Given Shikako has literally received a promotion due to her sensing ability, and seeing as how Shikamaru, Naruto, and Sasuke have the three chakra signatures most familiar to her, it would be ridiculously stupid for them to try to use stealth and follow her. Which is why they outsource it.
Or… try to. Team Ebisu and Team Hana are not making it easy.
“Okay, Boss,” Konohamaru says, entirely cooperative, “but you know we’re not gonna do this for free.”
Naruto looks at him, stunned.
“We’re officially shinobi of Konoha,” Moegi explains, only a little smugly, “And what you’re describing sounds an awful lot like a mission.”
“What?” Naruto bursts out, “You cheapskates!”
“It’s probably a D-rank, maybe a C-rank at most,” Hanabi says with a pointed glance at Sasuke, “It’s not like you can’t afford it.”
Admittedly, Sasuke is disgustingly rich even without all of the pay he’s received from near constant patrols interspersed with A-ranks and S-ranks. So it’s true that alone he could pay for two C-ranks easily.
Doesn’t mean he wants to give them the satisfaction.
“Extortionists. You’re already going to train with her today,” Sasuke grumbles.
“We just know what we’re worth,” Ranmaru says, pleased.
“Just pay them,” Shikamaru mutters, jabbing his elbow into Sasuke’s ribs, “Unless you don’t want to know you Shikako’s dating.” As if Shikamaru himself weren’t the most invested in finding out who his sister is involved with.
“Fine, but Naruto’s paying the other team,” because there are only two teenagers with more A-ranks and S-ranks than Sasuke, and both of them are his teammates.
“That’s okay,” Naruto agrees affably, “I had some down time during a mission in Tanzaku Gai two weeks ago.”
Unfortunately, Naruto’s good luck does not extend to the two genin teams. Or maybe it does, because their self-styled mission–and their pay–extends beyond one day.
It takes a month.
And mostly? They figure it out via a giant process of elimination.
A/N: So… I really did want to keep going but then I realized… I had no idea how yet? And I didn’t want this to just languish on my laptop for however long it took so… here’s this tiny installment. Hope ya’ll enjoy–especially you, @openace who reminded me about this particular DoS remix series.
Anyway, given how Konoha is super fond of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” when it comes to team configurations and the whole “Shikako’s stray thoughts are actually hella important foreshadowing” I figured that while the Konohamaru corps became Team Ebisu as in canon, the other kids would be the Team Eight remake–that is, this time it’s Aburame-Hyuuga-genjutsu specialist genin with an Inuzuka sensei. And I like to think that Hana gets promoted during the time skip and, in the same way Kurenai became a sensei, she does too. Also, I just really like the idea of each of the Haimaru brothers having a specific genin they watch over.
I suppose where it’s implied that Kurenai’s Team Eight is a tracking team eventually specializing in hunting down missing nin/enemies, Team Hana would be more a tracking team eventually specializing in search and rescue kind missions.
edit: added to Dreaming One Shots along with part 1