Team 4 were casually walking through the streets, intent on going to Ichiraku's Ramen stand as Mito had requested, when a pair of far too familiar voices called out in a rather rude manner to them. All three genin were already on high alert and were seconds away from taking out their weapons and possibly skewering anyone who dares try and approach them. Especially the owners of those voices.
"Stop there, you bastard, and face us like a man!" Kinkaku and Ginkaku of Kumogakure, the two brothers that had shown a deep and unsettling obsession with Tobirama and Mito, snarled as they pointed their big, meaty pointer fingers rudely at Madara.
What unsettled all three of them were the three whisker marks on each cheek, almost identical to Menma's, that the brothers were now sporting. Menma's came from being exposed to the Kyuubi's chakra while in Kushina's womb and had practically made him a pseudo Jinchuriki for it. Madara didn't want to contemplate how these two got identical markings.
"I see Kumogakure figured out how to collect and seal away all of the residual energy from when you summoned Kurama-san to the fight," Mito observed in a cold voice, hand hovering over her kunai pouch. Tobirama was ready to unsheathe his katana while Madara had a finger over the seal Mito had tattooed into his skin to contain his gunbai.
Madara grit his teeth. He could just guess how the ancient fox will take that. "Didn't you two idiots get enough the last time? Or should we introduce you to the business end of another of Tobirama's inventions?"
"You guys don't look like much," another new voice, this one unrecognizable to the Konoha genin, commented and they saw an older teen with some strange little mustache over his lips and a funny haircut gazing down at them with lazy curiosity from where he was sitting on the roof of the nearby clothing stall. His eyes lingered on Tobirama, which made sense. Hozuki were rather proud of their 'ultimate' control over water and Tobirama sort of outshone any Kiri born ninja in that regard. "So you're the little Senju that made such a fuss in our village? I thought you'd be ... more." Tobirama only arched an eyebrow him, completely and utterly unimpressed. The other hummed, gaze flicking over to the long haired boy. "And you must be Uchiha Madara. I heard quite a bit about you. The name's Gengetsu. I look forward to testing the skill of one lauded to have such control over fire as you. My village's ninja still spread rumors about the ashes Konoha sent back."
Not Madara's fault that his Majestic Destroyer Flame left little behind in terms of bodies. Or bones.
"You can get in line, Hozuki," casually informed yet another new voice and Team 4 fell into formation when they realized they had potential enemies all around them. The newcomer was a weird person, covered from head to toe in bandages but he felt powerful and very peculiar to their senses. "Iwa has a bone to pick with them."
-Mu of Iwa.- Madara sent in flares of his chakra to his teammates, recognizing him on sight after having set out to remember the Black Book after they themselves made an appearance in it. -Jinton.-
"Iwa can also wait," another recognizable voice said and Chiyo came into view with a couple of fellow Suna shinobi. "They flooded Suna. We get first dibs. The Chuunin Exams will be the perfect opportunity to get them taken care of."
Mito blinked at them, face unflinching and pretty much deadpan. "We're not participating in the Exams."
"What!?" Came the predictable cries, though from even more voices than the people around them, but at least the other voices were familiar and welcome. Mostly. None of them wanted to deal with Dai at the moment.
"Anija, how can you not be participating in the Chuunin Exams?" Izuna, pushing past the much bigger twins with a burst of chakra, easily got to his brother and demanded, looking upset and indignant on Madara's behalf. "It's the Chuunin Exams! You guys are unstoppable!"
Madara shrugged. "We're not allowed to."
"But surely you can convince Minato-sensei to change his mind, right?" Hashirama asked as he looked between his brother, his best friend and his crush, obviously distressed. He'd been hoping that they could compete against each other and maybe even help each other through the Exams. "I'm sure you guys are more than ready to take the tests. If he's worried, you can just prove him wrong with-"
"No, we're literally not allowed to participate, Anija," Tobirama cut in, sounding exasperated. "If we had singed up, it's quite possible that the other villages would have withdrawn their own genin. Tsunade-sama got missives from all of the major villages that they refuse to send their genin if we are a part of the Exams, so we're stuck with patrol duty until this is all over."
"But isn't that ... rather dramatic?" Touka, who had been hanging out with the two boys, asked, ignoring Maito Dai's crying at cruel fate not allowing him to prove himself as a better man for Mito-hime than her other suitor and her insufferable brutish unyouthful love interest.
