest Lives]

On Ryouma's third day back in Konoha, the Water Country Intel division finally let him go.

They'd released him at intervals before, to shower and sleep, or to cram down a hasty meal in Intel HQ's cafeteria, which had better food but much more dour company than ANBU's. Everyone seemed short on sleep and on temper, and as soon as he finished a six-hour stint answering one analyst's questions, another with a grey uniform and a clipboard took her place.

He saw Kurenai a few times, across the cafeteria. Satomi slipped into his cramped little briefing room once to hand the debriefing officer a stack of folders three inches tall. The rest of Teams Six and Thirteen were conducting their own debriefings somewhere, or more likely ensconced in their offices or hospital rooms creating those mountains of paperwork, but he never saw them.

There were disadvantages after all, he decided, to only being able to give his mission reports by dictation.

Eventually, though, someone decided that his seventh account of the Water Country landscape and the Kirigakure sewer system filled the holes in the first six. They released him into a clear summer evening, the sun sinking towards the Monument, the dusty streets golden in its light.

He stood outside the doorway, watching people hurrying home: a trio of genin fresh off their first mission-debriefing, with their sensei lounging behind; a pair of tired analysts, deciding on a restaurant; a tall young man in T&I's long black coat. No one he recognized.

The inside of his skin itched. )
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ANBU Legacy eBooks: vols. 1 and 2 [Apr. 2nd, 2017|10:28 am]

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ANBU Legacy vol. 1 ANBU Legacy vol. 2

The first two volumes of ANBU Legacy are now available in ebook form. Volume 1 contains (almost) all the threads and oneshots from Mama Come Home to The Way Home and is 196k words long. Volume 2 contains threads and oneshots from Short Straw to One of Those Lives (Get Used to It) and is 210k words long. Both can be yours for the low, low price of telling us how much you liked 'em. :)

Volume 1: epub | mobi
Volume 2: epub | mobi

For more news, updates, and interaction, check out our Tumblr!
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The Sharpest Lives [Mar. 11th, 2017|07:05 pm]

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[June 17, Yondaime Year 5, following Soldiers Don’t Mourn]

Kakashi didn’t sleep.

He lay in the creaking dark, one hand loosely curled over Ryouma's ankle, and thought of murder. The lantern burned low. The tiny compartment smelled like salted fish and burned-out stress. Exhaustion scratched at him, hot behind his eyes. He couldn't relax enough to let it take him.

The storm had passed, taking its lightning with it, but his skin still itched.

Genma and Raidou had rolled apart in the night. They lay back-to-back now, Raidou stretched out in a long sprawl, Genma curled in on himself. Tear tracks cut through the grime on Genma’s face; black bruises circled Raidou’s throat. They both looked like they needed a week of sleep.

Ryouma had pulled away, too. About an hour into sleep, he’d shifted onto his stomach, yanked the blankets over his head, and buried his face in his arms. He’d done that on previous missions, too — hidden.

The three of them didn’t look comfortable, but they fit around each other. Captain, lieutenant, protege. Soldiers bunkered down. Watching them, a sharp, dark ache spilled through Kakashi’s chest, rising up like an urge to bite. They were his team. He barely fit on their outskirts, but they were his. And they hurt.

Dawn glimmered on the horizon, and Kakashi couldn’t stand it anymore. He got up and slipped out.

The deck was populated by a skeleton crew. A woman at the helm. A man perched in the rigging. A few others scattered around, engaged in morning tasks. The youngest crewmember, a gangly, freckled girl, was sweeping the scarred deck-boards. Someone else had begun cooking; the air smelled like burned coffee and fried meat. Kakashi skirted them all and went to the guest cabins. Kimiko’s door was closed, but more than one chakra-signature glowed gently with sleep inside. Satomi’s scent lingered on the doorframe; fulfilling her promise to be there when Kimiko woke. Kakashi gave them a wide berth.

Kuroda’s door was also closed. )
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Soldiers Don't Mourn [Feb. 26th, 2017|12:09 pm]

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[June 16, Yondaime Year 5, following Red Seas at Dawn]

Team Six picked their way down the densely vegetated slope, halting at the treeline on Raidou’s signal. At the surf’s edge, a knot of figures clustered around the husk-like bowls of a pair of ship’s boats. One or two cigarette tips flared in the darkness. Genma threaded a slip of chakra out, then nodded. “They’re civilians. Feels like the same crew who got us out here, but it’s harder to identify individuals with such low chakra reserves.”

Kakashi lifted his head and inhaled audibly. “They smell the same,” he pronounced. “More stressed than last time.”

The tone in Raidou’s voice shaded from skepticism to alarm. “You can smell stress?”

“From here?” demanded Ryouma.

“It’s a very distinctive smell,” Kakashi said with a shrug.

Of course it was. )
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Red Seas at Dawn [Feb. 7th, 2017|09:27 pm]

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[June 15, Yondaime Year 5, following Soldiers Take Flight]

A knife-chill breeze whistled off the sea as Raidou helped Kimiko down from her harness. She stumbled a little in the dry sand, stiff-legged, but veered away from Genma's supportive hand. Genma stood still for a moment, and then dropped it.

Ryouma's help wouldn't be welcome there, either. He followed Genma to the water's edge. "More swimming?"

