Suzume's POV

   All of the Genin that survived the Forest were all gathered in a group in some large arena, in the battle area. Temari, Gaara, Kankuro, and I all were standing towards the front, waiting for the Third Hokage to give us a speech. Ibiki, Anko, the new proctor, along with all of the sensei were standing on the sides. I went to brush my bangs out of my face, only to wince in pain. My right arm.

   I looked down at it, I saw the stitches on either side of my arm, where the massive needle penetrated the skin. I felt Gaara looking there too, his hands in tight fists, his body shuddering, enraged. At first I never knew why he acted like this when I get hurt, but I recently realized why.

   Gaara has never felt physical pain. He has never seen his own blood, only the blood of those he killed. So he doesn't understand what pain feels like, and is very protective of me when I get injured. I actually kind of like having my brother protect me, but sometimes he goes too far without realizing it. I want to fight my own battles. 

   The Hokage began to speak.

   "This is a custom 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," He said before pausing.

   "Any test is fine. Just tell me what the details of the exam are already! I can handle anything you throw at me," Gaara muttered under his breath.

   Somehow the Hokage could hear what he said. "Alright ten. Now listen very closely. I will tell you exactly what you will be doing in the third exam."

   He was interrupted by some guy, a jonin, I think.

Gaara's POV

   The Third Hokage was interrupted by some jonin who was hacking his brains out.

   "Lord Hokage, before you do, please allow me to speak first," he said, bowing down.

   "So be it," he replied.

   The sick guy continued on. "There is something I would like all of you..." He stopped again to cough-  "... to do before the third exam." He stopped for a second. "Uh... we have to hold a preliminary round before the actual exam."

   I couldn't care less. But other people didn't share my opinion. A couple people started to protest. Don't they realize that won't work?

   Apperantly there are too many people remaining so they're holding the preliminaries to thin us out. Fine.

   "If there is anyone who isn't in top physical condition, now's your chance to-"

  *hack hack* geez, is he trying to get everyone sick?

   "Sorry. Now's your chance to bow out."

   Only one guy raised his hand. A leaf ninja who had silver hair and glasses. Kabuto was his name.

   I could probably kill him in a matter of a few minutes.


* * *

Suzume's POV

   I heard faint voices coming from another squad. It was Sakura. He was begging Sakura and Hikari to drop out. Sasuke told Sakura to shut up, and the rest was too faint to hear.

   The first fight was Sasuke vs. some sound guy. I've never seen Sasuke fight, so this should be interesting.

Gaara's POV

   "Let the first preliminary fight begin!" The proctor said in a sickly voice.  

   The Uchiha was immediately struck by pain, grasping his shoulder. Coward. He can't even get up to fight.

   The enemy ran up to the Uchiha. He had some blue chakra enveloping his hand. He grasped the Uchiha's forehead, and started to drain his chakra.

   So that's one of the great Uchiha. He's a disgrace to his clan.

It took him until he was almost completely out of chakra to realize what was going on. He cried out with frustration, and finally got his act together.

    It's about time.

   With one kick, Sasuke Uchiha sent the opponent flying across the stadium. The guy quickly got up and lunged again with his hand. Sasuke kept dodging every single attack, concentrating. With an uppercut with his leg, the opponent was sent straight up into the air, floating slowly.

   The Uchiha quickly jumped up close to the opponent floating in midair with him.

   "Lion's barrage!" Sasuke Uchiha shouted. He swung his leg around, sending the other person into the ground. The Uchiha collapsed to the ground along with him, shaking with pain. The battle wasn't very interesting, but everyone was staring at the battle scene with strange intent.

   The proctor slowly walked up and looked down. "It looks like this match is over," he said. Some people gasped, as a shaky Sasuke Uchiha slowly stood up, breathing quite heavily.

   Something stirred within me. I need to prove my existence. It's happening again. I started to shake, and stared down at the ground. Shukaku...

   A low quiet growl resounded through my head. Soon.

   I let out a tiny smirk. I felt Sensei's, Kankuro's, Temari's, and Suzume's gazes burning into me. I looked at Suzume. She looked worried, a slight expression of horror on their face. She must know. I tried to make my face expressionless again, but it's difficult when I have this feeling again.

   We watched again, as the two names appeared on the screen once more.

* * *

   Hi! I hoped you like it! :)

~the doodle addict~

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