Hi. I haven't updated in awhile. My life has been pretty hectic but now it's back on track. Thank you for the lovely reviews and the PMs. I really really appreciate them.

"Shoo., Sakura mumbled as she spotted the male while making a fanning gesture. Her eyebrows furrowed in annoyance but really, she was too tired to be even annoyed.

The dark haired man sitting on the couch looked up from the scroll he was reading and merely frowned at her. "I was under the impression that we were going to plan our mission tonight."

Sakura let out a sigh. "I'm sorry, Mika's infection started to fester and we couldn't treat her with antibiotic in case of an aneurysm. I had to perform brain surgery and assure Lee that his youthful student will last."

Instead of putting her stuff away in a neat pile, the pink haired medic crawled towards Sasuke and tumbled down the couch, her bag falling down next to her. Her whole entire body ached and it honestly felt like a headless chicken was running around and crashing in her brain- pressing all her pain receptors.

She was supposed to come home around nine to plan the basic rough idea of infiltration of Ishigakure except brain surgeries meant that she was home at one thirty in the morning without her own brain functioning properly.

Sasuke didn't sound too happy about that.

"The first objective is to confirm that Ishigakure is intentionally planning the attacks on us, and if so, why." Sasuke continued on relentless even though Sakura had her face buried on the couch.

She let out an unintelligible gurgle of noise that was a cross between an acknowledgement and a curse word.

"I've gone to Shikamaru to consult basic attack plans and to gather the topography of the area. The suggestion from him is for us come across as weaponry mercenaries who are looking for opportunities to spread their business, especially a part of the fundamental backbone of a nation, supplying their artillery."

The words seem to slur and come together in Sakura's brain as the smooth voice with authoritative accents continued talking. As much as Sakura appreciated the silkiness drifting her to sleep, she knew that she should be paying attention to what he was saying, rather than to just enjoy the intonations. "Tomorrow?" Sakura whined slightly with a hit of utter weariness leaking in her voice.

Sasuke exhaled an "Hn" and Sakura smiled. Old, cold Sasuke would've continued droning on about the mission, probably feeding her coffee or some semblance of energy source to keep her listening and giving feedback. But this older, warmer Sasuke went quiet. One would say that Sasuke was considerate.

"Go to bed." He let out gruffly.

It was sweet to hear Sasuke masking his concern with a cover of uncaring. Sakura attempted to shift herself to see if she could carry herself to bed but her body refused to move.

Impending tiredness started to fog her brain as the world in her mind started to blob together in the truly almost hallucinatory manner that occurred in the lack of sleep. "Shhhh." Sakura reprimanded Sasuke to hush while curling into a comfortable position next to him.

She could feel the warmth radiating from the dark haired man and resisted the urge to cuddle into him. Afterall, from spending missions that required extreme close contact for body heat, she knew exactly how he felt and how he smelled. She clearly remembered how his musky scent brought a kick of happiness in her system. Although in missions the musky smell was combined with blood, it didn't faze her. The smell of blood was something that was almost ingrained in every competent ninja.

The emotions and senses swirled together and soon descended into darkness.

"Sakura!" A clear voice rang out, and she turned around to face a green spandex ninja sitting in the waiting room.

With an amiable smile shifting to her face, Sakura waved. "Hello, Lee."

The green ninja bounced across with incredible speed. "Are you going to check on Mika right now? How is she? Last time I saw her, her flames of youth were still burning bright." Lee jumbled the words out with cheerfulness that blinded his worry.

Sakura had no doubts that Lee was kicked out of his Genin team member's hospital room and he was trying to sneak back to the room with her to check on Mika. Lee was probably waiting for Sakura so he can be allowed in. "They haven't paged me, which suggest that she's doing fine. Her condition was stable when I left."

Lee seemed to have difficulty walking the casual stroll pace Sakura was walking and looked like he was itching to walk faster. "Extremely good!"

"Alright Lee, you can go see her but remember that she needs rest and peace." Sakura emphasised, waggling her fingers as if teaching a lesson.

The green spandex wearing ninja smiled brightly, his teeth gleaming. "Of course! If I cannot give rest and peace, I will do ten thousand pushups!" He declared to loudly.

"Of course." She said, squeezing Lee's arm to reassure the skittish man. She knew that he was deathly worried about his genin member. Mika was in a truly bad shape, the only reason that she was still alive was due to Lee's first aid skills and his incredible speed back to the hospital. "She has a good Jounin teacher; she'll be fine."

They soon arrived at the main desk and Lee restlessly shifted as she passed the receptionist. "He's with me, don't worry." She chimed before the receptionist can remind him that it was not visitor's hours yet.

"You have my utmost gratitude!" Lee whispered loudly, presumably not to disturb the other patients.

Sakura smiled, "You're welcome."

Arriving at the hospital door, Lee ran into the room. "My student!" He exclaimed dramatically. "How are you feeling?"

The brown haired girl seem to drown in the sea of white blankets and hospital equipment. She looks small and fragile.

"Hi Rock-sensei. I'm good." She said. Her voice seemed hoarse but the cheery smile reassured Sakura that the girl still okay.

As Lee hovered over Mika, Sakura grabbed the clipboard chart in front of her bed. "Hey Mika. I'm just going to check up on you, okay?"

Mika nodded. "Hi Sakura-neesan. You look really cool as a nurse."