Madara spared a moment to stare at him judgmentally before shrugging. "As far as I'm concerned, this is better. I get to do missions and not worry about political repercussions for every broken bone."
"As for it being dramatic," Mito cut in with a very scary grin as she oh so casually adjusted her hitai-ate enough for their friends to see the hidden rhombus seal inked into her forehead and they were reminded that all three of Team 4 had the same seal. It made the two Senju and one Uchiha shudder. They'd seen these three when they went all on each other during training. Rare few would survive standing up against that. "We did cause a lot of trouble as of late. It's not all that dramatic at all. Not if people fear us for a good reason."
"You guys are rather scary," the elder Senju brother agreed, probably thinking of all the reasons they were scary to him, like how Madara threatened to not be best friends anymore if Hashirama didn't stop ambushing him with hugs every five minutes or how Tobirama gave him the cold shoulder whenever he embarrassed him in public - or, worse yet, in front of Madara - or even how much of his allowance he spends on one date with Mito as opposed to the three of them being literal menaces for enemies and allies alike, depending on the way their mood strikes. Hashirama pouted when he realized something very important. "I was hoping to fight you so we can show off and become chuunin together."
Madara reluctantly smiled at his silly best friend. "Sorry, but it's out of my hands. Though we can still train together. It will do you some good to keep your skills sharp before the final exam. You know how easily distracted you get, even during a fight."
"Really?!" Completely ignoring the critique to his attention span - which was overall dangerously short for someone hoping to become an elite ninja - Hashirama beamed at the Uchiha heir and snatched him up into one of his bone-crushing hugs. "Thank you, Madara! You truly are kind! Oh, we're going to have so much fun! You guys will come watch, right?"
"We'll be there for every match," Mito promised with a smile and the brunet looked close to tears. Madara rolled his eyes and pushed the dork away.
"If you will be sparring, then I demand a rematch for your unyouthful behavior from our last one! I will not let you hide behind innocent youths like a coward this time and I will prove my worthiness as Mito-hime's ideal partner!" Dai's yell startled them all and Madara turned to scowl at the annoyance, only to stare with wide, fascinated Sharingan eyes when chakra chains, glowing faintly and rattling with every move, appeared seemingly out of nowhere to snatch the green menace up and shake him for good measure before bringing the older boy to their redheaded wielder's eye level.
"Stop harassing my friend and stop claiming me as yours. I'm not an object. If I hear you talking like that ever again, either about me or Uchiha Madara, I will seal your mouth shut with an unbreakable fuinjutsu."
"Well, at least she's not as violent or as descriptive as Tsunade-sama and Kushina-sama," Tobirama remarked as he, too, looked on in admiration and pride for their friend and teammate. "I still pity Anija."
"Why? He's obviously a masochist." Uchiha Izuna, who has grown up around Uzumaki Mito without the rose-tinted glasses his older brother wore for his two sensor friends, knew just how much of a masochist Hashirama had to be in order to have such a serious crush on Mito. He had his own father as a prime example, after all. Tajima obviously had a few screws loose when he decided to propose a blood-soaked Uchiha Ryukyu in the middle of a blood bath of a battlefield during the Third Shinobi War. Mito had been thoroughly adopted into their household as if she were their blood sister and not one of Madara's closest friends.
Then again, maybe he had inherited that trait from his father, too. He had a crush on Touka, after all.
And then there was the Senju brand of masochism. Izuna would have to be blind not to see that his own Academy rival had the hoots for his older brother and Madara took after Ryukyu in all things. Then again, so did Tobirama after the ever scary Kira-sama. And the two scary women were best friends.
It sounded like a match made in heaven from one of Hashirama's disgusting love novels that he always left lying all around Madara's room if he came to sleep over.
It was disturbing.
"Mito, let him go. Weren't we going out for ramen for lunch?" Madara, taking pity on Dai - it wasn't his fault he'd obviously been dropped on the head as a baby - called out to the kunoichi, and in predictable Uzumaki manner, she forgot all about Dai and turned around to lead the way to Ichiraku's Ramen stand. The Uchiha just shook his head and followed after with Tobirama falling in step with him. Izuna and Hashirama paused for a moment before shrugging and inviting themselves to lunch. It's not like the three were hurting for money with the missions they got sent to.
The street cleared up pretty fast, leaving a bunch of confused and enraged shinobi in Team Disaster's wake.
"Did they just forget about us!?"