Hi everyone! Here is the new chapter! I think I made you wait less time than for the last one. No? I'm sorry… At least, I hope you will enjoy this chapter! I tried a new POV, tell me what you think!
Gaara held back a tired sigh as he climbed the stairs of the Hokage tower, Baki silently walking behind him, carrying the source of his frustration. He saluted Shizune before she rushed to her sensei's office a terrible look on her face. Seconds later, he heard shouting and things being thrown around before the kunoichi opened the door with a polite smile and indicated the young Kazekage that the sannin was ready to receive him.
"To what do I owe the pleasure?" asked the Hokage as he entered the room.
Gaara frowned at her appearance: she looked like she hadn't slept the night before, more so than usual. Did something happen he didn't know about?
"I have received news from Suna." he replied, signaling Baki to show the scroll.
Tsunade nodded and quickly read the content, her frown deepening as she reached the end of the letter.
"That's a bad timing." she commented. "What do you intend to do?"
"I don't have many options; I need to go. I will talk with Temari and Matsuri about this but in case they decide to come with me…"
"We will provide an escort to and from Suna borders, of course."
The young man held back a relieved sigh and took the scroll back. The two leaders continued their conversation for a moment before Shizune reminded the Hokage she had a meeting. The shinobis took their leave and quickly went back to their apartment where Kankuro was waiting.
"I saw the girls while you were at the tower, told them we needed to talk to them. They said we could come by whenever this morning at the house or at the training area during the afternoon." explained the puppet master.
"Then better head there now and get this over with." decided Gaara.
"I will remain here and start preparing the trip." indicated Baki before leaving the room.
"How do you think they will take it?" asked the older man.
"They should be expecting this. But they might be reluctant to leave the children behind. Or worst, to take them along."
Kankuro nodded and the ninjas made their way to the mansion.
Half an hour later, the two shinobis found themselves sitting quietly on a couch, observing the reaction of the kunoichis. While Temari had managed to remain mostly emotionless – although they could see irritation shine in her eyes – Matsuri had paled significantly to the point Gaara feared she would pass out.
"They want us to come back to Suna." she whispered.
"I have already sent them a letter to explain the situation and the protection details we designed. I also said we would not be able to stay long, a week at most, and that I would not force you to come." explained the young Kazekage, hiding a frown. 'Does going back to the village horrify her that much?'
"They want to meet our children." interrupted Temari.
"Are you surprised? You are Suna's first princess." snickered Kankuro. "That's a big deal."
The blond kunoichi sent him a dark look before turning to her younger brother.
"I understand why they want to meet us and them and I do agree we should go. However, I will not take Daichi along. This journey is dangerous under normal circumstances and I will not take any chances considering the situation."
The young shinobi nodded, having expected this answer, and focused on the other kunoichi. She appeared to be in deep thoughts, alternatively frowning and sighing. After a moment, she let out a small smile.
"I agree with Temari." she said. "While I really wish I could bring Misa with me to show her our village, it is best if she stays here until we take care of those ninjas."
"Then we should inform Lady Tsunade of our decision and organize our journey." decided Gaara, standing up. "We should also inform the others so they can adapt the protection details here."
The Suna ninjas nodded and made their way to the Hokage tower.
Akamaru lazily opened an eye when he heard the sound of small feet running toward him and braced himself for impact. Seconds later, the sweet lily smell of the little Hyuuga filled the air and he soon felt the small girl burying her face in his fur. He raised his head to look at the child, worried something had happened again. His master had been extremely upset the night before and it had taken a lot of persuasion from Shino and Hinata so he wouldn't prank the 'brats' during his school duty the next day. But he quickly relaxed when he heard her laugh happily.
He turned his head when Kiba entered the training area he had been napping in, followed by the rest of the children.
"Oi, Akamaru!" called out the shinobi. "I need to talk with Iruka-sensei real quick; can you keep an eye on them?"
The large dog let out a warning growl.
"I'm not gonna do anything to those pricks, relax."
Satisfied with the answer, he happily barked and watched as his master exited the room before letting his eyes wander on his protégés: Akari and Daichi were reading a book, Shinji was practicing, Keiko had falling asleep against him, Misa was drawing, and Takeshi had opened the window and was looking intensely at a bird in a tree. Moments later, the bird flew from the branch to rest on the little one's arm.
Akamaru let out a deep sight. How could his master and his packmates not realize the obvious? It had hardly taken a sniff for him to understand the truth. He was especially disappointed in the fox. He was very protecting of his mate, so the dog was surprised he still hadn't claimed the little girl as his. Maybe he had become too human as he grew up…
The ninja dog threw a glance at his master's pup. He had considered telling the shinobi about him, but the situation with the female was frustrating. Kiba hadn't told him what happened between them but she had suddenly stopped coming and even now, she was keeping her distance. It greatly hurt his master as he still had feelings for her. At least she was not as reluctant to leave the child with his father as the other kunoichis.