A smile passed her. "Thank you, I'm not always sparring you know." She said affectionately while pressing a stethoscope to her heart. "Breathe in; breathe out" she instructed.

The air whooshing sounded normal, as did her steady heartbeat.

"It was awesome when you sparred with Rock-sensei and kicked his butt last week!" She cackled while throwing her hands up for effect but wincing at the movement.

"Whoa whoa, take it easy." Sakura tried.

Lee nodded. "Sakura did indeed win. Her fists were deadly and I misjudge her prowess in genjutsu. My honourable student, I am filled with joy that you enjoyed our display of effort!" He put one thumb up and smiled the classic Lee smile.

"Of course, Lee. Now Mika, how are you feeling?"

"My head feels really light and my arm hurts." She said, showing her casted right arm.

Sakura scribbled down the information. "Lightheadedness is from the anaesthesia and it'll go away with time. I can help you with the arm though."

She prompted Mika to extend her arm. While attuning her chakra, she poured her chakra into Mika, numbing the area. The slightly stressed lines in Mika disappeared and she seemed more relaxed. "Thanks."

"Higame will come over to give you a full scan, but it seems like you're healing nicely and there's no source of concern."

Lee smiled. "Thank you, Sakura!"

"No problem, I have to get going now. If any situation arises, I'll be here."

"Are you going to see Sasuke-san?" Mika asked almost mirthfully.

Sakura placed the chart back in the bed. "Yeah, we're meeting to plan a meeting."

"I sincerely hope that Sasuke will profess with inner feelings to you." Lee deadpanned.

"Cheeky Lee." She replied childishly. "Please go home when the visitor's hours end." She reminded.

"I may just dye my hair blue. Do you think blue suits me?" Sakura asked. Her pink hair was pretty recognisable and definitely was better off changed for the mission.


Sakura smiled. "Then it's set! Blue it is. What's your plan, Sasuke?"

"Eyepatch on the left eye."

She nodded. Obviously, using a henge in a mission like these were risky since henges depleted chakra. Therefore, Sasuke had to hide his recognisable eyes somehow.

Sasuke flipped through the scrolls, brows furrowed in concentration. "Recite our cover."

"You are Sasuke Aoki, a retired ninja who is now a mercenary selling ninja weapons. You used to be a Iwa nin. I am Sakura Sato, a civilian whose parents used to be ninja but both died on a mission when I was thirteen. You took me in and we've been selling weapons together for eight years."

Sasuke nodded in confirmation. "Recite our plan?"

"We will make contact with some ninja, do some spying to figure out their missions and plans. If they planned to strike Konoha, we gather some dirty secret from them and try to solve this problem diplomatically. If they don't play nice, we eradicate their village."

It was perhaps a little presumptuous of them to think that they could eradicate a whole hidden village to an outsider. But if the fact that this hidden village was very small, coupled with the sheer strength of Sasuke and Sakura was factored, it was completely possible. Sasuke's Amaterasu alone would ensure insane amounts of destruction. Sakura's monstrous strength could easily crush building the at least incapacitate everyone in the building. It was easier than trying to solve it diplomatically.

But Sasuke and Sakura both agreed that diplomatically was the way to go. The "eradicate the village" line was something of a formality, an ultimate plan Z which they had no intention of deploying. They had no want to destroy innocent lives- someone's mother, father, sister.

"Good. We should change appearance now so we can get used to it and it looks more authentic." Sasuke looked up to face her. "Why do you look so worried?"

Do I?

Sakura stared back into the onyx eyes. "I do?" She questioned back. Yes, she was worried about Mika but she didn't think it was that clear to read. Lee certainly didn't pick it up.

Sasuke just grunted.

Taking that as a cue, she started speaking. "Well, I went to check up on Mika and she said that her arm was hurting. That's pretty strange since I clearly remember pumping her with a lot of anaesthetics but I still had to apply numbing chakra to her. I think there's something wrong but I'm not sure what."

"Do you want to go back to check up on her?"

"What about our mission planning?"

Sasuke let down the scroll about Ishigakure's topography. "We still have a while until we have to start the mission."

The black haired male grabbed his coat and shrugged it on. "Let's go." He urged in his stoic tone.

Sakura smiled. Underneath the pretense of lack of care, Sasuke had noticed that she was worried and trying to reduce her worry.

"Thanks, Sasu-chan." She said playfully while reaching up to give a brief hug. The pure scent of Sasuke mingled with smell of forest seeped in. Sasuke's arm lightly touched her back in a gesture of reassurance.

"Don't call me that." He growled slightly in her ear. A small shiver went through her as his breath tickled her.

"I will call you whatever I want Sasu-chan." She growled back playfully, pulling away.

"Hn." He merely exhaled, probably knowing that raising this issue more will do no good, but actually make Sakura want to tease him more.

Sakura bumped his shoulder affectionately. "Really, thank you Sasuke." She said more earnestly. Sasuke was showing uncharacteristic amount of leniency. The Uchiha was a very work oriented person and for him to give this time for her to go check up on Mika was astounding.

It showed how much he cared about her.

Utterly sweet.

An almost unstoppable glow of happiness brightened inside her; and with a smile, she lead Sasuke back to the hospital.

Really really thank you for all the reviews. When I was about to abandon the story, you guys really encouraged me to write this. Thank you. As for Ino and Sai pairing, it sounds fun. If any person wants a peculiar trope or peculiar scene, PM me or leave a review!