Genma's gaze sought the distance. "You can't see our landing point because of the fog, but it's about as far as we swam to get on this island." He pointed to a thick bank of golden haze, and yawned.

The contagion spread; Ryouma's own jaw cracked. Soldier-pill energy still hummed in his veins, quickening his heartbeat like the fourth cup of coffee, but it was a poor substitute for sleep. He crouched on his heels to splash his wrists in the uprush of a broken wave. Cold water, gritty with sand, swirled over his skin.

He looked up at Genma. "How're you doing, lieutenant?"

For a moment he wasn't sure Genma would answer. )
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Soldiers Take Flight [Jan. 15th, 2017|03:56 pm]

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[Early morning hours of June 15, Yondaime Year 5, following Red Sky at Night]

Before the sound of the first explosion had died, a second shook the air, raining dust down on them from the tenement’s swaying beams. The baby’s sudden cries were muffled against Kakashi’s chest. Kimiko jerked against the straps of her sling.

“Go!” Raidou hissed.

“With me,” Genma told Fukuda. “Tousaki, you take our six.”

They emerged from the door to the wail of sirens, but a surprisingly empty street. Lights shone behind previously dark windows, but their doors were still firmly shut. A civilian populace in fear for their lives, Genma guessed.

They ran east, sticking to the darkest corners and crevices, emerging into a dank court of even more ramshackle tenements than the one where they’d found Kimiko. Sirens continued to wail, and searchlights flared to life, playing over the faces of the steep ring of mountains surrounding Kirigakure. Clouds of dust and smoke rose where the blasts had shattered whole sections of stone and set trees ablaze.

Genma gestured to the others to stay hidden )
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Dyed in the Wool [Jan. 2nd, 2017|04:30 pm]

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[A small outtake that takes place June 10, between Red Sky at Morning and Soldiers Take Warning. For the anon who wanted to see the hair dyeing scene.]

The bottle said: Excellence Creme: Nourishing Color. The woman on the label had smooth, shining brown hair and a lot of very white teeth. At the bottom, a little banner promised the contents would banish unsightly greys with just one application.

Kakashi squinted at his hair in the mirror. “What’s wrong with grey?”

“It makes you look like an elderly paintbrush,.” Pakkun, always helpful, sat comfortably on Kakashi’s right foot to pass judgement. “A really surprised elderly paintbrush.”

“Okay, but unsightly?” Kakashi rumpled his hair, trying to affect the tousled bedhead look that was somehow more desirable than actual bedhead. It made no perceivable difference, except to add more static lift.

“Take it up with the fashion industry, kid,” Pakkun said. “Except maybe change your shirt first.”

Punting one of your summons into the toilet probably broke several key contract points, but Kakashi was still tempted. He distracted himself by reading the instruction booklet. It came with a tiny brush and plastic gloves, and several warnings about putting vaseline on his forehead to avoid permanent skin staining.

People did this for fun? )
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Red Sky at Night [Dec. 31st, 2016|06:41 pm]

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[Afternoon of June 14, Yondaime Year 5, following Soldiers Take Warning]

The rest of the morning passed uneventfully, except for Kasumi kicking Usagi in her sleep, and Kuroda scaring them all — by looking dead — until Genma pointed out that the Vice-commander was known for sleeping with his eyes open.

As planned, they struck out for the surface just before midday. Raidou kept an eye on Genma, who kept an eye on Kuroda. Sleep had done them both good: there was color in Genma’s face again, and Kuroda moved with reasonable ease despite his sling.

As before, Fukuda took point. This time flanked by Kakashi and Satomi, with Kurenai close behind to buffer the three razor personalities as needed. It didn’t escape Raidou that Team Thirteen’s commanding officers were sticking a lot closer to their rookies. Or that Ryouma was shadowing Genma’s footsteps and carefully giving Kakashi space.

Raidou trusted that time and distraction would settle them all back down.

The first breath of outside air was sticky, humid, and smelled like wet dirt. )
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Soldiers Take Warning [Nov. 29th, 2016|06:05 pm]

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[Takes place June 12–14, Yondaime Year 5, two days following Red Sky at Morning]

The morning—if you could call breaking camp at 0300 morning—had been a hectic rush of getting two ANBU teams, two Intel agents, a one-armed prisoner, and an unsatisfiable and ill-tempered commander moving in time to make port by their departure window. The ship awaiting them had looked like any of a dozen others in the dark: a long, looming hulk riding high in the water, with a pair of masts jutting up into the dark sky like two lightning-struck pines. Viney ropes had draped from mast spars, but the dragon-wing sails had still been furled.

Now, though, the sails were open and straining with the brisk breeze blowing from the west. The water was mercifully calm, an artifact of an unexpectedly late start to the June rains, according to their captain. Despite their speed, the junk cut through the sparkling waves almost without a ripple.

Genma lounged back in a coil of rope near the ship’s prow, shielding his eyes as he squinted up at his counterpart lieutenant from Team Thirteen. Sakamoto Ginta had his knees hooked through the rungs of a rope ladder and was contentedly hanging upside down, with his blond hair, for once, obeying gravity.

“He’s not much for conversation, is he?” Ginta asked, pointing a bare toe at Kakashi, who was perched above them both on the topmost spar on the forward sail.

“He grows on you,” Genma said. )
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