Another point he was not understanding: why would the females hide the pups from their mates? There were enemies to watch out for, so the logical thing to do would be to strengthen the pack, not lie and create distance. Or was there something else happening? Humans really were weird creatures who enjoy complicating simple situations…
Akamaru turned his head as Kiba entered the room, a satisfied smirk on his face. He had done something to the brats. The large dog let out a sigh as he watched his master animatedly talk to Takeshi. Well, at least his partner was happy; that's all that mattered to him.
Sakura quickly wiped the sweat from her forehead before throwing a look at her opponent. Naruto had 'volunteered' to train with the cherry blossom while the children were at school and they had been at it for several hours, excitedly destroying their training ground much to their sensei's annoyance. The blond shinobi let out a smirk as he summoned his clones and rushed to attack. The kunoichi took a deep breath and focused her chakra. Moments later, the dust cloud cleared and Sakura was pleased to see she did not have a scratch on her skin. 'The same can't be said about my clothes though.' she thought as Naruto ran toward her with a large smile.
"That was great, Sakura-chan!" he exclaimed. "We can try with the Rasengan next."
"Sure, but maybe not today. This technique is very chakra consuming."
"No problem. Do you still… Oi, Teme! What are you doing here?"
The young woman swiftly turned and let out a surprised cry when she noticed the shinobi standing right behind her, a heavy frown shadowing his deep onyx eyes.
"Sasuke-kun? Is there something wrong?" she asked.
"Why are you half naked?"
"What?" Sakura looked down to her shirt, taken aback by the question. "Oh! We were training and my clothes didn't resist."
"You didn't take another outfit with you?"
"No, I didn't think I would need it."
The cherry blossom felt herself blush as he stayed silent, his eyes never leaving her. Granted, her clothes were not in a great shape but it still covered the important areas. The awkward silence was interrupted when Kakashi-sensei presented the young woman with his green jacket. She happily put it on, missing the smirk the shinobi sent to the Uchiha and the glare the young man answered with.
"So, Sakura-chan, do you want to continue to train? asked Naruto.
"No, it's almost time to get the children from school. I should get going… … Do you want to come?"
"Sure! Is Hinata-chan going to be here?"
"Should be. Tenten, Hinata and I are supposed to bring them home today."
"Alright, let's get going then!"
Sakura let out a laugh as the blond shinobi ran out of the training area, quickly followed by their teacher. Sasuke started walking without a word and the young woman could not hold a smile back as she fell into steps beside him.
The Uchiha threw the kunoichi a look as they walked down the village's main street, glaring at the vest she was wearing. He was not happy seeing her with another man's clothing on her back but it could be worse, he reasoned: she could be walking around in her destroyed and revealing shirt or… wearing Naruto's jacket. He would sooner give her his own shirt than let her wear the dobe's clothes. Kakashi-sensei's was acceptable since the man only did that to get on his nerves. He watched as she greeted the weapon mistress when she joined them, her emerald eyes brightening as she listened to the kunoichi's misadventures with her two green teammates during training.
The walk to the school continued calmly until the dobe spotted the Hyuuga heiress and rushed loudly toward her, hugging her and thoroughly ignoring the hard glare Neji sent him. Not that the Hyuuga paid him much attention once he noticed his teammate in the group. Sasuke held back a smirk as the shinobi quickly took place at her side, hardly diverting his eyes from her. 'They're so whipped.' he thought before turning his eyes back to this cherry blossom who was observing the situation with a gleeful smile.
The group arrived a few minutes before the end of class and waited near the gate long with the other parents. A moment later, the bell rang and students were soon rushing out. Hinata let out a gentle smile when she saw Kiba going out the building, Keiko sitting on his shoulders and the other children surrounding him.
"Kaa-chan! Look, I'm so high!" exclaimed the little girl.
"Oh, my! You are taller than me now, aren't you." she replied.
"Ah, Uncle Naruto! Put me down, Uncle Kiba!" she demanded before running to the blond who had already opened his arms, ready to catch her.
The kunoichi couldn't stop the warmth that filled her heart as she watched them interact. 'Maybe one day, she will call him 'To-chan' instead of Uncle.' she wished before blushing heavily at the thought.
"Hinata, are you ready to go?" asked Tenten.
The young woman hastily looked around and paled when she noticed the group was leaving the school ground.
"Yes, I'm sorry." she said, running to join them as they headed toward the mansion.
"Warn the master, the targets are on the move."
"The two wind mistresses."
"And the children?"
"They will remain in Konoha."
"A shame, but it's better than nothing. Get ready."
I hope you enjoyed and see you next chapter!